Articles on industry insights and the latest trends are all the rage, but a simpler content marketing strategy may produce higher conversions. Product guides can go beyond e-commerce guides to provide your customers with a lot of the information they need to make purchasing decisions. A causal product guide can lead to brand visibility, differentiate your business from competitors, and serve as a subtle and effective call-to-action.

Are You Posting for You or Your Customers?

Any content on a primary blog or website should engage, educate, and/or convert site visitors. While vying for the number one spot on search engine results pages, many companies lose sight of their content goals. Keywords can steer companies in the right direction, but they often lead to unhelpful posts that site visitors skim through and leave behind. General blog topics and basic information pages may increase site visibility but do little to convert site visitors.

Content needs to offer the reader some type of value to make an impression. It needs to be so valuable that people keep coming back to it for reference, or even to buy. When you educate your customers about your products or services and demonstrate your value proposition, you give them the tools they need to make a purchasing decision.

7 Types of Product Guides to Boost Conversions

Product guides that go beyond descriptions give customers content they can use to compare brands and turn into satisfied customers. If you're searching for a new way to target end-of-funnel consumers, consider creating one or more of the following product guides:

  1. Case studies. Large companies, consultants, and solutions providers commonly use case studies to demonstrate value in B2B marketing. Case studies can provide value to self-employed consultants, small businesses, and contractors. Compile company specific information over generic descriptions to offer readers the equivalent of talking to a reference without making the call.
  2. How-to guides. Walk your consumers through how to use your product or service in a real-world scenario to connect with a reader's needs and pitch your company as a viable solution. Steer clear of basic how-to product assembly and usage guides in favor of a guide that describes a common real world scenario. If you make camping gear, for example, test out various products on an actual camping trip. Provide insights into the product experience, best practices, and images to support the guide. Your content will read more like a story while imparting valuable conversion-driving information.
  3. Product demonstration videos. Put the vision of a cheesy infomercial out of mind. Modern product demonstration videos present products and services in a causal and engaging manner. Work with influencers and natural product/service enthusiasts to create a potential viral video.
  4. Ingredient profiles. If you sell food, beauty products, or supplements with a focus on health, pure ingredients, and wellness, create ingredient profiles. Tell your readers why the echinacea in tea matters or where you source the mineral powder in a foundation. Marketing a product as organic, hand-selected, and pure doesn't provide as much of an impact as the reason behind the company's selection.
  5. Features and benefits outlines. Many people create pro and con lists before making a purchase. Give readers a listicle of clear features and benefits they can use to outweigh their cons list and purchase your product or service. Focus on how features relate to experiential outcomes for maximum effectiveness.
  6. Ultimate guide e-books. If you offer a product line, solutions package, or other complex sales package, consider creating an ultimate guide to give readers a deeper look at total value. For an effective guide, go into detail with a cost-benefits analysis, comparison to similar offers, and customer reviews. Stay away from generic benefits and outcomes to deliver value and convert readers.
  7. Product review compilations. Consider taking all the reviews your company receives online and off and compiling them in one location. Include both positive and negative reviews, as well as explanations for how your company handles negative reviews. People trust third parties to provide accurate feedback. Allow them to access the information they need through your website.

Many of these product guides may seem like common sense. The problem is that too many businesses play too small a role in creating the guide. For these to work, they need to contain real stories, specific data-driven insights, and authentic product experiences. A generic explanation for an ingredient or why your product is best will not work. Pour what you know and believe about your business into these guides to obtain meaningful results from them.

Published on: Jun 15, 2017