Content marketing today requires the delivery of personalized content experiences to engage audiences in a meaningful way. It brings a unique and fresh perspective regarding content marketing as a means of attracting prospective customers and nurturing them to the point that they become your actual customers and generate revenue. The content marketing strategy should not just be about hiring content creators and digital marketers but rather shift the focus to hiring a content experience manager and assembling a team. This will render a more holistic approach to the defined and traditional content marketing strategy.
The book F#ck Content Marketing: Focus on Content Experience to Drive Demand, Revenue & Relationships has an attention getting title, but do not let that put any reader off. Author Randy Frisch has a lot of interesting information and ideas to share on content marketing.
Content marketing is about delivering value, though value expectations have changed over time. It has been widely recognized for years that content marketing was not only a huge opportunity but also a necessary requirement in the B2B segment to build trusted brands. Originally, a major part of a business marketing budget went towards content creation, believing that this would generate inbound interest and fuel inbound marketing. Today, content marketing builds brands for business and consumer customers, but content overload has become an issue.
Unfortunately, statistics reveal that 70% content created is never used. It is never delivered to consumers in a way that captures attention and shapes their buyer journey. Content has little relevance to them, in other words. This fact could conceivably be added to the marketing laws in the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.
Spending time and money to create content, and not leverage it, is obviously a waste of resources. It becomes a lost opportunity from the perspective of customer engagement. Content creation is a significant part of content marketing and needs to work in tandem with content distribution, placement and experience. Content needs to be leveraged at all stages of the buyer journey and the entire customer lifecycle. Only then you can call it holistic content marketing that contributes to brand development, with demand being generated for your product and services. In the book Mind Your Business, developing a brand is a critical element of business success when turning a creative hobby or idea into a successful business. Without the right marketing system, a business is unlikely to scale and grow.
The book is divided into three parts. Easy to read, it contains valuable ideas about content marketing. Frisch’s ideas reflect an emerging understanding of the changes needed to attract people to a brand, addressed in the book Experiences which was written in 2015.
The first part is called “Master the Content Experience” with three key elements introduced.
Strategically create the environment wherein your audience will consume your content.
Structure your content in a way to be easily found in that environment.
Compel your audience to engage with you and finally convert into loyal customers.
Netflix, Spotify, Disney, IKEA and Amazon are masters at delivering personalized content experiences. For example, they offer product and services recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases. Of course, it takes exceptional change leadership to adapt to new business strategies, a principle discussed in the book Creating Magic about the Disney organization. One of the important points made is that organization, navigation and curation are the actions that enable potential customers to discover content. Making content by itself does not attract prospects.
The second part of the book is “The Content Experience Framework.” Randy Frisch developed a Content Experience Framework that is a scalable, five-stage approach to creating a successful, personalized experience for your customers at every step of their buyer journey. The concepts of the framework support content marketing strategies designed to generate traffic, leads, demand and sales. You want your content to get people talking about the brand and products because, as the book Contagious points out, social transmission is crucial to success. One of the practical aspects of the framework is that the author designed the framework to create personalized content experiences at scale. A personalized experience is something people will remember and talk about.
The Content Experience Frameworkhas five elements.
Centralize Your Content - Content may be in various forms like blogs, podcasts, videos, email, etc. In addition, different content material will target different prospective customers and existing customers. Index, centralize and control your content. “Own your content” is the message.
Organize Your Content - Scattered content serves no one and has no purpose. SEO, great navigation, internal links, tagging and a continuous audit of your content will drive engagement and increase demand revenue. The user experience is smoother and will yield good profit.
Personalize Experiences - Your campaigns, sales, inbound and account based marketing efforts are all content dependent. Buyer persona, customer pain points, and the different stages of the buyer journey should always be kept in view to personalize content. Your content needs to always answer the specific problems of your buyers.
Distribute Your Content - There are multiple ways to distribute marketing content, including organically, paid ads, email, social media, articles, e-books and direct mail. You should develop a plan of action to distribute targeted content in a way that reaches viewers through the channels they are most likely using. A well mapped out call to action (CTA) will convert leads into customers.
Generate Results - The desired results happen when you optimize your content and support your sales funnel at all the different marketing stages like driving traffic, generating leads, converting, etc.
The third part of the book is “Owning the Content Experience.” This section discusses organizational alignment, roles of the marketing team and commitment to the content experience. The sales representatives need to be on message with the marketing team too which consists of people like a content marketer, demand generation marketer, digital marketer and UX/Graphic designer. As the book The Ultimate Sales Machine talks about, focusing on each business impact area like sales and marketing can accelerate business success. Sales and marketing need to be in tandem because, otherwise, there are mixed messages delivered to possible or current customers.
Marketing and sales are integral to every organization. They help the company stand out and attract customers which is the underlying principle in the book Sticky Branding. This can be challenging when it lacks the support of great content. The Content Experience Framework will make your content easily available to drive end sales and build sustainable customer relationships. All of the content you create can thus be used to fuel your end-to-end marketing, with no waste of content whatsoever. Intentional delivery of content throughout the buyer journey will build fantastic content experiences for your prospects and customers.
Despite the title, the book is not meant to disparage content marketing. Like the author discusses in the book Building a StoryBrand, the ultimate goal is to get a customer to listen to what your company has to say. It is intended to shift the focus of a content experience team to target a changed marketplace where the buyer experience ranks as a top revenue generator. Too many times, content marketers are completing tasks they really are not qualified to complete, so the end results are a waste of resources and sales opportunities. The bottom line message of the author is to focus on content experience instead of content marketing.
Randy Frisch is the CMO and Co-Founder of Uberflip, a content experience platform introduced in 2017. The platform empowers B2B marketers to create personalized content experiences at every stage of the buyer’s journey, focusing on demand generation, content marketing, ABM and sales enablement.
Frisch and his Uberflip Co-Founder, Yoav Schwartz, have led the content experience movement, prompting marketers to think beyond content creation and consider the buying experience. Frisch brings an entrepreneurial and customer-focused background to Uberflip, with leadership experience in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) operations environments.
In 2016, the company received $3 million from SaaS Capital to continue to build out its platform and fuel its rapid growth. Just two years later, Uberflip received another $32 million in funding. Today, the company employs more than 140 persons, with the strategic acquisition of SnapApp in 2019 adding to the count.
Frisch holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing degree from McGill University. His book F#ck Content Marketing is an Amazon best seller. The book was inspired by a blog post with the same name that he wrote on the content experience.
Uberflip’s annual event, Conex: The Content Experience, has grown to become a 750+ person event, with a North American roadshow. Frisch also co-hosts the Conex Show, a weekly podcast featuring top marketers and their strategies and secrets to success.
Randy Frisch was named one of the Top 50 Fearless Marketers in the world by Marketo. His speaking engagements empower marketers with the strategies they need to capture their audiences, prove their worth, and align their vision. You can follow Frisch on linkedIn and Twitter. You can hear Frisch discuss his ideas and framework in videos like the one posted on author hour and hub.uberflip which offers Conex speaker presentations on demand.