Let’s start with a brief introduction. In a structured and complex market like the current one, we are observing a radical change in the psyche of the customer who, from being a consumer, is becoming a “ConsumActor”. These new figures crowding the touchpoints through which brands communicate have arrived at such a level of digital maturity that they are driven by a never-ending search for immersive and omnichannel purchasing experiences: ones that are able to engage them and turn them into the protagonists of the decisions they make.
It is within this scenario that customer experience has taken on a decisive role as a key differentiation element for a business. For this reason, marketers are increasingly focused on the customer experience. Developing hypotheses and testing them regularly on their reference audience, they try to develop strategies that have a bearing on the perception that consumers have of the brand.
This creation and promotion of content “according to intuition”, or rather, without having concrete and measurable data on what really engages the audience, allows for “the rudder to be adjusted” campaign after campaign. However, it is a long process that is often scattered with failures that more innovative competitors are able to take advantage of, stealing substantial customer segments.
It is a bit like the partially sighted man who learns the way by groping with his hands: his steps are always guided by the obstacles he comes across, which gradually return the image of the direct route. It therefore becomes a process of trial and error for which there is no certainty of success.
We are moving towards content shock: enabling technology has allowed billions of people to create content with a simple click. As social media strategist Luca La Mesa stated during his speech at The Connected Experience Imperative event held by Ci.net, in 2020 people from all around the globe are going to shoot more than 13 trillion photos, most of which taken by smartphones, and a considerable number of these pictures will end up on social media.
Today, we have come to create an amount of information comparable to the whole human knowledge, and we do it every two days, with an exponential growth that has increased by 300% since 2010. Keeping in mind that by 2020 we will have more content than we can read (there is simply no time to!), with an engagement reduced by 89%, the only way to emerge in this sea is to publish high quality, more relevant content.
In fact, there is a strategy that allows the marketing team to identify the most effective tactics in a quicker and more targeted way, in order to align themselves with their consumers. This is offered by Content Intelligence, or rather, Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to content.
We already have a valuable mine of information on consumers at our disposal. It is just a matter of managing to read between the lines. Indeed, if made intelligent, indeed, it can become a catch basin for user interests. This is because it is able to keep track of when, how and by whom it has been used, returning the user’s entire viewing journey. All this occurs thanks to Content Intelligence, which manages to analyze and extract strategic data generated by its use, or rather, the brand’s HTML pages and multimedia files, obtaining real-time feedback on how this is performing.
Intercepting user interests
As mentioned in the book Content Intelligence for Dummies, the analysis of data collected by CI helps to achieve three objectives:
- understand which topics and product characteristics most influence the consumers’ decision-making processes so as to concentrate the budget on content that is known to be high performing;
- enrich each user profile with interests so as to personalize the Sales & Marketing Automation initiatives.
- increase engagement by offering a personalized customer experience and content that is in line with each consumer’s actual interests.
According to Wiley’s guide, the first step to take is to connect your brand’s digital touchpoints with CI: there are “sensors” that take care of tracking the user’s entire viewing journey called trackers. They are small “pieces” of HTML code that are inserted into your pages via “copy & paste”. Without these, we would not have any data. By combining the data we are provided with as a result of their tracking, we are perfectly capable of understanding how a content “drives” a response to a specific Call to Action.
Content Intelligence is, therefore, becoming the most effective tool that marketers have at their disposal to measure the performance of their own content marketing strategy. Indeed, CI software can track Calls to Action within their websites (such as a product purchase, registration to a newsletter, downloading of content like a white paper) and is able to understand what kind of response the user has given, monitoring what “converts” the most. At this point, understanding which topics and formats the public prefers becomes really very easy. There is a significant saving of resources because it avoids dedicating them to the production of the types that result in few conversions.
We should not forget that CI does a great job of ordering and rationalizing content, “activating” it through metadata (tags) that identify the subject matters dealt with. These in turn are associated with the user who demonstrated an interest in them. Given that users reveal a great deal about themselves through their online behavior, when they choose content that has been made “intelligent” by CI, which tags it and tracks it, we are able to obtain extremely deep insights into our reference audience. We are able to interact with it, offering invitations to action that respond most to what consumers would really like to see, test or buy.
Moving consumers to action
We know that, without a response on behalf of the user who interacts with the brand, following up on a specific Call to Action (which may differ on the basis of company objectives), the equation remains incomplete: with CI, we are able to close the circle. Having a Single Customer View of each consumer at our disposal, or rather, a snapshot of the entire viewing journey updated in real time (and therefore being aware of their real interests in depth), we can give each individual their own!
And this allows us to exponentially increase engagement and conversions!
At this point, we would like to quote a few words from the Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen that left a lasting impression on us: “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed”. In an age of content overproduction (content shock), we need to focus on its quality, or rather, on those topics and characteristics that we know are decisive in encouraging user action. So, now that you can have all the necessary data on what influences decision-making processes with CI, what are you waiting for to make your audience act?