How to Create, Manage, Syndicate & Maintain Great Content for Online Channel Success
November 25, 2019
Keeping up with demand for new, engaging content is a challenge for brands that demands fully integrated content management & e-commerce analytics tools.
If you want to sell your products online, there is no substitute for clear, engaging, complete and accurate product content. In brick and mortar retail, shoppers have physical product, detailed packaging and promotions to help them make purchase decisions. But, online it’s properly optimized content that makes a product standout. It is essential for product discovery, and buyer consideration, reassurance and conversion.
To develop, maintain and distribute effective product content for the e-commerce channel brands need:
- Streamlined processes and procedures for creating and managing rich content.
- Syndication capabilities, with full support for all relevant e‑stores.
- Ongoing audit and analysis of published content, to measure implementation & impact.
- The ability to quickly close gaps, and automate online content updates to retailers where possible.
Creating & Managing Rich e-Commerce Content
Creating product content that effectively performs all its different roles – driving search results, explaining features and benefits, highlighting ingredients and warnings, and ultimately persuading the shopper to purchase – isn’t easy. To creation process will often involve multiple internal teams from product development to marketing, as well as outside agencies. This means being able to create, share, manage, host, approve, and change content as necessary, to deliver content that will fulfill key product content goals from the e-Commerce Perfect Store Content Planning Checklist:
- Clearly communicating my product USPs, and differentiating it from competitors.
- Ensuring the content is complete and answers all the questions a consumer might have about the product.
- Alignment with wider brand messages, benefits & visuals.
- That it effectively delivers benefits and messages for time-pressed consumers.
- It is adaptable to different online retailers based on technical capabilities, style and shopper.?
- That is capable of delivering high-ranking search results in online store search, and wider web search.
Yesterday’s innovative messaging is tomorrow’s ‘old hat’!
Like most success factors in e-commerce, generating perfect content is never a one-off effort. In the constantly evolving e-commerce world, where new competitors and trends emerge at an alarming rate, brands can never afford to standstill. Driving sales, building loyalty and growing market share requires content that is continually updated. Yesterday’s innovative messaging is tomorrow’s ‘old hat’!
The complexity of the undertaking requires a scalable content management, PIM (product information management) or DAM (digital asset management) solution, such as eStoreContent to support all the processes involved. It includes the tools, workflows and automation needed to enable brands, agencies and online retailers to collaborate effectively.
Syndicate Content to all relevant e‑Stores
When you’ve cracked the problem of continuously creating new and innovative content, it then needs to be distributed to all your online retailers. This means your content management solution also needs to be able to transform the raw content into customized Product Detail Pages (PDPs) and deliver them to online retailers in the correct format.
Content cannot be managed with ad hoc solutions, spreadsheets and email
The task is not trivial. Think about the number of content permutations necessary in a relatively homogeneous market like the US, with one currency and one language. Even here, the diversity of online retailers – each with its own capabilities and requirements – makes the job of creating and syndicating content assets for each store a challenge. Expand that across a region such as Europe or Asia – with multiple languages, 1000s of different online retailers, and varied local market habits and customs – and the complexity grows exponentially.
It’s not something that can be managed successfully with ad hoc solutions, spreadsheets and email.
Ongoing Audit and Analysis
Having invested in creating and distributing great content, it’s essential to measure how much of it is being used by retailers, and what impact it is having on performance metrics such as online Search and sales.
As a starting point for auditing your product content in online retailers, it makes sense to focus on product titles and primary images. Having gone to the effort of providing retailers with product titles that include key category search terms for example, you want to confirm that they are actually present on the published product page. Likewise, are online retailers using the most up-to-date primary images, secondary images, video, additional descriptions, relevant bullet points etc.?
Auditing underpins the content process, but measurement is pointless unless it drives action. Regular measurement should be focused on raising the bar and continuously improving the quality of your content and how retailers implement agreed content guidelines.
Automate Online Content Updates
Given the frequency and volume of gap-closing activities needed to stay ahead of the competition, automation to trigger remedial actions should be embraced whenever possible, e.g. re-syndication of content if missing images are identified etc. There are dozens of processes that need to be managed between brands, e-retailers and agencies to keep content up to date for online sales. Moreover, e-retailers change frequently, which requires brands to stay up-to-date and constantly reformat and improve content.
Integrated Content Management & eCommerce Analytics
To succeed in e-commerce brands need a single solution for e-commerce content creation, management, retail-partner syndication and measurement. eStoreMedia’s eStoreContent enables brands to maximize the potential of their rich product content by streamlining and integrating end-to-end content creation, management, and distribution processes. Together with eStoreCheck, it offers brands a single, unified solution for digital channel content, from creation to management, publishing, and performance measurement. Find out more.