Digital Efforts are Worthless Without This

By Tonita Proulx, Business Partnerships

Published: April 13, 2016

“Digital platforms are worthless without content. They’re shiny sacks with bells and whistles, but without content, they’re empty sacks.” – Maureen Dowd

Ah, content. With content marketing and content strategy a mainstay in most marketing departments (at least in theory), you’d think the overall rate of success is high. However, the story has remained the same over the last decade and even to this day. The biggest struggle for marketers is creating content, on a consistent basis, that engages customers at the right time, in the right channel.

There’s a common thread in the content marketing saga: content is still the number one challenge. And for those organizations consistently creating content, less than half are confident in their abilities to create content that engages.

For those who still think content marketing is just the latest buzzword, the former won’t keep them up at night. But for us and for anyone else that sees the true value, content is at the very foundation of any and every digital effort. Content is at the core of a website. It fuels social media engagement. It is what converts digital leads to sales.

The Content Challenge (& What To Do About It)

The challenge of content is clear. Frequency and quality are issues for many. In addition, the emergence of new data, tactics, devices and channels in recent years have many marketers struggling to adapt. Those that have cite the following as the key to success: compelling and personalized content that follows the customer journey.

People these days, don’t simply enjoy a good digital experience – they expect it. And more and more customers choose products and services based on the quality of experience they have with both the product and the company prior to making their final purchase decision.

To ensure a cohesive experience and navigate cross-channel complexity, the most logical solution is a map. A customer journey map helps to lay out the progression of steps a prospect goes through as they consider, purchase, use, and remain loyal to a product or service. So too, then, must content remain tailored to each stage of the purchase process to provide to the prospect and aid in their decision making, while positioning your company as the obvious selection.

If you’re looking to achieve content marketing success (and you should as it is the key to digital), begin first by laying a foundation. A customer journey map helps to inform an ongoing strategy and, once in place, makes it clear where you need to create content, what story that content tells, and how it can ultimately impact business growth.