CONEX Chicago was a morning jam-packed with presentations about content experience by speakers including Christina Bottis, Head of Marketing at Coyote Logistics; Kevin Vanes, Vice President of GoToMarket at Sigstr; Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer at Orbit Media; and others.
I’ll be honest, I went into the day just looking forward to hearing Randy Frisch, founder and CMO of Uberflip, talk about his new book F#ck Content Marketing and hanging out with some of our friends from Sigstr, who sponsored and presented at the event. I didn’t expect to learn much because, in my experience, these events tend to have pretty entry-level content.
I ended up getting something totally unexpected from this four-hour gathering: a “no holds barred” reminder of how the f#ck to do my job well.
I hope you’ll excuse my language. See, Randy may have used an “f-bomb” in the title of his book but he opened the day by telling us about how he doesn't just go around swearing. In fact, it’s out of character for him.
He shared a story about when his son learned his first swear word. Randy talked over what the word meant with his son and how he should reserve that word for very special occasions. This is how Randy’s book came to have this title. He felt something drastic needed to be said about the state of content marketing.
After all, as I mentioned above, only 30% of the B2B marketing content created is even being used. That deserves an f-bomb in my opinion. So, what’s a content creator to do?
Well, Randy is quick to remind readers and listeners that he’s not saying content creation is not important -- in fact, it’s vital. Rather, his book is a strong reminder that many of us have been forgetting a crucial piece of the puzzle: how people experience the content we create.
Whether you intentionally create an experience with your content or not, people will have an experience. You need to control it and make the experience work in your favor.
How can you create an intentional and glorious content experience? Here are four things I took away from CONEX Chicago that you can start doing today to improve your content experience.
1. Control the Placement of Your Content
When someone is searching for an answer to a question or looking to solve a problem, they’ll be focused on that kind of content. However, we know humans are easily distracted.
When you control the environment in which people consume your content, you can better control the experience.
For example, if you put your video content somewhere where you can’t control the experience, like YouTube, for instance, your viewers will wind up watching cat videos before you know it.
You need to think of every place where people engage with your content and optimize it for their journey. Prospects will even binge content if you give them the opportunity.
2. Optimize Your Content For Binging
Buyers don’t start to research a potential solution and say, “I’ll spread this out over a few weeks to keep it interesting,” as if we’re watching a season of our favorite show on TV. We barrel through the content like we’re binge-watching a new Netflix original series on a Saturday afternoon.
With a personalized context experience people consume more content per visit. "When people are ready to engage they will binge the content. They're not gonna spread it out over a 7 week period." -@randyfrisch#CONEXpic.twitter.com/D81QyI8C1m
Give people a clear and easy way to continue to consume your content when they’re getting the answers they’re looking for and remove anything that might cause them to get distracted.
3. Don’t Neglect the Email Inbox
The average employee sends 10,000 emails every year. That’s a lot of eyeballs on something that doesn’t have your content in it. Plus, you’re missing out on a chance to create a content experience. The “diamond in plain sight” as Kevin Vanes from Sigstr put it, is putting relevant content in 1:1 emails.
This is part of what Sigstr solves for. You can create a truly unique content experience in 1:1 emails by including relevant content in the email signature.
For instance, if someone is a prospect, maybe the content in the signature directs them to read a case study from one of your current customers. If the person is already a customer, maybe the content they see is a guide to getting the most out of your product or service. The inbox is ripe for innovation and constantly underestimated.
4. Do Original Research to Create Highly Usable Content
One of the best ways to create content that will get used is doing original research. Andy Crestodina walked us through why, despite the extra effort, this is one of the best things businesses can do. He explained how, in this case, 10x the effort yields 100x the results.
His advice? Think about the thing people in your industry constantly talk about but don't support with data and fill in the blank. Find the missing fact and do original research to provide your industry with data to back up their claims.
The content we create has to be visible to other people who create and use content. By doing original research that creates statistics people are already searching for, you’re setting your content up to be found -- and used.