B2C content marketing is only one of the many ways larger enterprise brands endeavor to get noticed, build brand awareness and drive action. However, creating enduring relationships in a connected marketplace is increasingly difficult as consumer habits online constantly shift. In developing a relevant content marketing strategy that is both engaging and intentional, it’s essential to address these five challenges.
#1 Documenting Strategy
Content marketers are creative folk. They are inspired by concepts and eager to find new ways to address business challenges and engage target audiences. The ideas and their impacts are what matters most, so many content marketers may view the act of recording content marketing plans as a damper on the creative process. According to Content Marketing Institute research, “just 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers have a written content marketing plan.”
Yet documenting the strategy helps with team alignment and makes it easier for marketers to gauge the effectiveness of their efforts. When it comes to documenting a content strategy be sure to capture the following:
Objectives & KPIs — Why are you doing this marketing in the first place? What key performance indicators will help you measure success? Understand how your planned content marketing will educate, delight or assist customers.
Buyer Personas — Who is your target audience? What are their demographics, pain points and challenges? You need to always be thinking about the audience and how they might engage with your message.
Message — What customer data or SEO and keyword information will be used to inform this content marketing? This analysis should help you strategically shape the marketing message.
Channels — Where will the content be distributed? Consider the various platforms, formats and channels where you could publish to drive your message and reach your goals.
Responsibilities — When will elements of the campaign rollout and who is accountable for its execution? Planning out a content calendar can help you to best leverage the created content, as well as identify roles and responsibilities.
#2 Making the Most of Mobile
Enterprise marketers can no longer prioritize driving foot traffic. They must also leverage digital strategies to drive what finger traffic on the myriad of smart devices that now populate the customer journey. Some 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphone. Even when the consumer is in store, successful B2C content marketers can still drive conversions by merging physical and digital spaces. Google reports that 82% of consumers use their devices to help them shop while they are in the brick-and-mortar setting. To be sure you are driving that finger traffic, plan B2C content marketing that targets and engages with online users, invites them to the store and offers a rich conversion platform. Your content needs to stand out, not only be seen.
In making the most of mobile the marketer should:
- Create clear, accessible content that immediately conveys message.
- Anticipate the impact of voice search.
- Ensure that content is easily navigable regardless of device screen size.
- Optimize images and features to account for load times.
- Leverage beacons, geolocation, geofencing and more to drive location-based mobile marketing.
- Secure mobile payment integrations to offer a convenient and safe purchase experience.
#3 Countering Oversaturation
Oversaturation is a content marketing reality and consumer nightmare these days. In 2017, Havas surveyed 375,000 people across 33 countries about marketing content. Those interviewed deemed 60% of the content they were exposed to as “just clutter” that is “poor, irrelevant, or fails to deliver." Yet the brands that get B2C content marketing right can see tangible impacts. Per that same study, “meaningful brands outperform the stock market by 206%, see a 48% increase in share of wallet and 137% greater returns on KPIs.”
In developing your content strategy, prioritize objectives to focus message but take a varied approach to avoid becoming predictable. Sometimes the content’s role will be to inspire or inform while at other times it might be to educate or engage. Look at the many ways TOMS touts its one-for-one giving model. Every May the company encourages people to go One Day Without Shoes (#ODWS) and social media feeds are filled with pictures of brand followers’ bare feet. While this campaign engages people in a shared sense of fun, the company also goes for a more emotional appeal as well, like when it released a Virtual Reality video inviting viewers along on a shoe giving trip in Peru.
#4 Keeping Up With Customer Journey
Digital B2C content marketing can’t be done as a set-it-up and let-it-run campaign. Brands must leverage the immediacy of online marketing to actively keep up with the customer journey. This means replying to audience members who comment, like or share your content. Additionally, tracking positive and negative response (and responding to those who aren’t happy) can also help you connect with your broader audience while establishing brand credibility.
Use the depth of data available to online marketers to better understand different customer’s journeys. To get the most out of content efforts, segment your consumers by utilizing consumer data and customer research. Those buyer personas you documented earlier are not just about age, gender, interests, consumption habits and purchase potential. By doing the legwork to discover preferences and motivations, you can better craft a digital strategy that resonates with a target audience as they move through Awareness, Consideration and Decision phases.
#5 Measuring ROI / Success Attribution
As exhausting as it might be to talk about ROI, your business has to understand and tackle the challenge of measuring digital return on investment. By using predetermined key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your goals, CMOs can provide valuable feedback to their content marketing team. Attention paid to measuring ROI and success attribution can further help your team to maximize success, adapt and iterate, and make optimizations.
There are several key digital marketing metrics to track including:
- Traffic by channel (organic, social, referrals, etc.) and page-by-page data
- Which types of content are generating the most leads
- Social media reach and engagement
- Click through rates and costs per click
- Conversion rates and goal completions
Any of these metrics can improve reporting to stakeholders and focus marketing efforts. Still, ROI remains the essential indicator of marketing campaign success. Calculating investment return across channels and campaigns isn’t always easy, but it can more accurately identify what is working and what needs tweaking. The same can be said of success attribution. With digital marketing providing more and more touchpoints, content marketers need to understand which content is actually influencing buyers.
But which of the many attribution models available should marketers choose?
While nearly 75% of marketers in a Bizable study had an attribution model, the majority (55.2%) used a single-touch model and 72.4% either chose their attribution model because it was the easiest option or selected their model without any real thought. In that content strategy you are now documenting (thanks to challenge #1), you’ll already have clearly identified KPIs so be sure to thoughtfully adopt your success attribution models too, sourcing the best option for what you are looking to measure.
Ultimately, consumers encounter a greater deluge of digital information daily. Digital marketers must stay on top of the latest trends and meet the new challenges of B2C content marketing to see the best results. When these hurdles are continuously cleared, marketers can see a real impact and truly engage with target audiences.
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