Guides Help Educate and Engage
Empowering Buyers Through Content
The driving principle behind content marketing is the knowledge that clients today do not like to be sold to, they like to buy. Hence, businesses should empower their prospects and customers by offering high quality, user-centric content that supports the buyer’s urge to do-it-himself, and satiates their need to make their own informed decisions. Brands only need to be facilitators in the decision-making process. This is where guides help.
Why Do Businesses Need Guides?
A guide helps bridge a vital communication gap between the buyer and the seller. A guide can be any piece of information created to help the buyer. When you educate your customers about your products or services, you give them the tools they need to make a purchase decision.
It could be a size guide for buying apparel, or a features-and-benefits guide for buying insurance policies, it could be a do-it-yourself software troubleshooting video or an infographic explaining the steps to change a flat tire.
Guides are also an important source for building and retaining organic traffic for your website. Due to its nature, it can keep visitors on your site longer. Offering useful advice also helps build customer confidence in your brand. Guides cover aspects like
- How the Product Works
A guide highlights the features of the product or product category. Customer will also understand the important features, allowing them to make an informed purchase.
- Variants of the Product
The market today is crowded with multiple brands selling variants of the same products. For the average customer, finding the product which fits their needs can be quite a task. A guide can compare various models to help customers find the most suitable one among them.
- Accessories and Add-ons
Products often have add-ons and accessories that can enhance its applicability and improve user experience. A usage guide can help customers decide if they need to buy those accessories, and also make the most of it once they have made the investment.
- How to Unpack and Use the Product
Once the product reaches the customer, they might need assistance with unpacking, assembling, and setting it up. Through an unpacking video, or a usage guide, you can highlight the do’s and don’ts for the customer and help them use the product better and longer.
What are the Different Types of Guides?
Here are some of the types of guides:
- Buying Guides
Buyers are often unaware about their exact needs. They need expert guidance to help them decide. For example, while buying a DSLR camera, one might not be clear about the type of lens, the aperture size, the shutter speed, the resolution, the interface type, and other specific features they need.
This is where a buying guide helps. It answers the what, why, when, and how about buying a product. These are extremely useful for new buyers. You can also consider creating chatbots to answer questions about buying.
- Usage Guides
Users are often unable to make the most of a product they have purchased because they are not well versed about its various features and benefits. This is particularly true for cutting-edge, category-first tech products and software.
A user guide walks your consumers through the various features and benefits of the offering. It could be in the form of a video user guide or a comprehensive written guide. For example, if you make camping gear, talk about using various products on a camping trip. Provide insights into the product experience and best practices, with images to support the guide.
- Troubleshooting Guide
A guide can be created to address frequently asked questions about your product. This can help the customers troubleshoot commonly faced issues without having to dial customer service, thus saving their time and your resources.
- Pros and Cons Guides
Buyers often create pro and con lists before making a purchase. Smarter sellers can proactively give their prospects a comprehensive list of features and benefits. Focus on how features relate to the customer’s needs. This works well for comparing everything, from insurance policies to mobile phones.
- Ingredient Profiles
If you sell food items, beauty products, or supplements with a focus on health, pure ingredients, and wellness, you can consider creating ingredient profiles. Tell your readers why the echinacea in tea matters or where you source the mineral powder in a foundation. Marketing a product as organic, hand-selected, and pure doesn’t provide as much of an impact as the reason behind the company’s selection.
- Case Studies
Large companies, consultants, and solutions providers use case studies to share their success stories. Case studies are an opportunity to set your product or service into action. It helps you demonstrate the why – when – how of your offering, along with a positive testimonial from your client. It is an excellent mode to show rather than tell and offers your readers the equivalent of talking to a reference without making a call.
How to Create a Guide?
When creating a guide, remember:
- Gain a Complete Understanding of the Product/Category
A guide is supposed to help users understand the product or the category. To do that, it is imperative that you have a thorough understanding yourself. Before you begin writing a guide, interview experts, talk to front-end staff, do your research, and learn about the different features and their usage.
- Understand what the Customer Wants to Know
A guide should help customers. Hence, start by listing the commonly asked questions. Study reviews and FAQs to know what customers look for, so that you can address the key pain points. Awareness about the category, competitive products, associated technologies, compatibility, and maintenance issues comes handy.
- Mind the Tone
Before you begin writing a guide, be clear about the tone of voice. Based on the nature of the product or service and the target audience, you will need to adapt the tone. For example, a CIO or a CTO of an MNC would expect a buying guide to quickly highlight the USP of the offering. He will look for comments about performance, efficiency, and comparisons with the existing products in the market. On the other hand, a retail customer might be put off by too many technical terms. He will appreciate a more conversational tone.
- Mention the Usage Value of the Product
A guide can be a lot more impactful when it mentions the benefits of every vital feature. Dissect the product category and spell out the benefits of different product types and features. Ensure that your prospect knows about the value they get with each product. Go into detail with a cost-benefits analysis, comparison to similar offers, and customer reviews. Stay away from generic benefits and outcomes to deliver value and convert readers.
LexiConn has created extensive and informative guides and series of learning material for a variety of products and categories, across domains. We have partnered leading electronics e-commerce companies, renowned architects, travel companies, and insurance companies to create buying and usage guides.
Contact us for creating comprehensive guides in the form of videos, podcasts, chatbots, written content and more. This can help you add value to your website and enhance brand value.