Importance of “Performance Content” Grows alongside E-Commerce

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When digital marketers think of content, they may think of Google Posts, basic SEO material, or thought leadership posts. But as e-commerce thrives, the most fundamental content to upgrade may be what digital marketing firm Jellyfish is calling “performance content.”

Performance content is so named because it refers to the marketing copy that most directly drives conversions: product descriptions, how-to guides, and other language that describes products at the bottom of the funnel as consumers consider whether to click “buy.”

Jellyfish reckons that many retailers and brands are failing to optimize performance content. In a study of the top 100 US retailers, the firm found that:

  • 78% offer poor category descriptions, and 23% offer no category descriptions at all
  • 48% have incomplete or unhelpful product descriptions
  • 55% have sub-par guide content, and 42% have no guide or how-to content “at all”

What makes for strong performance content

Jellyfish identifies following the characteristics of strong performance content:

  • Product descriptions: detail, benefits, readability, originality
  • Category descriptions: presence, length, depth
  • How-to guides: accessibility, length, linking, formatting

Product descriptions drive conversions. Category descriptions improve rankings and click-through rates. How-to and buying guides drive organic traffic and also present the opportunity for upselling and cross-selling.

The bottom line

Consumers who go to stores have already expended the effort to travel and likely have some sort of connection to the brand or retailer they’ve visited. By contrast, a consumer happening on a website via digital ads or search algorithms is less likely to feel a connection, and going elsewhere is nearly frictionless.

The upshot is that retailers and brands need clear content to drive the e-commerce experience. Point consumers to where they need to go, and make sure they understand what products offer. After hitting those basic marks, provide additional content that educates consumers about the needs your products address. The latter is, of course, more important for expensive purchases for which customers are more likely to do research.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]