Building a Content Experience Framework to Drive Engagement and Revenue
Why is that we love using Netflix and Spotify to enjoy our favorite TV shows, movies, and music? What have these companies figured out that sets them apart? It’s simple. Netflix and Spotify understand that content alone is not enough. Having an exceptional content experience is what keeps us excitedly coming back for more.
More and more organizations are realizing this. They have oceans of content but nobody is coming to swim. Rather than giving up, you can use that content to create an experience that engages the audience at every step of the buyer’s journey.
It takes work up front, but the process isn’t painful. In fact, with the right approach, you’ll find that creating and scaling personalized experiences for your audience is fun!
The approach you need is the content experience framework. Let's explore the five steps of this framework so you’re prepared to focus your efforts, align your team, and deliver truly meaningful content experiences to your audience.
Step 1: Centralize Content
One of the most common objections I hear from organizations is that they don’t have enough content to create a content experience. I’m not buying it.
The truth is they have enough content, they’ve just never taken stock of what they have. They have content all over the web — on their blog, their social channels, hosted on other platforms, but also on zip drives, in folders, and saved locally.
It’s a fragmented mess that helps explain why upwards of 70% of content in B2B companies sits unused. As marketers, we simply can’t keep track of it all.
Centralizing allows you to bring all of your content — videos, ebooks, podcasts, blog articles, webinars, infographics, and social posts — into one location, and the biggest advantage of centralizing is saving time and effort.
We know it takes seven or more assets to get someone through the buyer journey. So instead of endlessly churning out more content to reach those seven touchpoints, centralizing it allows you to put the content you already have to work.
Step 2: Organize Content
Now that all your content lives in one place, your next step is to organize it. While this may seem daunting, remember that billion-dollar companies like Netflix and Spotify take time for this step. It’s easy to get started — just ask yourself questions like these:
- What are your topics?
- Who are your personas?
- Will you organize your content by stage of the funnel?
- What kind of content do you have?
As you audit your content, tag it by topic, persona, stage of the funnel, content type, and any other relevant tags. Organizing your content like this makes it easy to find and share, plus helps you identify any gaps that need to be filled with new content.
Prioritize discoverability as you think about sharing this newly organized content on your various platforms. Most people don’t search for content by what’s newest; they search by persona or job title, by topic, by industry, and by vertical. So when you’re thinking about your top navigation, lay it out according to how people actually search.
On the back end, a simple spreadsheet is all you need to categorize your content for easy discoverability. Be sure to make the tagging of content part of your process moving forward — that will be critical when you start to scale your efforts.
Step 3: Personalize Experiences
This step focuses on taking content and beginning to create collections and design experiences around it. We’re talking about a resource center, a destination for your email nurture campaigns, an ABM campaign, or a knowledge base for customers with touches like personalized messaging, custom images, and company branding.
With personalization, the devil is in the details. Personalizing the experience will impact how customers move through the buyer journey, and most importantly, how they view your brand. By creating a better experience around your content, your prospects and customers are more likely to engage and convert.
Step 4: Distribute Content
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork with the first three steps, you’re ready to distribute your content across channels. Each experience you created will have a unique URL that you will drive people through your various distribution tactics, whether it’s email, organic, social, paid advertising, direct mail, or something else.
The buyer journey should be front and center in your mind here. The goal is to map experiences to each stage of that journey and distribute across the channels that best complement them. For example, if you’re taking an ABM approach with a buyer at the awareness stage, a mix of paid ads and direct mail might work best.
As you distribute, prioritize conversation between your content team and the demand generation team to ensure customers receive the best possible experiences.
Step 5: Generate Results
All the other steps have led to this: How do you know if your content efforts worked? After all, this effort is about having a great brand AND driving business results.
The finishing touches will help you get the results you want. Things like contextualizing your calls-to-action to the appropriate moment in the buyer journey will help you capture the lead. From there, you can score leads based on engagement and track the performance of your various content pieces. Constantly be asking yourself:
What content is contributing to the bottom line? What could be improved?
A mindset of improvement leads to stronger content experiences that better map to your buyer journey and help you achieve the ultimate goal of generating more revenue.
The Final Word on the Content Experience
Just remember, if your organization does commit to the Content Experience Framework, make sure you do it right. Follow through with every step of the framework. Audit your own work constantly—and know that there’s always room for improvement.
The biggest goal for an organization is growth. The content experience is your secret weapon for driving demand, revenue, and relationships.