How Content Intelligence is changing the Content Marketing game

Michelle Krasniak
Digital consultant, Community Manager

“Knowledge is power.” – Sir Francis Bacon

Content Intelligence (CI) is changing the way that content marketers approach their digital marketing strategies. Where it was once a guessing game —a hit or miss situation— it’s now driven by the rich user data collected when viewers interact with the company’s content. By acting upon that data in order to provide more personalized experiences for each consumer, content marketers are in a better position to drive sales.

Here are three important ways in which CI is changing the content marketing game:

 

Highly-targeted content can be presented to consumers at the precise time in their buyer’s journey when it will make the most impact

 

Retail Dive’s 2017 Retail Dive Consumer Survey found that over 65% of the nearly 1300 consumers they spoke with did online research prior to making a purchase. In other words, it’s a safe assumption that the 850 people that percentage represents consumed marketing content online. Marketers had 850 opportunities to ensure that the right content was presented to these consumers at the point in the buyer’s journey when that person is most likely to move towards making the purchase.

It’s also a safe assumption that marketers did not utilize all 850 of those opportunities to their fullest extent. Maybe a company’s information was out of date. Or they failed to utilize the best keywords in their material so it could be easily found by either search engines or through searches performed on the company’s own website. Whatever the case may be, if a sale was not completed, there’s a good chance that the content marketing (or lack thereof) contributed to that breakdown at some point in the process.

If there was a Content Intelligence (CI) solution in place, would all 850 of those opportunities have resulted in a sale? Probably not. But if there was one in place, marketers could be confident in the fact that the sale fell through not because the content was poor or incorrectly utilized, but because of the other factors at play.

That’s not to say that every piece of content ever created will meet the needs of every consumer. That’s impossible. But CI makes it more likely that it will meet the needs of the consumer it’s being served up to, simply due to the fact that CI offers the ability to determine at what stage in the buyer’s journey the consumer is in, thereby giving insight into what information would be most helpful to that individual.

For example, with a CI platform, a person who performed general searches for “urban gardening” wouldn’t be presented with information on the latest farm machinery. Not only is that unhelpful, but it’s also likely to annoy—even anger—the customer as they may feel their time is being wasted. If CI is in play, he or she will see content that educates them on urban gardening, specifically more generalized information. If that same person then searches for “urban gardening containers” the CI solution will know that this particular consumer is in the market for that item, thereby now showing them content on the specific types of urban gardening containers the company offers. A person just looking to see what urban gardening is all about doesn’t necessarily care about the specific containers a company offers. They’re not ready to make a purchase. This is how a CI platform improves content delivery.

 

Content Intelligence presents your content to consumers across multiple touchpoints

 

Consumers no longer visit just one or two websites when they’re searching for information. It used to be that they utilized a search engine and visited whatever websites appeared in the results. For the most part, these were the websites belonging to companies. Since the information they encountered was written by the company in question, it was very one-sided and of course only spoke to the positive attributes of the product or service. The consumer never received the full story. After all, no product or service is completely perfect (regardless of what the company thinks!)

Nowadays a consumer may start with search engines (this infographic by MineWhat.com shows 81% utilize search engines), but chances are high that their information search is not going to stop there. They may ask their Twitter followers for opinions or strike up a conversation with their Facebook friends. After all, people trust the opinions of family and friends. These individuals have nothing to lose by giving unbiased input so the consumer knows they’re more likely to get the full story… or at least a more complete one that would speak to both positives and negatives.

Because consumers can be found “hanging out” in different places online, it’s important for marketers to meet them where they are. This idea is called omni-channel marketing. The Content Marketing Institute defines omni-channel as “[marketing that] is about understanding and optimizing for the entire [buyer’s] journey across all channels.”

A Content Intelligence platform helps make seamless omni-channel marketing possible. By following the behavior of users online, the CI platform can make web pages dynamic so that they show different content depending on the user who is visiting them, their interests, their online behavior, and the place where they consume the content. This highly-targeted content distribution reaches the people who are most interested in your product/service… leading to better leads.

 

The accompanying analytics allow you to see how your content is actually performing

 

Content Intelligence isn’t intelligent without the rich data that the platform being utilized collects. That data helps marketers see how their content is performing. In other words, what types of content do consumers look at the most? Do long-form articles get the most traffic? Are videos clicked and viewed more than anything else? Once marketers know this information, they know the content they should create more of.

Another factor that goes into content performance is the subject matter. Sales and marketing teams will be able to tell what products and services are looked into the most, thereby having the ability to make informed decisions when it comes to where to put resources.

There may also be quality issues that become apparent when utilizing content intelligence. If a piece of content is clicked on frequently, yet people immediately click away, it’d be a good idea to take a look at the quality of that content. Is it interesting enough to keep the interest of the reader? Is it up-to-date? If your company has a lot of content to manage, there’s a good chance that some content will fall through the cracks every now and again and become stale and out-of-date. Not only will the analytics provide that insight, but many platforms allow you to set revisit and refresh reminders, so you can avoid the issue altogether.

With Content Intelligence (and Big Data), a new world of possibilities is opened for marketers. Being able to provide helpful, highly-targeted content at the right time in the buyer’s journey can lead to more engagement and warmer leads. Consumers respond better to content that’s relevant to what they’re looking for (and care about). When consumers pay attention, good things happen.

 

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