In 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay in which he described the Internet as the marketplace of the future. His headline "Content is King" still shapes the design of websites and online shops today, because their success depends significantly on their content. This is not only due to the now higher expectations of users, but also because Google is recognising high-quality content more and more accurately and rewarding it with a correspondingly higher ranking.
Storytelling plays an important role in content marketing. This refers to the presentation of information within a narrative framework that forms a kind of story. In this way, relevant information is conveyed in the form of an entertaining story and the target audience is enthused.
In order to be able to carry out effective storytelling, the well-known US strategist Simon Sinek defined three essential questions with his leadership principle of the "Golden Circle", which can be used as guidance in the content creation process:
Storytelling offers companies completely new opportunities to win and retain customers and prospects. If a company manages to convey its values and philosophy through authentic and appealing content, it is more likely to gain the attention and trust of its target group.
„Storytelling is an essential skill that inherently engages audiences and makes content distinctive and memorable.”
Source: Brand Storytelling Is a Competitive Advantage. Forrester, April 2021
Visual content, from photos to graphics and videos to virtual and advanced reality, represents the majority of content in both social media and eCommerce. Potential customers weigh their purchase decisions based on product descriptions and representations, which increases the relevance of high-quality visuals. Blurry and poorly designed assets in low resolution or long loading times are just a few examples of factors that negatively influence customer satisfaction and consequently lead to a high bounce rate, low dwell time and poor conversion rates.
“59% of respondents think visual information is more important than textual information across categories.”
Source: Visual Search Spotlights, produced by Intent Lab. DSI Spotlight, October 2018
Layout and structure are also essential. Image extracts can help to structure a text, to avoid so-called "lead deserts" and to loosen up the total amount a little every 300-350 words. A visually engaging style also helps to engage readers and build trust. In addition to images, infographics, comics, GIFs and videos are also welcome content to increase customer experience.
However, care must be taken in the selection of content and where it is played out. Not every format is equally suitable for the different brand touchpoints.
Especially on the internet, users are virtually besieged and deterred by clumsy advertising. The result is so-called "banner blindness", where advertising is placed prominently but is hardly noticed by the user. With quality content that convinces potential customers and creates lasting loyalty, companies can stand out noticeably from their competitors.
Especially in the digital age, where markets are becoming increasingly transparent and customers are better informed than ever before, it is important to develop high-quality content that brings real added value to the user.
Which interest groups do I want to specifically address with the content produced? Customers, prospects, suppliers, partners, employees or investors? It is also necessary to analyse which brand touchpoints are relevant for the individual interest groups. A customer journey analysis can help here and identifies the relevant touchpoints during the information, purchase and service phases:
The better a company knows its target groups and which customer contact points they go through in the individual phases, the better it can plan and develop its content strategy. Which brand contact points ultimately make up the customer journey for the individual target groups depends, of course, on the respective business model, the industry and the overarching corporate goals, e.g.
Today, before potential customers complete a purchase, they jump from one touchpoint to the next during their purchase decision process, regardless of device and channel. The number of touchpoints a customer goes through depends primarily on the financial purchase risk.
"Across all sectors, consumers need an average of 6 contact points with a brand or product before they convert to a buyer. For products from the electronics sector, the value is even 9.3. A look at particular sectors shows that it takes an average of 4.6 contact points for FMCG products, 5.7 for services and even 6.5 for consumer goods."
Source: Report "5 years of WAVEMAKER Momentum", 2019
The more risk a customer has in making a purchase, the longer the purchase decision process usually takes and the more touchpoints a potential customer goes through in his or her customer journey. In order to reduce the purchase risk and at the same time accelerate the purchase decision process, the use of multimedia content that makes the features and functions of a product more accessible is recommended in e-commerce, especially for complex, expensive products that require explanation.
Review videos and 3D/AR models can be mentioned as proven formats, as they go beyond conveying simple marketing messages. They also contribute massively to brand awareness and result in a much better customer experience and an enormous increase in add-to-cart conversions of up to 40%.
„84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.“
Source: Video Marketing Statistics. The state of video marketing 2021, Wyzowl
An outstanding example of the successful implementation of these new content disciplines is Samsung. As an industry-leading tech brand, it relies on a comprehensive and visually impressive marketing strategy with 360° models, high-quality animations and vivid videos, which have largely replaced longer text elements to guide users. This is particularly noticeable in the flagship products in the smartphone and smart TV segments.
Content is still undoubtedly at the core of modern marketing because it can offer the user a convincing added value through its richness of variety. Visuals are becoming more and more popular, but a multitude of required formats and constantly changing output channels can be a challenge.
DemoUp Cliplister offers a unique boosting opportunity for brands and retailers in eCommerce with the cost-efficient and timely production of review videos and 3D/AR models. We already maintain several hundred thousand product contents in our comprehensive content hub, which you as an online shop operator can integrate directly into your product pages. Scan your online shop now for free and receive a list of suitable content for your product communication from our specialists at short notice.