Architecting Desire: A New Strategy For Content Marketing
For its 10th anniversary, the Content Marketing World 2020 – Conference and Expo kicked off on Tuesday, 13 October in its most unconventional format yet – it went digital. Although opening keynote speaker and content marketing pundit – Robert Rose – joked that that had been the plan all along. By taking this year’s event onto a virtual platform, the CMW 2020 opened itself up to a more global audience that could benefit from its line-up of expert speakers while enabling participants to connect with peers from around the world safely.
In his keynote – Architecting Desire: A New Strategy For Content Marketing For The Next Ten Years – Rose touched upon the fact that content marketing, as a practice, has constantly been evolving over the last 10 years. And 2020 managed to accelerate these changes manifold. He explained that content marketing has evolved to construct desire.
Despite things changing tremendously around us, Rose pointed out that the one thing in content marketing that has stayed the same is “purpose”. Throughout it all, the aim has been to:
– Reach audiences
– Move audiences
– Build audiences
He explained that marketers need to reach an audience wherever they are, as frequently as possible and move them to think differently about the product or service being offered. He highlighted three ideas of disruption that could nudge along this new culture:
- Consumer time-shifting – With consumer behavior shifting in relation to their media consumption habits, there is less patience for interruptive content. It isn’t enough to just grab attention, but brands need to hold and engage with audiences to build meaningful relationships.
- Decommodification of physical space – As we dig deeper into the digital world, physical space is becoming a premium. And the presence of physical space may not be as freely available as before. Using the digital experience to act as a proxy for those relationships will be essential.
- Decline of trust and truth – The idea of privacy is more pronounced than ever, as is the dwindling confidence in the media. B2B and B2C ventures have to develop trust with their content. Data acquisition must be carried on in a way that customers trust brands to give them data willingly, to improve customer experiences.
But Rose highlighted that as we head deeper into the digital world, customer satisfaction alone cannot be a parameter of success. Creating quality content that the audience can see but not engage with or share would also fall short of its aim. What brands need to do, he explained, is convert customers into apostles, who in turn would create more fans and ultimate increase meaningful visibility for the brand. Developing a connected experience where each experience creates desire and simultaneously enables the growth of more desire is essential.
It is equally important for organizations to look inwards, as happy employees make it possible to create apostles. Building a company muscle is what brands need to make this possible.
On the business value of a customer journey
Rose explained that a customer has behavioral value and contributional value. Through marketing campaigns, leadership programs and sales calls, brands can largely create two assets. The first is a customer or individual who reaches the brand through regular marketing initiatives; the other is the audience asset who brands can serve and monetize. Of course, there can also be an overlap between the two assets, as people coming from different channels will have varying values.
The opportunities to monetize this audience, he added, are numerous. Some may recommend a brand to others and drive value without the need for sales calls. Others may evangelize a product or service without buying it even once.
Whatever the purpose, to survive in today’s flourishing world of content marketing, brands need to create an additional desire to build fans. Deliver it once and keep creating it again and again. A steady audience will help expand the trust of your brand to others, eventually turning audiences into customers.