This week we’re diving into the next stage of content marketing: context marketing. Now, with access to so much user data and the ability to control where content goes and when, marketers have to think not just about the content their provided but when it shows up. Marketing now has become one-on-one.
Writer Ariella Brown interviews John Stauffer of DEG about taking content marketing to the next, more effective level in this article. She picks up from the idea that “content in king,” and adds that content can’t rule without appropriate context. She notes that personas are still valuable tools and provide valuable guidelines but that we’re moving towards “millions of markets of one.” Brands need to consider individual user analytics in order to target content in the right context to the right people. Key content must be contextually relevant to the person you target, but go beyond the product you offer. For example, a furniture company determined that furniture purchases often accompany life changes. So this company published content such as, “The 10 Must Haves in a Dorm.”
The Takeaway: Content isn’t enough, marketers also must be avid and creative with their analytics to provide to their customers at unique moments beyond the value of the product.
Content Marketing in 2018, 5 Trends You’ll Need to Know, SalesForce Blog
Writer Heike Young lists five trends for 2018, and they all tie in to taking content marketing to context marketing. The trends are: “Content marketing jobs are changing,” “Contextual content experiences — like smart speakers and the IoT — are lifting content off the screen,” “Transparency is becoming just as important as the content itself,” “Marketers are establishing content as the building block of all marketing,” and “The lines between paid, owned, and earned media are converging.” What all these trends have in common is that content marketing can’t just be about, well, content. Customers understand how brands market to them, and so brands must provide them with transparent content in contexts where it is meaningful. We have the data for one-on-one marketing, and that’s where content marketing needs to be.
The Takeaway: The big leap forward this year in marketing is targeting content to specific contexts for the individual consumer.
5 Easy Steps to Understanding Context Marketing, The Reference
Writer George Lavric picks up where the above articles leave off and adds to the discussion a crucial component of context marketing. His final step is “Test and Optimize.” Since context is now so crucial to marketing, A/B testing is necessary in order to know whether your assumptions about how to contextualize your content are correct. Even the best laid plans can go awry, and context marketing is no different.
The Takeaway: Even if you’re doing everything perfectly, you still need to A/B test and optimize because people are fundamentally unpredictable.
A Little Point of View
“Content is King” was revolutionary when Bill Gates said it in the 1990s, and it’s just as relevant now. But as we’ve collectively jumped on board with content marketing, embracing it and honing our skills to offer customers valuable substance they can engage with along their journey with the brand, the stakes have risen. We have much more user data now, we can understand how people interact with our products and channels, not just whether they purchase. This insight along with the prevalence of content marketing means that great content is not enough. We have to also strive to understand the contexts in which our customers engage with our brand and make that context more valuable. To do this, data, A/B testing and optimization will continue to be key.
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