As noted in my previous post, “Why is Content King?” the Internet and the era of digital transformation has increased exponentially the volume of content created and consumed, changing how customers search, buy and communicate today. Viewers watch nearly five million hours of video each day on YouTube, and share 300 hours of video – every minute. In that same minute, more than four million text messages are sent in the US alone (Forrester Research) and The Weather Channel receives 18 million forecast requests. Per minute!
In all that noise, content needs to be relevant to your target audience, or it will simply get lost. What then makes content relevant?
The generally accepted answer is to create high quality content that is engaging, gets high numbers of likes and shares, and convinces people to buy. But research by BuzzSumo finds 50% of all content gets eight social shares or less. While 70% of all marketers plan to create more content than ever this year (Content Marketing Institute), customers are experiencing information overload. The most retweeted person in the world among digital marketers, Jay Baer, states, “Relevancy magically creates time and attention.”
For me, relevancy very simply causes a change in a person’s behavior.
That change can be as subtle as having someone read a blog and think, “I agree with this point of view,” or as visible (and measurable) as the reader sharing the post and commenting on it.
Relevant content elicits a response, because — back to our Human Nature — we desire and thrive on content. And usually, relevance comes in the form of a story. The stronger a piece of content resonates, the more likely an action will be taken.
The other side of the relevancy coin is the requirement for content to also be aligned to marketing and sales initiatives. According to SiriusDecisions, content is “the lifeblood of modern B2B marketing,” responsible for fueling every function of the business, from awareness to retention. When you can demonstrate the value of content in measurable business metrics, your executives will support your efforts all the more.
Gathering data and insights is easier to do with mid- to bottom-of-the-funnel content. Consumption metrics (e.g., page views, duration of views, CTRs, open rates) and engagement KPIs can be tracked to inquiries, leads, conversions and sales.
But hard numbers are not so easy to pull together for top-of-the-funnel content, typically used in the awareness phase of the buyer’s journey or often falling under the category of “thought leadership.”
With brand awareness and thought leadership content, it’s helpful to remember that you are trying to connect and develop new relationships with potential customers. Thought leadership is not necessarily the content itself, but the result of all the compelling content a brand offers.
Relevant content builds trust over time – trust from your customer that is essential for every sale or purchase decision, and trust from your leadership team to continue supporting content marketing as an ongoing strategic business function.
Recommended additional reading: improve your content marketing efforts by avoiding these five common mistakes.
Thank you to Social Tools Summit for the conference video and permissions.