You already know that content is the fuel that keeps your clients interested, fills your sales pipeline, and finally increases your profitability if you run an online B2B firm. Great content is crucial throughout the entire customer experience because B2B buyers increasingly prefer to perform their own research over engaging with salespeople.
The amount of material produced per minute is astounding. Being relevant—even just getting noticed—in a world of ever-growing digital information needs creativity and the ability to foresee trends.
A new and inventive way to distinguish your "extra-website" content, like buyer enablement materials or ABM assets, is through interactive content experiences. How do "content experiences" vary from a website, what exactly are they, what are customer experience strategies and how do they fit into your content mix?
This article will address all your questions and explain why creating interesting content experiences has become essential for any company trying to attract B2B customers.
Enhanced content is extra product information that goes beyond simple descriptions. It is sometimes referred to as below-the-fold content, rich media, or Amazon-specific, A+ content. For a product to appear on an e-commerce selling platform's digital shelf, precise information is needed. Customers can view the quantity, size details, summary, illustration, and other information.
When planning for a more engaging client experience, it can be helpful to keep in mind that providers frequently have minimal criteria. They are a requirement for selling in their niche, but there is potential for more.
A shift from core to enhanced content aims to keep users on the page longer, preventing the need to leave a page to gather information for making decisions. Reducing shopping cart abandonment is the aim. Keeping the customer on the website could entail preventing them from leaving due to competitive products that show up in search engine results or general distractions.
Written techniques for enhanced content include long in-depth and customized product descriptions that include extensive information about the brand. Creating emotional connections with consumers through brand content increases the likelihood that they will become repeat customers. The versatility of brand-related material throughout your whole product line is one of its benefits.
Again, the possibility to offer in-depth comparison tables emphasizing the advantages of your items lowers the need for customers to leave the page. At a glance, information on rival items is provided.
The shopping experience is improved by increasing the number of photographs for each product listing if "A picture is worth a thousand words." This content gives more details about the aesthetic features of your products, but it also gives you a chance to use lifestyle photos to illustrate relative sizes and display supplementary or complementing items in your product range.
Like photos, videos provide you with a chance to demonstrate how to utilize your products in real life. This is a fantastic way to emphasize distinctive qualities or specific branding strategies. One technique to appeal to the desire for an interactive buying experience is by making it simple for a buyer to see themselves using and owning your product. These functions answer the desire for higher-caliber and more content.
Additionally, you have the chance to enhance the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your products by developing below-the-fold content that is focused and customized. Being early and on the first page of search results is always advantageous. The first step to success on the digital shelf is making yourself discoverable to customers. The likelihood that a listing link would be clicked on diminishes with lower positioning in search results, according to nearly a decade's worth of studies. A conversion barrier that content can help you avoid is on the second page.
The likelihood that your products will show up in searches that are relevant and draw in your target audience is increased when you provide specific, thorough, and accurate information through enhanced content. Bounce Rate, the proportion of visitors to your website that leave without looking at other pages, information, or items, can be influenced by offering personally relevant product suggestions.
The utilization of content experiences can be done in dozens or even hundreds of different ways. We prefer to view "content experience" as including more than just certain materials. It focuses more on a company's library of interactive content created to engage customers throughout their customer journey.
Considering the foregoing, we've compiled six of the most common ways B2B businesses are currently utilizing content experiences to engage their audiences.
White papers are lengthy, technical pieces of literature that are frequently used to establish you as an authority on a particular topic. They are valuable resources for generating leads, frequently at the consideration stage of the buyer's journey.
Buyers believe white papers to be one of the most beneficial content forms for the later stage of the purchase process, according to Demand Gen's 2019 Content Preferences Survey.
The interactive white paper produced by the Dutch company Tentoo purportedly increased lead generation by five times.
Digital magazines are incredibly adaptable and can be applied at every point in the sales process. Companies have used them for internal employee publications, event magazines, and sales brochures.
Digital magazines not only work well on mobile devices but they can also be measured and optimized, which is not feasible with print publications. With digital magazines, you can track a variety of metrics, including average reading time, the proportion of readers who finish the book, social media activity, and much more.
A tourism organization named VisitBrabant launched a digital magazine that generated over 200K page views and apparently saw a 100% increase in monthly subscribers.
Data and statistics are shared through digital reporting. They might be anything from industry reports to the annual or integrated reports of the company itself. Usually, interactive reports need a lot of labor to create. Your efforts must be presented in a way that makes the facts comprehensible and visually appealing to fully profit from them.
Many businesses still provide this important information in a static, non-interactive PDF, making it challenging for them to manage distribution, collect data, or engage mobile readers.
Since annual reports are so often utilized, they merit their own section. Annual reports, which focus on a company's financial overview and are often written for shareholders, are more precise than industry reports.
Instead of using PDFs, an organization can gain deep insights into how this important audience segment interacts with each section by using interactive content experiences. The following editions can then be enhanced using these revelations.
The university, UC Merced, produced a digital annual report that apparently received over 10,000 visits after being made available.
Several businesses are moving away from the limitations of email and relying on content experiences for their newsletters. They can comfortably accommodate lengthier content and enable video, embedded forms, and clever CTAs.
Digital newsletters that are issued to various target groups and are personalized ensure more engagement and provide you with access to detailed information about your readers' habits and preferences.
Look at the amazing digital newsletter from Warner Soliciters, which provides its clients with a variety of legal updates.
Digital brochures are a wonderful method to display your company’s products and services in an interesting and personalized way. Because they support embedded media, allow for retroactive updating, allow for performance tracking, and can be integrated with your CRM, they are more efficient than conventional printed brochures.
Additionally, they can help you reach a larger audience while saving you a ton of money on printing and distribution.
This digital brochure was produced by the real estate company AM. It received an astounding 15 minutes of reading time on average, with 90% of users continuing to the last page.
The core elements of content marketing must be in place before an effective content experience can be created. Before you can advance and switch from a content marketing to a content experience approach, you must understand these 5 essential elements of content marketing:
An evaluation of your current material, including blog posts, e-books, case studies, infographics, reports, videos, podcasts, and other types, can help you categorize it based on the subject rather than the content type. You may then serve the same segments of prospects at every point of their journey because you are fully aware of what you have.
You will gain from doing a content audit in three ways:
Pro Tip: It's a smart idea to conduct a competitor study along with your content audit. You might gain some insights and inspiration for your approach by learning what kinds of content are effective for your competition.
Based on the results of the content audit, the process of discovering content themes that your audience is interested in, choosing the best content forms for consumption, and finally creating the content itself.
Content creation includes:
Instead of producing numerous fragmented bits of material, the emphasis should be on creating autonomous content pieces that are also logically connected to one another. This will support the experience approach's logical "stream of content."
Delivering original material to your audience at the most advantageous point in their buyer's journey is the aim of content marketing. But content management must go beyond simply storing stuff. Plan to centralize, organize, and store content in the experience approach so that it can be easily and quickly retrieved (the right content to the right prospect on the right channel at the right time in their journey), whether manually or with the help of appropriate technology tools.
You can't just produce stuff and hope that it gets seen or becomes popular. To broaden the audience for your material, you must take the initiative. The process of distributing or amplifying content involves utilizing multiple marketing platforms. Three media resources can help you spread your message further:
You may assess the success of the content experiences you offer using content analytics. There are various metrics you need to keep track of. Traditional content marketing analytics place a strong emphasis on the performance of each piece of content - traffic, search rankings, page views, time on site, downloads, etc. These consumption metrics are common. Also advance the measurement to incorporate metrics for visitor retention and engagement, such as repeat visitors, scroll depth, pages per visit, and social media participation. (Follows, shares, retweets, forwards, comments, etc.).
However, a true experience strategy would also include ROI metrics, which track how well content performs in terms of business results, such as leads generated, offers or promotions used, and actual conversions.
The process of creating the content experience plan starts once your foundational elements are established and ready for a logical elevation to the content experience approach. The three most important factors that are at the center of the content experience design:
This feature is vital to ensuring prospects can easily and conveniently identify and access the relevant content at the right time, at each point of their journey. Decide if you will organize them by format, by stage of the journey, by character, etc. based on your company context, your audience's demands, and preferences.
Do your long-form articles offer anchor links that allow readers to quickly jump to different sections? Can the appropriate individuals within the company easily access the content they require, particularly those in customer-facing positions like sales and customer success? The correct content can be found with the help of the right tags and descriptions, and the right streams can be curated for the right persona with the help of linking, grouping, and recommendation engine logic.
Every piece of information the visitor or prospect receives after the initial contact should be appropriate for their stage in the buyer's journey, as well as their needs and intent at that moment. Personalized content is timely, pertinent, and contextual. Dynamic landing pages and highly customized streams of content selected only for a certain prospect could be examples.
Creating or curating a dynamic "stream of content" from the already-existing content repository depending on the user's identity (if known) or behavioral indicators of intent is the key to customization. (If unknown). The goal is to provide your finest prospects with a rich and interesting content experience!
When done properly, the content experience can significantly improve overall marketing results, particularly in the B2B setting. B2B purchasing processes can be drawn out and require the appropriate resources at each stage to move down the funnel. Ensuring the material engages the prospect and helps create a relationship instead of just a one-off engagement with a piece of branded content is vital.
The goal of the content experience approach is to continuously engage prospects with relevant content over time. Building a content experience plan that aims to create meaningful engagement instead of fragmented interactions will always produce more compelling commercial outcomes, regardless of whether you are using an ABM approach or an email nurturing campaign.
Let's examine five best practices for delivering exceptional content experiences:
How many times have you immediately abandoned a website after entering it because the user interface or design didn't look appealing? That is an illustration of the horns effect, a theory, in action.
A cognitive bias known as the "halo effect" causes individuals to mistakenly believe that handsome people are nicer, funnier, and more endearing. In much the same way, the horns effect is when one negative trait leads to an overall perception that something is bad. First impressions are crucial because of this.
Providing a seamless content experience requires a user-friendly website interface. This implies that the website should provide a good first impression, that the content should be easy to find, and that the interface should be visually appealing.
In recent years, people's use of search engines has changed. With the launch of Google's Hummingbird update, semantic search—which considers the context of the query rather than the meaning of specific keywords—was launched. Websites implemented the topic-cluster approach to consider this big development. In the topic-cluster model, the pillar page is still at the core of the category, and cluster pages link back to it.
Silos around material can be created in two different ways: by the way teams function and by the way, content is arranged.
Let's examine ways to take down both silos:
Several companies make the error of categorizing content by date or by content format. This turns out to be a serious blunder because the content is hard to find. By centralizing material by topic or category and further filtering according to content format, you may organize content so that users can find the desired piece of content according to their stage in the buyer's journey.
Multiple functions within the marketing department possess content experience — the content marketer, digital marketer, UX and graphic designer, product marketer, sales manager, etc. These teams frequently clash for a variety of reasons, and the CMO must step in to get everyone on the same page and collaborate to provide a better content experience. Don’t wait for that stage to arrive. Create streamlined teamwork that works for all teams.
Don’t have users passively absorb your material. At the end of every piece of content, ask questions, motivate people to leave a remark, and be proactive in answering every comment. Add social sharing buttons to make it easy for your readers to share your content and engage with you on social media.
Additionally, you could incorporate lead magnets like exit overlays, pop-ups, sliders, and banners to encourage visitors to view additional content or complete a brief form.
Every successful business, from e-commerce sites to websites that stream videos, uses personalization in some capacity. The best method to begin customizing is by using recommendation engines. Depending on how your visitors behave, recommendation engines will make fresh content recommendations for them.
Interactive marketing and user-generated content are two more terrific ways to customize the content experience. To engage your audience, incorporate surveys and quizzes into your material. To improve personalization and localization, ask users to provide reviews, photographs, videos, and suggestions that are relevant to their location.
Due to the abundance of content, this important component of marketing has recently begun to garner attention. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits you’ll enjoy after you switch to a content experience approach:
Incorporating the idea of content experience into your company will guarantee that you have a collection of experiences that are specifically targeted to your niche in addition to a repository of material. Your consumer experiences will improve as a result, and your content will remain current.
Your viewers will benefit from engaging content experiences, which will increase their understanding, satisfaction, and appreciation of your brand. As a result, you’ll get repeat business and peer referrals, which will have a significant impact on your brand and domain authority.
The kind of domain authority you can obtain from true, organic traffic through strong content that combines SEO best practices is, to put it mildly, invaluable. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) operations can give you huge visibility. Always look for ways to provide value, provide users with what they require, and work to earn their business.
Your main investments in content experience should be time and effort rather than huge funds and expensive software. You probably already have access to some products for customer data management (CDM) and customer relationship management (CRM). Use them to examine your customer data and plan what and how of your audience-impacting strategies. You can produce worthwhile content experiences that will provide you with the profits you seek for very little money.
A certain method to establish your trust as a B2B company is to produce pertinent content. Here are 5 B2B content experience examples that will provide you with lots of ideas for how to develop content experiences that your customers will remember:
One of the trendiest brands when it comes to providing content experiences is MailChimp, which is famous for its distinctive brand mascot, Freddie the clever UI.
The foundations of email marketing, useful market advice, product guides and tutorials, success stories, and product updates are among the categories MailChimp has divided its content experiences under.
To improve their content experience, MailChimp has implemented the following techniques:
The CRM software Close provides lead management, email sequences, predictive dialing, SMS, and other features. Close extensively explores several sales-related topics through its blog, including appointment planning, sales objection, prospecting, sales abilities, and so forth.
The resource part of Close also includes blog posts, email templates, eBooks, checklists, sales scripts, and other courses targeted at business owners and salespeople.
In the following ways, Close stands out thanks to its outstanding content experiences:
HubSpot is renowned for coining the phrase "Inbound Marketing," but its claim to fame has always been its capacity to produce content in a variety of formats. HubSpot is one of the very few businesses that has been able to maintain such a content development process.
Right now, HubSpot has separated its blog into four separate categories: marketing, sales, service, and news & trends. Via Slack or Messenger, HubSpot has created bots that distribute its most recent articles.
With the following tactics, HubSpot has been able to create a massive content experience machine in addition to its blog:
You may create websites, landing pages, pop-up forms, and header bars using LeadPages. With its blog, it offers advice and strategies on copywriting, digital marketing, landing pages, conversion rate optimization (CRO), and lead generation.
The following content experiences have helped LeadPages successfully establish its position:
Like me, you may have come across Moz at some time during your DIY SEO learning process. A SaaS business called Moz has created tools to make content marketing and SEO easier.
Moz's blog is its most significant content asset. The most complex, technical parts of SEO are all covered in this blog, starting with the fundamentals. The site discusses a wide range of subjects, including email marketing, copywriting, design, analytics, SEO, blogging, and other issues.
How Moz excels at the game of content experience is as follows:
Much more than just providing the material is involved in creating content experiences. It involves creating a content ecosystem that alleviates your prospects' major pain points while guiding them through the marketing funnel.
You must comprehend the psychology of your potential customers, ascertain what they are searching for, and produce content that answers their questions while providing them with a memorable experience that elicits favorable feelings and associations if you want to deliver memorable content experiences. Also, having the appropriate tools and technologies at your disposal will also aid in the consistent, secure, and scaled implementation of your content experience plan.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing firm to guide you through the process of enhanced customer experience, then you need to look no further. ESL has a team of talented digital marketers and content experts who will help you transform your customer experience strategies.
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