By Jordan Horsman, Performance Content Account Manager, Performics Australia
In an information-saturated marketplace, there are various interpretations of what content means. Content is what an audience consumes to help them make decisions; in an online context, publishers and social media platforms have developed diverse content formats to serve audiences, each designed after careful consideration of the customer journey, the customer’s device and the time they have to consume.
Customer is King, Content is Medium
Whether it’s a webpage, tweet, app or paid search ad, content is designed to capture attention and prompt action. The customer should be placed central to a brand’s content strategy to ensure the content best fits the audiences’ tastes, to drive acquisition and retention of high value customers.
5 Essentials to Putting the Customer First, Middle and Last
- Know your Customer: A brand cannot place a customer first in a content strategy without understanding who they are and what makes them tick. By using customer engagement data (digital and offline), brands can segment their customer base and start to draw insights on who are the most engaged and worth more or less. Although historical data is important, poor positioning and promotion of a brand creates sub-optimal targeting and may not reveal the most profitable customer type. To identify future audiences, brands should conduct market research to uncover those who will deliver a high customer lifetime value.
- Define its Purpose and Position in the Customer Journey: After defining who the customers are, brands need to define why the content exists. This will then dictate what information to communicate, the format and the most effective platforms to promote it. Uncovering stages of the customer journey will help to identify what the customer wants and when. Publishing for these multiple brand touch-points will ensure in-market content provides what the customer is receptive to. Giving them the right information in the right format will increase engagement. Retention is more cost effective than acquisition, so don’t neglect creating content for post transaction to minimize the customer re-entering the funnel in the comparison stage. Content for advocacy should be integral to a customer-centric content strategy.
- Don’t Just Target Demand – Create it: How do you become synonymous with a topic without breaking the bank? Chances are you will have been the first to provide information on it – whether “it” is a problem, need or interest. Understanding the customer’s motivations will drive demand, and help create content that resonates and creates action.
- Communicate Brand Consistency Across all Channels: The customer is unlikely to recall a brand without consistent reinforcement across offline and digital channels. Being consistent will place the customer central to the brand communication efforts through helping them re-discover valuable content with a brand they know delivers.
- Refine Performance Metrics: Not all content exists to simply rank organically or provide a destination page for paid acquisition campaigns. Content exists to fulfill a need – to educate, entertain or persuade. It might exist to be shared, reinforce a broader campaign or retain. How content is measured should relate to its purpose. It is important to define KPIs based on these. Success equates to providing what the customer values, and this approach will ensure they remain at the center of all content planning decisions.
In Action: Customer-Centric Content Drives Revenue Growth for Renowned US Department Store
Identifying that over 80% of industry-relevant search queries were informational in nature, Performics pinpointed a fundamental content gap with the client’s digital material. This was driving customer loss early in the purchase journey when they were seeking product inspiration and information. In response, Performics identified popular informational searches that subsequently advised the creation of articles, charts and guides. This provided a complete end-to-end content offering for all stages of the customer journey, ranking the site for over 3,000 additional phrases and driving an additional $190,000 in revenue.
Remember, Customer is King
Your customer must be central to your content strategy to help it fulfill its purpose; to acquire and retain audiences. Neglecting the customer will mean they will neglect your efforts. For more information on how to develop a customer-centric content strategy, contact Performics today.