Think about your favorite cake. What makes it special? Maybe it’s the icing or tasty filling. Maybe it’s the chocolaty layers or extra moist texture. To you, this special cake tastes better than an average cake. It stands out because it has all the right elements. It’s different. What if you could give this feeling to your customers? Luckily, with the right content and an amazing experience, you can.
Content makes the experience, so here is my recipe to make content that’s irresistible:
Step 1: Think Beyond Email
In the traditional marketing funnel email reigns supreme. It’s inexpensive, professional, and effective. But the game has changed, and we don’t live in an email-only world. Our marketing content should reflect that. Content should live seamlessly across email, social media, search, direct mail, events, digital ads, web properties, mobile applications, and more. It’s up to you to learn your customers’ tastes and where they like to consume content, then meet them there with the right experience. When catering your content across channels it’s important to focus on context. If I provide a birthday cake to a couple at their wedding or a princess-themed cake to a teenage boy, the experience won’t be good. It misses the mark and is not memorable in a positive way.
Step 2: Exceptional Across Devices
Just like channels have multiplied, the devices people use to consume content have multiplied. The principle here is to focus on not just what you deliver, but how you deliver it. Marketing content should be delicious wherever it is consumed, whether it be on a mobile device, a tablet, or desktop. The customer state of mind and intent can vary greatly depending on where content is being viewed. Between 50-60% of emails are now opened on a mobile device, yet not every email is designed with a mobile-first attitude. To make content exceptional across devices you can set a strategy of what is important to you and what is important to your customers. Customizing content by device can include wrapping it to fit the screen, swapping out images, hiding or showing certain elements, and even adapting the copy or call to action.
Step 3: Make It Personal
Think of what happens when I take a generic cake and pipe your name on it. Is that personal? Does that evoke the same feeling as that special cake we talked about earlier? It doesn’t. Just like a simple name doesn’t make a generic cake any more special, adding a first name or company to content doesn’t make it more relevant. Have I correctly interpreted your unique business challenge? Have I shared how my product or service solves that business challenge? According to Gartner, companies that excel at personalization will outsell companies that don’t by 20%. True personalization is content that changes in the context of the customer profile, the unique problem and use case, the industry, and the customer maturity.
Step 4: Use Data
To make content delicious and special, you need to know the passions, priorities, and preferences of your customers. This comes from having the right data. Because how can you make irresistible content if you don’t know what people want, where they are, or who they are? Data isn’t just about knowing customers, but also measuring content success in more meaningful ways. Most marketers still only use opens and clicks to measure the success of content. But if I bake you a cake and you just look at it or poke it, does that mean you consumed it, or enjoyed it? Not really. Better metrics for success are conversion to a desired action, the quality of engagement across multiple content touchpoints, and the impact content has on the bottom line.
Step 5: Get Creative!
It turns out the “B” in B2B and B2C doesn’t stand for boring. Content stands out when it is exceptional and creative. This can come from vibrant and engaging copy, eye-popping images, emojis, gifs, carousels, interactivity, videos, and much, much more. The point here is to push your own limits and get beyond your comfort zone. Content can absolutely be brand-compliant while being engaging and memorable. We as people don’t remember boring, abstract things very well. What we do remember are compelling visuals, novel and intriguing details, and a cohesive story. This is a higher standard, especially in B2B, but customers can tell the difference. Don’t be a boring box of cake mix. Because we’re not just marketers. We’re artists creating experiences.
So, what does this all mean? Creating compelling experiences is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. You have the power to make content special and delicious. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, and you don’t have to do everything at once. Elevating how you think about content is a great place to begin. Start small and apply a couple of the principles outlined above. As you do this, you will truly be creating special moments for your customers, not just campaigns.
Learn more about mastering content with the replay of our Modern Customer Experience 2019 session Content Masterclass.
To learn more about Oracle Eloqua so you can create more compelling content and campaigns that convert, contact us.
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