If you’re a marketer who feels like the amount of digital content that you have to produce and push out to myriad channels is like a rising tide that’s about to cause a flood, then you’re not alone, according to a global survey conducted by Accenture Interactive.
In fact, 92 per cent of marketers said there’s a higher volume of digital content today than there was two years ago, and 83 per cent expect it will increase over the next two years as well. About one in six marketers went so far as to say that their organizations were creating “enormous volumes of digital content and assets.” The data is fully fleshed out in Accenture’s full report, Content: The H2O of Marketing. The survey was conducted online, among 1,078 leaders of marketing, digital, media, and communications departments in 14 different countries, including Canada.
The message that Accenture is giving with its report is that digital content is just as important to a company’s brand today as water is to sustain human life, says Jags Sahota, digital strategy lead at Accenture Canada.
“If you look at how consumers are engaging with brands, how that’s changed with mobile and social, it’s pressuring brands to adapt to that change,” he says. “Brands have to make sure they’re engaging with their customers on those channels and devices.”
In that attempt to adapt, marketers are adding digital channels to their current regime of traditional channels for content production, Sahota says. The trend is to simply create more content for these digital channels, rather than take a more targeted approach and bringing it to an audience at the right time.
So it’s no surprise that half of marketers say they have more content than they can effectively manage already. Challenges barring marketers from doing so include a lack of access to skilled talent (cited by 30 per cent), inadequate technology (24 per cent), and a lacklustre process (12 per cent).
Hiring the right people, having the software they’ll need to manage digital content, and then creating a transparent process that’s backed by senior executives and tied to clear business objectives are all important pieces of the puzzle, Sahota says. Most crucial of all to being effective is measuring the impact of your content, so you have that data as feedback that can be improved upon.
Accenture advocates for marketers to measure the impact of their content on customer lifetime value, but finds that only 16 per cent are currently doing so.
“If this strategy isn’t informed by this analysis, it’s not intelligent,” Sahota says.
There are two approaches to follow for marketers interested to measure content’s value. One is attribution modelling, which pegs a customer at their position along the conversion funnel as they go from discovery, to consideration, to purchase and beyond. Then you assign content to target people at a different phase in that funnel. Another approach attempts to track every time a customer engages with your brand’s content and then tracks the customer’s journey through the sales funnel with the help of software.
Setting up such a capability is no small task, Sahota acknowledges. But it’s one that could help cut down on producing so much content.
“It starts with understanding your customer,” he says. “A brand has to understand what its customers wants… what their desires are, what their needs are, and once they understand that, they can create more effective content.”