If your brand has challenges related to content, you aren’t alone.
Whether it’s content quality, findability, scalability, or measurement, most organizations are struggling with content processes and insights essential to improving the overall customer experience.
In fact, according to research and advisory firm SiriusDecisions, 75% of B2B organizations have no formalized content process, and only 25% say they have completed a full content audit for marketing in the past three years.
So how can your organization get a better handle on your content to ensure you are able to create better customer experiences?
Here are 6 steps to optimizing content engine performance:
- Get serious about audience centricity. Conduct thorough research on your buyer’s journey and discover insights about your buyer personas and their omni-channel behaviors. Do this by using a blend of customer interviews, interviews with your sales organization, social media research, social listening analytics, and SEO analytics. Also pay attention to what third-party research and analyst firms are saying about your potential customers.
When conducting this research, strive to learn your buyers’:
- Buying scenarios
- Decision drivers
- Watering holes
- Engagement level
- Preferred asset types
If your organization doesn’t have the capacity to conduct a thorough investigation internally, don’t be hesitant to seek or leverage help from outside agencies. Remember, you need to create content that your customers want, not just what you want to say for it to be successful and reusable.
2) Adopt audience-centric messaging. A messaging framework is a critical prerequisite for creating high-quality, engaging content that supports an optimized customer experience. The development of this messaging should ideally create a nested architecture of brand and offering-level messaging that has been aligned to audience needs and interests
3) Find and address responsibility and skill gaps. Content strategy, creation, activation, and optimization require many different types of functions and skills across the end-to-end lifecycle. You may have portfolio marketers, demand and campaign marketers, digital, sales, operations and potentially others involved in cross-functional content processes. Document a content process RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) to ensure cross-functional role clarity and responsibility alignment. Then identify where there are missing links in the content supply chain and then determine where new hires, upskilling, or outsourcing is required to address missing or weak areas of competency.
4) Take stock of your stack. Ensure you have all the tools and technologies to optimize content process and measurement. Regardless of the size of your organization, there are a core set of tools or technology capabilities that are required to effectively execute on content strategy and deliver customer experience via a content experience.
“Core capabilities for the B2B content engine include content creation, calendaring, workflow automation, asset management, and analytics,” says Christine Polewarczyk, Service Director for the Content Strategy and Operations practice at SiriusDecisions.
Key technologies to consider and rationalize against business requirements include:
- Digital Asset Management (DAM)
- Marketing Resource Management (MRM)
- Web Content Management
- Business Intelligence
Evaluate your MarTech stack to determine what’s redundant, outdated, and where there are gaps requiring net-new investment.
5) Create content that customers want. Use the knowledge you’ve obtained with your buyers’ journey and insights research to create content based on your most common customer challenges, initiatives, pain points, opportunities and goals. Make sure each piece of content conveys messaging about how your company can:
- Fix customer challenges or pain points
- Assist in customer initiatives
- Help customers reach their goals
- Provide success stories
- Ensure customer ROI
Focus each piece of content on the audience’s knowledge requirements first and foremost. Introduce your organization’s unique offerings or value propositions at the appropriate stages of the buyer’s journey within the context of buyer needs and behavioral signals that indicate interest in offering-level messaging and content. Depending on the buyer, they may enter in ready to engage at the education stage, solution stage, or selection stage. You can’t control where or when prospects will enter the buyer’s journey, but you can control the messaging you’d like to provide them and make sure you have the content they need to meet their information requirements wherever they enter into the buyer’s journey.
6) Analyze, optimize, and continue. Measuring the effectiveness of content and using those insights to inform future content strategy and creation decisions are critical. But it isn’t possible without proper content process and asset management practices. So make sure all your content is appropriately tagged with the correct metadata and aligned to a master taxonomy so you can analyze and repurpose it in the future. Conduct regular content audits and inventories, and defined specific key performance indicators (KPIs) over time to determine what content is supporting the customer experience and what content is missing the mark.
The time it takes to create a continuous content transformation can vary by the size of your organization and the amount of content you have or would like to market. But by following these 6 steps, you can gain better control of your content and ensure that it not only continues to stay on brand but also that it can be easily used and repurposed to enhance their customer experiences.
For more insights on best practices for content and the customer experience, watch our webinar with SiriusDecisions.