For most of this decade, the term content has become synonymous with marketing.
Frequently used to vaguely refer to marketing ‘stuff’, nicely covering the breadth of agency outputs used to fuel an increasing spectrum of digital platforms.
Videos, infographics, images with statements on, images without statements on, vignettes, whitepapers, advertorials…even the dreaded microsite gets thrown into the ‘content’ bucket.
In the process of content becoming king, it seems many have noticed that there is an absence of effectiveness. That filling the bucket with more content isn’t necessarily correlating with an increase in customer attention, retention, or sales.
A recent report from TrackMaven found that marketer’s content creation over the course of 2015 increased by 35 percent, whilst engagement fell by 17 percent.
When one piece of content doesn’t deliver a return the habit can be to make another piece in an attempt to fulfil its role. However, it is often more beneficial to re-evaluate the use of the content instead of the actual content itself.
Would it be more effective in an alternative format, distributed through other channels, or promoted at a different time?
To do this, we suggest taking a step back to audit your existing content against your different audience’s needs.
We’ve found the model below allows you to re-evaluate your content in reference to the customer journey (a broad example of which is applied to the boxes running across the top of this framework):
The framework has 4 core areas that should be created for each audience persona:
Mindset: What is the top level thought that the customer has at that point if you asked them to articulate it in a sentence? This is simple but provides the foundation for the elements that follow.
Questions: What do they want to know? This covers both the broader category, your brand and the product or service. What will they find useful to know that will help them progress to the next mindset?
Channels: Where would their attention be at this stage? Is it something they will be proactively looking for or are they likely to be passive and need the content presented to them? This should also indicate when different channels fit into their routine – which platforms have their attention during the various stages of their day?
Content: Finally, we come to what content helps answer those questions, based on their mindset, and aligned to the channels and times of day that they will be willing to give the content due consideration. This then, aligned to the audience persona, defines the format the content should take in order to match the audience’s profile.
Once the framework is complete, evaluate is against your existing content, specifically the ‘Questions’ and ‘Mindset’. If you’re answering those areas with the content you currently have then the challenge is actually the format, channel, context and distribution of the content.
It’s here where you can ‘recycle’ the content you have in a way that the audience will find more valuable, which in turn will deliver greater effectiveness as it gains the attention required to shape consideration.
This approach has proven to be very successful for our clients, with the strategies and content outputs that have been developed winning awards from both B2B and B2C industry bodies.