The sum of all experiences users make with a product is usually what shapes the branding. While in the past it was sufficient for a brand to praise itself to have an effect on the purchasing decisions of consumers, nowadays the products and their benefits to the lives of the customers, and the feeling they get when interacting with the brand on the web, are pivotal. These customer experiences are eventually the driving force behind each brand communication.
That’s why attention should be paid to the fact that content marketing is not just about having your own website, but also about creating a successful customer experience with good content. Furthermore, it is important to follow a long-term communication and editorial schedule, once the web content is created and published.
Brands can integrate content such as blogs, social media postings, product videos or other moving image material, infographics and photos, podcasts or webinars, email marketing, and more. Ideally, these content items are combined with each other to ensure a wide range of communication, whereby the content strategy should always consider including the wishes and expectations of the target group, as only relevant content - that is both informative and entertaining - makes happy and loyal consumers.
Content Marketing takes place everywhere
The increasingly connected world we live in continues to drastically alter the relationship between brands and their customers, driven by growing expectation for always-on, real-time interactions across any device. Whether website, Facebook page, customer service or PoS, content marketing takes place everywhere and fulfills the function to connect the customer’s various brand touchpoints. Within a valuable content strategy, the user has potentially the chance to interact with the brand and its content at every touchpoint in the customer journey.
Coca Cola makes a good example here for instance, because the company not only manages to sell a product but actually a lifestyle. Coca Cola's websites appearances in the respective countries are entertaining, informative and extremely interconnected, as social media is directly involved. Further, users get under "My Account" a personal area on the respective Coca Cola website. In addition, the company has developed a complete online magazine where they tell new stories on a daily basis that are conveying the joy of life people associate with the drink, continuing the success story of the brand. Especially at Christmas time, Coca Cola creates constantly new thematic content that boosts pleasant anticipation for the festive season, providing at the same time a favorable response to the companies.
When does content go viral?
Numerous studies have shown that especially emotionally charged or controversial content gets users' attention and triggers reactions such as ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’. In doing so, viral content always has the following points in common:
- Positive feelings: With the content emotions such as joy, interest or trust are associated.
- Range of emotions: Images or videos that go viral trigger a wider range of emotions - both positive and negative feelings.
- Surprise effect: Content that surprises usually triggers many reactions, while non-viral images generally lack the element of surprise.
Using the right technology then ensures a broader readership, because only those who have excellent information about their customers will cover matching topics. Not to mention that a modern content management system is here the basis for the scattering of high-quality content, whether it’s TYPO3, Drupal or WordPress.
Fact is that personalized content, videos, images, and audio files merge more and more into the content strategy and will give distinction in the coming years. The only premise is to keep in mind that content marketing always starts with the audience, not with the product, service or company agenda. Maybe that’s why more and more often, newer, disruptive entrants, instead of incumbent brands, are setting the standards for the constantly changing customer expectations. They have a stringent strategy to find out what their audience wants to read.
As explored in a new eMarketer report, “The Customer Experience Mandate: Brand Strategies to Meet and Exceed Customers’ Always-On Expectations,” the number of potential channels or touchpoints is vast and continuing to expand. “Customers don’t view these interactions as channel-centric or as journeys, paths and lifecycles in the same way a brand might view them. Each one, however small, elicits emotion from the person at the other end. Over time, these individual interactions or moments accrue, forming the basis for customer experience”, the report points out. This always-on environment of multiple channels puts incredible pressure on brands to keep up, as people expect first-contact resolution for all their problems. Customers simply expect that all work across all devices, platforms and services.
By Daniela La Marca