ADOTAS – By now, most of us marketers have come to the realization that we live in a world where the connected consumer has an expectation of instant gratification. This understanding has led to us to look for new and innovative ways to deliver content in a manner that gets our message out to customers at the right time and in the right place.
Of course in addition to considering how we deliver that content, consumers have also demanded that the content itself get becomes mobile-friendly (smaller) and more consumable while staying relevant. It can be a challenge to feed the growing demand for a constant stream of quick information that resonates, but when done right, it’s actually providing us with a way to engage with our customers better than ever before.
So how can marketers make these changing needs work to their advantage? By leveraging them in a way that builds a strong brand and long-lasting customer loyalty. In what follows I’ve provided four ideas built from best practices we’ve seen with our own customers and across the industry in recent months.
Optimize Content Delivery: The first thing to do when thinking about your content marketing strategy is to make sure it aligns with where and when your customers are getting their content. Think about how they use their smartphones, tablets and PCs. Where are they reading your emails? Are the following links to content via email or social campaigns? Once you understand where and how your customers consume data, you’ll be able to better atomize content, and therefore able to improve the customer experience you deliver across channels. From there, you’re able to develop long-term relationships and build brand loyalty. Over the last year, I’ve seen many of our successful clients begin to provide the right content via the right channels to inform their customers throughout the decision making process, leveraging product placements and targeted content delivery, which in turn has increase conversion rates across the board.
Inform Customers, Don’t Sell Them: In a content-driven world, it’s easier than ever to provide your customers with everything they need to make a purchase decision. Take advantage of that by providing them with this information in consumable bits that not only keep your brand top of mind, but also help sway the conversion decision in your favor in a more indirect way. Sometimes your customers need information not about your product itself, but how it is used or experiences others have had with your company. Finding unique ways to intertwine content and commerce provides customers with a meaningful experience, which ultimately allows you to sell, without actually selling.
Find New Data Streams to Help Personalize Content: Traditionally, leveraging transactional data has been the go-to for marketers as they work to personalize content for their customers and anticipate their needs and future purchases. However, today’s world offers marketers a plethora of other data streams that can help provide the connected consumer with the right information at the right time in the right place. By leveraging social and social graph data, marketers are able to use all the data streams available to them – be they behavioral, transactional and/or social – to build a long term relationship with their customers that not only keeps their brand top-of-mind, but also increases brand loyalty over time.
Adapt to Change: In talking to clients and customers, the only constant I have found is change. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Whatever is working today to engage with your customers is likely not going to work tomorrow. Adopt a methodology that allows you to stay abreast of the type of content your customers want to see, how they want to see it and when. By keeping up with customers’ preferences and adjusting as they change, you’ll remain a constant consideration as they make their way through the purchase cycle.
Of course, the correct mix of content marketing, whether its owned, purchased or curated is going to be different for every brand, but the key to remember is that testing that content mix and updating it constantly to adapt to changing customer needs is going to be crucial to enriching the customer experience. Staying in-tune with your customers’ needs over time is one of the sure fire ways to build customer loyalty in the long run and a disciple where all marketers should be heavily focused.