The state of content marketing is evolving rapidly. There’s more focus on not just content, but content experience, than ever before, and it’s important to use this opportunity to focus on advancing the experience. Your team can create the best content in the world, but if it’s not optimized in a way that’s going to drive engagement and leads, you’re not going to have any ROI to show for it.
When you take a look at the experience you’re creating for your customers and prospects, think about this: Is your content winning or losing you deals?
There’s no question that there’s value in content—Target Marketing recently reported that marketers are allocating 27 percent of their budgets to content marketing. But with this much budget going to content, we need to be leveraging it in a strategic way. There’s no point in just publishing it, we need to create experiences out of it.
Getting Strategic With Content
I think Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping, said it best with this quote, “Our audience is capable of paying attention as long as we grab and hold their attention.”
For years we’ve been focused on creating shorter and shorter pieces of content as an attempt to hook people just long enough to grasp our value proposition, but we’ve been going about it the wrong way. People will pay attention if the content you’re showing them speaks to their interests. A company like Netflix wins because it creates personalized experiences for everyone.
What we can take away from Netflix’s content experience is that if something is interesting to a particular buyer, they won’t just consume it, they’ll binge it. There’s a reason I’ve invested hours in watching “Stranger Things” but have never sat through a full episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” while it could be the opposite for many of you. If something interests you, you’ll engage with it, and if it doesn’t, you won’t. The same goes for your website. To get your prospects going on Netflix-level content binges and start winning deals, we need to curate experiences that directly engage them.
Creating Content Experiences That Convert
When it comes to content experience, an important stat to consider is how the first 10 seconds of a page visit are critical to someone’s decision to leave your website. It’s critical for companies to review their content experience and take into account why people are going to their blog or resource center so they can optimize it to answer questions related to those specific topics.
Whether your customers and prospects are landing on your site through social, search, or email, you need to build experiences and engagement paths that allow your buyers to find what they’re looking for quickly and keep them interested when they do. This is how to prove the ROI of your content—by guiding people through the buyer journey with it.
More on Content Marketing:
What Exactly Makes for a High-Converting Content Experience?
Great content is the foundation of a winning content experience, so knowing your audience and creating content that speaks to their needs is essential. But beyond that, it’s important to consider the way your content is organized. Can people find what they’re looking for? Is it accessible on all devices? Is it organized in a way that makes sense for the buyer personas you’re speaking to?
I’ll also note the importance of using targeted and contextual calls-to-action. When you’re publishing your next blog post or video, think strategically about what a highly engaged visitor might want to see next. And then after that, and so on. These don’t have to be fancy CTAs—hyperlinked text or a graphic CTA will do—as long they resonate with a customer or prospect based on what they’re currently reading. Even better—deploy an AI-powered content recommendation engine to help you personalize on a one-to-one level.
If you’re going to be successful with your content efforts this year, you need to think strategically about where your content fits into your buyer journey, rather than just publishing for the sake of it.
The Future of Content
In order to start winning deals with content to prove ROI, we need to be building experiences around it and strategically marketing it. Content marketers can’t just keep publishing content and have it sit there—we need to have it work for us. So, start integrating content into your campaigns, building engagement paths, and curating experiences with the end goal of conversion in mind. It’s about time we shift our focus to the experience.
Randy Frisch, CMO and co-founder of Uberflip.