Recently, I had the pleasure of moderating a webinar (on building engaging websites) with Stefan Tornquist of Econsultancy. We received a lot of questions during the webinar and didn’t have time to answer all of them. So as promised, we’re publishing the questions (and answers) here on our blog. Also, feel free to view the on-demand replay of the entire webinar.
Don't you think that everybody is creating content and the audience is getting saturated of the same content and that we’ll need to invest money in advertising to expand our reach?
This brings a couple of things to mind. First, content marketing often includes paid elements: lists from publishers, dedicated emails, etc. It's still usually more efficient and has greater value than a purely push campaign.
Second, I think many companies want their content to be so "on target" that they end up competing at too broad a level. Writing a paper about top search marketing tips will mean trying to stand out in a very crowded room. But going deeper into topics is still very fertile territory.
Everybody is creating content, true. Analysts like me kept advising brands to think like publishers and that's just what they did. If you're trying to break through on a mainstream topic, it's going to be difficult without an advantage in list size, PR, etc.
The Future of Content Marketing
Publish, measure and optimize content
The other thing to keep in mind is that most content isn't particularly good, usually because it's too self-serving to be useful. I don't see most sectors as full of high quality content, just too full of content in general. The gross leads may drop, but really good content is a way of reaching key prospects.
Can you provide examples of companies or brands who are producing good content and engaging websites?
The content marketing and customer experience from Zappos, Netflix and Apple is inspiring, but it can be more practical to look to small and mid-market companies. Here's a place to start with some recent blog posts that includes some great examples from a variety of businesses:
- Nine examples of interactive web content
- Three great examples of high-performing visual content marketing
- Eight companies with great content marketing strategies
If we wanted to focus on a single customer experience initiative this quarter, what would you recommend?
That's easy. Spend a morning interviewing the people who answer the
customer support phone calls and emails. They'll give you more insight than you can handle. One way to structure those interviews is to focus on the issues that are most likely to get in between the brand and your best customers.
Which group is best served to drive customer experience initiatives: Marketing, Customer Success, other?
Some studies suggest that a stand-alone function correlates with the strongest approach to Customer Experience (CX). That may be a "chicken or egg" phenomenon but there is always something to be said for having a specific, senior executive responsible for a key initiative. But it's really going to come down to the company's internal dynamics. Creating a new department can place emphasis or create resistance. It depends on the conditions and how it's approached.
How do customer experience initiatives get stronger buy-in from the C Suite?
Relate them to making or saving money. Customer satisfaction is an important internal measure, but not one that gets reported to shareholders. If you can link more profitable or longer relationships to CX optimization, everyone will be on board.
Can you share some practical tips in bridging online and offline experiences?
That's a problem that doesn't lend itself to easy answers, but I do think it's useful to think about whether mobile apps can play a role. If you can get a critical mass of people using apps in store or in concert with the offline experience it can provide valid information.
Take a concert promoter. The 10% of people who use the app can give you huge insights into what information attendees want before the event, issues that come up during the event, potential new products and logistical information throughout the cycle.
The other thing to consider is that most of us aren't great at collecting point-of-sale (POS) information and getting it into a database. A clerk asks if they can have your email address and you don't even get the benefit of an emailed receipt. Give people a good reason to share and they will. Otherwise, it's an imposition and they groan at the thought of more marketing.
View the Webinar Slides
Feel free to view Stefan's webinar slides below. In addition,
view the on-demand replay of the entire webinar.
Building Engaging Websites and Digital Experiences from DNN