The content economy has skyrocketed. Within just the past five years, brands are investing billions into content strategy to boost customer engagement, broaden communication channels, and draw attention to the brand. While content once was “king,” content now lives everywhere, and it’s become a mere commoner.
As marketers, we’re struggling to differentiate our content from that of our competitors. As consumers, we’ve become experts at filtering out irrelevant content. Our ability to consume content is limited, while the amount of available content feels infinite. We seek out content that has value and meets our needs, quickly dismissing anything that we find irrelevant or uninteresting.
At Content Marketing World in Cleveland last week, 3,500 hundred marketers gathered to tackle this challenge. The mere fact that 3,500 content marketers exist is a challenge in and of itself, as it demonstrates how content has been relegated from king to commoner over the course of less than a decade.
With such a dramatic increase and investment in content, we can’t afford to lose sight of what matters most to our businesses: our customers. What role does content play in the customer experience? Asking this question can dramatically increase the value of your content currency. Diving deeper, you can start to think about:
- What content would create an easier experience for our customers?
- What type of content resonates most with customers on each channel?
- How do customers feel about the content we’re currently delivering?
- What content would help our customers achieve their goals?
- What competitor content do our customers love?
The answers to these questions will prevent your content from becoming just another “commoner” in the eyes of your customers and play an integral role in the overall customer experience. Achieving this customer perspective, however, cannot be guesswork.
At the bare minimum, consider surveying your customers specifically about their content needs and the content you are currently providing. To achieve an even fuller understanding, take a deep dive into your Voice of the Customer data from social media, inbound emails, the contact center, review sites, online chat, and other sources. Conduct a sentiment analysis to understand how your customers feel about their experience with your brand, and if your content marketing strategy can improve this sentiment.
Your content is a product. Its value is determined by customer demand. While engagement metrics such as likes, retweets, and pins provide a decent indicator of how widely your content is being consumed, these metrics don’t scratch the surface of true customer impact. Treat your content like a product and make an investment in ensuring that it’s a positive part of the overall customer experience.