Hack your content marketing in 2019?
Less than a week before his assassination in 1968, Martin Luther King delivered a sermon at the National Cathedral of Washington where he mentioned the following;
“One of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.”
If you didn’t think about transforming and adapting your content marketing strategies this year, you might be sleeping through a revolution.
To cut it short, here are the fundamentals that you should know:
- Purpose should be the core of Content marketing strategies;
- Experience is the differentiator.
- The need for value is growing.
For the bravest, below you’ll read what I believe should be on top of your mind.
Let’s find out;
Number 1: From Purpose to Content Marketing; Clarity is key.
You surely heard that we are consuming far much more information than ever before.
Truth is the growth of channels also means a surge in information consumption.
Source: Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index H2 2017
While I believe the variety of channels is the backbone for more content, brands tend to lose focus on their core purpose aka their why.
This consequently results in creating content that doesn’t really connect to the audience.
Most importantly, this also ends up in content not very clear and which doesn’t support the brand.
One thing for sure is with the amount of content out there, if you are not clear enough, you are part of the noise and not standing out.
And, this will reflect on your conversion and retention of customers; the main drivers of your ROI as a business.
So, in 2019, businesses should reflect on their purpose and align their brand messages. This will enable relevant and stronger relationships with customers.
Putting the customer at the core of your content marketing will be key this year. Particularly if you are planning to survive 2019 like a hero.
Number 2: Experience is the differentiator
While the focus should always be on aligning purpose to content marketing efforts, the experience you’ll create will matter most.
The shift in consumer behaviour created new challenges for marketers. The major one is loyalty.
Consumers are in power and if you are not offering more than just your products or services, they’ll not find it a problem to look elsewhere.
Experience is the differentiator; the one thing that will make them loyal and have something to remember about you.
It is no surprise that customer experience and content marketing have become the top global priorities for brands in 2019. (Econsultancy)
In Mauritius, experience design is still a very new niche in digital marketing agencies but in 2019, I believe it will become a priority for brands.
Maybe, we will have to inspire ourselves from hotels who’ve been on the very edge of experience design as key to stand out.
Today, content marketing is not only about communicating with your audience. It requires data analytics, UX and UI efforts and an eye on the customer journey.
Some major areas that are growing in importance are:
- Personalisation: How intimately do you know your customers’ preferences;
- Automation: How far do you increase conversion and reduce delays by the instant response;
- Data Analytics: How do you capture and analyze data you collect from your customers’ interactions with your digital ecosystem;
- Content marketing: How well do you connect your purpose as an organization to your brand and eventually to your audience;
- Integrated system: How far do you provide adaptive experiences throughout devices. I am not talking of different experience through different devices; and
- Mobile: Do you provide a seamless experience.
Content marketing should be treated as a powerful medium to delight customers.
Number 3: The need for value
If the internet is the backbone of connection, information is the oil and digital marketing supports the demand and supply.
Unfortunately, most brands lose the freshness of new ideas. They find themselves repeating without innovating.
The sad part of it is that customers tend to be disappointed by lookalike content. They basically leave it and return to the SERP looking for proper answers. And, this affects your SEO performance.
When most clicks happen on the first page of Google SERP, it is crucial that your content provides value and has a proper dwell time, aka the time spent on your page.
So, how to get it right?
If you want to capture the attention of your customers in 2019, you’ll have to provide value. One way to do it is to rethink your digital and content marketing strategies.
Below, I’m going to share with you why you are probably failing and most importantly why do you find yourself creating mirage content.
- Do something WOW
I once read a blog post from TypeForm and these guys actually included their products within the content itself. (They do online forms among other cool stuff).
They actually took personalization to another level and engaged in real-time with the reader.
Give it a try here: https://www.typeform.com/blog/human-experience/cui/
In Mauritius, DIIZZ Interactive actually took it to another level and included video and a super cool landing page that I particularly liked.
They created an immersive experience within their iconic green office where you could actually engage with several small videos. The theme? Secret Santa.
Give it a try here: https://diizz.com/secret-santa/
The point here is to create content that WOWs your customers and get their attention.
- Research your customers
Yes, we are stating the obvious.
You need to research your customers and come close to an intimacy level where you can actually fuel your personalisation.
This step has become more complex than ever before as customers become more unpredictable. We also sometimes tend to go by our assumptions (which can be a double-sided thing)
Undeniably, the increase in touch points represents a huge opportunity for brands to understand their customers in real time.
Who says big opportunities also mean that we need to be able to know where to invest based on effectiveness. And, it is not a surprise that marketers are looking to invest in effective digital marketing channels in 2019.
Source: Smart Insights
While the game plays very closely between the channels, there’s a massive amount of data that can be analysed; consequently impacting on the overall marketing strategy.
Here are my top 5 ways to improve your market research in 2019:
- Have someone to do your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) across channels;
- Invest in proper tracking and measuring models;
- Ask your customers for feedback;
- Define your metric for different channels; and
- Be where your customers are.
The last point brings us to the final part of how to map your content to your customer journey…
- Effective mapping of content to your customer journey
It’s been a while that marketers have retired the linear customer journey which considered distractions are mere happenings.
Truth is customers are now able to shift platforms in few seconds. This leads to either a high dwell time or bounce rate on your page.
So, we are slowly going from a linear customer journey to a circular one where interactions happen at different stages.
Concretely, I wrote this article on my LinkedIn describing the shift from linear to circular customer journey for banks.
I also share my views on how to banks in Mauritius will be in the near future.
So, what does this mean for you?
We are in an interesting phase where customers have the power yet brands can influence decisions throughout the journey.
Here are a few steps you need to keep in mind while mapping your content to the customer journey.
Step 1: Define your persona and create scenarios of their daily life.
Step 2: Define how they’ll see and consume your product and services.
Step 3: Identify their emotions, intent and most importantly their fears.
Step 4: Create content that responds to their intent while keeping in mind their emotions.
Step 5: Measure and iterate the process until you have a good conversion rate.
The aim is also to keep an eye on the physical and online barriers (not to mention that you also need to understand their psychological barriers)
And, to conclude…
In 2019, content marketing is surely going to go through a lot of changes. New technologies will emerge others will phase out.
But, three main things will help brands demarcate themselves from the competition.
- How clear is their content marketing aligned to their why;
- How far the experience they sell keeps customers loyal; and
- How they provide value.
If you want to get real with your content marketing in 2019, learn about this model that you simply can’t miss.