For nearly two decades, email has been the main message bearer in marketing. But with tightening regulations, it is becoming less and less viable to simply email your database—not to mention the ‘email fatigue’ we all feel; it’s simply becoming a less effective tactic. As marketers look to uncover alternative ways to get their message out, many organizations are opening deeper, more effective dialogues with customers through compelling content. Today’s customers desire interactive conversations with organizations, to get to know not just the product but the organization behind it. Email as a marketing tool will be dead in 5 years or less, and marketers need to think quickly about what will replace it in the age of the digital customer.
Content and conversations, self-service and self-selection will form the epicenter of B2B and B2C marketing. Creating rich, engaging and, most importantly, timely customer interactions from initial contact through to buying takes time, data and a deep understanding of both current and future customer requirements. And while many of today’s marketing leaders recognize this, most would admit that they just don’t have the insight they need to really deliver on a customer-centric approach.
But, today’s marketing automation tools can help create digital experiences. These tools nurture close relationships, and engage customers at every step of the decision journey to drive brand loyalty, revenue, and customer lifetime value, freeing up marketers to focus on creating compelling content.
- Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts (HubSpot, 2015)
- 32% of B2B marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)
- 15% of marketers plan to add podcasting to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months. (HubSpot, 2016)
- Conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%).
The Power of Content
Content alone is not enough. It must be compelling. It must be engaging. And, it must be optimized to reach your customers at each touch point.
Compelling content draws audiences in to your message. They begin a journey with the brand, from awareness to consideration to decision and advocacy. Unlike email, the ultimate interruption-driven marketing tool that pushes your message, content and experience marketing drives the journey through engagement with your customer, and is more efficient—costing over 60% less (62% less) than traditional campaigns.
There is no single “channel” that today’s marketers can rely on to engage with customers. Customers today interact via multiple avenues, whether through social channels, a brand’s “owned” digital properties or more traditional routes like the media. In each case, the customer must experience a continuous, personalized and authentic digital journey that offers the best experience at every point of interaction and in every phase of the lifecycle.
With a lineup of engaging content, customers can delve into the information they are looking for in their preferred medium. For instance, almost 50% of Internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store (Google, 2016).
In a recent report on demand generation, 96% of B2B buyers said that they want content with more input from industry thought leaders, and over 50% said they relied on content as they researched buying decisions—from both the vendors and independent third parties. With all roads leading to the power of engaging and personalized content, it’s time to re-focus on the future of marketing.
The Freedom to Create More Content
Knowing how important content is, it’s time to balance your efforts. The bottom line is this: a big driver of today’s conversion rates is compelling content. The better the content, the better the conversion rate. But with all the technology and touch points and channels in play, there’s no question that marketers are making tough choices on where to spend their time.
Automate your marketing processes and free your big thinkers to create the kind of content that speaks to your audiences in personal terms.
For more information on how you can automate your marketing operation, check out the OpenText Experience Suite.