Enterprises, or more specifically marketers in enterprises, are increasingly dependent on good content to influence the purchase decision making process of their customers. With the proliferation of social media and the sheer volume of branded activity, it can be difficult to effectively engage with buyers. A recent study from Venngage showed that two-thirds of marketers find producing consistently engaging, well-designed and visually appealing content their biggest struggle. As channels and formats evolve, marketers face increasing challenges about how to ensure their content is impactful and, most importantly, seen.
While the volume of content and channels can seem daunting, there are opportunities for those that successfully work across both. First, they allow for more effective targeting and efficient use of data in understanding how to improve brand saliency and customer loyalty through strong content; there are also more possibilities for an increase in customer conversions with appropriate and optimised content. Second, there are potential financial gains. Given the sheer scale of investment in creating, managing and targeting content, the potential for just a small efficiency gain to yield millions in savings is significant.
The winners will be those who take a step back and asses how to use a truly strategic approach to cut through the noise. That same strategy needs to deliver an efficient supply of content and put in place the means to manage content created both within the organisation, and externally by customers and experts.
There are three key steps for doing so:
Treat content as a holistic ecosystem
The experiences that brands create for customers must spark conversations and interaction, and ultimately, drive brand affinity. Addressing a customer’s intent when creating content helps to achieve this.
Brands will find that technology plays an important role. Smart technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can contextualise and personalise content in a way that it generates engagement and impacts sales. Almost 90% of people follow daily routines that a few mathematical equations would be able to predict, and predictive marketers who leverage such AI-enabled algorithms achieve 2.9% higher revenue growth than traditional operators, according to Forrester Research.
A holistic approach has to be taken when integrating AI, so that a cohesive and collaborative ecosystem that links marketing, advertising and customer experiences can be formed. For example, there is a huge opportunity to more fully understand the technology stack, using analytics to align outbound marketing campaigns with advertising technology behind the likes of programmatic advertising and SEO.
Create organisational agility
It’s imperative that marketers become more responsive to change. An always-on, omni-channel content strategy can’t be delivered using annual planning cycles – it needs a much more responsive, multi-speed model which avoids channel or team silos. That’s why forward-thinking marketers are embracing agile principles to create multi-functional teams – for example with data specialists, e-commerce experts and brand marketers. This approach, when aligned with data-driven campaigns, gives organisations a platform which can both quickly respond to a customer’s intents and needs, especially across social channels, and measure the effectiveness of content across channels with a test and learn approach.
Such an approach extends to an organisation’s willingness to experiment and be innovative with marketing, meaning it’s easier to secure buy-in for ideas that are intended to grab a customer’s attention. New digital channels such as voice, augmented reality and virtual reality are creating new customer touchpoints that support a two-way dialogue – having the flexibility to even consider these will give organisations a head-start in seizing the new opportunities that these touchpoints create.
Integrate the entire content lifecycle for efficiency and effectiveness
Currently, many organisations run their content strategies in silos. Structured and unstructured content is held in disparate storage systems, while an external advertising agency’s workflows are often not integrated into an organisation’s processes. This lack of unity stands in the way of achieving the necessary holistic approach.
To deliver a truly differentiating customer experience, it is important to adopt an integrated approach, with processes and technologies that embrace the entire content lifecycle, drive efficiency and improve effectiveness. A focus on metadata is integral to this as it allows organisations to distinguish the quality and use of data sets; no metadata management means more time spent checking data quality. Based on the longevity of content, the rising volume of data in its different formats and the user data caches, lifecycle management is a difficult task, but metadata can supercharge this process and make the content lifecycle more efficient.
Winning share of voice
AI and data analytics have never been more important in the battle for brand advocacy and share of voice because the proliferation of content, channels and formats makes it increasingly difficult to gain the attention of hyper-connected customers. Ultimately, winning this battle will involve strategically leveraging data and AI, because those marketers who only look at their current business model without paying attention to data will lag. How marketers use that technology to help multiple teams address each customer with the right content, in the right format, at the right time, has become crucial to delivering a return on investment.
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