Building a Digital Economy | Reboot or Catalyst?
Let’s face it.
Marketing is not as easy as we have thought. It’s becoming more and more difficult to create loyalty. Particularly, when attention is dropping and content is overloading platforms.
Today, if you don’t have a good web strategy, you might end up being a one-season success. Here’s an example of it.
This is a picture of a Cohort Analysis on Google Analytics. You can clearly see that the audience retention is decreasing alarmingly.
This is a pain for any digital marketer.
Generally speaking, there are few reasons why people do not come back. It’s not rocket science. It could be:
Attention: This can be extrapolated to more tech / seo / web / branding reasons.
You have heard and read it several times; acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing ones.
That’s completely true.
As marketers, we know the value of consistency and its impact on our campaigns. Above all, we know its importance in retention.
Sadly, very often organisations are adopting, what I like to call, a “SINE-curve” approach to market or launch campaigns.
In doing so, they are going through several highs and lows.
The initial point is where customers are searching for a service or a product. They basically want to solve a need. On the marketers’ side, they see an opportunity to market a product. So, they invest in creating a marketing campaign.
The more they invest and communicate, the more the Expectations Amplitude increases. Customers move along the funnel and buy/consume the product or services. For marketers, it means money is in.
Above all, it also means that the organisation is meeting its goals and objectives.
Once this is done, investment decreases along with a fall in the Expectations Amplitude. We are now in the Marketing Crust where customers are either looking for alternatives or are frustrated with the brand.
The danger at the Marketing Crust is that your competitors are also investing and it will require a bigger investment the next time you decide to run a campaign.
For marketers, it may mean either one of the following:
The impact is a discontinued and fluctuating interaction with the customers, which to some extent, hinders the retention rate.
This increases the probability of a customer going to your competitor. So, it should be clear: consistency is key to retaining your customers.
But there’s more to it…
Sure, running countless ads might be a solution, but yet again, ads have a lifetime and are assigned a limited budget.
So, how do you go beyond this and develop brand love?
Most importantly, brand love leads to your customers waiting for your next.
So far, you’ve learnt the concepts of “Marketing SINE-Curve” and “Brand Love”. Now, let’s get to the most interesting part.
Your next content could be a blog post, a social media post, or any other type of content you want to publish. What we want to achieve here is to drive your customers in an emotional state where they are hooked to your channels for the next content you’ll publish.
It doesn’t suffice to just take a longform content and break it down into 3 blog posts. Content series works well when the topics are quite complex and it can work out very well in any type of content.
A simple example would be the Harry Potter series or your preferred TV Show on Netflix. These are based on story telling and keep you hooked to the next.
When it comes to marketing, here’s a good of a series that Rand Fishkin, the Founder of Sparktoro, published recently.
However, when you use this approach, your engagement usually drops. That is why you absolutely need differential factors which bring value to each of the content.
It can be an insight or the experience and even a gated content. The aim when using content series is to provide value throughout all the elements.
Again, think of your preferred Netflix shows.
What keeps you going back to them? It might be the storyline, the actors’ performance, the special effects, and even the feeling you get when you watch one episode. This being said, it doesn’t suffice to have good content. You have to be different.
Another interesting part is that content series are usually not surface content.
I’m explaining it further down…
I don’t like surface content.
You know, the type of content topic that everyone published but written in a different way. I am sure you have read quite a few of them. They may look like this:
The main issue with these content is that they don’t necessarily bring actionable value. Chances of “hooking” someone who is genuinely looking for a solution to his/her problem might be very low. The main reason is that you are not answering the core query.
I used to write surface content as well. Here’s an example:
This post neither ranks nor drives traffic. It was not well written and didn’t create “Aha!” moments. I am not particularly proud of it. (It was in the early age of me being a digital marketer).
In fact, there are two important things that surface content shows to your audience:
So, I decided to include more specificity and detailed elements in my content. Here’s an example from my Definitive Guide to Content Marketing:
The Definitive Guide to Content Marketing is among the recent pieces of content I released.
Compared to the previous content, it goes in detail on the whole process of content marketing while allowing my readers to listen to podcasts summarising each section.
And the impact is different.
This page ranks for various search queries including “content marketing mauritius”, “Learn content marketing in Mauritius” and is even in the Top 10 globally for “Guide to Content Marketing”, depending on the days.
The reason why I am sharing these is simply because by providing extensive content, you position yourself as a thought leader within your own niche.
In doing so, you set the difference.
Let’s top this with a greater experience? Read more in the next point.
Content as it stands shouldn’t be just for consumption. It has to be remembered. One thing we often omit, and I am going to relate it to the concept of brand love explained earlier, is to create an emotional state for our audience.
One way to do so is to create a better experience both in the actual content and its presentation. A great example is the famous 66 Ads ran by Apple in their early ages. To put you in context, imagine a strong fight between Mac and Windows for market share.
How did Apple improve the content experience through this video?
Well, the first thing they did is not to tech talk. They avoided putting forward their features but instead personalised their Mac.
An essential part of providing a great content experience is to create this emotional state through relevancy to the targeted audience. For example, in the video, Apple portrayed their product as a young professional while showing Windows as old fashioned and risky devices.
When it comes to creating a better content experience through presentation, I believe Reuben Pillay recently showed exactly how great content quality and experience can work hand in hand.
He literally spent 1.5 years mapping the coastline of Mauritius using his drones. He then created a nice website to present his footage.
So, he put forward his content in a very interactive and user friendly way while maintaining consistent high quality.
Good content quality and experience often leads to your audience waiting for your next. But, not only. They also get you to stand out. In the case of Reuben, he even featured in various press articles including Petapixel and NatGeo.
I mentioned it earlier, but I’d like to do it again.
Good content goes beyond a simple text, picture, or video. It also includes a storyline which takes your audience through a memorable rollercoaster of emotions.
To put it into context, according to an analysis of 10,000 most shared content on the web, Buzzsumo found out that content with positive emotions are most likely to go viral.
So, why does this even matter?
By creating content with emotions, you create a strong cognitive relationship with your audience and hence ensure they remember you.
How does it translate in digital marketing KPIs? According to a research by Frac.tl, images portraying a happy tone tend to go viral more.
Sure, there are different ways to get your audience to eagerly wait for your next content.
While Ads can help, they have a limited timestamp and budget value. Focusing on creating better content with great user experience ensures that your audience have a memorable journey with you. Emotions, less of surface content, and content series are only a few strategies to apply consistently in your marketing campaign to enhance your retention rates, and get your cohort analysis figures go up.
Building a Digital Economy | Reboot or Catalyst?
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