What is Product Content - 5 ways Product Content differs from Content Marketing

“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt Agree or disagree with T. R., there’s no escaping that comparing ...

“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt

Agree or disagree with T. R., there’s no escaping that comparing things is an easy way to define things. Comparisons draw distinctions. Comparisons create clickable headlines.

Let's compare "content marketing" with "product content marketing". There’s no shortage of information online about the topic of content marketing. SEMRush reports more than 3.1 billion, with a “b”, results when evaluating the number of SERPs with “content marketing” in them. By comparison, add in “product” to the term, and the number is so low as to not able to be measured.

And yet, for many companies, this misses the point of their existence. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers are all in the business of selling products. Today’s COVID-accellerated ecommerce economy has put the product content squarely where it belongs. It’s the most important bit of digital information.

"Content Marketing" is usually defined by a few key items. Content marketing is everything needed to get the customer to the store, it’s the great location for retail,  the appealing signage, the welcoming look to the facade, and the greeter at the the door.

  • A story telling approach, often appearing unstructured. It answers questions which relate to an organization's market or products.
  • Distinctly "non-salesy", it's intended to build confidence in the teller's expertise about the topic.
  • Works hard to be unique and not duplicated. For SEO and overall value reasons, content marketing focuses on being unique, working hard not to have itself "copied" across the digital universe, lest the primary location of the information lose some of it's value.

Product content is a different matter. Once the customer is in the “store”, this is where product content kicks in. It's the boxes on the shelves, the single units at checkout, the bulk items in open crates. 

  1. Product content is structured, and based upon data. It's built from you product catalog data, incorporating sources from systems as diverse as PLM, ERP, catalog management, PIM, spreadsheets, feeds from 3rd parties, your digital asset management (DAM) tools. 
  2. Product content has a strong technical and process component to it. Collecting and managing product information requires an ability to understand the sources for the data, how they interact, and how to update them. Managing product content also requires understanding how to use schema markup for product detail pages.
  3. Product content is often defined by organizations outside of yours. There are high level norms of what needs to be on product detail page, to requirements to best serve SEO. Sales channels who will have very specific requirements about the data you'll be sharing with them. How product titles are written, what product images and product videos can be included, how long a bullet can be, are all often defined by your channels.
  4. Product content is duplicated by design. Take a product like the Logitech c270 webcam (2020 has been good for the webcam business). You'll find essentially the same content on Logitech.com, Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, Target, Office Depot, Staples, CDW, and hundreds of other properties, displayed in Ads, and in Google Shopping. This is a successful distribution of content!
  5. Product content sells. The customer is on the page, and the goal is to give them confidence to add to cart, click to buy, locate a dealer, or other specific purchase action. Product content is for closers. The metrics of product content are usually pretty easy. Does it rank/perform in advertising? How many clicks or visits to the pages? What’s the conversion rate? 

Understanding these differences is the first step in helping you build a better product content strategy. 


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