Unlocking the full potential of your content

by Shiana Gunasekera

by Natasha Stefos

Many organisations have shifted their marketing attention from traditional channels to being focussed on digital and content generation. While over 85% of organisations leverage this approach – only 36% (compared to 47% the previous year) plan to increase this budget over the next 12 months (according to the Content Marketing Institute). So, if content is truly “king”, why is there such a drastic drop in spend?

The answer lies within the aforementioned statistic; if almost all marketers are using content, it is likely that your message will be lost amidst the noise. This ultimately leads to the channel not proving its promised value, and leaders becoming more hesitant to invest in the future. Across our engagements globally, there are three common pitfalls which prevent organisations from seeing success in their content marketing efforts:

  1. Content is too generic and not tailored to the audience
  2. Language used is overly technical and difficult to understand
  3. There is an overemphasis on selling the brand or product
Fortunately, there is a resolution to this conundrum. Rather than focussing on churning out large quantities of mediocre content, shift your attention to lifting the quality by anchoring on the customer purpose at specific points along the journey. Here’s how:
 
1. Map your customer personas and understand their preferences

Many organisations have a high-level overview of their customer journey and the moments that matter. However, few have dug deeper and mapped out the various personas that lie within them, to uncover specific challenges and preferred channel choice. For example, a sales leader might be concerned about improving the bottom line whereas a service leader might be focussed on improving the customer experience. In order to progress them through the customer journey, the content you create must be designed with the intent of addressing the challenges each persona is trying to solve, through the channels they prefer.

2. Time your content to progress the customer through the journey

While it’s obvious that timing is absolutely essential for topical pieces of content – what is less considered is the importance of timing for successful customer journey progression. Many marketers put the majority of their focus on engaging those at the top of the funnel. However, the need for content goes far beyond that. You must engage with your customer from the awareness stage, right through to post-purchase for retention and advocacy purposes. The creation of different content assets, sent at the right time to the right people along the customer journey can play a key role in facilitating buyer progression.

3. Leverage data for ongoing tracking and optimisation

Data in the context of content generation needs to be considered in two parts: a) post-distribution effectiveness, and b) the data that informs the content creation process itself. When undertaking post-analysis, you must measure the effectiveness of your content against key persona engagement. This includes understanding the portion of target audience within the total amount of traffic, how engaged they are, which channel they came from, and the percentage of conversions (downloads, form fills, subscriptions etc.) from this segment. Beyond this, a data-driven strategy can also assist with removing the guesswork around concept ideation. By understanding which topics are driving the most engagement with your target audience, you will be able to make more informed decisions around the content that will resonate most in the future.  

Gone are the days of marketers writing content based on a “gut feeling” of what might be relevant to their target audience. If you’re looking to prove value for this function you must put the customer front of mind. Use the customer journey to map out the target personas and their preferences at the moments that matter and then create a data-driven content strategy to cut-through the noise.

For more practical insights to pivoting around the customer, download our whitepaper now: