Product descriptions are a basic task for any marketer. AI is helping automate the role with product description generators, capable of providing clear and concise content that needs minimal editing. This article explains how they work.
- Product descriptions are often repetitive and boring for human writers
- Product Description Generators can produce product copy at scale
- They can also produce content in different formats, tones, and languages …
- But what you get out is only as good as the prompts you put in
- Make sure even similar products have at least one differentiation in their descriptions
- The more products you sell, the more use you’ll get from a product description generator!
The earliest forms of writing – stone tablets from ancient Mesopotamia – aren’t epic stories or beautiful poetry. They’re the work of traders, merchants, and accountants who needed to record what they owned and who was buying it.
In other words, writing was invented for a marketing task: the humble product description.
From the single-sentence blurbs on a cereal packet to the dense facts of a jet engine specification, the product description is a staple of marketing. Eighty-seven percent of consumers rate them “very important” in the buying process. However, as writing them is often seen as low-end work for junior writers, it can be a real friction factor when launching a new range: long lead times and multiple layers of revision and approval are common.
But as you’d expect, technology – in this case, the innovation tsunami that is artificial intelligence – is taking up the challenge. In this article, we explain how Product Description Generators (PDGs) work, and the best ways to get great results from them. Here we go…
What is a product description generator?
A PDG asks for a product name, your preferred keywords, and other information (depending on app) like what the product does, and its key features. Usually, you can enter as many as you like. Then, using AI marketing tools, it outputs a full product description you can cut and paste – ready for a catalogue, sales brochure, or the web. Most of these are web-based.
Savvy marketers will use their existing lists of SEO keywords as prompts here, since the PDG is likely to include them in the output product description – instant SEO juice!
When to use a product description generator?
As with other AI-based tools for marketing, PDGs work best when the task at hand is easily defined and has a singular goal. For example, “Write a 75-word product description in English for artisan butter from a small French farm, sold only online and with characteristics of bright yellow colour, creamy texture, and a slightly salty flavour.”
(If you’re interested, one of the best-known product description generator came back with: “Introducing our exquisite Artisan French Butter, crafted with care on a small, picturesque French farm. Available exclusively online, this vibrant yellow, creamy delight boasts a rich, velvety texture that melts in your mouth. Savour its subtle, slightly salty flavour, perfect for enhancing any culinary masterpiece. Elevate your dishes with the authentic taste of French countryside, and experience the unparalleled quality of our hand-churned artisan butter. Discover the difference – indulge in luxury. Order now!”)
You’ll see from the above that it’s important to specify what the copy you want is for. Sales copy in a B2B brochure reads very differently to text for the same product sold to consumers. As always, GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out); the higher the quality of your prompt (input info), the better the output.
Product description generator vs. outsourced copywriting
Perhaps the best situation to use these description generators is when you’ve got a high-volume, high-workload, and high-cost requirement – such as a product catalogue for your 10,000 SKUs, containing broadly similar products but each needing its own blurb.
No human copywriter really wants to write 10,000 slightly different variants that describe your specialist nails and bolts for the construction industry. So, as with all boring, repetitive, yet essential business requirements, it’s ripe for automation with AI!
How to use a product description generator for best results
Anyone who’s ever written SEO copy (particularly in the golden years of content-spinning, keyword-stuffing, and link farming!) will be familiar with the basic techniques for getting the most out of a product description writer. Here are a few.
Make sure it’s scannable
Think of how journalists are taught: summary headline, topic sentence, the first paragraph telling the whole story. Good product descriptions are similar. So, if you want your copy to be easy to read, ask your product description generator to create short paragraphs, subheadings, and summaries, with a strict word limit.
Use natural language
Good product descriptions don’t read like a machine wrote them. While similar sentence structures are unavoidable when you’re creating large volumes of content for similar products, it’s important that your language sounds fresh and natural … as if a human wrote it. Obviously.
Optimise for SEO
In addition to the tip above (use your SEO keywords as prompts), it’s worth running your product description writing through an SEO checker to make sure it’s getting you ranked without penalties. Many online product descriptions tools do this for you.
Focus on benefits over features
Lesson One in copywriting school is to write for the benefit, not the feature. (Take a power drill: your customers aren’t buying the drill, they’re buying the hole.) Always brief your product description generator in terms of what the customer receives from it, not what you put into it.
Use lots of accurate tags
Tags (usually buried invisibly in the HTML of a web page) provide useful labels for search engines to parse a page’s content and categorise it properly. Adding tags (for instance a product’s SKU or barcode number) also helps shoppers searching for it, since many experienced searchers will enter a product code rather than a generic product name.
Always include images
The principle goes back at least to Leonardo da Vinci: the primary communication tool is the visual image, and the text serves to explain and expand on the image. So, when publishing your AI product descriptions, don’t forget to include a visual that shows customers what they’ll actually get. It tells a thousand words and all that.
5 great product description generator tools worth trying
With that said – let’s look at some tools. We like these five here at Contentoo, and we think you will, too.
The product description generator offer from Jasper.ai (formerly Jarvis) has been around for a while, and several million companies use it. It’s incredibly easy to get started with – your first PDG effort needs nothing more than a product name and a couple of keywords!
The reason for this is that Jasper has many pre-built and pre-tested templates for different content types, and one available is the product description, claiming to “Create compelling product descriptions to be used on websites, emails, and social media.” It seems designed mainly for consumer-facing copy.
Newer than Jasper, Anyword’s version is nonetheless competitive. Again, the tool has plenty of templates – the Product Description Template being one.
But it works slightly differently to some tools, asking the user to enter one variant of product description copy which Anyword then uses to generate many different versions. If you’re A/B testing your product copy, look at Anyword.
WriteSonic is a tool we’ve written about before. Its Product Description Generator is part of its market offer, and works well, offering similar variant-generating and original-content features as Anyword and Jasper.
But the company places emphasis on its ability to generate those descriptions in 25+ languages. If you’re an online retailer looking for a cost-effective way to offer your products across borders, WriteSonic may be for you.
Rytr is another regular on our SaaS list. Like WriteSonic, it’s multilingual, letting you choose between 30+ tongues. But what stands out is how easy it is to specify further details about the product descriptions you want. Simple dropdown menus let you select your preferred Tone of Voice (e.g. “Candid”) and your use case, and see the differences between choices. This tool is freat for experimenting with before rolling out.
Of course, everyone knows ChatGPT. It’s not a specific product description generator, but all you have to do is ask (as in the French Butter prompt above) and it’ll happily generate as many words of content as you ask for. Note, though, that the newer GPT 4.0 Large Language Model gives better results than the 3.5 version free on the web, so if you’re using ChatGPT for product copy, consider the paid subscription version.
Tips for writing effective product descriptions
As with all tools, these apps thrive on good input. Let’s look next at some strategies for getting the best out of them.
Create unique descriptions for each product
Let’s say your catalogue runs to 500 different kinds of fastening bolt. Don’t just input one prompt and ask for 499 variations; there will be specific reasons people buy the 12mm bolt instead of the 11.9mm one, and it’s vital to put these differences in.
It’s descriptive content, after all. Make sure it genuinely *describes* the product differences.
Obviously, include your SEO keywords in your model product description writing. But equally, make sure there’s at least one SKU-specific keyword or tag for each separate description, even if it’s just the product code in the tags!
Otherwise, you run the risk of search engines thinking you’ve got 500 pieces of duplicated content across your site. Bad news.
See above. But how do you add those benefits in? Start with the prompt or copy model. Every time you find yourself writing, “It has a precision-engineered metal cap,” stop and think what that precision-engineered metal cap actually does. Does it provide a watertight seal, or ensure silent operation, or simply look cooler than a non-precision one?
Look at all your “nouns” – product features – and turn them into “verbs”; what the product achieves for its user.
Write in an active voice
We’ve had the journalist’s Lesson One and the copywriter’s Lesson One. Now it’s time for the writing student’s Lesson One: think active, not passive. “It slashes through plastic packaging in moments” is a lot more vivid than “Plastic packaging will be slashed by this item in moments.”
There’s a case for passive voice occasionally to break up boring paragraph structures and repetitive sentences, but keep it to a minimum.
Include relevant details
Be concrete and to-the-point in your prompts, not general and abstract. Exact dimensions and weights matter to a buyer who’s looking for a wrench that fits their pocket; precise colours (A Pantone reference rather than “red”) have their place too.
Put yourself in the buyer’s position: if it’s a detail that affects her decision to purchase, it’s important for your product description. Be concise, yet complete.
And take as many words as you need!
Your site or publication may have an upper limit of, say, 250 words per product. But always write first for completeness, not word count. If the limit’s 250 but your competitors are writing 500, that’s a clue your design isn’t allowing enough space.
Remember the articles currently ranking best on Google are often 2,500 words long. Not because the algorithm likes long articles, but because their subjects require 2,500 words to answer the search term fully. Snappy headlines and choppy microcontent are all great – but make sure they’re doing the job you want them to do.
Best practices for optimising your product descriptions
After your product description generator has written it, it’s time to optimise it – and here’s where a bit of human critical thinking comes in handy.
As a human, you’re in the target audience of readers – so imagine yourself as your buyer and wonder: “Would I like reading this?”
Organise your content
First up, keep your content smooth and structured. This matters more and more as your product range grows. Nuts in one chapter, bolts in another, or perhaps small fasteners in one chapter and large ones in another.
Your organising principle will depend on what your buyers expect, so make sure you know what that principle is.
Include visuals and videos
Non-text items on the page aren’t just there to look pretty. (Although they often do.) Images and graphics break up large chunks of text; videos and offsite links offer readers more information about the product.
Even stock (or AI-generated) images of happy customers can help; it gives readers an idea of who’s using your product and what they think about it. (It’s called “social proof,” and in a world where nobody knows their shopkeeper face-to-face, this is vital.)
Include reviews and testimonials
Further social proof comes from what other customers say and think. Everything from the number of reviews on Amazon to the average TrustPilot rating matter a great deal in today’s world. Obviously, on the web make sure any links you put in are live ratings and scores – preferably with links to the sources, so readers can click away and see what people think.
For “offline” content like a catalogue – remember even a PDF is often consumed offline – it’s still worth collecting your top customer quotes from reviews (“Contentoo is quite simply the best content platform in Europe!”) and including them in your product description text. If your customers love you, your prospects should know about it!
Don’t just choose, choose the best: Join Contentoo’s AI Beta version
It’ll be no surprise to you that we’re big fans of AI marketing tools at Contentoo. While we’re a platform for the top 10% of freelance content creators, there’s a massive role for AI assistance in projects that need speed and accuracy at scale, and we’re building the capability to address that creative requirement at every level.
So, whether you’ve got a dozen widgets you need to write about, or a 5,000-strong SKU list that needs added global appeal, why not give us a try? Our offer is now in Beta and it’s getting better all the time – we’d like you to be part of it, too. Sign up for testing Contentoo Beta AI tools today.