We hear a lot about product content but what does it really mean? When you talk about product content, it encompasses every written and audiovisual material that gives information about your product offering. Yes, including your business documents, texts, imagery, technical manuals and a wide range of other business tools that communicate a uniform message about your product and services.
Product content is a must for any e-commerce business. This is because it is the first point of contact your customers might have with your brand. When customers cannot physically handle the products you have to offer, they naturally depend on the product content you provide as a brand. If they are not satisfied with what they read or see, there becomes an uncertainty in going ahead with the purchase decision.
Now, we move on to the next thing; centralizing your product content! It is a known fact that every organization that strives to be productive must be able to manage and store data for information spread. Furthermore, communication is very important in order to create a unified message. By unified, I mean a message that speaks the same language to everyone such that it is easily recognizable and can occupy a distinct place in the minds of the consumers.
Centralization refers to a central location where information can be collected, stored and maintained that can be accessed from numerous points. Centralizing your product content helps you move at the speed of your shopper. Anytime a customer goes online in search for information about your brand, you have the ability to respond to them immediately from a well of content that gives them amazing digital experiences and builds their loyalty in your brand.
Decentralizing your product content can lead to data inconsistencies which could relate different messages to your consumers. Can you imagine your product content everywhere, pointing in different directions and telling different stories? I bet you know the resultant effect! This is why there is need to centralize your product content across your entire organization.
The importance of information cannot be overemphasized. This is because customers today are in complete control of what they filter and messages that do not benefit them in any way are shelved out the door. Product content that is highly consistent, valuable and relevant can be used to build a relationship with your customers as a brand. This is where centralizing your product content comes in as it fulfills the criteria necessary for building your brand.
Benefits of Centralizing Your Product Content
Every consumer expects to be given quality information about the products and services of a brand in order to make an informed purchase decision. This includes information about the shape, size, condition, manufacturing information, and 360-degree high-resolution image of the product, accessories, specifications, usage, ratings, reviews and dimensions among others. There is a need for a centralized data location to source all information needs.
We can talk about centralizing your product content throughout the course of this article. But why save the best for last? With all the information shoved down your throat about centralizing product content, I bet the important question on your lips is “how does this benefit my business?”
There are many benefits that you are sure to enjoy as a brand when you centralize your product content. For this article, however, nine of them will be extensively covered.
Benefit 1: Fresh Data
The goal of every data management is data integrity. What other means of achieving this than through centralizing your product content? Within a centralized database, no same information is expected to be repeated. This means that everyday fresh data gets updated to the existing database.
Centralized product content provides a clear guide to marketing efforts and serves as a roadmap for other departments to follow and incorporate their practices with. I cannot emphasize how redundant files can be a real thorn in the growth of a company.
Let us analyze this scenario objectively; person A and person B both work for the same firm. Imagine that these two persons are separated by a continent or state and they work on a particular spreadsheet, separately of course. The end result is dual copies of the same file with different versions, some of which may not be accurate or recent and this can be confusing to other employees accessing it. Do not get me started on the time or resources wasted!
With centralization, data is new as reports can be developed across a wide range of business activities and updated in the central database. Furthermore, time will be used to create more accurate versions of existing information rather than duplicating information that is already in existence.
Benefit 2: One Place to Go
You will agree with me that it can be quite a hassle to search through emails, drop boxes and files just to find the accurate information about a product. This process of looking for product data that is up to date can consume time, which is a strategic tool that is never in excess. Once lost, it can never be regained. The worst part of it being that you can never be a hundred percent sure the source of your content is accurate enough for consumption.
With the centralization of your product content, all your product content can be accessed from a single location and used by many people at the same time. Basically, there is only one place to go. This goes a long way to assure customers of their choice to come to you and creates the right information to enable them feel confident buying from you.
When all your product content is stored in a central place, whether your product data or a general marketing data, it makes it possible for you as a brand to see your entire picture and answer any tough question or inquiries from your customer.
Benefit 3: Save Time Finding Data
- Centralizing your product content for the entire organization truly does save time. This is because all product information needed by various departments can be retrieved from one source. Your data is a critical asset to your business; hence it should be treated with the care it absolutely deserves.
- Through centralization, a much more comprehensive view of your product data is obtained from a single source of truth. This goes a long way in saving time that would have been spent poring through different information sources scattered around. Data can also be properly analyzed when it is centralized, making it more useful for the use of various departments in your organization.
Contents can be easily created and uploaded to the central database where partners, employees and marketers alike can easily access the information. The greatest thing is that this product content will be created according to the brand identity for the use of interested stakeholders.
The process of maintaining product information takes time. It is even more time demanding when your product content database is dependent on multiple sources. Wouldn’t it be far better, time-saving and profitable to your entire organization if you could search and update product information without the hurdles and pains multiple sources pose? Of course, it is!
Benefit 4: Feed All Channels from One Source
Since all channels are fed from the same source, it enables consistency in delivery; thus leading to greater effectiveness and efficiency in the organization. Of course, for content marketing, consistency is a factor that should be enforced in the growth of the organization.
A company can centralize all data collected within a data “warehouse” within which all departments can withdraw information from, uncovering patterns and trends that exist more easily than the individual systems would have uncovered. This is a much better option than storing data in various departments at different locations.
Data can be integrated from all sources into a single centralized data system, from which different sources can feed on. When product content is centralized, the complete picture of the direction of the business is better understood’ showing lapses and how it can be better resolved for the overall growth of the business.
When all channels draw from the same source, it leads to data integrity as data redundancy is completely removed from the equation. Introducing a single point of entry also helps to increase the operational efficiency of a business and saves the cost of data management across different channels.
Benefit 5: Encourage Team Collaboration
Trust me; you cannot miss the benefits that are sure to be obtained when there is collaboration among the members of your team. When teams collaborate and act in sync, there is bound to be greater synergy which will lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness in the organization.
When product information becomes centralized, it breeds a fertile room for growth as it saves time and reduces duplication of efforts. I will explain further! When teams create content and there is an easy way of sharing, it will help team managers manage their teams better. I mean, having one source for product information makes it easy for one to see recent uploads and make changes where necessary.
When all marketing communications and documents are linked to a central system, it helps you achieve better collaboration among your team members. This is driven by the fact that everyone has access to accurate versions of the information being provided.
Furthermore, many teams now have the opportunity to contribute to the product content; thereby delivering a unique content that is complete, consistent and timely in its entirety, reaching the consumers wherever they are and delivering a unified message about your brand.
The truth is that centralized content is so much easier for your teams to work on with access to authorized persons and readily available data. What is not to love about the ease it presents? You jump the hurdles of managing your team wherever they are by storing your contents in one place, basically helping you stay connected and in touch with your team. And everybody wins!
Benefit 6: Images Are Always Up-to-date
Without centralization, your brand will have fragmented images and product videos which will present an overall distorted brand image. You have probably heard the well-used phrase “the only constant thing about change is change itself”. Well, it comes to mind here. With market intelligence influencing product changes and new product additions to meet up with competition, a brand needs to communicate updates to their customers.
With product content centralization affording a brand the flexibility to access all product information from a central location, product image changes can be updated easily. Customers do not need to search through different locations and sources for their entire product inquiries as every information needed can be seen including product changes.
Quality content includes not only the texts but clear images of the product you are communicating about and it should be captivating enough to generate and sustain the interest of consumers. Having seen that centralization of your product content can increase the quality of your content, recent product images can be uploaded to the central database.
Benefit 7: Sales Reps Have Access to All the Data They Need
When people are able to have access to the exact information they want based on their specific needs, communication has reached an amazing peak. I can only imagine how many newsletters, memos, product updates, industry news and so many others are shoved into the throat of the salesperson. Of course, all these are gotten from multiple sources and tracing them becomes an uphill journey.
The trick is not in the number of information shoveled down but in the ease, this information is consumed. In simple terms, make it easy for the information to be consumed. And what better way, I dare ask, than centralizing all product contents? With the centralization of product content, a salesperson can get access to all data needed easily since it is in a central location. With a centralized library of information, your sales representatives can get access to contents that will be useful to the achievement of their targets. It also becomes go-to for all content that is relevant to the growth of the company as a whole.
Think of it this way; if you make it easy for sales representatives to access all the data they need, you help them gain more insight into the industry you operate in as a brand. This makes them more knowledgeable and better informed. And yes, this impacts positively on their selling and attracts more customers to your brand.
Every sales rep knows that the right content can help enhance their credibility, but for most, there is a problem of not knowing where to source the data needed. Well, your prospective clients can tell someone who is uninformed from their interactions with the person. Equipping them with contents that are easily accessible through centralization puts your sales team in a positive light!
Benefit 8: Increase the Quality of Your Content
The quality of your product content should be such that it uplifts the perception of your brand. There should be a sentiment attached to your products in the minds of your customers from the contents you produce.
When you centralize your product content, it increases its quality and consistency. A piece of content is capable to generate gross amounts of buzz, shares, retweets, likes, comments, and so much more, generating lead which can be converted to business revenue.
Relevant content can be gathered from different sources to enrich the content in your centralized database. With this, you have better control of your content to deliver quality and valuable experiences to your customers, thus increasing traffic and generating sales lead for your brand.
When data is centralized within an organization, it creates the establishment of a data standard which sets the pace for smart business decisions. Centralization increases the quality of your content as it ensures that every piece of product content meets the set standard. One can take a good look at all the content; how each one can fit into the goals and plans of the company and how they can complement each other in the delivery of meaningful and accurate information.
Benefit 9: Add New Attributes to Products and Categories Easily
- Of course, I bet you already have a clue with regards this. With the centralization of product content, you can access all your contents from one location. This means the information presented can be analyzed and features and attributes can be easily updated.
- The attributes of your product are what makes it unique and stand out on the shelf. When talking about attributes, it encompasses the product size, color, packaging, flavor and other attributes that make it different from other products. Product attributes can be created easily on a single database than on multiple channels, thus facilitating content sharing across various departments in the organization.
Marketing is getting more complex than it was before. Gone are those days when teams critical to the success of the organization were geographically concentrated with different managers working independently to create the product content. With the opposite being the case, there seems to be the challenge of bringing all dispersed teams together to deliver consistent messages to the right people at the right time and through the right channels.
Centralization of product content comes in to bridge the gap. You should not rest on your oars but research on more benefits you can enjoy as a brand in order to make your operations more effective and efficient.
Don’t you just love technology?! With its advent, there are content management systems in place that can be used to manage your product content more effectively. Look at it this way; once information or content is stored, the system can monitor everything that happens to it. Not only does this make your content more secure, it also saves time as one can search contents and retrieve them to make decisions within minutes.
Just in case you did not know, information is also an offering that is a strategic asset to a firm. No matter the products or services you sell, you must give great care to the information you pass across as a brand. This means the delivery of consistent and valuable product content should be given topmost priority.
Product content centralization is really worth the time and investment to implement. The marketing world is a jungle and only the strongest survive. A lot of challenges can be overcome when information is reliable, accurate, timely and more importantly, consistent. Much more positive results can be achieved with available resources when content is created within a centralized platform.
You need to continuously apply innovation in your business practices. As a brand, the same “wow” expression should be felt by your customers. The delivery of consistent product content which delivers superb shopping experience with your brand will go a long way to validate your brand in their mind’s eye.
Now that you know why you need to centralize your product content for success, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.