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Content is King: The Basics of Attracting the Online Customer

November 16, 2012

If you've read my eBook A Marketplace of Ideas, you'll be familiar with the mantra that I talk about all the time; 'content is king.' (Don't worry; that was the only shameless self-promotion of the day, I promise.)

Businesses of all kinds in today's online-centric marketplace must focus on the quality of their content (images, product descriptions, blogs, customer feedback, articles, etc.) in order to be found by today's shoppers, because content is king when it comes attracting the online customer.

Don't believe me? Think about it this way: If you're like the majority of consumers these days, you're sofa shopping on your iPad or laptop while comfy at home. You'll type what you're looking for into Google, ‘brown leather sofa', and click on the photos that fit what you'd like to buy.

Now switch back to being the manufacturer trying to win that customer to your sofa. If your images are poor in quality (with low resolution, random objects cluttering the photo, and so on), the customer won't even bother clicking on the product - it doesn't represent what she wants to buy. Even more critical, if your product description doesn't include necessary keywords and phrases - in this case ‘brown', ‘leather', ‘sofa' and so on - your product won't even show up on the first few pages of search results. If she doesn't see what she's looking for in the first few pages of Google search results, she'll start her search over with new keywords.

In order to reach that customer, retailers and manufacturers need to recognize that a change in thinking is required. Your content (images, product descriptions, and messaging) should be tailored to attract the online consumer. The days of appealing to the catalog shopper are long gone.

Boost the online appeal of your products through the following:
1. Superior Imagery: Acquire photos of your products that are clean and clear about what you're selling. Use high-quality images with high resolution to avoid a foggy and unpolished look. Remove backgrounds or additional products in the main image - it's okay to have this ‘lifestyle' look for a secondary image featuring the product, but the primary image should only show the item itself, preferably on a clean white background.
2. Romanced Descriptions: So tell her something she doesn't already know. The image grabs her, but telling the story of a product, while also sharing important features (such as materials used and special touches like handcrafted construction) will bring a customer to fall in love with a product. If you can use keywords and adjectives to bring a product to life through the description, you attract customers to the item, guiding them to envision the piece in their own space.
3. Personalized Messaging: Your brand's story is nearly as important as the story behind each product. Today's online customer wants a relationship with whomever she chooses to do business. Become real and personal to your customers, so that when she tells her friends about your products, she'll want to tell your story, too!

For home décor retailers and manufacturers alike, the caliber of product images, the richness of product descriptions, and the ease of discovery of both for the home décor consumer are directly linked to sales growth. If you can make these changes to your content online, you'll reach your customers with a shopping experience that will bring them back, and inspire them to send their friends to you too!