In a backdrop of rising virtual consumer and brand interactions, digital content marketing (DCM) which nurtures consumers’ brand engagement and expectations, is on the upsurge.
DCM is a crucial relationship marketing tool where the marketer is tasked with identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably via specific, relevant and impactful digital content. DCM has been shown to benefit the expansion of consumer engagement and attachment to brands, thereby contributing to firm performance.
DCM includes marketing metrics, social media, email strategy, user experience, online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. Correspondingly, global DCM revenue, which has risen from
$28 billion in 2017 to $32.1 billion in 2018, is forecast to grow further to $34 billion by this year.
To optimize implementing DCM effectively, practitioners require an adaptive mindset, an inclination to engage in continuous learning, and the ability to visualize and implement exceptional, value-creating DCM within broader marketing context.
Whether wanting assistance making a consumption choice, looking for answers that help them save time, or just wanting a superior deal, contemporary consumers expect personalized experiences delivering significant value.
While customer intelligence and omnichannel delivery are important factors in the equation of a personalized experience, the solution falls apart without convincing, relevant and specific content linking each customer’s needs and preferences.
Thus, DCM analytics is growing in significance, and can be gathered using automated software that increases DCM quality, flexibility, effectiveness and insight, thereby contributing to consumer and firm-based brand equity development. Also, user-generated content requires careful monitoring and an effective response from the DCM manager. Thus, DCM goals need to be audience-focused, where the emphasis should be on the awareness (capture customers’ attention), conversions (drive customers’ actions) and advocacy (earn customers’ trust and testimonials).
However, marketers need to develop content at the pace and scale to present in multiple digital media (paid, owned and earned). This has plunged them into a crisis, requiring marketers to create valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience.
This is now the biggest bottleneck to making personalization strategies, which has a longterm objective of driving profitable customer action.
Marketers need three things to do personalization right:
1. Choose appropriate channels
2. Gather relevant customer insight
3. Create funny, useful and beautiful content.
All three are needed, but you cannot have personalization without knowing what will make your target customers laugh, cry, feel, find informative and interesting, and find value in your content.
Marketers today are facing a content crisis which can be remedied by determining your brand’s voice. Content has more volume when it is fine-tuned with your business and resonates with your target markets.
Digital content, particularly social media, should create an emotional bond with your audience. However, marketers facing this content-crisis issue can overcome by developing goals and plans that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound to unlock your personalization budding with content and audience.
The DCM strategy for sharing content aligns with the values of your organization. Create content relevant to your industry and highlight your brand’s purpose. It is about your target markets, not your brand. Make your stories about your targets and ask yourself, why would target markets engage or share your content? DCM is an innovative way of helping your audience find a solution to their quest for answers in their customers’ journey.
Dr. Mohammad Rahman is an associate professor of marketing at the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University. He can be reached at MMRahman@ship.edu.