Content strategists and content marketing leaders have dedicated their life’s work to content and the many facets of it—its structure, flow, adaptability, and usability across channels. While content expertise is arguably one of the most important skill sets for any marketing organization, the most valuable asset for a marketing organization to thrive goes beyond content—it’s who interacts with the content and how. In short, it’s the audience.
According to Robert Rose and The Content Advisory, businesses that are succeeding with content as a strategic function of their marketing attribute their success to building audiences. Nearly 90% of those who consider themselves “successful” cited their main focus as building an audience (up 60% since 2018).
Leveraging your audience as an asset means intimately understanding your audience and using those insights to deepen relationships with consumers and grow your brand. But in order to fully leverage your audience as an asset, you need to manage your audience as an asset (just like you manage content assets).
To manage your audience as an asset, The Content Advisory recommends:
- Taking a strategic approach with a focus on developing the audience as a business asset
- Efficiently leveraging technology to make use of the audience asset
- Scaling the use of the audience asset throughout the business
- Prioritizing automation and personalization to build and nurture the audience at scale
Here are a few ways you can build on these recommendations to develop a highly engaged audience and leverage that audience as a strategic business asset.
Dive Deep to Build a Picture of Your Audience
To deliver the most relevant customer experiences, you need a deep understanding of your customers. By leveraging the data your customers share with your brand, you can build a complete picture—or unique profile—of each customer. There are three types of customer data you can layer together to build a picture of your audience:
- Layer 1: Data about what customers say about your brand. This layer is primarily focused on data about personal preferences, like user-generated content and reviews.
- Layer 2: Data about what customers do. This layer is about the actions customers take as a signal for interests or preferences.
- Layer 3: Data about the customer’s current context. This layer is about the customer’s situation, meaning where they are both physically and virtually. These data points make it possible to detect the customer’s current context to narrow down the types of content you present to them at various stages in their journey.
With these data points, marketers can build a robust view of your customers at an individualized level, which will inform how you develop and manage your audience.
Understand What Moves Them
In addition to data about your audience, you can also leverage data about your content and how your audience engages with it. Most importantly, you want to understand which types of content move your audience to take an action with your brand so you can create more assets that match those characteristics.
Rather than relying on traditional website metrics, like pageviews and sessions, utilize actionable content metrics based on customers’ engagement with content. This includes insight into levers like audience engagement and conversion across content themes, topics, types, and sources. With this approach to measuring performance, which we call Active Content Intelligence, you gain the kind of content performance insights needed to understand the characteristics of content that drives engagement and action, thereby enabling you to further develop an engaged audience.
Deliver Experiences That Captivate Them
With audience insights and content intelligence in place, you can develop highly relevant customer experiences that engage and delight each user. To grow your audience in a meaningful way, your objective should be to individualize the experience for each customer across every screen and channel. To individualize the customer experience at scale, leverage individualization technology that enables analysis of real-time audience behavior data.
Paired with machine learning, you can instantly identify and deliver the most relevant piece of content, product or offers unique to an individual’s interests and behavior. These are the types of experiences that motivate and inspire audiences to take action—91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that remember to deliver individualized experiences via relevant offers and recommendations.
Bring People Closer to the Content That Matters
Whether a visitor is engaging with your brand for the first time or the fifth, OneSpot’s Individualization Platform delivers the most relevant piece of content, product and offers to 100% of your site visitors and email subscribers. Learn more about how you can deepen your brand’s relationship with your audience in 2019. Click here for a closer look at how individualization technology works to create one-to-one customer experiences for your audience.
Marissa leads marketing at OneSpot.