Dave Chaffey on Aligning Content with Customer Journey, Personalisation and Measuring Content Marketing

This outtake focused on content marketing trends 2022 is taken from a live webinar earlier in 2022 recorded exclusively with Dave Chaffey, the UK’s leading digital marketing expert and tutor on MMC Learning’s MSc in Digital Marketing.

In this video Dave talks about aligning content with customer journey, personalisation and measuring content marketing.

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Dave Chaffey:

So let’s look more now at the content itself and how we can structure that. It’s nice to see people sharing ideas in the chat of platforms as well, so good way of sort of sparking those ideas.

Aligning Content with Customer Journey

So really when we are looking at our content strategy, what we need to do is to make sure it’s aligned with the customer journey and the customer needs, as they learn more, become more familiar with the brand. And that’s where this idea of top, middle and bottom of funnel content can be helpful to just review what you’re offering against competitors.

So often in a workshop, what I’ll do is we’ll have a… Back in the day of whiteboards, we’d say. “Let’s put on here all the content we are currently using.”

And so the top of funnel content is on the left here, so that’s to develop awareness and reach.

Then on the right, you’ve got the bottom of funnel content, which is to persuade people to buy, alongside any sales interaction.

And then in the middle here, we’ve got the middle of funnel content. So what you can also do here is you can see the extent you or competitors are using, more emotional content, such as video and quizzes at the top, against more rational content, such as your PDFs and guides at the bottom.
So if you haven’t done this, really nice group activity within a business. And of course, you can look at what competitors are doing and overlay that as well.

Another tool you might want to do, if you’re just presenting this as part of your content strategy, is to just list your use of different types of content through the funnel.

So this is more of a B2B example, could be B2C. But to what extent I use in case studies video testimonials, like we’ve just seen, are using some of these more interactive tools to encourage conversion.

A nice consumer example of this travel company again, rather than getting someone just to download a brochure, they’re getting someone to take a quiz. It’s a very visual quiz where they’re really understanding about the audience and then they’re making recommendations on the type of courses, in this case, which would be good.

So they are following up with a download once someone’s finished the quiz. That’s I2I if you want to Google that, take a look at the approach that they’ve used.

And I did work with this company a long time ago and they did find… They’re still using this technique, and it does work better than someone who engages with this and more likely to convert than someone who engages with the brochure.

Content Creation and Distribution

So, I thought you’d be interested to see what’s working. I think with the pandemic and so many of us working from home, its perhaps no surprise that virtual events, top of the pops here, but actually some of the classic research reports, eBooks, white papers are still strong. Video certainly isn’t top, although many people are making that work for them. Podcasts, less effective in this sector.

And then the CMI, they’ve got a particular report on visual storytelling as well. And the ones that have the best approach is there are the sort of how-to videos and less so, the customer videos, in this case.

Personalised Video

Now another technology that I was aware of, this is from a brand, Precisely, a MarTech brand. We were working with Smart Insights, and this allows you to actually deliver personalised video for an individual person. So it’s used a lot in financial services and, in particular, in insurance, but other sectors as well. So quite sophisticated, the way that interacts, integrates with the email and the website together. They’ve got some good results from that.

So we’re going to take a final poll at this point.

So I’m just interested, I think I’ve got this dilemma with Smart Insights, how effective videos are. In the first five years of Smart Insights, we found they were less effective than static content.

We tried a few different formats of video as well. Maybe it’s something we should return to. So yeah, how do you rate video? I’m sure we’ll see quite a mix in this one. Yeah, so we’re not seeing so many advocates, so I think most of the people are, it’s part of the mix. You need it, but you need the other supporting content as well. It’s part of integrated marketing communications today. So yeah, thanks for the votes there. So it’s pretty much two thirds of you have said, “It’s part of the mix.” And just 10, 15% have said, “It’s the polls. It’s vital or overrated.” So it depends.
In terms of giving you a practical tool to think about how video content, but also static content, can support the buyer journey. I think this is a nice way of doing this.

This technique for discovery was originally shared by Bunnyfoot, who are a usability agency, I think based in Oxford. They actually used this when Wi-Fi was first developed, that’s how long I’ve been involved in this. They had an example of how BT were using it to explain their Wi-Fi proposition.

But what you can do, you can look at the customer, all the audience questions at the top, and then compare that to the content that you are providing at the bottom. So you can identify some gaps there. So it works both B2B and B2C.

Practical Steps to Implementing more Personalisation in your Marketing

Now, I’ve talked a lot about personalization and AI and these more advanced approaches. For those of you probably don’t have the budget to experiment or the time, just to say that there are some practical steps you can take by creating these segmented customer journeys.

And that’s what we’ve done on Smart Insights are three main personas, people who wanting to use our service to learn more about digital marketing, marketing strategy.

We’ve identified, through research, these three main pathways. So through having on our homepage this simple link, we can provide more dedicated content for each interest.

And of course, we can learn, see how the split occurs. It’s actually a 40, 40, 20 split that we found for our approach. If you’re studying, want to learn more about how you prioritise the content to make the most important content stand out, often called Top Tasks. So there’s a download there that you could follow.

Measuring Content Marketing Performance

We talk about more in the latest edition of the book and really finding the right design patterns to get people on the right journeys. That’s what’s so important, I think.

We’re moving now from sort of simple AB testing, where we are trying, what’s often called reductive testing, where we’ll swap in and out different panels on the website and see how effective they are.

So if we remove what our customers have to say or if we remove the examples of customers we’re working with, what impact does that have on conversion? That’s one way we can measure how effective our content is. Okay, let me just check on the time. We need to allow a bit of time for questions. So I think I’m going to go through this section relatively quickly.

It’s quite a short section saying, it’s good to be data driven, of course. We can use that way of structuring our content strategy and this is account based marketing, look at what measures are needed to support each stage of the life cycle.

Often, good to simplify that. That’s what we do with our RACE framework. And what I’d recommend is saying, for all the hundreds of reports in Google Analytics, just pick one or two measures, which assess both not only the volume, which many dashboards are limited to volume, but also the quality and value of the content as well.

Measures, such as revenue per visit, are a really good way of doing that or page value. So really you are looking at all the content together. And then, finding which of your best performing content, which is converting and is getting a high level of interaction. And then, try and work on this high potential content to convert better.

So you don’t need sophisticated technology for this. You can do it in classic analytics. You can look at page value and compare how the different content is supporting conversion. So something, a piece of content that is say, over $1.00, in this example, is much more effective than something that’s just 13 cents.

So there’s some problem with that content potentially. You can do this on a category level as well, so you can see the content is working much better in this case.

What do you think?

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