Customer-Driven Content’s Role in the Digital Transformation of the Customer Experience
Talking about yourself doesn’t cut it for companies anymore. Modern marketing must focus on the customer first.
Customer-driven content favors meeting customers’ goals over making sales pitches and solving customers’ problems over touting company accolades.
That content strategy is the catalyst behind 1) driving digital transformation, 2) delivering a better customer experience, and 3) building authentic customer trust.
1. Driving digital transformation
The pandemic accelerated an already growing imperative for businesses to embrace digital transformation or use technology to improve business operations.
Statista data shows there will be 4.88 billion online buyers by 2025. They’re all using an array of digital channels—-from social media and search engines to smartphones and smart TVs—to research, shop, buy, request support, and make returns. More channels and new innovations on the digital experience are arriving all the time. And they all require content.
Successful companies are taking this disruption as an opportunity to expand the number of digital channels where they can engage with customers. They are using those conversations to better understand customer needs and adapt their content to better serve those customers.
A modern, customer-driven content strategy must deliver content on the channels that make sense for their audience and in a style and tone that make sense for their context. Companies committed to digital transformation can now create content that is more interactive and engaging for customers.
For example, an on-the-go parent scrolling on their phone in between practices is likely more interested in short, direct messaging, while a company executive making Zoom calls from their desktop may prefer deeper reads and think pieces. Meanwhile, a Gen Zer might learn about your product from a TikTok influencer, find a review on YouTube, visit your Twitter to get a sense of your brand, and make a purchase from another site entirely.
The information your customer wants, and the format that best suits their needs, is constantly changing. That means companies must have the tools to create a high volume of content for different situations and the ability to change that content on the fly when the situation changes.
2. Delivering a better customer experience
As customer experience increasingly becomes a digital experience, companies must reconsider how customer journeys are changing and build new digital solutions to meet those needs.
Customer-driven content fosters digital conversations that lead to better data about your customers, making it easier to deliver a personal experience. A McKinsey report shows that 71 percent of people expect that level of interaction, and even more get frustrated when they don’t receive it. That means more content to serve increasingly micro-targeted customer segments.
That content must also be focused on talking to customers, not talking at them. Customer-driven content focuses on promotion through education, not selling.
By helping customers understand the market, the product, or the challenges they face, you instill the confidence they need to address their problems with the best solutions. By focusing on your customers, not your products, you gain trust and, hopefully, a loyal customer.
“We’re not just selling products when someone might not be ready,” said Hayley Nelson, VP of Content Marketing at Salesforce. “We’re really trying to develop a relationship where we nurture you along.”
3. Building authentic customer trust
Brands use content as a digital persona to interact with customers and communicate value. Boiled down, content is how businesses build trust.
Companies develop their trustworthiness by dialing in the basics like ensuring a consistent look and feel across the entire customer journey and developing a recognizable, uniform brand voice for their content. It’s also important to regularly publish new content. Showing up for your customers consistently demonstrates you are customer-centric.
However, today’s customers expect a deeper relationship with the brands they engage with, and, like any relationship, that means they expect brand values to align with theirs. Fifty-one percent of Gen Y and Z want brands to actively pursue a larger purpose or social mission, according to an Accenture report.
Authenticity is important to 86 percent of customers, according to a Stackla survey of 2,000 consumers. Despite that, 57 percent of those surveyed think fewer than half of brands are meeting the mark.
Companies that engage their customers to better understand their values can feed that back into their customer-driven content strategy. By ensuring customers are driving the conversation, companies deliver an authentic message.
So, whether your content tracks donations from charity events, highlights leaders of relevant social movements, or spotlights customers making the world a better place, make sure the stories you tell are developed on the strength of customer feedback for a genuine connection.
“A story we write on our blog can offer value, and that’s an authentic way to… foster two-way communication,” Nelson said. “When I think about the types of content we put out into the world… our thought leadership or our innovation, or maybe it’s around our brand values and the way we show up in the world as a company, we want to inspire you to engage with us.”
Use your content to foster a community around your brand through blogs, forums, and social media campaigns. The Salesforce Trailblazer community is an excellent example of this idea in action. The company created a page where Salesforce users could mentor each other, learn new tricks, and connect outside of their organizations.
Customer-driven content demands agile content management
Digital customers require more from the brands they interact with, and they have more options available to them if a company lets them down and loses their trust.
This means companies must create more content tailored to “audiences of one” across an expanding landscape of digital channels. That content can’t be static because customers’ needs and expectations are changing fast.
A modern, agile content management system (CMS) like WordPress VIP, for example, gives marketers the freedom to create and publish new content quickly, across channels, and puts the tools in developers’ hands to innovate fresh ways to deliver that content to audiences. For a personalized demo of the platform, contact us.