Leveraging tech to boost the success of content is not a new concept.
The marketing stress of the year 2020 has forced many marketers to step up their game to meet better targets in a market dominated by plentiful of storms. It has advanced the way tech is adopted to improve the aspect of content marketing.
I was digging into the data and processes behind the use of these technologies this way, and some trends stand out more than the others. To continue in the success mode that we have been forced to adapt, here are the factors that shine in the spotlight.
Involve the Team
Savvy CMOs and marketing team leaders learn fast enough that they are just a part of the team too. While they should have the sniper mindset of making critical calls, they should never rest on their wisdom alone when they have a competent team around them.
The same goes for adopting new technology to the marketing team.
While the team leader identifies new opportunities and prospects to go for, the bulk of the legwork rests on the team members. Thus, they face most of the real-world challenges in real-time. By extension, most of the obstacles that the team leader comes across will be a factor of the challenges faced by their team.
That is why no piece of technology should be chosen without first consulting with the team members.
Let their needs be heard and taken into consideration. Know what part of their jobs is most daunting, and what they would need to deliver better. Even the top players in the team have challenges that are keeping them from being better.
Once those are established, it becomes easier to see what pieces of technology inclusion are needed – and which ones would be a waste of everyone’s time.
The audience is the goal
When that shiny new object in the content-technology sphere comes in, it is easy to get carried away.
One primary line of thought that keeps us grounded at iResearch is the constant reminder that it is all about the audience.
The technology adoption is never about the content that we put out. We also make sure that it is never about the content marketing team. It should all be about the audience benefiting from the product (sidebar: content is also one of the products you put out. Treat it as such) that we create for them.
When you make things about the audience, you end up with actually useful tools on your hands. This beat having a lot of fancy, vanity tools that do nothing other than prop up the brand’s arsenal.
Wendy Richardson, the Global Customer Care Operational Excellence VP at Mastercard, has always been about making life simple for the consumers. This is evident in the role she led in dissecting the common industry jargon to easily understandable language in all of the brand’s messaging.
With a focus on messaging, it is little wonder that she would posit how technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning can help reach the intended goal faster.
Every piece of great content is biased in specific ways. It is also not easy to pick up this bias. After all, the content itself is subject to the ideas and mindset of its creator. That is one box that no content will ever break from.
Fortunately, artificial intelligence systems can be fed with the content, then analyzed for biases, blind spots, and such other skewed messaging which does not serve the audience effectively.
On the flip side, this same treatment can be applied to a competitor’s messaging. Analyzing for the bias, your brand can come up with better content containing more targeted, less biased messaging for the intended audience.
No matter which approach is taken, the application of tech in this manner will help boost the volume of the message. It becomes more empathetic to the intended audience and delivers more results.
User Opinions Matter
Somewhere above, I mentioned how your content is also a product.
With that in mind, you can start getting more respect for what you send out to your target audience.
No serious brand gathers customer tests after it has launched the product. This is why we have soft launches, beta readers/ testers, focus groups, and surveys. Without them, most companies would have failed on the back of consistently putting out products that anyone wants to do anything with.
If you are doing that with a product, you should surely not miss that step with your content.
Content marketers put so much more effort into the content that they put out today. Not just in the increased number of words (for text-based content) for a more in-depth approach, but the research, editing, marketing, and promotion that follows too. All of that effort should not have to go into a piece of content that will not do well with the audience.
Technology makes access to your target audience even more comfortable these days. This access gives you a faster means to serve up surveys, gauge initial opinions, and use that to tweak your processes. At iResearch, we have discussed more on this under our agile marketing campaign resource.
Once the product (content) hits the streets, you do not stop gathering user opinion. A simple and straightforward poll at the end of the content, a star rating system, thumbs up/ down icon could generate highly actionable data for you while in the future.
Meg Walsh, the content services manager at Hilton, had to rethink how her team approached content.
The multinational hospitality brand has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as have other players in the niche too. One is saving grace that they have, however, is that Meg had devised a plan to optimize the content delivery process well before the pandemic struck.
Identifying all of the content that they put out, she determined which ones were crucial and getting the right results. She also checked for those kinds of content which can easily be outsourced to other departments or dropped altogether.
That data-driven process gave birth to a content strategy that focused on high-impact content alone. Even though the pandemic led to the layoff of some of the content team members, the rest do not need to scramble around for what to do.
They know what they have to do – and they only have to execute.
Technology can be much of a help as it can also be a distraction. Where your content team lies will be a factor of how well you have tuned in the needs of the audience, challenges of the content team, and goals of the brand to the technology application.
Done right, this remains one of the biggest gifts your brand can get as we head into yet another year.
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