As the years go passing by and technology evolves, we find out that digital customer experience and content creation are more and more connected. In a complex and ever-changing industry scenario, if you want to win your customers' trust and be their first choice when the purchase moment-of-truth comes, you can't just focus on your product or service. You need to build an innovative and possibly unique content marketing strategy. How? One recomm is to stay current on the top trends.
Content marketing is defined as "the technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a defined target audience to drive profitable customer actions". In the Age of the Customer, content is still king. This is particularly true in a market shaped by digital transformation, where clients become more demanding and traditional outbound marketing actions look worn-out and outdated.
Every single day analysts shape and - more often than not - change their predictions about trends to look for in the next future. New technologies grow and die so fast that you can never really know what's going to happen. You don't need to be a clairvoyant, though, to see those forces at work that turn around the way companies think and act. We have identified 5 main rules that you can't ignore, if you want to build an innovative content marketing strategy:
- Mobile-first: a recent study says that there will be 2 billion smartphone users by 2015 and, by 2017, around 69.4% of world's population is expected to use smartphones. Not talking about other devices, such as the upcoming Apple Watch. This is just one effect of what is called the mobile mind shift: our life is becoming a collection of mobile moments and your company must adapt to survive and compete. Your new karma should be 'think and act digital first'. Starting from these few keywords: content optimization, responsive design, touchpoints, personalization, gamification.
- Engagement: when we talk about engagement, we don't refer to customers only. When it comes to content creation, you need to focus on two different stakeholders: clients and influencers. The best way to connect with digital customers is to create something truly compelling, starting from storytelling and going straight to valuable content (posts, videos, webinars, white papers). You can't do all by yourself: the best way is to collaborate with industry influencers. Develop your actions working with specialists who have respected voices, and you will experience healthy effects on your customer base.
- Lead Generation: engagement is just one phase of your customer's journey. Once you have been able to connect with clients and prospects, you need to mantain interest and drive people to the conversion moment. You can only do it if you offer something valuable, something they need - though they might not even know - but don't have yet. This content should be offered through an easy one-step process, without endless forms to fill out. 'Easy and fast' is the rule for digital customer experience, the same logic that you can find in new mobile payments trend, thanks to Apple Pay.
- Social Media: today there is no content strategy without social media. Not all social networks are useful for all types of companies. First, you should analyze your business and try to understand where your customers are. Where are them on Facebook, Do they use LinkedIn? Do they share what they like on Twitter or on WeChat? Focus on two priorities: 1. Stay current and look for new channels (i.e. the privacy-loving Ello); 2. Concentrate your efforts on strategic media (Google+ and Slideshare are perfect to disseminate and share content, specially for B2B businesses).
- Location-based Content: moving from strategic plans to actual actions, in the age of customer you should never talk to all customers without distinctions. The risk is to waste your efforts and reach nobody. Thank to low energy GPS and new technologies like beacons, you are now able to target your clients with surgical precision. Be conscious that Generation C customers not only demand an amazing customer experience easy and fast, but also personalized content when they need it, their own way and wherever they are. Something that seemed impossibile just a few years ago. Today you can't do location-based content without losing a big opportunity, so try to learn how these technology and processes work as soon as possible: beacons, in-store promotions, push notification and right-time personalization.