Most brands have realized the best way to conduct content marketing campaigns is to offer readers value. In this way, websites can almost function as free samples: Brands give out nuggets of wisdom, or act as outlets for industry expertise, and audiences are swayed by that information. Hopefully, they will then decide to seek out more of the same through a formal purchase or partnership. When this is the default behavior for most companies, how can other businesses gain an edge?
It seems occasional value won’t be enough much longer. According to Econsultancy’s most recent study, companies are looking toward Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) for the answer. In short, it isn’t just the most useful products, services and content that will yield the greatest ROI. Instead, businesses have to think about what is useful over time.
Start offering CLV in content
If online content is a free sample that demonstrates a brand’s value before a purchase is made, then CLV can be proven by producing and sharing content that offers benefits for longer. One of the best ways to do so is personalization.
The study indicates at least 50 percent of companies believe personalization is the top method for providing CLV. Those in the field also think this is where the market is headed. Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census asked marketers about email personalization. Over three-quarters (78 percent) agreed within five years, all email marketing communication will be personalized.
Start with a content plan
The more people feel blog posts or news articles provide valuable information, the more likely they are to start interacting in whatever forum is most convenient.
Marketo’s Marketing Trend Watch 2014 study offers insight for how online brands can start to personalize their content, whether this means email, social marketing or general content publication. But what kind of metrics can be used to understand how well personalization is being carried out?
One is engagement. Blog comments and social interactions are great indicators that people are responding to content. The more people feel blog posts or news articles provide valuable information, the more likely they are to start interacting in whatever forum is most convenient.
Another important tool is social sharing in general. The more social referrals sites are getting from content shared on networks, the more it resonated with readers. Marketers must regularly check up on their social profiles to see who is frequently sharing their content or adding comments. They can then research those individuals to learn who is most interested in the information they’re publishing and then tailor it to those people and their individual interests.