The Snap36 Blog
Your Guide to Creating a Scalable Digital Product Content Strategy
It’s no secret that content is king, but it can seem like a daunting task as you think back to all the products – probably thousands – that have very little to no associated data or visual information over the last few decades. The following blog post provides a framework for building your own content strategy.
Product content, in the simplest definition, is text, imagery and other information that a brand or retailer provides to describe an item. It includes names, prices, dimensions, descriptions, and anything else that helps customers understand the product they are viewing. And most importantly, the images of the actual item.
In this post, we’re focusing on the visual assets of product content. Read on for a step-by-step guide about creating a scalable digital product content strategy.
Step 1: Determine Your Goals
The first step in any content project is to take a step back and think about the ultimate goals of your product content. Are you looking to enhance your personal brand and website? Are you using the images for Amazon or Walmart? Or, are there other retailers asking you for this content? If the latter is true, it is important to know what they need, as this provides a good baseline for the minimum content required for success.
If you are responsible for creating content, it is important to collaborate with both the marketing and product teams to ensure you are capturing everything everyone needs.
Step 2: Select The Type of Content You Want
With your project goals identified, it’s time for the fun part – creating content! Most assets will fall into one of 3 categories: static images, video, and 360° imagery.
Static images are general product photos, i.e. front, back, left, right, marketing images and any connectors. The exact angles and number of images may change based on complexity, but when customers are shopping online, these are typically the angles they deem most important.
Videos work great for more complex products that require “how-to” explanations of a function or even installation. The best product videos are branded and tell a story. Videos should put your product in context, showing the product in use or why it’s valuable. A compelling video is a great way to re-iterate your brand values and promises that can be repurposed throughout your marketing channels, but it doesn’t replace imagery.
360° Images are interactive experiences which allow buyers to rotate your product around and even up and over to mimic what they would do in a store. 360° imagery gives people the opportunity to fully explore a product and reduce or even eliminate any doubt they have selected the right item. By using 360° images, you can extract the standard static images you need right out of the 360-degree file, known as a “spin set.”
Step 3: Build an Image Capture Strategy
Once you identify the goals of your project and the content required to achieve them, you’ll want to put a plan together that reflects your priorities and timing. Typically, you will find that there is a good chunk of priority items, and there are also some items that fall below the line as far as urgency. A good rule of thumb is to start with the products that drive the top 20% to 30% of sales. This allows you to stage your project into immediate and long-term needs and will help you select the right partner.
If you have identified 360° imagery as a part of your content strategy, Snap36 has multiple ways to help you keep costs down. If you have a limited inventory or want to start with a smaller number of products, they can be sent to our 42,000 square foot studio in Chicago where our experienced team will take care of the entire project for you. Snap36 has state of the art photography equipment to automate the image capture process as efficiently as possible. While there is no way to fully automate creative production, our robotic equipment, combined with our seasoned photographers and quality control team, makes the process easier and faster with high-quality results.
Depending on the size of the project, it could make more sense to build a studio and capture product images in house by partnering with Snap36. This decision comes down to your goals and timing. Snap36 can capture images quickly and efficiently with expert resources if you’re on a rapid timeline. An internal studio gives you more control over the content and ownership of the process. The number of products you need to capture immediately, as well as the frequency of which you release new products, will often help with this decision.
Snap36 also offers a hybrid approach where we photograph the initial priority product list and then set up a studio on-site to handle new products and the remaining backlog. We can even help build remote studios at your own facility for larger projects to eliminate the logistics of shipping thousands of parts and then leave the equipment behind for ongoing image capture needs.
Step 4: Execute Your Strategy
With the plan in place, there is only one step left: execution. We recommend a “touch once” approach. The most challenging parts of photographing a product is sourcing and preparing the product; the actual image or video capture is straightforward. For this reason, it is important and the most cost-effective to capture everything about the product you need at one time.
Depending on your strategy, you’ll either be shipping products to the Snap36 studio, building an in-house studio, or purchasing Snap36 equipment for your existing studio. Regardless of your approach, we can help you every step of the way.
Step 5: Deliver Your Content
The final step in the digital asset creation process is to ensure you have a way to store and syndicate your newly photographed images. There are several software and service providers who offer these capabilities, or you can opt to have your internal teams handle it. We recommend reading our 360-degree viewers blog post to learn more about what will work best for you. Or contact our team today to get started!