By its nature, content marketing focuses on customer relationships, branding and thought leadership. Yes, the ultimate goal is to create conversions, but it’s a slow dance. Product marketing is a bit different. Here, the goal is to create interest in your products and educate consumers about them.
- Know the Difference Between Product and Content Marketing
Both product and content marketing have a place in your overall strategy. You’ll also find that the two overlap in many ways. Still, there are distinct differences. Much of content marketing focuses on brand building and relationships. It’s generally done via social platforms.
Product marketing isn’t as subversive. Certainly, you can use social channels for product marketing, but traditional advertising channels are frequently used as well. The goal of product marketing tends to be short term and specific. You have a target audience and you want to encourage them to buy the specific product you are marketing.
- Identify Product Marketing Channels vs. Content Marketing Channels
A marketing channel is any vehicle you use to share information with prospects with the goal of selling your products, building trust, establishing relationships with customers, establishing thought leadership and so on. They include pay-per-click advertising, blogging, guest blogging, email marketing, direct mail, print advertising, radio and television advertising, social media, video channels, catalogs, apps and more.
Some channels, such as paid advertising channels, are a natural fit for product marketing efforts. You may wish to keep some other channels focused purely on content marketing. Once you pick the channels you want to use for product marketing, you can begin to perfect your content with those channels in mind.
- Highlight Benefits Over Features
When you write content about your products, think about the value proposition first. When someone brings your product into their home or workplace, what will it do for them? How will it make their life easier? How does it save them time or money? This is the information that will convince prospective customers of the value of your product to them.
- Consider Dedicated Content
To take a really deep dive into your products, consider creating a dedicated blog or product website. This is a single point where customers—especially those at the low end of the funnel—can learn everything they want about your product. This page can feature product announcements, videos, detailed descriptions, featured listings and more.
- Use Storytelling
Storytelling brings relatability to your products. It’s also helpful in maintaining your customer’s interest when presented with content that could otherwise be deemed too promotional. Stories can also bring context. They help your audience envision how your product could be applied to their lives. Consider investing in a professional writing service to help you develop interesting, polished stories for your audience.
- Employ Your Customers
Like storytelling, user-generated content (UGC) can make your products more interesting and relevant to your target audience. In addition, UGC creates a sense of credibility. User stories, testimonials, reviews—even photos and videos—can be significantly more convincing than the product content you create in house.
- Involve Multiple Business Areas in Planning
The best product content is the result of a collaborative effort. Your product management team, sales staff, customer service, product development and marketing departments each have different insights and needs when it comes to your products. Your sales staff understands the questions that prospects have, customer service can identify the points of frustration and friction, your product marketing manager and development team have the best insights into how products work and so on.
- Use Case Studies
Combine storytelling with data science to create case studies. These provide low-funnel customers with compelling information and solid data to convince them to consider your products. Using these will further build your reputation as a business leader while showcasing your products at the same time.
- Survey Your Customers
Polls and surveys are a simple, cost-effective means to conduct market research. Use them to learn about the questions, concerns and interests your customers have as they relate to your specific products. Post surveys directly in customer emails, on your website, and on your social media pages.
- Remember Sales Enablement
Not all product marketing content is made for customers. Sales enablement materials give your sales team the assets and tools they need to do their jobs more effectively. This includes:
- Sales scripts
- Email templates
- Product demonstration videos produced specifically for salespeople
- Product description cards
- Sales presentations
The goal is to provide your sales team members with education and information they can use when building their pitches. You’re also providing them with solid data they can use when they do their own work educating prospects about the value of your products.
Product marketing content is perfect for bridging the gap between content intended to build trust and relationships, and content intended to explicitly sell. The 10 tips here will help you develop product content that nudges your audience through the funnel.