July 14, 2022
Communicating with your customers has never been more important, dynamic and competitive.
With the rise of the metaverse, personalised AI-driven content and changes in consumer digital privacy - content marketing is evolving before our very eyes. But it’s not just the channels that are morphing, the audiences are too. Gen Z customers are growing by the day, and the latest numbers show that by 2030 they are expected to represent over 48% of the total market spend1.
There’s a lot to be considered when you’re formulating your content next content strategy. If you’re looking to connect with your customers and prospects in a more valuable way, here are five key digital insights that your approach will likely need to account for.
When 86% of customers are willing to switch brands purely based on the experience associated with a product or service2, it’s fair to say customer experience is not a buzzword. For those that are willing to invest in the time, resources and headcount - it’s a profitable competitive advantage.
Content plays a crucial role in how customers experience your brand. Customers want information and answers about your products at the speed of a click or a question to a voice assistant3. If you can’t meet this level of accessibility across key channels, it will cost you customers.
It’s easy to get discouraged at the sheer volume and cost of content creation that may be necessary to sustain and fuel multiple channels. But an easy way to scale your efforts is by focusing on creating long-form content that can be repurposed into smaller bite-sized pieces of content that are optimised for specific channels. For example, document a live product demonstration on video. Post the full video on your website, snippets of the most exciting moments on Instagram and take the questions asked by the audience and transcribe them into a FAQ blog, SEO-optimised for customers looking for more information.
Thinking about how content from physical channels and digital channels can be repurposed, rather than rewritten will save time and provide customers with the information they need in the way they like to receive it.
Content marketing has always had a natural acquisition focus placed on it, but as the marketing landscape shifts and more opportunity and value come from retaining customers and driving loyalty at every moment in the customer lifecycle - content’s role needs to be evolved.
The latest Adobe Digital Trends Report suggests that more than half (59%) of senior marketing leaders plan to increase their budget for online media spending this year3. But with the demise of third-party cookies, brands will have less visibility over the audience insights required for acquisition and acquisition costs will likely rise.
Content marketers and the strategies they develop play an important role in driving customer value at every moment of the customer journey. But in a cookieless future where there is increased importance on customer retention, maximising first-party data to reduce churn and increase value from within the existing base3 has never been more important.
Google announced its sunset on third-party Chrome cookies in February 2020, but even two years later most marketing specialists aren’t ready for the change. Despite the extension, a shifting regulatory context, and a tide of media coverage, a significant minority of practitioners (38%) are still not prepared for their cookieless futures4.In its place, first-party and zero-party data solutions are essential to digital acquisition efforts and marketers need to get ready now.
Content plays a unique role in helping brands craft moments to capture first-party data. By offering relevant content at each moment of their journey, brands can trade their content for current or prospective customer email addresses, phone numbers or simply basic demographic information. This data can give them an understanding of the types of audiences that are willing to engage with their content, products or services.
The need to humanise this data is essential to help inform and test new campaign ideas and targeting approaches. Content Marketers need to obsess over their reporting systems, honing their new test and learn content models, building lookalike audiences, and conceiving engagement initiatives from their first-party data.
Marketers are leading the plight of personalisation in most organisations today. Marketing organisation leaders are more likely to be effective at personalisation initiatives with first-party customer data – and they’re more likely to be augmenting personalisation projects with AI (29% leaders, versus 19% mainstream and 13% laggards)3.
It makes sense, personalisation at scale is the holy grail of modern marketing. We’re all chasing the ability to create tailored experiences, offers and content across multiple channels at just the right moment for customers on the path to purchase. And to do it all without seeming overly annoying or “spam-y”.
Content is essential to this whole-of-business endeavour and content marketers deserve a seat at the table when it comes to developing the necessary business foundations to unlock personalisation at scale. They are essential for:
When 76% of consumers find user-generated content more reliable, authentic and engaging - brands need to consider the role it plays in their overall strategy5. When it comes to building a digital content experience that builds trust and establishes valuable connections, content marketers need to start considering ways to elevate the customer's voice, and focus on communicating with audiences across channels - rather than simply creating content.
The rise in co-created brand experiences stems from demand amongst Gen Z consumers, who see content interactions with brands as a two-way conversation. When it comes to building loyalty, they don’t want the brand to control the experience. Instead, they insist on being active participants in the relationship4.
Customer-generated content not only creates more engagement and builds loyalty but also can save content marketers time when it comes to idea generation. Leveraging and repurposing customer content can be a way to intertwine key brand messages with evidence of customer loyalty or demonstration of customer care. Brands need to be thinking less about the main content post and more about how they engage customers in the comments.
Your customers don't want to consume your content - they want to experience it. If you’re looking to evolve your content marketing efforts this year, we can help.
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