While the technology support can be a little slow to evolve, content marketing strategies and techniques are taking new shapes to identify the ideal target audience and to guide customers through a shortened sales cycle.
Adaptive content offers an edge to the creation and distribution parts of the process. This content strategy is designed to support meaningful, personalized interactions across all channels. Moreover, it’s not a strategy that is built only around the characteristics, goals, and challenges of buyer personas, but also around the mood of the buyer – Noz Urbina.
We know that personalization is key to reaching the ideal buyer. In fact, 94% of businesses say that it’s critical to their success. Here, we begin to merge a closer union between the buyer persona and sales cycle, in an attempt to reach a target so narrow, that we can understand how it feels.
If you already have a few content marketing campaigns under your belt, you’re probably all too familiar with creating and marketing to buyer personas. With adaptive content, there are a few more variables to consider in the Content Mix Matrix:
|Content Mix Matrix|
In this model, the content catered to the buyer persona is strategically created in the most sensible format, at the most relevant stage of the buying cycle, and distributed through the most appropriate channel.
In the content creation process, you might consider:
- Is it better to start with a general piece of content and to later personalize it to each persona at every stage?
- Should I start with a fleshed out piece of content and then notate which segments will be adapted to fit the next format?
This is the manual part of the equation that requires more in-depth research into, not only the buyer personas’ characteristics, but also, their personal journey and it’s up for you, the marketer, to decide what works best for your audience.
Putting an adaptive content process into place can take a substantial amount of time but the beauty of it is that, when planned properly, adaptive content has the means to be evergreen. We have to remember to apply the R’s and when it comes to content, we do it in a most creative and practical way.
The amount of time spent on content creation can be greatly reduced when you already have a hearty piece to edit and adjust. Slim down the content that you have and focus it on just one phase of the buying cycle. The load will feel a lot lighter.
The content topics you already have are completely reusable when you promote them through a variety of channels. Social media, for instance, can serve as a great outlet for reshares; especially Twitter, where posts tend to be pushed out more regularly.
You can further stretch the reach of your content by repurposing it in various forms. Try going for something more visual by converting a whitepaper into an eye-catching infographic.
Once you have a good grasp on where your buyer personas are in the buying stage and the best channels by which to to reach them, be sure to record and recycle the process. It will always be in motion, so be flexible and make the necessary adjustments as you go along.
Adaptive Content implicates techniques that are too smart and too personalized for any tool to master alone. It is a practice that will take time to put into place, but with a clearly defined strategy and a good grasp of its fundamentals, it has the potential to be one of the most personal and powerful marketing practices yet.
Online marketing practices are always evolving. What are you seeing for the future of content marketing and how will you adapt for what’s to come?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!