Chances are good that asking 20 people this content experience means you will get 20 different answers.
For some marketers, this is about producing as many blog posts and emails as possible on topics related to what they are selling, in the hope that prospects will find something useful. to choose from (admittedly not a great experience for the consumer of this content). Others see it more broadly, and they include video, SEO, paid ads, and more (and, even then, the content consumer’s experience with content torrenting is often not a priority. for marketers).
No matter how you define the term, one truth remains: In today’s business landscape, you need to provide a real awesome content experience, and it must be successful on a large scale.
After spending time with savvy marketers, I’ve learned to define the content experience as where your content is (the environment it exists in), how it’s structured, and how it compels. your prospects and customers to engage with your business.
So whether you’ve just gotten into content creation or pursued it with reckless abandon, it’s time to rethink what you know. Because the effectiveness of content increases, but only if you understand the new rules of the game.
1. Relevance and speed = king and queen of the content experience
Remember the 450+ articles titled “Content is King” a few years ago? In my opinion, that was true and still is. But that’s old news.
Today, the King sits on his throne as the next generation of royals – relevance and speed – take their rightful place in the limelight. Content marketing is nothing without them; he needs both to do his job. If you don’t get anything else out of this article, remember it.
And while 10 years ago we were talking about relevance in terms of customer personas, the expectation now lies at the level of the individual buyer.
Relevance is the most important thing for buyers. The largest percentage of respondents to a B2B Marketing Report 2021 were looking for companies to solve “the problem I am trying to solve”. People want solution-oriented content. It’s time to stop thinking about customization as merge fields, and start to recognize that it’s all about relevance.
Your audience wants content on topics they care about, and they want it in a timely manner.
This is where speed comes in. Those videos you posted a year ago are probably no longer relevant. And guess what else? The videos you post today will likely lose relevance as well. The world and its buyers are changing rapidly, and organizations must be agile; they have to adapt to get results.
Take the health sector for example over the past year. COVID-19 pushed healthcare organizations to change their content quickly, and by region, throughout the pandemic, which was incredibly difficult to do. Those who rose to the challenge continued to adjust their content on the fly, which is what it takes today to be successful.
Quality content is no longer enough; it must also be relevant and timely to have an impact.
2. Review what the buyer really expects from the content experience.
There is a huge disconnect between what marketers prioritize and what buyers want to get first, the previously referenced marketing report revealed.
It might be shocking to hear, but marketers need to put their own agendas aside and instead focus on what their audience actually wants.
For starters, buyers don’t want to be sold to; they want to be educated. The study found that 64% of shoppers find user reviews most useful, followed by product visits (43%) and videos (33%). But guess what the marketers said to prioritize? Sales sheets, white papers and e-books.
In many cases, your buyer is ready for your product to be grounded in their content experience, so give it to them!
Delivering a solid content experience is a strategic marketing approach that ultimately aims to drive profitable customer action. 61% of respondents for the B2B marketing report said that to take action they want content that meets their needs. Meanwhile, 33% of those surveyed said they received too much irrelevant content and were frustrated with its irrelevance.
What this tells me is that there is an opportunity for marketers right now to close the gap and do a lot better. And it starts with recognizing what buyers want to and give them that instead you want them to have.
3. Rethink your content channels
It’s not just the content creation, but also the distribution and destination that matters. How have you historically shared your content? Where are you reaching your target audience? Where do you send people once you have their attention?
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to reassess the distribution and experience part of your content marketing approach.
Thanks to the major upheaval in the marketing landscape in 2020, live events and field marketing have been taken off the table. Organizations have had to scramble to replace these media digitally, and many still struggle to pivot their strategies.
If you’re in this boat, it’s time to stop your approach and come up with a new distribution plan that works in the new environment.
The digital market is of course crowded, and capturing people’s attention is getting harder and harder. Your new content strategy should include making it appealing and engaging to your audience, inviting them to continue on the journey you have in mind for them.
Also give prospects the ability to consume as much BI content as they want so they can be their own storytellers with your brand, so they have what they need to move forward.
A great content experience for your buyer can be transformative, both for their relationship with your business and for your own business outcomes. But the content experience only works if you treat it with respect and take the time to understand its nuances. When you do, you’ll be on a fast track to big results.