Content Management 101: Conversations in REM with Tracy McManus

    March 22, 2023

    Brands are constantly vying for consumer attention. With industry giants such as Amazon and Walmart dominating the online retail space, it’s more important than ever to have a strong content management strategy in place.

    Tracy McManus, Content expert at CommerceIQ, shared actionable advice on content management for retail brands in this Q&A session with our Director of Industry Insights, Tim Campbell. An abridged version of her responses are below. Check out the link to the full version here: 

    Tim Campbell: Why is content, and content management in particular, important?

    Tracy McManus: Content plays a crucial role in expressing a brand’s story. It can increase shoppers’ impression and trust in the brand and prevent brand degradation from 3P sellers.

    TC: Why is content important on Amazon specifically?

    TM: The importance of content on Amazon lies in the fact that the platform uses the priority A10 algorithm, which highly indexes shopper searches even more than the previous A9 algorithm. To benefit from this search algorithm, it’s crucial to understand what actions can be taken within content management.

    TC: What are the core content management best practices on Amazon?

    TM: Amazon’s algorithm heavily indexes the first 500 characters of a product’s title and the first two bullet points. To optimize content, follow Amazon’s golden rules to increase relevancy and searchability.

    Keep the title between 80 and 200 characters and do not use “keyword stuffing.” Include highly indexed SEO keywords. Include at least five bullet points that are precise, descriptive, and attention-grabbing. Use at least six images with a white background and infographics that describe product features and one video that is no longer than 30 seconds. Adding a size chart can also help prevent negative reviews.

    Since reviews and ratings are just as important for search relevancy, aim to have a minimum of 20 reviews and four stars. Update the product description with SEO keywords and include all necessary information for shoppers to make a purchase. Add A+ content, which has been shown to increase conversion by 15% and sales by 5.6%.

    Finally, update your brand store with seasonal items and new products to make sure you are getting customers to your brand store.

    TC: Are there different things brands have to pay attention to between different types of devices?

    TM: About 80% of online shoppers start browsing for products on their mobile devices, so it is important to understand how the mobile product detail page (PDP) is laid out versus the desktop PDP and optimize both.

    On mobile, customers can scroll quickly as there is less information to go through. To ensure that content is scannable, verbiage should be brief and focused on product features and benefits.

    Amazon does allow sellers to preview their A+ content in both desktop and mobile views before publishing, so brands should take advantage of this feature when creating and optimizing A+ content.

    TC: What are some common problems that brands could run into regarding content management?

    TM: Third-party sellers taking over a listing can make it difficult for sellers and vendors to regain control and can result in brand degradation on Amazon. Additionally, complying with Amazon’s rules and regulations can be a hurdle to successfully publishing a listing and keeping your content live.

    TC: What should brands struggling with content management fix first?

    TM: Focus on imagery and SEO keywords. Because it suggests legitimacy to customers, clear and high-quality imagery creates brand trust and increases conversion. Adding highly-ranked SEO keywords to the title and bullet points can also improve search rank.

    TC: How should brands structure their teams in regard to content management?

    TM: Traditionally, brands or companies have a team or an individual who manages content manually on e-commerce platforms. This approach can be time-consuming and tedious. It is better to have a central platform that automates tasks such as scraping content for changes and updating it and frees up time for employees to focus on strategy and higher-level initiatives.

    TC: What are some pain points that a brand can run into as they are developing their content strategy?

    TM: Successful content strategies vary among brands and requires trial and error and A/B testing. Some brands focus on SEO keywords while others prioritize visually appealing A+ content to increase conversion. A balance between the two approaches can be successful.

    TC: What should brands consider when building out content internationally?

    TM: To sell globally on Amazon, sellers should take the following two key steps: researching country-specific rules and regulations and localizing content. Localization involves addressing local culture and non-textual components when translating a product’s content. For example, using the word “pacifier” instead of “dummy,” which is more commonly used in the UK, could lead to lost sales.

    TC: How should brands ensure that the current focus on profitability does not deemphasize content?

    TM: One solution is to have a central resource for all ecommerce needs, including profitability, content, and other requirements. This will allow teams to manage content management, supply chain operations, third-party seller management, and sales management simultaneously. This approach prevents the risk of de-emphasizing content based solely on gut feeling and allows for strategic allocation of resources to drive sales and profitability.

    TC: What roles can data and automation play in content management?

    TM: Data and automation are crucial for effective content management on Amazon. Tools such as Commerce IQ and its content scorecard can help teams to understand where they stand against Amazon’s content standards and to identify areas for optimization. Automation also enables teams to monitor content at a granular level and compare it to how it appears on the item detail page. By leveraging data and automation, teams can maintain their brand’s catalog and focus on high-level strategy.

    TC: If you could make brands understand just one or two things about content management, what would that be?

    TM: Content management and optimization are essential for effective product sales and brand recognition. Poor content can lead to lost sales and damage to a brand’s reputation. Even if a brand sells products directly from their own site, they should still have control over their brand’s story, image, and content on Amazon to prevent unauthorized sellers and distributors from damaging their reputation.

    Want to listen to the full version?

    Check it out here:


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