March 5, 2019
Content is the heart of a marketing strategy. And as marketers, it’s crucial for us to invest heavily in our content strategy, regardless of our primary function in the marketing team.
Your role might be purely SEO-based, or you might’ve been hired for your social media expertise. Perhaps your focus is on the strategic side of marketing, rather than the day-to-day operations. Or maybe you run your own business so you juggle several marketing hats at once. Whatever it is you do, it’s crucial that you don’t underestimate the importance of content.
Good content keeps your customers engaged; good content is also important for the following reasons:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating demand for your products
- Moving your prospects down the sales funnel and towards the point of purchase
Now that we know how valuable content is, the next step involves thinking about how that content is experienced by your customers. Believe it or not, the experience around your content impacts what your customers do next; this is referred to as content experience.
Content experience explained
Every piece of content that’s been produced and published for all the world to see has an experience surrounding it. Essentially, content experience extends beyond the actual content and into the realm of user experience and personalization. A positive content experience can make your readers’ lives easier and send them on a path to make a buying a decision. A negative content experience, however, can cause your potential buyers to look elsewhere.
The 3 components of content experience
Content experience can be broken down to 3 different components:
Let’s go through each of them now.
Environment: where your content lives
In the world of content marketing, looks matter a lot. Environment refers to how your content is presented to the world; your customers will stop engaging with your website if the layout is not visually appealing. First impressions are everything — and the first 10 seconds of the page visit will determine whether your customer stays or leaves (Microsoft Research).
Our tip: don’t just copy and paste large chunks of text onto your page. Consider adding images, graphics, dot points, and headings that all complement each other and make it easier for your reader to read your content.
Structure: how your content is structured
The second component focuses on how your content is organized. A positive content experience means that a user with a query or two can find what they need when they visit your site. The organization, navigation, and curation of your content will affect the user’s ability to discover useful and relevant content. You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the content organized in a way that’s intuitive for your users?
- Has your content been grouped by topic, role, or industry?
- Is your content in more than one place?
If you don’t spend time thinking about structure, the likely outcome is a poor user experience and this leads to a negative content experience.
Our tip: Organizing and curating your content logically within your resource center will ensure greater discoverability of your content, resulting in a better experience for your customer.
Engagement: how you can compel your customers to engage with your company
Your content experience can go two ways: compel your customer to act positively (for example, buying your product) or lead them astray. So how do you compel action? We know that personalized content can generate up to 20% more sales opportunities than non-personalized content. We also know that providing consistency in the content experience leads to greater trust, which works to compel action. That’s the power of an optimized content experience.
Our tip: Focusing on writing remarkable and engaging content is a start. Go one better by ensuring the content is personalized and relevant in addition to adding CTAs that are tailored to the customer’s interests.
Everyone has content experience
Remember: content is not just limited to your blog or resources page. Anywhere your content can be encountered, it can be experienced. A confirmation email that your customer receives after subscribing to your blog, a video they watch on your website, or your eBook they read on their device while commuting to work are all excellent examples of content experience. All these encounters with your brand contribute to how they feel about your business and your products. And all these experiences build the trust that you require to establish a meaningful relationship with your customers.