The Datasheet: Content That Drives Brand Awareness and Sales
What is a datasheet? Datasheet marketing content more well-known in the B2B technology sphere but can have numerous other applications. Datasheets contain critical pieces of information about your product, service, or entire brand to an audience that sort of function as “cheat sheets.” Blog posts, articles, and social content are all incredibly important facets of content strategy, but while those types of content largely zero in on a specific concept or perhaps product, datasheets are all about features and the precise things that buyers need to know in clear, concise terms.
They’re the most common in B2B, technology in particular, because decision-makers in larger organizations who invest in hardware and infrastructure are looking for certain attributes, specs, and comparisons. Datasheets may be more comprehensive for this type of audience than a B2C buyer in a field like fashion or pet care brand, but the concept remains the same.
Datasheets serve to pointedly inform the audience about very specific criteria, but they actually get underutilized because content creators focus heavily on the specs and features. A well-written and designed datasheet can actually increase brand awareness, inspire additional confidence in your brand, and drive sales as a result.
What Should a Datasheet Communicate?
First, imagine that you’re the target buyer for this particular solution. Who is the person making the decision to buy this particular product or switch to your entire brand? What are their values, preferences, and behaviors and how much money do they have at their disposal? Finely-crafted buyer personas are an integral step to creating datasheets that get the job done and then some.
With your target buyers in mind, you need to include the following information beyond specs:
What’s in it for the buyer?
Why would they want to buy the product, in as few words as possible? What’s your ultimate value proposition?
How does your product work?
For B2B audiences in particular, this part should have enough technical specs and jargon that’s of import to the decision-makers in question. It should also be in simple enough language for other people on the team to comprehend regardless of role. For B2C products, this can be the appropriate audience (e.g. a patient discussing a medical product with their doctor or a loved one.)
Why is your product superior to the competition?
Assuming that your product isn’t the only one of its kind on the market, what are your chief differentiating factors to your competitors? Why should the buyer choose you over them? This part shouldn’t feel too sales-y but it does need to communicate the most salient selling points very concisely and your product stacks up in a superior fashion. This is not the time to provide an impartial analysis on one solution over another; you need to sell without making the reader feel like they’re being sold to and in as little time as possible.
What are 3-5 common deterrents or frequently-asked questions?
Whether potential buyers ask your sales reps or post queries on social media and other channels reflecting on why they would or wouldn’t buy this product, what are the most common deterrents in the sales process? What are concerns that the target buyer has about making that investment whether they’re B2B or B2C? This is not meant to be a FAQ section on a website: just cut to a few commonly-asked questions or doubts that both existing customers and disinterested leads have asked, and provide short answers that help assuage those doubts.
Provide a brief testimonial or two from actual customers/users.
Prospects need to know what they’re missing and this needs to come from verifiable sources. Having full-length testimonials that are linked to on your website is a plus, but you need to cut right to the point such as “This product slashed our user acquisition costs in half and is easy to use!” with the name of the actual company using it, or influencer or blogger for the B2C sphere.
A brief call to action.
At the end, add a short CTA that leads the reader to additional content such as a blog post, video series, whitepaper, or other content that exists to inform as well as covertly sell. It’s not always likely they will click on it but it inspires confidence that you’ve assembled this wealth of information to help drive their decision.
All of this information needs to be easily conveyed as if the reader is referencing a cheat sheet for a game or exam and wants to find something very specific.
How Can Datasheet Marketing Content Inspire Confidence in Your Brand?
With all of the above elements present in your datasheet, you’re inspiring confidence by showing that you’ve done your research and listened to both prospects and existing customers. The datasheet also lends more confidence because it cuts right to the point in a manner that doesn’t make the audience feel like they’re being sold to. Datasheets need to get down to brass tacks right away but what’s conveyed in those brief sets of words needs to show that your brand is trustworthy and isn’t pushing the reader to buy right away.
Working with Writers for Datasheets
A writer doesn’t necessarily need to have technology experience to write an effective datasheet, though it certainly helps given that the tech industry utilizes datasheets the most. The more familiar the writer is with the audiences in mind and/or your industry, the better. For tech datasheets, having familiarity with both your product and competing products is also a plus. Ultimately, the writer needs to be able to convey important selling points in as few words as possible as if the datasheet can be referenced on a bulletin board with all of the decision-makers comprising the audience present. You then need to have the writer prepared with the features, FAQ from the sales team, and testimonials since that is largely internal information.
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.