It takes a potential B2B customer seeing thirteen pieces of content on their journey before they decide to commit to a product, according to a FocusVision study1.
In an omnichannel retail world, customer experience and engagement are paramount. Content that can be used to engage customers at various touchpoints in their buyer’s journey is an essential part of an organization’s digital strategy. The creation of these digital assets can be resource-intensive, and there is a lot of competition vying for consumer attention. Below are nine tips to help laser-focus your content in order to reach maximum return.
1. Define Your Goals
Setting out what you want to achieve is a great start – your profitability depends on it. Different kinds of content serve different purposes. A case study might build the credibility of a brand while a shoppable social media post exists to drive lead generation through the sales funnel.
2. Customer-focused Content and User Discovery
Once you know your audience along with their interests, needs, and challenges, you can show them content that is valuable to them in that context. If they like it enough, they might even share it. Know where and when they congregate, so that you can map their personas to the channels they prefer, and the content or stories they are likely to engage with. Moreover, it’s critical to create content that can evolve with its intended audience.
3. Digital Content Creation
The creation of digital content involves a few processes:
- Audit the technology, workflows, processes, and resources involved in your current content creation to see if there are any gaps that can be filled, or to identify and improve existing content.
- Create a relevant and useful pipeline of content. How does one come up with digital content ideas? Collect, curate, and schedule topics that would be interesting to your audience and group them in clusters. An SEO Strategy involves using Google and other tools to come up with popular and valuable keywords and keyword phrases. Ideally, the content should be evergreen so that it doesn’t need to be updated often. Metadata needs to be included in the backend. Non-search methods include published articles about research analyses or survey results related to your industry. New products, technology or brands can be introduced via text or video. Good storytelling is still very relevant in digital content creation.
- Content templates and outlines are important to keep up-to-date with the trends in content creation and align with the overall marketing strategy.
- Curate, refine, and publish at different times of the day or on a pre-set schedule.
Once you have a list of topics, let’s look at the forms the content can take.
4. Types of digital macro and micro content
- Written content: Blogs that are regularly updated are the most common form of written digital content. They can be interspersed with long-form text-based content such as guides, white papers, press releases, case studies and eBooks.
- eNewsletters and eMagazines: Besides blogs, scheduled newsletters sent by email are one of the most effective forms of digital content.
- Infographics: A well-placed infographic can tell a story better than a thousand words.
- Animation & videos: Animation and videos are visually compelling elements that can be embedded in or used alongside both social media as well as written content. Video is considered to be the number one form of content creation2.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are increasingly being used both in B2C and B2B environments to tell stories.
- SMS: eCommerce transactions are increasingly done using mobile devices and apps3. 81% of visits on Shopify sites are from a user’s mobile device. SMS marketing is becoming increasingly important.
- Games: Gamification tools such as polls and quizzes expand the repertoire of ways in which to engage with your audience and help gain insights to what they are thinking.
- Website/Microsite/Intranet: Corporate or eCommerce sites are not the only ways to present a company to the world. Large companies have Intranets and brands have their own sites too, even if just for a short while.
- Social media posts: Depending on where your audience is, you could post sponsored stories, shoppable posts and other content across any or all of the top social media apps or pages – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok et al. They could take many of the forms above.
- User-generated content: Last but not least, user-generated content (UGC) such as reviews or posts published by satisfied customers have a far greater reach and impact than out-bound only content created by brands. 2.4 times, in fact4. Any brand that is present on social media channels should also have a UGC strategy to showcase that content on its other platforms.
5. Visual appeal and/or readability
Optimize layouts, chunk text, use color contrasts and introduce microcontent elements such as images, graphics, animation and video where appropriate for visually stimulating and easy-to-digest content. Smart content can personalize pages to groups of customers. Above all, the content should still reflect the brand values.
The whole point of the digital content is to gain more conversions, either in terms of engagement or sales. Call-to-actions such as links to relevant pages or social media buttons are important in all of the content being created.
7. Digital content marketing
The promotion of content is as important as its creation. It is a way to reach out to your target audience – or let them find you. It also can build brand awareness and a deeper relationship with your customer– ultimately encompassing advocacy and brand loyalty. Digital content marketing includes techniques such as search engine marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), optimization for search engines (SEO) and social media marketing.
8.Track and analyze
Engagement statistics for digital content provide multiple data points that can be analyzed. Currently analytics can extend as far as evaluating online behaviors of individuals viewing specific pieces of content. Page views and likes as well as using the right keywords in the right places and building backlinks could get you a higher ranking in search engine results. However, search engine algorithms change, so constant re-evaluation and fine-tuning of topics, statistics and search intent is necessary to maintain or improve rankings.
9. Digital content creation in the future
While currently popular forms of digital content will persist for a while, the future is already here in terms of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML). These cutting-edge technologies are already enabling content creation where the viewer has an active role and is not just the spectator.
With BORN Group’s roots in content production, we have expertise across content strategy, consultancy, production, and more. Visit here to learn more.
1. Content Really is King: Content Consumption in the B2B Buyer’s Journey, FocusVision, https://cloud.kapostcontent.net/pub/ed24339d-0b16-4341-8fef-c4d921903f8c/whitepaper-marketing-content-consumption-study?kui=lrDgMQf8fFSSJ0tc_I4n7w
2. Not Another State of Marketing Report 2020, HubSpot, https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/53/tools/state-of-marketing/PDFs/Not%20Another%20State%20of%20Marketing%20Report%20-%20Web%20Version.pdf
3. Shopify Announces Third-Quarter 2019 Financial Results, Shopify, https://news.shopify.com/shopify-announces-third-quarter-2019-financial-results
4. Stackla Survey Reveals Disconnect Between the Content Consumers Want & What Marketers Deliver, Businesswire, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190220005302/en/Stackla-Survey-Reveals-Disconnect-Content-Consumers-Marketers