So you’ve created visual product content that tells your story best. Content that literally gets inside your product to show customers how it works and why it’s better than the competition. Content that answers customers’ problems and helps them see the product in action. Content that helps them install, maintain or troubleshoot. You’re happy. The Marketing department is happy. Your boss is pleased. But what about the customer? Are they even seeing it?
Don’t Be a Content Hoarder
Great content needs to be shared. High-quality product images, set shots, instructional animations, 360° spinners, and interactive tools weren’t designed to languish on one lonely page of one website. So, don’t just post it on your website, check it off the list, and then forget about it.
Why Hoarding Hurts Sales
How much do you think your buyers research your product before deciding to buy?
In 2010, shoppers needed 5.3 sources of information before making a purchase decision. By 2011, that number had climbed to 10.4, and it’s still going up. – Jay Baer, Content Marketing World 2013
And, we’re not talking about a salesperson chatting them up here. We’re talking actual research, down and dirty, checking out every detail of your product and backing their decision with solid information.
Think you’ve got it covered by packing your company site with that fantastic product content? According to the stats above, you’re lucky if your site is even 1/10th of the equation.
To meet the consumer during every step of their research, you must aggressively and exhaustively distribute your product content.
First, Examine Your Channel Partner Sites
Your channel partners have access to huge audiences you need to reach — audiences that already crave and research product information. Once you have the quality content you need, don’t limit yourself. Share the love!
In fact, channel partners are looking for high-resolution, interactive product photography and product videos. Help them out by sharing yours.
Remember, these partners want to sell your product, too. Don’t assume you’re stuck with dry product pages or demonstrations on their sites. Help them beef up product detail pages and demonstrations by sending them the 3D views, animations and cutaways that tell the story best.
You’ve listened to your customers’ problems, addressed what’s driving them crazy, and answered their questions with outstanding visual content. Now it’s time to reach those customers wherever they’re searching.
For example, Whirlpool created instructional 3D animation to walk customers through the installation of their new dishwashers. Service calls went down and the animations were well received. Whirlpool then shared the installation guides with Sears, who then added them to its DIY website, Manage My Life.
Share the Education
You’ve created 3D content that educates customers on the nuances of your designs and explains the advanced technology behind your product. But are your customers even seeing it?
Maytag created a new animation that helped buyers better understand how High Efficiency washers worked.
Maytag then shared that animation with channel partner, Lowe’s, who chose to feature it on their own website.
Abt Electronics also repurposed content shared by Whirlpool and Maytag in 3D instructional animations on their product pages. Within a three-month period, users viewed 22 different animations more than 6,000 times.
Door Manufacturer, Masonite, also had success sharing a series of 3D instructional animations with Home Depot.
Oftentimes, the best way to reach your prospects is to forgo big chunks of reading and instead engage them with a dynamic, interactive tool that shows them exactly what your product can do. Offering those tools with Channel Partners will only strengthen your reach.
That’s what ClosetMaid did to showcase their home storage solutions. After they created the Do-It-Yourself Designer using 3D animation instead of traditional set shots, they created co-branded versions to share with channel partner Home Depot. The new tool allows users to highlight new products and finishes and experiment with different configurations in a low-pressure environment that allows their creativity to flourish.
ClosetMaid now estimates that its Do-It-Yourself Designer tool contributes to 5-6% of its online sales, as well as the 5-6% conversion rate on Home Depot and other channel partner sites.
The Bottom Line
Even the best content is only as powerful as its reach. Be sure your content can do its job best by distributing it aggressively and strategically. Channel partners are a perfect place to start.