A high-quality digital online catalog can not only help you diversify your marketing channels but can provide you with an additional asset that is shareable and brandable. Digital catalog product promotion can help you showcase your product to multiple audiences through multiple channels.
However, much of the success of an online digital catalog comes down to the initial presentation, layout, and design.
To maximize conversions about your catalog, there are some rules to the game. Knowing the basic marketing rules for boosting the conversion of your online inventory is a must if you are going to get a satisfactory return on your investment in this form of digital marketing.
Standardized Images that Match Your Brand and Company Culture
In the world of digital marketing, image is everything. If you want people to take your brand seriously, then you need to come up with a clean and brandable image policy. This does not mean you have to spend a fortune on photography costs, but it does mean that you need to establish a standard and maintain that standard for your brand.
Brand standards for images may include things like:
- Image size
- Angle, distance and perspective
Before you start taking the photos, consider the culture within your company. Also, consider the target audience and their demographics.
Part of Instagram's success has been to standardize the look and feel of the images that are added to the site. Consider, what style, tone and perspective are going to be most engaging for your target audience?
There are several readily available online tools to help you establish a brand using online and digital magazine formats. But merely coming up with the stunning magazine concept is not enough. Your magazine needs to be accessible and shareable on multiple platforms to gain a following and level of interest commiserate with a profitable return.
Ensure that the digital tools you use include formats that are most accessible to users, have a solid data-driven strategy for eCommerce while at the same time protecting copyright material. You will also want to ensure that your catalog can be accessed through email, social media, catalog sharing sites, and major media portals such as Medium.
Professional digital and online catalog creators like Flipsnack will enable you to create HTML5 compliant content comma convert pdf content to other digital formats as well as allowing for advanced customization and mobile-ready design.
Additional accessibility issues and customizations you should look for are:
- Multi-lingual text
- Right to left orientation
- Link highlights
- Downloadable features
- Single and double page layout options
Some accessibility issues to consider are:
- Shareable on social media
- Dowbloadable PDF, GIF or animated flipbook formats
- Ability to embed your catalog
- The ability for users to your share catalog as video content
Rich Media Integration
Rich media includes things such as video, slideshows, and other elegant but straightforward animation features. Adding rich media can help engage users and maintain their enthusiasm for your product.
The ability to add or convert your catalog to other rich media formats also help you to increase exposure and subsequent conversions.
One of the most critical aspects of this kind of marketing channel is the ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. The text should be easy for users to read and follow a logical flow. The use of subheadings enables users to navigate and find the information that answers questions and objections.
Make sure you are speaking the language of your target audience. For the most part, you're going to see higher conversions where you use simple and concise language.
Avoid flowery phrases and unnecessary cliches and repetition.
While all good marketing includes an aspect of storytelling, when you are showcasing products within an online catalog, you need to make the features and benefits as well as any limitations of your products crystal clear.
Ambiguity causes a roadblock to conversion, so you want to make sure you remove any unclear or ambiguous content.
Internal and External Linking
Online publications and digital catalogs that allow for internal linking as well as outbound linking will enable users to click through seamlessly and access the product pages on your website.
Internal linking also helps users to navigate the catalog itself. This is not only good for the user experience but also may have some benefit in search engine optimization.
All linking, whether internal outbound, should be clear and the users should be able to anticipate the results of clicking on any link. So, ensure your links are relevant and that the anchor text is simple for users to understand and interpret.
Simplify Product Categories
Determining categories is an aspect of user ability and logical sequencing.
Overly complicated categorization can reduce the potential for higher conversion and add-on sales. Take a look at existing catalogs online and notice the way they have simplified the categorization of their products.
This requires some in-depth industry knowledge and research, allowing you to understand the expectation of those that are in the market to buy.
Incorporating Trust Signals
If your prospective clients or customers are unfamiliar with your brand, trust signals are absolutely critical. Not only do you want to establish yourself as an authority in your industry but you want to be regarded as a trusted authority.
Trust signals may include things like transparent customer service obligations. Trust signals also include clear shipping information and transparent details about the products themselves.
The strategic use of reviews, mentions by other credible entities and clear contact information are also important conversion factors for online catalogs.
Additional trust factors may include the tone of your catalog with particular reference to the way you write.
This means addressing the most obvious and likely barriers to consumer purchases. Long and complicated sentences also present a roadblock to conversion. A genuinely professional brand knows it's products so well that they're able to sum up the features, benefits and typical use with clear and concise copywriting.
Clear Calls to Action
Much like any other form of digital marketing, there must be clear calls to action.
This may include text encouraging buyers to take advantage of current sales, benefits, and features of the product you are showcasing. It may also include the strategic placement of Interactive forms, buttons and more.
One of the most important skills in providing a clear call to action is in the layout, design, and color of your catalog.
All of these things should be consistent with your brands' overall image so that users can readily identify your catalog with your website and other promotional and marketing material online.
Calls to action should stand out though they should not be gaudy. They should provide realistic and believable promises to deliver the products that are being showcased. Avoid exaggeration and common marketing tactics such as a disproportionate number of benefits which may undermine your credibility.
Focus on the most critical features and benefits and ensure that you can realistically deliver on those commitments.
As people become more familiar with web technology, they are also becoming savvier. Reasonable conversion rates come from building trust and quality relationships where you consistently deliver on what is promised.
In a recent Frost & Sullivan publication on emerging trends in eCommerce, 69% of companies reported that they had planned to cease printed catalog production in favor of digital catalog distribution.
If you're contemplating switching over to digital and online catalog distribution it is worthwhile doing a cost-benefit analysis and looking at competitors and those in similar Industries as a means of gaining valuable information on how best to undertake this booming marketing channel.
David Trounce is the Co Founder of Mallee Blue Media and specializes conversion rate optimization and brand development for agencies and business websites. David is a content creator and business consultant with a background in marketing. He also writes for Business.com, GrowMap and Born2Invest.