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Using Buyer’s Guides Strategically In Ecommerce

December 21, 2021

The entire world can be broken down into transactions. It’s more than just basic needs like food and clothing. Shoppers also have wants. Showcasing your products to the people that want what you’re selling is science.

Being good at that science means getting some of the billions of customers out there to buy YOUR product. That’s easier said than done with over 12 million online stores. What a lot of them fail to include is content that makes them stand out.

A great strategy for both highlighting your product and helping your customers is creating a buyer’s guide. Keep reading to learn what buyer’s guides can do for you.

What Is A Buyer’s Guide?

Before we dive in, you may be wondering, exactly what is a buyer’s guide?

A buyer’s guide is curated content that advertises and describes products you’re selling. It’s a tool to both inform customers and upsell your offerings. There are also multiple forms it can take. Buyer’s guides may be gift suggestions, comparisons of similar products, or an in-depth handbook describing what to look for in a particular product.

You’ve likely come across buyer’s guides in the past. Whether you’re buying a car, a gift for dad, or just comparing different air fryers, you want to avoid buyer’s remorse. They can be for big ticket purchases like cars, or even highlight several small ticket items.

Who uses buyer’s guides? More people than you might think. Most people don’t just click “Add to Cart” on the first item they see. Before they make a purchase, they do some research.

Quite literally, buyer’s guides guide buyers.

Making Buyer’s Guides Work For You

Even if you’re not selling directly, a buyer’s guide is still a sales play. You’re helping customers make decisions about exactly what they’re looking for. In fact, half the battle is already fought for you because you’ve got the “what.” All you have to do is convince them on the “why.”

The “why” has to convince them that your product fixes the problem they’re having — whether it’s gifting or choosing between a couple of products. You’re effectively speaking to their pain points, or the reason they’re looking to buy something.

Solving your customer’s pain points should nail the sell, but the “why” also requires knowing “when” and “how” too.

When To Use Buyer’s Guides

Prior to the holiday season is a great time to release buyer’s guides geared toward products. Shoppers looking to find the perfect gift may have trouble coming up with ideas or need help deciding which popular item is best for their loved ones.

Related reading: The Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Survival Guide >>

Curating top 10 lists of your products is a great way to show potential buyers what people are excited about. Gearing them toward specific audiences can narrow down the niches even more. Pick a few — for Mom or Dad, for college students, for teens, and “the person who has everything” are popular picks. Get creative!

When you’re working with specific products, releasing them around the same time new models come out is both timely and strategic. New games coming out? It’s a great time to talk up specs of computers. Big holiday gatherings coming up? What better time to talk about the best tools for home chefs! A hot summer coming? Air conditioning will be on lots of peoples’ minds.

Doing some research on what and when people buy the items you’re selling can help you determine when to put out your buyers’ guides.

How To Use Buyer’s Guides

If you’re in marketing you know all about the buyer’s journey and how they travel down the funnel. You are also in the thick of the merchant’s journey.

A lot of valuable information can be found in Consumer Reports buyer’s guides. It has tons of reviews, and important facts about safety and performance for items you may well be selling. Their site has plenty of great examples of what an SEO optimized, informative buyer’s guide can look like.

The reason they’re a great resource is because their data is research-backed, and products don’t get a 5 star rating solely because they’ve got lots of affiliate income. People trust Consumer Reports because they’re independently reviewing and have an air of authority.

People looking to buy will often search for reviews on products. When they search, they’ll also find buyer’s guides written by ecommerce business owners just like you. The content is usually less authoritative, but easy to consume. What’s more is that many times there will be reviews from consumer-trusted sources that can help you establish more authority with buyers.

Through link-building strategies, you can heighten your SERP ranks. How do you link-build? There are a number of strategies on our blog on link-building that can be a great help.

Other ways you can achieve this is by researching bloggers, vloggers, and other influencers. Work with them to represent your brand’s products. Send out free products in exchange for reviews. When you can link to influencer content in your buyer’s guides, you’ll not only gain trust — you’ll get sales too!

Tips For Creating Effective Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know what buyer’s guides are and when to use them, you need to know how to create a great one. Here are seven important tips to consider when generating your buyer’s guides.

1. Define Your Audience

Setting up buyer’s guides without focusing on who you’re selling to is like cooking dinner for strangers. When you’re focusing your guides on a specific type of buyer, the content drills down into their needs, wants, and patterns. You can sell better when you have developed a customer profile.

2. Know When to Use What Format

If you’re selling expensive electronics, using specs and feature comparisons can help people make decisions. People that aren’t always looking for your product need a reason to click “buy.” Explaining how to find the best option will not only help them, but it’ll buy you some trust points with them, too.

If you’re selling gifts or novelty items, you might not get the same mileage out of this style. “Top” lists are great for impulse buyers. Maybe they’re searching for a gift for someone hard to shop for, or maybe they’re looking for the most unique kitchen gadgets.

Helping your customers find exactly what they want — whether they realize it or not — is how you increase sales.

3. Template Your Content

When you’re putting a lot of effort into a digital content strategy, consistency is important. One buyer’s guide that is super detailed and full of comparisons and the next that has zilch can make it seem like your team goes rogue. You want a well defined, recognizable asset style.

4. Have (Or Hire) a Solid Content Team

One man shows are great for off-Broadway, but when it comes to ecommerce, it’s hard to do EVERYTHING yourself. Running your business, managing ecommerce sales, and developing content all at once requires a lot of bandwidth. Work with people who eat, sleep, and breathe content. Not only will it free up your time, it’ll ensure your assets are stronger.

5. Do Hands-On Research

It sounds like the opposite of what you’d want to do, but buying and testing your competitor’s products can help you a lot with buyer’s guides. Whether it’s you doing the work or your staff, finding out what you’re better at makes for great content. Knowing where you can’t boast is also important. That also leads into our next point…

Related reading: How To Do Product Research: A Guide to Finding the Best Products for Your Online Store >>

6. Tell the Truth

Besides products, people are looking for honesty. With so many sus 5 star reviews around, it’s hard to tell whether the research people are doing provides them with legitimate information. Play up why your products are better than competitors, but also acknowledge some of the strengths of theirs. It’s a fine line to walk.

You’re not writing an advertisement, you’re creating a buyer’s guide, so you can talk about some of the weaknesses creatively. For example, maybe the cars you’re selling online are last year’s model, but they’re a lot more economical. Speak to your strengths and don’t turn off customers with blowing smoke.

7. Be a Stickler About Quality.

Is your guide customer-friendly? Does it speak the language of your customers? Is it too high level? Not high level enough? Does it contain a CTA? Is it coming off as a sales pitch rather than being informative? These are just some of the questions you should be thinking about.

Other things you should be thinking about are more technical. Is it optimized for search engines? Have you done keyword research? Is it aligned with the results you find for the keywords you’re including? Have you backlinked to your own products? Go back and check everything to ensure it’s SEO friendly.

Related reading: How to Do SEO for Ecommerce Websites >>

8. Keep it Updated

Whether your guide is geared toward the holidays or specific products, we all know that what is selling one year may not be sought after next year. Updating your guides keeps your pages current and ranking, and keeps your customers engaged.

The Bottom Line

We know buyer’s guides are a great asset that can direct customers to your site and result in conversions, but don’t forget about your site’s performance and style, either.

Creating a store on StoreBuilder by Nexcess gives you all the functionality of the web’s most powerful ecommerce platform — WooCommerce — but faster and easier than anyone else.

Even better, when you host with Nexcess, you’re getting access to lightning-fast speeds that are crucial to making the sale. You also get our Sales Performance Monitor that’ll inform you of trends in your store so you’re always two steps ahead!

Try StoreBuilder by Nexcess, and start selling like the ecommerce champions we know you can be. Check out our plans to get started today.

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