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3 Keys to Putting Great Content Online

By Shaun Tinney
5 minute read | Last Updated: April 19, 2016

The right content is key to driving online sales but will your brand approve of it?

The fear of leaving out a potential customer keeps many brands from creating content that will resonate with an actual customer.

Ecommerce brand managers who want to get more action out of their online content need to make sure they have the right content online — and that means crafting and sharing content that is highly relevant to a specific, targeted audience.

The organizational structure of the company ends up killing the right content by approving it to meh.

The problem is that too often, the organizational structure of the company ends up killing the right content by approving it to meh. Consider the digital brand manager who knows exactly what he wants to say and to whom but who has to pass it by 12 different roles for approval first, each with their different agenda and point of view. A common process that ensures what’s approved won’t capture the interest of anyone.

This pecking order of disaster prevents digital teams from doing their jobs well, and prevents customers from getting the support they’re coming to the site for, frustrating both the brand and the consumer.

Here are three ways that digital brand teams can create and protect content that will resonate with customers.

1. Make it easy to imagine the (better) future your products offer
There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to buy your products instead of some other brand’s, but those reasons have less to do with features and benefits and more to do with the experience a customer is hoping to create (or avoid).

Alway remember the job your customer is hiring your products to do.

Alway remember the main job your customer is hiring your products to do and show them how reliable, affordable, durable, fast-acting, loose-fitting, comfortable, comforting, or whatever it is your product is excellent at by helping the customer see what those things will mean for them. How ever your product will change the customer’s experience, write about that.

Unless all copy, photos, and videos supporting your products make it easy to see how awesome life can be with your products, keep simplifying what’s there until it is. Making sure everyone on your digital team is aligned around that purpose will enable you to more easily accomplish the metrics-driven results the management team is after. You can’t get ROI unless you invest in bridging the gap between your product and your customer’s goal.

2. Don’t tell your brand story, tell your customer’s story
Brand story and customer story are the same. Brand history is another beast entirely. Don’t confuse them. Any authentic brand story is one told by your customer, (to themselves and/or their friends) about an experience they had where your product played a part. Think about a surfer getting covered up in a perfectly shaped wave off the coast of Brazil, or a rock climber making it higher than ever on a challenging route. Your product might be there, but the story isn’t going to be about your brand.

Brand story and customer story are the same.

As a content producer your job is to align any brand stories you tell around the stories your customer will be telling down the line: the problems solved, opportunities created, PR’s set, times shared with friends and family, and so on. Don’t let the make the logo bigger mindset take over your content; say less about the brand and more about what your brand makes possible for its customers.

3. Let your customers share the (real) details for you
Reviews, feedback, questions, photos, and videos from your current customers will all say more to your potential customers than you ever could. Ask customers who have previously purchased and experienced your product to tell others, in their own words, what it is about your brand that makes life better for them. This will enable potential customers to validate your claims. These customers may not believe everything you say about your products but they’re very likely to believe what your customers say they are. Use your brand’s site as a platform to let your customers share the adventures, fun, relaxation, struggles, and victories your brand has helped them to and through.

The shiny happy people approach to product promotion instantly kills credibility with today’s consumer.

The easy road is to try and sanitize all conversation around a brand and its products to only what’s convenient for the brand. Because of how the human brain is wired, the shiny happy people approach to product promotion actually instantly kills credibility with today’s consumer.

A little negative feedback keeps it real, and helps us believe. Besides, Jane75’s negative viewpoint may or may not be important to PDX27 or SurferDude. Even an unhappy customer can be considered engaged with your brand, as long as they’re not a troll, they took the time to record their feedback on your site. Let go of the need for everything to be perfectly press approved and start involving your customers stories in your site content.

Super relevant, targeted content can provide the kind of authentic connection with customers that will increase your opportunities to deliver the experience they are looking for, one that can only be had with your products. And who wouldn’t approve of that?

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