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Introducing “Content Experience,” The Next-Generation of Content Marketing

Introducing “Content Experience,” The Next-Generation of Content Marketing

By Karen TaylorOct 1 /2019

Short-form films. Free certification courses. Daily motivational emails. These aren’t just examples of content marketing, they are examples of content experiences — a new form of marketing that focuses on creating a well-planned flow of relevant content that engages prospects over a sustained period of time. According to MarTech Advisor, which coined the term, content experience is defined as the overall experience of accessing, consuming, engaging with and responding to a stream of branded content — across diverse devices, platforms and channels, and throughout the buyer’s journey, from prospect to customer.

Chitra Iyer, editor-in-chief of MarTech Advisor said: “Prospects and customers don’t look to consume an individual piece of content, but rather are on a journey where they need ongoing resources to help move purposefully forward in their buying decision.”

B2B buying journeys can be long. An abundance of the right resources at each stage of the journey can keep prospects moving toward purchase. This helps companies overcome two key content marketing challenges: (1) grabbing a prospect’s attention regularly over a period of time versus just now and then, and (2) consistently standing out in a world drowning in content.

Content Experiences in Action

Creating content experiences entails more than creating another piece of branded content, no matter how great it is. There are five key elements in the process of creating content experiences: Deliver a steady stream of content that flows holistically and seamlessly from one piece to another — think in terms of Netflix, with its steady publication of shows and series

  1. Extend the content experience across all devices, platforms and channels — consumers should have ready access to the content no matter where they are
  2. Encourage a long-lasting level of engagement — lasting engagement with meaningful, regular content is the only way to compete in today’s content-saturated world
  3. Leverage relevance, personalization, timeliness, consistency and convenience — without these characteristics, attempts to produce content experiences can easily fail
  4. Provide a holistic experience greater than the sum of its parts — the impact of content marketing will multiply when it’s not just consumed but anticipated

Examples of meaningful content experiences — with multiple pieces of content that build upon each other — include the following:

  • Free certification courses covering specialized areas of expertise — a perfect example is HubSpot’s certification courses on inbound marketing, sales software, social media, frictionless sales and more
    HubSpot Content Experience
  • A library full of short-form business information tools — for example, MailChimp Presents, which features short-form series, films and podcasts for entrepreneurs
    Mailchimp Content Experience
  • Daily motivational email series — an ideal example is the Daily Sales Motivation emails that Close sends, each of which includes a 60-second sales motivation video, a quote and an action item
    Close Content Experience
  • A weekly instructional video series with high-impact information — Moz provides the perfect example with its iconic “Whiteboard Friday” weekly instructional video series covering various aspects of SEO
    Moz Content Experience
  • A B2B podcast series — LeadPages created a podcast that features original stories and marketing lessons to inform and inspire its prospects and customers

Leadpages Content Experience

Content Experience Best Practices

There are five best practices to consider when entering the content experience arena:

1. Support Seamless Content Collaboration

To create content experiences that work requires marketing teams work together, including digital marketing, graphic design, product marketing, user experience and sales. This means they should be taken out of their silos so they can produce content in a collaborative process.

2. Deploy an Intuitive Website

Deploy an intuitive website interface that supports a seamless content experience. In other words, the content should be easy to locate, the interface should look pleasing and the website should leave visitors with a positive impression.

3. Leverage Topic-Cluster SEO

Google’s semantic search engine considers the context of queries versus just the meaning of individual keywords. The topic-cluster SEO model leverages this direction because cluster pages link back to pillar page categories and maximize content experience discovery. Instead of organizing content only by format or date, centralize content by topic or category, then filter according to content format. This will organize content in a way that allows visitors to find the desired pieces of content correlating to their stage in the buyer’s journey.

4. Create Engaging Content

Critical to content experience is producing content that engages prospects. Tactics to support this goal include, great landing pages, calls-to-action at the end of every piece of content, asking prospects questions, inviting them to leave comments, and adding social sharing buttons, pop-ups, sliders and banners.

5. Use Personalization Tactics

In content experience, the key to personalization is creating or curating a dynamic stream of content from an existing content repository. The stream will be based on each individual prospect’s demographics or behavior. Personalization tactics range from recommendation engines and dynamic landing pages.

Leveraging content experience gives organizations an opportunity to compound the impact of their marketing programs. By advancing beyond merely creating disjointed pieces of branded content to creating streams of content for every buyer persona and stage of the buyer’s journey, organizations gain the opportunity to not only attract prospects but also to keep them engaged — and moving with greater speed and clarity toward the ultimate goal of conversion into customers.

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Karen Taylor
The Author

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is a professional content marketing writer with experience writing for over 100 companies and publications. Her experience includes the full range of content marketing projects — from blogs, to white papers, to ebooks. She has a particular knack for creating content that clarifies and strengthens a company’s marketing message, and delivers optimum impact and maximum results. Learn more at KarenTaylorWrites.com.
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