On the Properties of the Content that Rocks

By now, everyone is doing it. I think it is safe to say that content marketing does not make any difference. What matters is compelling content.

According to Google, 90% of any customer journeys now span at least five different channels. A very fundamental goal in content marketing should be to reach the customer on each relevant touchpoint over the journey. But in addition to reaching out to the right people at the right time, what does it take for content to create an impact?

I recently wrote in this blog about the need for proper content management. Content remains king, and for content to rule, content management is very important.

But I said very little about what best content is made of.

As a rule of thumb, of course, all of the content online must be very brief, focused, distinctive and memorable. And in order to create leads, there should be a clear call to action involved.

Making it a point to set these parameters as your internal content goals makes a lot of sense.

Identifying your own goals is of course important, but what really makes all the difference when it comes to your content, is identifying the goals of the target audiences. People are rarely online just browsing and prowling around, in fact, in the most common case they are online in order to get something done, and using a search engine or one of their favourite sites to do that.

And this is when your content must come through as compelling.

Successful content meets the target audiences needs and attempts to fulfill them. Based on the identified goals of each customer segment, it should be easy to plan the general themes that will be discussed with the target audience, and to start creating the editorial calendar. The customer’s goals may be quite abstract in some cases, and, of course, in some cases they are not.

It seems to me, however, that the abstract goals related to purchasing a product or using a service dominate our decision-making over the customer journey. According to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, the authors of the “Experience Economy”, the most desirable customer experiences, and the ones that we are also willing to pay more for, are ”transformative” in nature, employing our emotions.

Emotions dominate most aspects of our lives. Having multiple devices with internet access does little in the way of solving our emotional issues. But the content we connect with online can certainly be of assistance here. Tapping to the power of the positive emotions and focusing on the potential for a transformative customer experience is what should drive content creation.

Read more about the overarching trends that will shape next year in content marketing: http://hub.uberflip.com/h/i/160667652-7-ways-content-marketing-will-evolve-in-2016

 

Space for an Engaging Experience

Click, click, click. Your brand, company or organization may attract one million or more visitors to its website annually, but how do these visits eventually turn into revenue?

I think that conducting quantitative or qualitative research on customer experience is a fundamentally critical factor in turning the organization’s website visitors – be they passers-by or returning – into customers and later on into brand advocates.

Using this approach has the benefit of being able to better anticipate customer needs and desires and adopt to the mindset of the customer. Customer experience, in short, is the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over the customer journey, which result in an emotion-based relationship feeling, or lack of it. Now that the numerous different digital services have multiplied the potential touchpoints, lack of proper customer experience management may have disastrous results for the brand.

“Customer experience … is a fundamental dimension of how a company competes”, says Joseph Pine, who has coined the term in 1999 in his book entitled “The Experience Economy”, co-authored by James Gilmore. Pine underlines the importance of the shift from service economy into experience economy. This shift may be as remarkable as or even more important than the shift from selling commodities to making and marketing goods.

The importance of research cannot be overrated here. It is precisely getting to know your customers and having a discussion with them that helps you better understand their journey.

Once you have the results from the research, be it extensive quantitative material or in-depth interviews with selected few, it is possible to start mapping and managing the customer experience.

This can be done, for example, by creating customer profiles. The customer profiles may help in identifying the customer journeys that really matter, and vice versa.

Creating a customer journey canvas can also be a useful tool here.

What the customer of the 21st century expects now when purchasing a product or using a service, is, most of all, to have an engaging experience.

I think that creating this kind of emotion-based experiences should be the main area of expertise in the Museum Industry for these institutions to keep attracting customers in the future. Most major art institutions have indeed been very successful in creating an environment where this kind of engaging experiences take place. However, when it comes to their online services, not so many museums seem to have put so much effort in creating a space for exceptional engagement.

How to make the magic happen online?

I have no easy solution for this one, but creating digital customer profiles based on extensive research may be the best starting point in creating a composed customer experience. Having a streamlined digital strategy and implementing it throughout the organization is also needed.