Content Creation Lifecycle 

Product content has an increasing impact on sales with both online and offline consumers.  In a recent study by Comscore and UPS, 73% of shoppers said that detailed product content is the #1 element in driving their purchase decision.  Shoppers use their phones in store to check details of a product, compare it to other products, and check its reputation online before they buy. 

Good and complete product content increases online and offline sales, improves shopper engagement and decreases returns.  Salsify allows you to organize your existing content, makes it easier to syndicate to retailers, and it gives you the opportunity to extend your content and build richer marketing content to support your sales.

Salsify is an important piece of your content delivery strategy, and understanding how content is built, delivered and measured will drive success with it.  Before you start adding content to Salsify, it’s important to understand your organization’s processes and goals for product content.

Content Lifecycle

As you decide the content you should be creating and curating in Salsify, you will need to understand what the content creation cycle is so that you can consider the factors to align your efforts with your overall organization’s goals. The details of the content creation process are unique to each company, but all activity falls into some general steps.

Content Lifecycle

Create

Product content is varied and can be everything from the basic logistic details about your product like dimensions and weight, to deep detail about your products, rich marketing content, images and video.  Consider your product types, brands and the special content that may be needed to support them.

Manage

Think about which teams are currently creating content:  What content is currently available, and what content is needed by your retailers and other syndication endpoints like your Ecommerce website?  Consider what makes up your product content now, and where that content is created, and where it currently lives.

Consider the steps your content goes through to be accurate and successful.  For example, the marketing team may produce your rich product content, then it is approved by a marketing manager, and passed through to a legal compliance team for final review before it is eligible to be used.

Optimize

Compare your data against retailer requirements and discover opportunities to enhance your retailer listings and complete data that they require to publish your products. Salsify will create efficiencies as you analyze your content against retailer requirements, making it easier to see where your content gaps are, and facilitates getting them updated.

Syndicate

When your product content is ready, you’ll deliver it to retailers via the mechanisms they allow.  In some cases, you’ll deliver electronically directly to the retailer.  In other cases, Salsify will generate the data in the retailers’ setup sheet format automatically.  

Analyze

You’ll both track tactical results in numbers of products published and data points sent to retailers, and you’ll reach out to retailers to gain feedback.  What data is best supporting your products?

With the tactical processes flowing you’ll be able to review processes and data and make recommendations on how to improve processes, and where to invest in data that will increase sales and consumer education and overall satisfaction with your products.  These recommendations will then drive the next phase of content creation.

Success Steps in the Content Lifecycle Processes

While the details of the process will vary by organization, the outline remains the same. As we’ve worked with suppliers and retailers from top global companies to small startup businesses, we’ve identified the key steps that drive success in the content creation lifecycle.  The Salsify onboarding process is designed to guide you through these steps.  Here’s an overview of what we’ll lead you through during the process.

Identify a quick win

To kick off the process and frame efforts, pick an area that’s important to your organization and identify a short-term goal related to your content.  For example, your goal might be to focus on completing all product information for your top 25 items and syndicating them to your top retailer. Pick something that’s attainable during the onboarding process, and produces tangible results that support your organization’s overall content and sales goals.

Define your strike team  

Choose the members of the team who have the subject-area expertise, time and motivation to drive the content development process.  See Assembling Your Strike Team for more information about roles and responsibilities.

Map the data flow and systems where it lives today

Outline the content process for your organization.  Who are the people and what are the systems involved, and how does data flow from creation to syndication?  See Data Flow Worksheet for creating this overview.

Import the Data to Salsify

When you have identified where the information will come from, we’ll work together to get that data into Salsify during the onboarding process and will help set up the processes needed to maintain and enhance your product content.

Map Content to the Unique Needs of Your Retailers

The mapping process will match up your existing product content to what your retailers and other endpoints require.  You’ll learn to transform your existing assets to meet requirements, and begin to identify gaps in your data set.

Identify Missing Content for Each Retailer  

As you work through the process, you’ll begin to identify requirements for your data - what is needed for your key retailers?  What information does your Ecommerce system require?

Fill in the Content Gaps

During this phase, you’ll both be filling in gaps for products missing already defined content, but also iterating on the content your organization is developing and working new content into your processes.  So for example, you may be going back and filling in blanks for products missing details like color, bullet points, main images, etc.  But you may also be working new information into your processes for retailers who require information you don’t have yet.

Publish Your Content

When you have the information retailers require and your products are ready, you’ll begin syndicating your information to retailers through Salsify channels.

Ask Partners for Results  

Retailers realize the best content comes from brands they partner with.  Performance analytics will help create better content and inform where your content creation efforts should be.  Reach out to retailers to gain insights into what content is working, what is not, and begin to identify key drivers in your product content. This will inform where your organization should invest future content creation efforts, and you can further iterate and hone your content to support sales.

Socialize the Results

As you move ahead, you’ll have key milestones and results to share across your organization.  The more wins you have, the more momentum you’ll gain and support you’ll get for the content creation process throughout your organization.  Spread your quick win results with brands, account teams and educate around next steps for driving product content success.

Analyze and Repeat

As your content process matures, you’ll explore ways to streamline and optimize your processes.  Consider how to scale the process?  Review what worked well, and what in the processes you can learn from and improve.  And look to expanding the processes throughout the organization to support future growth.