Let me ask you something. What is the ultimate goal of content marketing? Is it to get more shares on social media, make viral blog posts, or improve SEO? If your answer was any of these, you were wrong. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive a sale. To deliver valuable and relevant content to a defined target audience, that will lead to their action.
Yet, content often fails to do just this exactly where it matters the most. In commerce. Can you remember how many times you’ve read a perfectly fine article or a digital magazine, saw a product you wanted to buy, but couldn’t? Or that you had to make to many steps to do it? The “shopping queue” syndrome, which plagues the offline retailers so often, can easily strike at the online ones as well.
But what if you could “skip the queue” and instantly get in front of the line, with just one click? Wouldn’t that make your shopping experience much more enjoyable and your view of the brand that much better? Well, with shoppable content, you can do that.
What is Shoppable Content?
Today’s consumers demand instant gratification and the ecommerce and digital retail industry need to provide it if they want to remain relevant. Customers want a story, not a product. That means making their content both interactive and shoppable.
Shoppable content can be any type of content such as blog posts, images gifs, videos and more that customers can use to directly purchase from by adding a product to a shopping cart or get directed to a product page and continue shopping from there.
“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now”, the famous Queen lyrics, perfectly represent the typical millennial consumer of today, who wants to be satisfied not even today, but now. To disappoint him would mean missing the ultimate content marketing goal – delivering sales.
What Does Shoppable Content Look Like? 4 Types of Shoppable Content
So what does shoppable content look like? Here are four types of it that you should know about:
- Shoppable Articles
Most online content follows the “read, then click the CTA to buy” formula, but that often doesn’t work any more. It’s hard enough to grab the audience’s attention, let alone keep them interested and engaged long enough to click that call to action button at the end. And positioning the CTA button somewhere else only solves half the problem.
Brands need to work hard to satisfy the user’s attention and shoppable content allows them to do this by doing what content is meant to do – bring the store closer to the user by blending products into content.
This brings that Lustprinzip that consumers expect from a brand today and allows them to buy the product then and there. It also doesn’t interrupt their engagement with the article, instead allowing them to simply click the “buy it now” or “buy here” button and continue reading the article.
- Shoppable Images
Imagine being able to sell a product to someone without saying a single word. Sounds improbable, right? Think again.
By using the power of visual content, shoppable images work even faster than shoppable articles. Many brands are now utilizing beautiful shoppable images on their websites to get visitors inspired and to get them to click and buy.
Interior design, fashion and travel are just some of the industries that can and do use shoppable photography this way and take the best from visual content.
- Shoppable Videos
Almost 50% of Internet users first search for a product or service video, and then visit a store to buy it. In other words, video is where it’s at if you want to get traffic.
As storytelling goes, you can’t get much better than video. Look at Game of Thrones, for example. Find a person who hasn’t at least heard about the show. You’ll probably have trouble just finding someone who doesn’t talk about it. Then try to find someone who’s actually read the books. Not so many.
More than 48% of B2B buyers prefer visual and interactive content over static one, says SnapApp in its 54 Content Marketing Stats to Guide Your 2018 Strategy. While this by no means spells the death of articles, it does show what the audience is leaning to.
- Shoppable Social Media
Where else can that instant pleasure be satisfied the best but on social media. Social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have already tap into that well and you can expect others like Facebook or Twitter to follow them.
Pinterest, for example, has its “buyable pins” that allow you to buy a product directly from the platform, whether on desktop or on mobile, without leaving for another website.
Product manager of Pinterest, Tim Weingarten explains it this way:
With your new shopping ag, you can throw in any buyable pin that catches your eye, whether you’re shopping on your Android or the web. When you’re ready to check out, everything you’ve added to your bag will be right there waiting for you.
The other image-oriented social platform, Instagram, isn’t far behind with using shoppable content. Instagram users can, for instance, use apps such as “LikeItWantIt” to directly buy a product they see on the photos and not interrupt their experience.
Perhaps the “3 second attention span” is really a myth after all. However, brands are finding it increasingly difficult to turn browsers into shoppers. Engagement is nice, but only if it leads to conversion and actual sales. With shoppable content, your brand can finally bridge that gap between you and the customer, thus shortening their buyer’s journey.
What do you think? Is interactive and shoppable content the direction where brand content marketing is going? Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. And please share this post if you found it useful or interesting.