Remember when brands didn’t think of content beyond marketing and sales? Cut to the present times, branding isn’t merely about selling your products and services. It has become more about the experience. Imagine this, you’ve ordered food at a restaurant. The dishes arrive, one on a fancy plate with extra garnishing and the other served in an ordinary bowl without any beautification. What would you be tempted to try first? Obviously, the one which is plated properly. Why though? The presentation! You’re willing to taste it only if the experience seems worthwhile. The same principle applies to content. In an increasingly saturated market, grabbing the audience's attention through your content is critical. The solution? Make it a lasting experience.
Before we move ahead, let’s look at what content experience exactly is. It is essentially about creating, structuring, and leveraging your content in the best possible way. A content experience should appeal to the audience and tickle every sense in human anatomy, or at least as many as possible. The way your content makes the audience feel, engage, and react defines the experience of your brand. The more enriching the experience, the more they’re inclined towards your brand.
But then, how is it different from content marketing? Content marketing involves a strategy for creating, disseminating, and promoting content. It is used to guide an inquisitive reader with more information, an onlooker find interesting products/services, and the buyer in the sales journey. On the other hand, content experience is all about making the content presentable with the aim of leaving behind a lasting impression in the minds of the audience so that they keep coming back to the brand. As the average attention span of an individual hits rock bottom, it is the content experience that audiences will look forward to.
In the coming years, brands are likely to focus on content experience to propel their business. Creating a content experience has become significant for brands mainly to:
Make their content distinguishable
Give it a human appeal
Achieve other brand goals
However, creating a memorable content experience is not an easy task. Before putting this approach into practice, brands need to make a note of the following:
1. What is their content goal?
2. What is their audience trying to accomplish?
3. How are they mapping out their content?
4. How are they planning to get desired results through their content?
Answering these questions leads brands to frame a sound strategy that they can use to create a content experience. Here are a few tips for brands to deliver an incredible content experience:
Optimise the content
A major chunk of the branded content out there is not optimised for every platform. The Arm Treasure Data and Forbes Insight study reveals that 74% of consumers are likely to make a purchase based on their customer experience alone. So no matter the device, the user experience offered is often the dealbreaker. Brands can leverage the native content experience available on each platform to boost their engagement. The content should also be tailored to suit devices across the spectrum for a better user experience. Disney recognised this need to create mobile-first content for its quarterly magazine publication, Disney Files. The brand switched to a responsive design with a digital PDF, exclusively available to Disney Vacation Club members. The digital publication could be manoeu/vred seamlessly on different devices, which enhanced the viewing experience and made it engaging for the readers.
Identify micro-moments to create value
Users go on the internet to find information about products and services right at their moment of curiosity. This is evident in the fact that there is a 150% growth in mobile searches for the phrase ‘....near me’ on Google. However, customers are left hanging with no real-time content experience when they go about searching online. As a brand, it is important to trace these micro-moments and assist the buying journey of potential customers with content that adds value to their searches. Learning about such micro-moments where consumers expect immediate and relevant solutions without any conscious thought can lead to a rise in conversion. FIAT made use of these micro-moments to trigger ads about FIAT 500. It took notice of the users’ micro-moments of interest based on searches like ‘small car’ and ‘city car’ to reach potential customers. The brand successfully got hold of 127% unaided recall and revitalised its sales in America.
Build credibility for your brand
A study indicated that 67% of consumers said they need to be able to trust a company before buying its products. A brand with a distinct voice, personality, and identity in its content humanises the brand, connects with the audience, and builds credibility for them to trust. The lack of a clear and purposeful brand image might lead to a drop in customer retention. Hence, it is recommended to have a consistent brand voice to make your content experiential across communications. The popular audio streaming platform Spotify has maintained a witty and sarcastic brand voice that the youth can relate to and identify with instantly. Now that you recognised the brand as Spotify, you trust its communication.
Offering an exceptional content experience can go a long way in creating an identity for brands going forward. If incorporated correctly, it will make your content stand out and help turn strangers into loyal customers. Remember, the deeper your brand dives into the ocean of content experience, the better results you’ll reap. So go all out!