Industry Insight: How to know if you’re creating the right content

by Jen Bergen |

Content marketing is a widely discussed topic among marketers, at least in part because as its importance continues to increase, many are still left in the dark wondering how they can or should successfully leverage content marketing within their company. A recent article from Marketing Land sheds some additional light on this by highlighting the need for content marketing to be used to tell a story and help shape the overall marketing strategy.

At Rapt Media, we love a good story and we know that if content is both created and leveraged correctly the results can have a tremendous impact. But how do you do this? How can you be sure you're creating the right content? To start, it requires thinking beyond the idea that content marketing is just blog posts and social media. Here are three other tactics to consider when creating your overall content marketing strategy.

Interactivity: Rethinking content

A new generation of innovative content creation technologies are focusing on creating better content experiences where the consumer can explore, navigate and interact, making the content more relevant to their own interests and desires. This flips the focus from personalization through delivery to the content experience itself.

Think of it this way: just because someone sees your brand message in a banner ad on Facebook doesn’t mean they care or that it’s resonating in any meaningful way. A view isn’t the same thing as a connection. There’s no indication that the content was effective nor is there any way to gauge whether a valuable exchange was made between the consumer and the brand.

But when brands deliver a static, one-size-fits-all content experience, surface metrics like clicks and views are the only way content creators can gauge "engagement." It’s an incredibly limited picture, but it doesn't have to be this way. There’s a way to generate a deeper, more insightful layer of learning from brand content.

[bctt tweet="Just because someone sees your brand message in a banner ad on Facebook doesn’t mean they care..."]

Re-thinking how content is created, and focusing on interactive content, gives you the potential to keep your audience feeling engaged by giving them an active role in creating a relevant and captivating experience. It gives marketers the opportunity to partner with their audience to create a more interactive experience. This results in greater engagement return on content and a deeper layer of analytics on the preferences, attitudes and behaviors of your audience.

It also gives them the ability to optimize content, not just through channel strategy but to adjust the content itself to ensure that audiences across all channels are being delivered a more relevant and engaging experience.

Mobile is key

According to research from MillennialMedia, 56 percent of online content is now consumed via smartphones and tablets, while just 44 percent is consumed on desktop computers — and that means mobile should be at the forefront of your content strategy. It’s 2016… if you don't already know this, you should: people are increasingly viewing content on mobile devices.

For marketers, this means it doesn’t matter how great the content you create is if it’s not seamlessly viewable on any device the audience is using. The effort to create a unique and engaging content experience through interaction is all for naught if it doesn't work across devices. It should also maintain functionality and viewability and engage viewers without requiring extra steps like updates or downloading apps for viewing or interacting.

Don’t underestimate the power of video

Today, 60 percent of people prefer watching video over reading text, according to recent research by 17Production. But interactive content is more important here than anywhere else. Delivering the same static, linear video is equally as ineffective is any other type of static content. Interactivity is key and will drive increasing ROI. At Rapt Media, we’ve found that videos that incorporate an element of choice can have three times the viewing times, two times the conversions, and 14 times the click-through-to-purchase rates.

In a recent survey by Brightcove of 500 B2B and B2C marketers who used interactive video, 70 percent indicated that this medium engages well or very well. In fact, driving better engagement was the top reason respondents turned to interactive video in the first place.

With video especially, consumers want a more active role in their online experiences and the best way to do this is to give them more choice and control in the content you give them. We are all exposed to infinite amounts of content daily so it’s more important than ever to cut through the clutter and create meaningful engagement in your video. Let the audience decide what’s relevant and interesting to them, and, in the process, deliver a wealth of data.

Telling the story

People are wired to connect with compelling stories, and storytelling is key for content marketing. According to Marketing Land’s article, “content marketing is your brand telling the story your audience is interested in and in a way that they find useful.” Interactivity will not only ensure that your audience finds the content you’re giving them useful but that that content should also express key narratives consistently across channels.

The power of storytelling done correctly is that it focuses on the audience rather than on a brand or a product. Taking the plunge into interactive content dramatically enhances your ability to tell your story. It allows your audience to move beyond passively viewing content to actively engaging.

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