Even those who aren’t experts know what the expression “grabbing the screen” means. In the world of television, it implies holding the viewer’s attention and is the ability to grip an audience. And what about a company? Can it do the same? If so, how?
We are witnessing a revolution: from “simple” companies whose only aim is to sell (with communication focusing on explaining the nature of the product to the audience), organizations are becoming real media companies, operating in a communicative context that is extremely “saturated” in terms of advertising messages. As a result, in order to emerge and stand out, they must offer added value with content that really “grabs the screen” and knows how to enter users’ hearts.
The first step for an effective content marketing strategy is to try and understand the phases that customers go through in the decision-making process and the touchpoints that they come into contact with: the more marketing professionals go into depth on consumer behavior and interests, the more contextual variables they will be able to collect in order to best identify the characteristics of their buyer personas. Given the urgency of having data, companies can turn to a powerful “sieve” in Artificial Intelligence. But what role does technology play in this process?
Here at the Content Intelligence Network, to provide an answer to this question and many more, we decided to call on an expert: Federico Oliveri, Digital Strategy and Pre-Sales Consultant at Socialbakers, specialized in big data analysis and analytics on social networks. Indeed, his daily goal is to help brands, companies and professionals turn their data into profiled strategies, business asserts and tangible results.
We know that the future is data-driven. Nowadays, data are revolutionizing our economy; they represent a starting point that every business should make its moves from. Why is it important in this day and age to be guided by data in our editorial production so as to be truly customer centric?
As I always love to say, insights speak about us, data speak about people. So, are we the focus or is it our audience?
Carrying out data-driven marketing means interpreting user needs, expectations and preferences. That’s all, nothing more and nothing less. In other words, it is not a mere exercise in style linked to the analysis of data. Instead, it is the only possible way to align brand and user needs. This is even more so in an age that is characterized by an increasing consumer request for personalization and one-to-one relationships.
In this regard, I was struck by a recent Marketo study (The State of Engagement) that revealed 51% of users feel exposed to irrelevant content, while, on the contrary, 61% of marketers believe that they are interacting with their audience through the most suitable content. The discrepancy between the two worlds is clear.
Considering how each individual has their own personality with different needs, aspirations and interests, the target concept now appears rather limited. There’s a strong demand from users, who want to feel unique, to be protagonists. In your view, could personalization in content marketing be a winning strategy?
As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only road to go down. The latest data show an increase in advertising expenditure, together with a decrease in reach and cost-per-click advertising, on platforms such as Facebook. This trend cannot just be attributed to changes in algorithms, but to the relevance of the proposed content. Paid and content marketing are (obviously) two sides of the same coin.
Targeting is fundamental, but the main point is the value of what we are offering to our audience. To be effective, segmentation must transform to become much more complex and advanced.
Do you maintain that technology, in this case Artificial Intelligence and its ability to extract data on user interests from their use of content, can be a valid support for marketers? What do you think the advantages are that come from the possibility to measure individual content performances?
I strongly believe in the adoption and use of AI and machine learning to create content that is truly effective and (consequently) to optimize advertising investments. This is why, lately, I’m working a lot on integration between social media and AI.
It is an investment that can no longer be put off, with the alternative being a loss of competitivity in the mid/long term. Only in this way can all the data and interactions with the target audience on our channels be collected, shaped and discussed. In other words, this is how you define the different personas, and therefore, their needs, desires and interests, in a clinical way.
To answer the second question, a content strategy cannot exist without continuous measurement and fine-tuning. In this case too, AI’s contribution is key to creating integrated measurement frameworks between the online (website and social networks at the top) and the offline (CRM). Therefore, it is up to us to select the most relevant data and interpret the results in the most relevant way for our business. The aim is to find links between online actions and offline purchasing behavior. This means correctly interpreting the effectiveness of our content, optimizing editorial planning and reducing the cost per conversion/lead from the beginning of our relationship with a user.
Obviously, all this is impossible without a structural intervention on company processes: getting equipped with internal know-how, selecting KPIs that are shared among different departments and redefining workflows on the basis of the outputs generated by AI.