Content Marketing seems to have become the solution to all marketing challenges these days. However, solely creating and distributing content does not do the trick. Successful content marketing is data-driven and personalized.
The rise of content marketing to a core marketing strategy has good reasons: Google and other search engines want to show their users relevant content. This means providing only basic information on the website and not using any other digital communication channels is not going to land a spot among the top results on the rankings. Please note: no content, no visibility.
Content has also become the basis for customer interactions. Customers research information across various channels. And this information has to be made available first. Users willingly give up data if this information presents an added value to them. This data can be used to develop products, plan marketing activities and use a more personalized approach to content distribution. Please note: no content, no customer data. An equally important side-effect of good content: informative and entertaining content fosters a positive brand perception. This is how customers become more attached to a brand.
These reasons in favor of content marketing investments have been widely publicized. However, content marketing is always changing as digitization continues to affect all aspects of life. Developments like artificial intelligence and big data bring new opportunities for automation and personalization.
The future of content marketing
Great content is more than the odd white paper made available to a diffuse target group. Nowadays companies have access to a wide range of data that can be used in various ways to offer customers a rich communication experience across channels. Touch points are plentiful and they encompass different departments, from content marketers to the social media team, customer service and sales – content marketing affects the whole business today.
That is why good content marketing is:
- data-driven: Content has to be fitted to individual target groups. The prerequisite for this is data about the interests and the behavior of customers. Hence companies need to have a professional data management platform (DMP). All data are available independent of their format in a central place for staff members of all departments. Data analyses provide insights about the needs of individual user groups.
- bidirectional: Content marketing is not a one way street. The objective of your content marketing should be to trigger interactions with your customers to learn more about them. Brands can also have users participate in the creation of content via crowdsourcing. Chat bots are a new development that present another opportunity for one on one bidirectional content marketing: the chat bot can make information available to customers in an automated conversation with users.
- automated: Responding to every interaction manually is virtually impossible. Automation is key to keep up with the demand for information tailored to individual needs. An example of this are email reminders when customers abort a check-out process or chat bots that interact with users on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype or WhatsApp.
- useful: Customers only interact with content that is useful to them. Therefore, content marketing should not be about developing content containing messages that the brand finds important, but content that users will actually seek out. Usefulness also refers to making information available in an uncomplicated manner. Find out where prospects look for information and invest in these distribution channels.
Businesses that are able to generate and process data via content marketing and social listening can offer customers real personalization. The future of content marketing is not about tailoring content to target groups. More and more, businesses will have to offer individual customers personalized content. Chat applications offer the most potential here. Data-driven, personalized content marketing does not end with the creation and publication of content, but includes subsequent conversations.
- Better customer experience
- More sales
- Collaboration across departments
- valuable insights for product development
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