When you have a product based business, most of your marketing budget (that includes your time and effort, as well as your money) goes to developing, advertising and selling your products. Apart from the obvious and compulsory content for your products, you, as a business owner may ignore opportunities that would serve your audience in a way that your competition doesn’t.
When making decisions on what to buy, consumers are increasingly looking for more information about products than just size, colour, make etc. Conscious consuming is growing and content produced by businesses fuel and influence those tendencies.
In simple terms, even if you are a manufacturer or a seller of physical products, the content you have available will influence your customer’s buying decisions.
Not everyone has the capacity to produce top quality and engaging content in the style of blogs, so in this article, I am looking at ways to create content for a product based business that doesn’t rely exclusively on writing.
7 content marketing ideas for your product based business
Do you ever buy a product without finding some online reviews either about the product or the company you’re buying the product from? Yes? Guess what, your customers are doing the same. According to business.com, 77% of people read online reviews before making a purchase.
77%! That single piece of fact in itself proves that it’s worth investing time and effort into collecting reviews for your products. If your prospective customers are on your website, 3 out of 4 will be looking for a product review from a previous customer before they make a decision to buy from you. If they don’t find one, there is a good chance they will find a competitor website that has the reviews they are looking for and will spend their money with them.
Reviews drive more sales online.
Even if you have a brick and mortar business with a shop you sell from and you’re not trading your products online, you must include reviews in your content and marketing strategy to take advantage of the extra traffic they would bring to your website.
Extra traffic is one benefit from online reviews that your business will experience. The benefit for our customer is that they don’t have to spend any more time online searching for a product review and they can make their buying decision quicker, then and there. Convenience is the word.
You invest in your website to make it easier for your customers to find your business and your products. It only makes sense to invest in helping your customers make the final decision of buying from you based on reviews on your website.
Collecting reviews is easier than you think.
Just ask! Collect. Publish.
How-to content is one of the most popular searches online. Some of the most searched how-to terms are simple things like, “how to tie a tie”, or “how to make pancakes”. Simple things that you consider common knowledge may in fact not be.
Don’t assume that all your customers know exactly how to use your products. They may even search for how-to instructions on how to use a particular type of product before they even search for businesses who sell that product.
You can provide your customers with easily accessible information that shows even the most basic uses of your products. This builds your know like trust factor and it shows your customers that you care about them beyond just taking their money for the products you sell.
It also gives you a chance to show off your product knowledge and enthusiasm about the things you sell. Few things will get your customers get more excited about your products than you showing your excitement about them as well.
This is where you can present how versatile your products are. Show people how they can get more value out of them by using them to their full potential.
How-to content searches grow by 70% year after year. That is a staggering number! If your business is cooking, home-improvement of beauty related, you’d be tapping into the top three most searched topics on YouTube. That is definitely something to consider.
-how-to care for
Being able to provide content to your customer on how to care for your products harks back to a point I made earlier in this article. It shows your customers that you care about their wellbeing and their enjoyment of your product well after the sale.
They will be more inclined to return to purchase more when they feel they have been looked after and valued beyond the $$$ value they bring to your business. Your products will last longer or be more productive for your customer. Along with the how-to instructions in the previous section, this will ensure that your customer will be able to enjoy your product to its absolute full potential.
If you google “how to look after leather”, Google will come up with over 16 million search results. It surely is a very competitive search but it also means that there is a huge demand for that particular information. If you sell leather products, you will have some information included with your items. That is content in itself.
Imagine your customer being able to access information on how to care for your product that is longer, more detailed and helpful than just a product label. That information can live online on your website, dedicated blog, or other social media channel where it’s easy to access.
Just like with how-to content, don’t assume that the people who buy your product understand it or know how to care for it properly. The more information you can provide on the topic, the longer your customers will be able to enjoy your products. This is also useful in reducing product return requests.
-benefits of using the product
All products should benefits. Those benefits will apply to your target market more than anywhere else. Your unique selling point or point of difference will drive the topics for this type of content.
This is where you need to think beyond the product itself. This is the opportunity where you can convince a customer why they should be doing business specifically with you. Other than the benefits of your product, what other things can you offer that will sway the buying decision in your favour?
I tend to look for businesses who value environmental sustainability as well as a defined support for the local economy. I view these as benefits of using the products I buy from those businesses. I get the product I want and I contribute to the local economy as well as ticking the box for being earth conscious.
If you’re not sure what attributes your buyers value, ask them. It is price, conscious sourcing, no animal testing, fair trade products, biodegradability, reduced packaging? Something else?
This will have several benefits, apart from being able to create content showcasing those qualities. It’s also a good way of gauging, any changes in your market and your customer base. Also a good opportunity to ensure that you are focusing on product characteristics that your market are interested in. It will also help you make informed decisions about how and where you source your products and how you package them and ship them.
As an example, if you are selling products that are recyclable, tell your customer about how their purchases contribute to reducing waste. If you concentrate on sourcing products that are not tested on animals, make sure you tell your customers about that too. Make it a big deal, be proud of it!
-why you are selling that product
Many of you have products that you have chosen to sell for a particular reason. Perhaps you have used it in the past and it was phenomenal and loved it so much you wanted to get behind it and spread the love. Your reasons for creating the products you are selling might be that you couldn’t find what you needed on the market and decided to create it instead and grow it into a business.
Those are as good reasons as any. Telling your customer about why you are passionate about selling the products that you are selling will draw to you the people who are passionate about the same things. The rapport you build this way is invaluable in business.
You will find that your customer will champion your products not only by buying them but also by sharing your content about it too.
You’re not only selling to your customers but you are also recruiting fans to your tribe. Once you share your “why” story, it’s not just products that are speaking for themselves but your cause behind them as well. People tend to get behind causes they are also passionate about and purchasing products that support those causes not only satisfies their buying urge but also makes them feel good about choosing a product that represents an ideal.
-how it’s made
This is very achievable when you are either sourcing your products locally or you are the manufacturer. Craft based businesses can produce interesting and engaging content by sharing their creative processes.
I’m not talking about step by step and detailed content that will give away the entire process. Before and after images are great for engagement. Short form content about materials sourced and used informs your customer base and helps them engage with your social media pages.
There are many ways to create this type of content. Blogs do the job but visual content is best for this purpose. Short videos and clever images will spice up your website.
Let’s not ignore the shareability factor. How-it’s-made content has the potential to go viral. Just think of all the fast-paced cooking or craft videos. People will share them for the entertainment factor alone. Your brand and product will be shared along with it.
This requires a little bit more technical know-how but the gear you need to create this content is quite accessible. Good quality smartphones are a good start.
If you have that kind of relationship with your suppliers, create some content about them. I’d love to see grocers share information about the farms they source their products from, for example.
-pimping your products and using hacks
This can be completely customer-driven content. Ask people to share with you how they are using your products. Images or videos your customers submit via email can be shared to your website or social media. If you make it a competition, you may even grow your audience a fair bit.
This type of content can be used in the same manner as reviews and on top of increasing engagement on your channels, it may even give you some creative ideas on expanding your product range or develop new uses for the items you make or sell.
When using this type of content, keep in mind what image you want your brand to convey. Not all customer-driven content will be in line with your marketing goals or brand image.
You may even find that your products have been used in someone else’s content. It is up to you to decide if you want to use that content to share the audience or you’d rather assert your IP rights instead.
If you’re a product based business and want to do more content marketing but not sure how, let’s have a chat.