From Google’s click-to-message to email marketing turn offs: content marketing trends

What will Google’s click-to-message feature mean for ‘spontaneous’ content?

Google will introduce a new click-to-message function for ads within the next couple of weeks. This move is set to shake things up for content marketers. click-to-message_computer_mouse

Brands will have the opportunity to sign up for a click-to-message extension. This will provide customers with a fast, intuitive and flexible means of finding additional information and confirming purchases.

By selecting the ‘click-to-message’ icon, customers will be redirected to their SMS platform. They will then see a variety of default responses specific to a brand’s product or service.

For instance, if a customer opens this function during the search for a restaurant, they may have the option of “I’d like to make a reservation. Please can you text me back with more info?”.

Google hopes the extension will make customer interactions more convenient and help users to communicate efficiently. This function lets customers start a conversation when it suits, and dip in and out until a decision is made.

All signs suggest the market is ripe for such software. In fact, a recent report from Google found that 65% of consumers would use messaging to get more information on a product or service, make a booking or commit to a purchase.

And, the initial results look good really damn good! Early adopters have seen conversion rates increase by up to 80% for customers who choose the click-to-message option.

But, this service won’t just set up itself. In fact, it poses something of a new challenge for copywriters. We will need to create a style guide and default SMS templates with finely tuned microcopy to keep things on-brand.

This will require a more developed understanding of the consumer, with template content that answers and adapts to the following questions:

  • What is the profile of a person who chooses the SMS function likely to be?
  • What products or services are most likely to be requested via this platform?
  • Why have they chosen to use this platform over more conventional means? Are they in a hurry, wanting to go through the transaction at their own pace, or just reluctant to speak to a salesperson over the phone?

If content marketers can answer these questions they can produce copy for automated SMS responses that’s both engaging and targeted. Done right, click-to-message might just become the most potent new weapon in the content marketing arsenal.

More brands search for content marketing services

Content marketing is becoming ever more popular among brands, according to the latest figures from Agency Spotter.content_marketing_notebook

Having stagnated in 2014/15 (with ‘inbound marketing’ stealing some thunder as it became a marketing sub-category in its own right), 2015/16 has witnessed a resurgent performance from content marketing.

The Agency Spotter report draws together data on the top 25 marketing services requested through this marketing agency aggregator site. Here’s how the strongest sub-categories performed:

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But, not all marketing practices were quite so lucky. Visual media marketing methods such as design strategy, branding and UX, are the undisputed heirs to the digital marketing throne.

several_services_in_free_fall

There’s little chance visual media will continue to be so afflicted in future. But, for now, this research shows the undiminishing value of content marketing as a go-to technique for drumming up conversions.

86% of disgruntled customers blame poor communication

Almost two-thirds of consumers feel undervalued by the brands they subscribe to, leading many to cancel long-term service arrangements.  communication_tins

A report from cloud-based technology providers Wiraya surveyed 500 consumers who have recently switched one of the following services to a competing provider:

  • Banking
  • Utilities
  • Mobile networks
  • Insurance

Of the 62% that don’t feel sufficiently valued, 86% stated that they would’ve been less likely to switch had communications with the brand been better.

47% of respondents felt they didn’t receive relevant information, or it wasn’t sent at the right time. While approximately one-fifth highlighted email communications as a major let down. A severe lack of relevance was the main complaint.

While banks and mobile networks came out better than the traditionally popular and wholly trustworthy insurance and utilities industries, more relevance and personalisation was relevant to all.

This shows how much further content marketers must go to develop the types of email marketing strategy that can keep consumers sweet. Here are some of the ways that content marketers can begin to address these consumer concerns:

  • Segment email marketing campaign lists by using marketing personas and any known personal preferences.
  • Send out regular broadcast emails (such as a newsletter, product or sale promotion) as well as automated, behaviour-based messages.
  • Sub-categorise subscribers whose engagement has dropped off and target them with relevant, valuable content that might persuade them to stay.

If content marketers integrate these methods into their email marketing strategy, then there might not be quite so much love lost with long-standing subscribers.