Content marketing isn’t new.
In fact, 88% of B2B organizations have integrated content into their marketing strategies. Compared to just a decade ago, there’s now so much information on how to create engaging content that fuels your funnel.
So how is it that with all this knowledge about the benefits of content marketing and resources available to help us make it better, only 30% of marketers believe that their content marketing is effective?
It’s simple. Great content isn’t enough.
No matter how engaging or thought provoking a piece of content is, if the experience in which it lives falls short, its effectiveness drops off. Marketers have become masters of creating, distributing, and analyzing their content, but most forget to optimize the experience.
To save you and your content from this pitfall, here are four ways to ensure your content experience is on point:
Know your audience
If you already have a content strategy in place, chances you also have a set of buyer personas. You know lots of details about them like job title, company size, team setup, and maybe even what conferences they like to attend. However, did you consider to learn about not only what content they like to consume, but how they want to consume it?
In our own research, we found that different personas’ consumption preferences varied greatly. While one group preferred to go out and find quick-hit content themselves, another group would rather receive emails with personalized content suggestions.
Different personas’ consumption preferences varied greatly.
There are a few ways you can go about collecting information on your audience’s preference with the most straightforward approach being to just ask your customers. If you don’t have a large group of engaged customers to call upon, try A/B testing your content setup to see what experiences people prefer, or use a customer intelligence software like Vision Critical to help get direct feedback from customers and other key stakeholders.
Organize your content for the overall journey
Once you know more about how your audience interacts with content, take this knowledge and apply it to your content organization.
Think of the last time you went to a website to find a piece of content. Did you go with a topic in mind or format? Chances are, you probably had a subject you wanted to learn more about. Very few of us wake up and say “I want to read a new white paper today!” While that would be a content marketer’s dream, it just unfortunately isn’t common.
When organizing your content, group content by topic, persona, industry, challenge—anything that you believe will help your audience easily navigate to the information they’re looking for.
Once you’ve grouped your content by whatever classifications you choose, make sure that you’ve created a clear path for the reader to find the next piece that interests them. Add in calls-to-action that highlight similar topics and pushes them further down the funnel.
Speaking of calls-to-action...
Create compelling and strategic CTAs
CTAs are a great way to direct your audience to your desired end location, but if they’re just randomly placed, it’s no better than having nothing there at all!
Use strategy when creating and placing your various CTAs. For instance, someone reading a top-of-the-funnel piece of content might not be ready to fill out a form for a piece of premium content. Instead, send them to a similar blog post or share a link to signing up for your newsletter.
Before you start creating a bunch of different CTAs, pinpoint what your main goal is for your content. Do you want to drive demo requests? Do you just want newsletter signups? Answering this question will help you determine what to focus on.
While you may want everything, it’s best to pick one or two goals so that your content isn’t inundated with different CTAs. Once you choose your goal, make variations of that CTA based on where it lives (e.g. copy or image changes based on the topic or persona you’re targeting).
Optimize for all devices
When I’m on my phone trying to read an article or watch a video, if the website I’m visiting isn’t optimized for mobile, I give up on the piece pretty quickly. If you want your visitors to stick around and keep consuming different pieces of content, wherever your content lives needs to be optimized for all devices.
Since over 50% of media consumption is taking place on mobile devices, ignoring this element of your content experience could greatly affect your engagement and conversion rates.
Also, don’t just focus on typical phone or tablet sizes—consider what your pages will look like on a smaller laptop or if someone has their window open to half its normal size. Double check in testing for broken items to ensure that the experience is consistent no matter where or how your visitors are reading your content.
To learn more about building your B2B audience and creating a better content experience, watch How to Use Customer Intelligence to Identify The Right Audience for Your B2B Content, a webinar where you’ll hear more tips from me and Vision Critical’s senior vice president of marketing, Nick Stein.