Win with Killer Content—What It Means for Customer Engagement
Over the past two days I had the good fortune to attend the Content2Conversion conference hosted by Content4Demand. On Tuesday night, LivePerson was honored with a Killer Content award for Best Influencer Campaign for our ebook and blog series, The Future of Digital Engagement: 10 Thought Leaders Share Predictions for 2014. We were recognized in this specific category because we achieved high impact exposure through co-created influencer content that successfully addressed multiple problems our customers experience. We are thrilled and honored to be recognized for our continued innovations in content marketing.
As with every conference, I walk away with new information to share with my team—feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of work that lies ahead, but feeling refreshed with new ideas to explore.
I wanted to take a few moments and share with you three key messages and themes that transcended from speaker to speaker at the event. As I reflect back on why these resonated with me the most, I really think it’s because they are not only relevant to the challenges and opportunities for content marketers, but they extend to businesses as a whole, and specifically to those businesses working to improve customer engagement.
1. It’s all about the buyer.
Brent Adamson, managing director of advisory services at CEB, presented a keynote on his co-authored book, The Challenger Sale. One of Adamson’s main talking points was about “the big blue arrow,” which indicates that 57% of the decision making process is done before a customer contacts a B2B business to buy. This is a huge challenge for marketers as we try to stand out from the crowd before a contact ever has a conversation with our team.
This stage of the journey is also an opportunity for customer engagement. If customers are 57% of the way through the buying process before they ever contact you, what are you doing to engage them during that process? Are you even present when and where they are doing their research? Do you use tactics, such as keyword targeting, to understand and engage in your customer’s actions—before they get to your website?
2. Create a better experience for your customers.
As a demand gen marketer, one of my main responsibilities is to create campaigns that encourage you to interact with LivePerson. To do this, I attempt to engage you with a series of relevant emails that direct you to some of our most interesting content. In the words of conference presenter Cari Baldwin from Bluebird Strategies, I am trying to “inspire the buyer to act,” by creating a better experience for you.
How does your brand focus on creating a better experience for your potential customers? Savvy digital marketers go beyond just making an experience better, they aspire to delight their platinum customers at every opportunity. Using insights gained from analyzing shopper behavior to customize the online experience is a one way to create a better experience. Providing easy access to brand agents via live chat software at critical points in the shopping journey is another, especially at check-out when it matters most.
Keep this in mind: based on consumer research, ease of browsing was mentioned as the top reason customers choose a brand’s website, while lack of information and unexpected delivery costs were at the top of the list of reasons why customers abandon a site. Customers want an intuitive, easy online experience that clearly outlines the information they need to solidify their buying decision.
3. Humanize your brand.
One of the hardest things to master when creating content is to convey to your audience the human element of your company—or what I would call the brand voice. Andrew Gaffney, Content Director, DemandGen Report, shared in his opening remarks that to be a great content marketer, you need to be a great storyteller. Ted Smyth, EVP Corporate Affairs, McGraw Hill Financial, gave us this one piece of advice: “Tell stories. Tell the story you want to tell, and not the story you think you should tell. Pull in your personal experiences.” In other words: be engaging, and be human.
I think one of the hardest things to master in customer engagement shares the same sentiment. How do we humanize the customer experience? Do you have the intelligence to know how and when to connect with your customers in need? Offering collaboration tools such as video or proactive chat can help provide this type of humanization to your brand.
The above three lessons were fantastic takeaways for me as an ever-learning content marketer. I believe they also serve well as universal messages for all businesses looking to create human connections that lead to brand loyalty. With this in mind, I hope to create our next winning piece of Killer Content—look for us at next year’s awards!
Check out the award-winning content, and keep pace with some of the brightest in the industry as they talk about the latest in digital engagement.