In January 1996, an essay "Content is King" written by Bill Gates was published on the Microsoft website. 24 years have passed since that, no one argues on this topic.
Today, billions of products in FMCG, fashion, cosmetics or even machinery industries are sold with the help of product content. Retailers and brands, which still don't understand the power of high-quality product data earn extremely less. More than 80% of customers who can’t find some product content lose trust in a shop and leave the website. Only 13% of users will return to an online store with poor content.
Well, it's clear that product information has become essential for eCommerce business nowadays. But, what kind of product content is the most important to drive sales in 2020?
Well, there’s only one way to find out and that’s to ask. So, we asked 15 experts from various industries to find out their opinion on this topic and gathered their answers in this article.
Let’s dive in!
Director of E-Commerce at HKC-US & Palm Coast Imports, LLC
The statement "a picture is worth a thousand words" still holds true in eCommerce. My philosophy when thinking about a product detail page is based on user behaviour:
- Text is great (but mainly intended for indexation purposes). Search engines need to be guided as it relates to product details. The text used should run parallel with solid keyword research.
- Pictures offer even more opportunity. They should serve the shopper browsing products. The shopper might be looking for something specific in an easy-to-digest, aesthetically pleasing kind of way. So features of a product can be easier understood with creative assistance.
- Videos generally hold the most weight when it comes to convincing a shopper to buy, but aren’t viewed nearly as much as images. Still, highly important to capitalize on the creative as well as audio.
Other forms of product content like AR, 360 spin images and environment shots also have a powerful impact on convincing the shopper the product matches their wants/needs.
Independent PIM and MDM expert. Founder at Pimvendors
There is no one answer on what is the most important product content to drive sales. What we at pimvendors.com see at our customers is that it depends hugely on who their customers are and in what phase of the buying process they are. If one needs to attract customers images and especially self-explaining images are very important.
When the customer is in the orientation phase, text can be very important as the customer wants to get more detailed information. It is important that this textual information is well structured and consistently structured otherwise you will lose your customer.
In the orientation phase also video can become very important; explaining how your product works will give trust and will increase your sales.
Digital Marketing and Communication at Parfumes Christian Dior
The description of the product is very important to improve the selling of the product.
That's because you can search only a specific word of the product you wish to buy and find the good one.
CEO of Mayple
Hands down, pictures, and video content are the most important for an eCommerce brand. UGC and picture/video reviews are HUGE, I would recommend using Yotpo, Loox, or FourSixty to integrate those with your eCommerce site.
Text is absolutely important and remains important because that is how you rank on search engines, and because at the end of the day every customer needs to read the description, specs, and other product attributes.
But pictures and videos are what drives traffic and really build the brand long term, more than search results ever could.
Use video reviews - for your case studies, for intro videos about your brand, for influencer campaigns
Use audio - it’s becoming a really great hit especially on blog posts. If you notice, all the top names out there like Neil Patel and others are getting into podcasting and on Medium quite a lot of people started posting audio recordings of the post right at the beginning. This brings a lot of traffic and helps your posts become accessible to new audiences.
Show your product in use - another really important feature (most for eCommerce sites) is to show your product in use. This is where customer images and image reviews come in. It’s a really powerful way to showcase your product, your brand, and your happy customers.
E-Commerce Lead DACH bei Philips
Convenience is king.
Reading is too hard. Video is too long.
Product pictures or Hero Image is the most important content piece.
Sales and Marketing Professional, Lead-generation Agency Owner
Most salespeople and even more business owners tend to over complicate this.
Marketing firms all have an agenda to sell what they offer, so they tell you what is best for them.
The reality is the media… Text, pictures, video, etc is going to only be as effective as the relevance of the content and the targeting.
People are bombarded with over 4000 ad impressions daily and can only assimilate about 200 a day.
The majority of today's advertising DOES NOT speak to prospect’s desires, but to what the companies selfish bias and what they want to sell. Most advertising is garbage and has no chance of making it into the 200 ads that are assimilated.
I will make it simple… NO DESIRE ON THE PROSPECTS END, NO SALE!
Content Manager for a global eCommerce platform at Selz
I think the video is the most effective content for product marketing right now.
Platforms like TikTok and YouTube are the fastest rising social platforms because video makes both entertainment and instructional content easy to consume. It’s also an effective format for sharing dense and unfamiliar information, so the video is ideal for introducing new products or concepts to markets that are often afraid of change.
Cofounder of Syncify
Video is usually the best, it’s very hard to lie when it comes to video.
At a previous company, whenever we shared a video of something we were selling in a marketplace, it almost always led to better conversions.
It also kills two birds with one stone; you’re showing you HAVE a product, and you could also show it being used.
If it’s your product, it also gives the opportunity to get in front of the camera and put your personal stamp on it. I’m yet to see anyone do this quite as well as the guys at Cold Steel who literally have a youtube channel dedicated to showing off their awesome products.
Entrepreneur in the space of Affiliate Marketing
There are times when people do not want to read a blog post or a social media post but are willing to watch a video.
There will be times when people do not want to watch a video but only have time to read a piece of content such as a blog post or a social media post.
There will be times when people don't want to read or watch a video but with a single picture, it could speak to them with volume. It's true what the old saying is: a picture can speak a 1000 words.
So to sum things up, take massive action when it comes to producing content. Don't just put out any kind of content but give massive value in your content. Also, choose one free platform and dominate it like nobody's business.
The sales will come over time. Don't rush it. Don't become a salesman. Be a brand, an authority figure first. Be about your audience first then the sales will come later.
Estimator at Snapsheet Inc
Video is the most important to product sales.
Video allows the end consumer to see the product in action and visualize it in there own home. The evidence of this is a large number of infomercials and youtube channels dedicated to reviewing products and services.
Customers will search for a review of the product and would much rather see it in action than read about how something works because the old saying is true a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is a thousand pictures.
Author, writer, consultant in compassion and persuasion
The most important element is the traffic. Not just a lot of traffic, but well-targeted traffic. You can go back to copywriter Gary Halbert’s famous question
“If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side to help you win?”
The answer is a starving crowd. See #1 Advantage in Marketing? A “Starving Crowd”.
It turns out, his instincts were right and have been proven in thousands of A/B tests run by MEClabs, one of the largest research institutes dedicated to discovering how people make choices.
MEClabs has run literally thousands of A/B tests on offers. They’ve boiled the results into this heuristic
C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) - 2a (See: MECLABS Heuristic)
The heuristic gives you a formula for conversion (C = ), it gives you the 5 most important elements in getting a prospect to say yes.
Those elements are listed in order of importance: m, v, i, f, a.
The most important, m, is your prospect’s motivation - how starving is your crowd (for what you offer). The second most important element is v, your value proposition (how clear and relevant it is).
That’s not a guess. That’s the outcome of thousands of trials.
- Target the right crowd, not a big crowd, the right crowd, a crowd hungry for what you have to offer.
- Give them a value proposition that speaks directly and clearly to their hunger.
The rest is reducing friction and making people feel comfortable to buy.
Once you get your target to your site, you give them your value proposition in a clear, direct headline. You do it in text because the text is the medium people parse the fastest.
After you’ve made your value proposition clear, a video would be effective. An engaging video is powerful because it engages more of the brain and it transfers bulk information, faster than text.
Founder at DIY Business Classes
I recommend you do more research into the psychology around what makes people buy. One of the key reasons people take out their wallets and vote with their money is VALUE.
What most effectively communicates value will depend on what it is you’re trying to sell. There is no one thing, tactic or technique that is most important because products and services are sold to different consumers who perceive VALUE in different ways.
This is why people who know communications will always tell you to “Know your Primary Target Audience as well, if not better, than you know yourself and design your communications to speak to your PTA.”
Raised Over $200m in Venture Cap
There are three common styles of thinking: sight (visual), sound (Auditory), and feel (known as kinesthetic). Individuals tend to favour one of these styles. It's therefore important to ensure that your digital marketing addresses each of these.
To address visual thinkers and cause someone to visualize the benefits, you can use sentences like:
"Can you see yourself driving that sports car in the city centre?"
You can also make use of video content.
To address auditory thinkers, you can include, for example, a downloadable audio presentation, or cause your audience to hear the benefits by using sentences such as:
"Can you hear your customers praising you for these improvements?"
Finally, to address kinesthetic thinkers, you can play on their desire to feel by asking:
“Just imagine how it feels to own one of these…”
Always remember what you are trying to achieve when using any of these psychological tricks. You are trying to convey to the prospect the fact that your offering represents truly good value, at the price you have set it at.
These psychological tricks are definitely not intended to be used to hoodwink or mislead the prospect. What you are trying to address and overcome is the natural question that will crop up in the mind of any prospect when faced with a decision to sign up for a newsletter, to buy your book, product or service. And that is Is it worth it?.
Be sure to use these little psychological tricks honestly, and with integrity.
Director of Digital Marketing at Educational Networks
Write for your audience but never forget that your audience is made up of emotionally-driven, diverse learners. Every piece of content written should be about reaching your audience through VARK.
Each post needs to include a visual, a way to listen to the content, a transcript or PDF/white paper, and the option to “request a sample or free trial” in order to reach each learning style.
Understand the emotions that drive people to make a purchase in the first place. Assess the product you want to sell or the service you want the customer to buy.
Stop being a marketer for a moment and be the buyer, is it a product that you need; is it a product you want? How does it make you feel? Forget that it’s your responsibility to get someone to buy this product, look, and experience it the way you would if you came across it in an ad, a blog post, or an online eCommerce store, draw from those emotions, then create content around those.
While you've likely created a persona for your product, always remember that your target market is not demographic drones - they are emotional, human beings!
Any content created should be about connection, that means creating posts that speak to different learning styles.
Founder at Boiled Apples
Google’s main search results are written content and companies who blog are bound to get 97% more links to their websites. (Optinmonster)
Video has been on the rise since the start of Youtube (which is just second behind Google) and 54% of consumers now want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. (Oberlo)
Podcasts have been all the rave since around 2010/2012 and the only way from there has been up. As a matter of fact, podcasting grew slightly as the “audio source used most often in the car” - bye-bye radio (Discoverpods)
All these mediums serve a specific purpose in one way or another. And if you ask me, I’d say go for all of them if you have the budget.
But in the case of which is more important, I can make a case that different age groups prefer different online content.