From triggered content to case studies: content marketing trends
Email marketing blasts are dead. Long live triggered content!
Research conducted by IBM and eConsultancy states that 90% of marketers agree that dispatching personalised and relevant communications to customers is key to commercial
Despite this, just 20% of customers believe that the average brand truly understands them. Much of this is down to a lack of automated or ‘triggered’ content, which can be scheduled and personalised based on the recent actions or geographical location of the customer.
A previous study has shown that 61% of marketers in the US rely on blast emails, sent en masse as part of a pre-planned marketing campaign, rather than automated messages targeted at individuals, which are used by only 5% of marketers.
Triggered content can include almost any type of automated message, from a ‘welcome’ message for a new account holder, to a gentle reminder that an item has been left in their virtual ‘basket’. These are the most popular types of triggered content:
- Welcome messages
- Order confirmations
- Shipping confirmations
- Backorder notifications
- Return/refund requests
- Real-time weather or location-based notifications
To reach out and truly engage with the 80% of customers who feel misunderstood, marketers will need to get the hang of triggered content – and fast! Those that do are likely to see their revenues increase, time spent prepping email campaigns reduced and working practices simplified.
The case for case studies
The ‘B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report’ – based on a sample of 600 B2B marketing professionals – put case studies and testimonials top of the charts in two complimentary categories:
- ‘Most effective marketing tactic’
- ‘Most effective content subject to write about’
This result spells out the value of customer-centric and customer-generated content to B2B marketers. B2B customers don’t want the hard sell. Buyers want you to gain their trust before they commit.
A good case study will support both you and your product. It should tell a story, and be backed up with genuine customer feedback and data. This type of content helps B2B buyers imagine how a product or service might work in real life, and adds an element of social validation to the purchase process that gives them the confidence they need to commit to a purchase.
Case studies and testimonials are also highly versatile resources. So, once you’ve taken the time to collate the data and feedback, you can re-use the finished article in a host of different ways, including:
- Blog posts
- White papers and eBooks
- Site content
- Email promotions
- Social media posts
The effectiveness of case studies and testimonials is far from academic; recruitment community Wikijobs have recently increased their conversion rate by 34% since the adoption of such resources. If that’s still not enough of a case to convince you, check out our guide to case studies and storytelling.
Content marketers are playing the long game
In response to the question “Which goals are the most important for your blog?”, 70% cited engagement, while only 63% chose conversion or action taken in line with the CTA.
*Graph courtesy of Writtent
Both are dynamic customer processes, though immediate action on a CTA is a short-term sales metric, while engagement via social shares and comments is a long-term, trust-building technique.
This correlates with results noted in Content Marketing Institute’s ‘2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends’ report, which found that 82% of enterprise marketers stated engagement as their top content goal.
This trend appears to suggest that marketers are beginning to act on something many of us have known for a while now; in the brave new world of digital marketing, it’s all about playing the long game. This requires building authority and recognition as a leader within your sector before those deals start to close.