Content marketing continues to be a key investment area for marketing organizations. eMarketer reports that 84.5% of US companies with at least 100 employees will leverage digital content marketing strategies this year. And some estimates show a 300% increase year over year in content creation. With more companies invested in content marketing, more content will be created and distributed across channels for consumers to engage with.
But more content doesn’t always lead to more engagement. In fact, an estimated 70% of the content generated by marketing function never gets used. And when you look at content performance, experts have found that only 5% of branded content created garner 90% of the engagement via views, clicks and social shares. These findings suggest that it’s not the content that drives engagement—it’s how the content is experienced.
To build a winning content marketing strategy that delivers true engagement, you have to think about the customer’s experience with your content (not just the content itself).
Here’s an overview of the three critical parts of a branded content experience and what each needs to entail to truly engage an audience.
1. Where the Content Is Delivered
The first component of a branded content experience is the environment in which the content is served. It’s about identifying the appropriate channels based on where your content is most likely to be discovered, whether it’s your brand’s website, a social media platform, organic search or another third-party channel. The environment in which your content is delivered can immensely shape the overarching experience. In thinking about where your content should be delivered to create the optimal content experience, consider the environment in which your target customer would consume the content in the most contextually relevant way. And think about if customers are more likely to search for your branded content on their own or more likely to just stumble upon your content organically.
2. How the Content Is Structured
The second key part of a branded content experience is how the content is structured. One obvious way to think about this is the format of the content, whether that’s a page on your website, an email, a blog post or something else. Along with format, this is also related to what your content is about. In true inbound marketing fashion, the topics covered in your content should align with the needs and desires of your audience, like what keeps them up at night and how your product or service can help. The way you structure your content on the appropriate channels should appeal to your audience as well, enabling you to build relationships with them throughout the customer journey.
For example, content structured for the consideration phase of the customer journey should help your brand educate consumers on a topic relevant to the consideration phase, building your brand’s influence and trust with the customer. Content structured for the post-purchase phase should do that same in terms of educating and building trust, but it should also earn customers’ loyalty to retain them as a customer.
3. How the Content Drives Engagement
The final component of a branded content experience is the result of content channels and structure being leveraged in a way that enables true content relevance. The most memorable content experiences are those that are contextually relevant to the customer’s need and where they are, either what channel they are on or their stage in the customer journey.
Without content relevance, brands risk losing customers everyday—63% of consumers would consider ending a relationship with a brand due to irrelevant content, and 59% of subscribers cite content irrelevance as their key issue with brand emails.
For every individual, there’s a unique content experience that inspires meaningful engagement. With individualization technology powered by machine learning, brands can engage with consumers at an individual level with relevant content at each stage of the customer journey – creating a unique customer experience and delivering the most relevant content during the customer’s moment of need.
Create the Ultimate Content Experience with Individualization
Giving customers and prospects the content experience they need and when they need it leads to a stronger connection with, and ultimately trust in, your brand. Learn more OneSpot’s Individualization Platform and how we help brands deliver the most relevant content experiences.
Marissa leads marketing at OneSpot.