Content marketing continues to deliver a strong marketing ROI, with a majority of marketers reporting that the strategy made their companies more successful than the year before. That was among the findings in the latest benchmark reports released by the Content Marketing Institute.
And, B2B marketers cited quality content creation as the most significant contributing factor for those results. Among B2C respondents, content creation came in a close second as a major factor to their successful campaigns, just behind strategy.
Relevant, quality content has become the new performance standard in marketing. With customers’ demanding more experiences from brands, that shouldn’t be changing any time soon.
However, changes are coming for creatives and publishers as a result of a shift to content intelligence. And, in this case, the change will be good — with the potential for marketers to exceed customer expectations and realize even more significant gains from their content marketing efforts.
Here are several ways content intelligence is becoming a game-changer for content creators.
Tighter creative briefs. With the right timing, tone, creative execution and relevant messaging, a single piece of content can be a powerful marketing tool — helping you establish brand credibility while sending your ideal customers to your website.
However, without the optimal direction, your creative team could spend hours crafting amazing content, only to have it fail to make an impact.
Through data mining and analysis that leads to content gap analysis, audience analysis and competitive framing, content intelligence provides the direction your team needs to connect with your target audiences. It also measures the performance of your current content and identifies where it can be improved.
As a result, marketers will have the ability to develop much more comprehensive creative briefs to guide content creation. Briefs that lead to content that’s highly relevant based on customers’ needs at specific points in the buyer journey, and that are delivered with precision timing on all the right platforms.
Here is a breakdown of where content intelligence can be used to refine your creative briefs:
Target audience: By gathering data about customer interactions, content intelligence gives you more insights about your optimal target audience — identifying what they’re looking for at different stages of the buyer journey. As a result, it pulls out the information you need to understand their pains, challenges and expectations, and how you can best address them with content. It also helps you identify new audiences.
Personas: By capturing the details about your target audience, content intelligence provides the ability to develop more comprehensive personas. Detailed personas should be included in your creative briefs; they give your creative team the ability to envision who they’re talking to. This can be significant in creating content that resonates with your audiences.
Messaging themes: Content engagement can vary significantly. With content intelligence analyzing your brand’s content activity, you will be able to determine which content themes are more effective at engaging your audiences at specific times. You may find that customers are more interested in certain topics than others, giving you the opportunity to increase engagement. With customers’ interests constantly evolving, it’s important to regularly monitor data to discover relevant content themes.
Key objectives: Whether you’re trying to delight or excite a customer or address one of their pressing challenges, it’s important to give creatives context about the overall objective of your content assignments. As part of the brief, clearly list the objective of each content campaign to provide clarity on what needs to be achieved — the end goal.
Again, the buyer journey will heavily influence how content should be written. For example, the approach and tone for content in the Awareness phase could be significantly different than content created and published for the Consideration phase. Use the direction provided by content intelligence to clearly spell out objectives at the various phases.
Consumption type: This is an area that may shake up your content marketing strategy more than anything else.
For example, if your team has been primarily relying on white papers, blogs, social media posts and case studies to get your message across to your audiences, customer insights may challenge you to consider other options. It’s possible that your audience would prefer to view videos (and many of them do) and digest a tutorial as part of a live webinar.
Be prepared to make the shift so that you can give your customers the content they want in the format they prefer.
More creative freedom. The more direction you can deliver to your content team, the better. It may seem restrictive, but it actually is the key to providing your creative team with more creative freedom.
Since a creative brief should be designed to be open-ended with its direction, creatives should experience more freedom in determining how to deliver the content that’s most appealing to your audiences — while at the same time delivering on your stated objectives.
The end result will be more consistency with creating the kind of content that establishes a connection with your audiences. Creatives will spend less time and energy making educated guesses about what will work.
More confidence about outcomes. With more reliable insights about what your customers are interested in at different stages of the buyer journey — and in which formats, your creative team will be more confident that their content will hit the mark in all aspects.
It could lead to a more streamlined process from the creative standpoint, especially if your team is consistently aligned around one single direction from the insights gathered through content intelligence.
The demand for quality content will continue to rise as marketers take on the challenges of connecting with their audiences. By providing the right data insights and direction, creatives and publishers will be able to create and deliver content with the right message in the right format on the ideal platforms to engage your audiences. They will be empowered to be more creative within the right framework.
Content intelligence enables that to happen with more reliable outcomes. Talk to us at Vennli for a demo on how you can use it to enhance your content performance.