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Where are you in the content marketing multiverse?

28th Oct 2016
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A multiverse is a term in physics used to describe the multitude of universes that exist alongside the one we live in. Marketers have coined the term to describe the new reality of content marketing, where marketing content exists in many different forms and across many different channels.

It is now widely accepted that all your marketing needs to be connected and feel the same across every channel, every message and every device. But attracting and keeping your customers’ attention is not easy. You need to identify the right audience at the right time, make the right offer, using the right content.

Managing that content in all its forms is a huge challenge. There are tools out there that have been built with this challenge in mind, providing marketers with the tools they need to manage their omnichannel output and leverage fresh, new content, such as user generated content (UGC) to increase conversion and customer retention.

Curating, storing and adding relevant content to your campaign makes it simple for marketers to constantly grow their library of content and include the social proof of their brand – with a mixture of customer and branded content.

The traditional customer journey funnel has evolved beyond recognition in recent years, with the path to purchase less predictable and linear than ever. How marketers can make sense of the new customer journey in an age when consumers are engaging with brands across a plethora of touchpoints, devices and channels has become mission critical.

Central to any successful marketing campaign is storytelling and a clear narrative. Brand experience is now more important than ever in helping companies keep some semblance of control. In simple terms, it’s all down to content, because if that doesn’t deliver, all the technology in the world won’t get your customers excited. And more importantly it won’t get them to buy your product.

Above all, your content needs to be relevant. And what’s more relevant than seeing how someone like you looks in that outfit you having been longing for? Or where families just like yours have spent their summer holiday? Your customers want social proof that your product fits, behaves and delivers as your branded messages claim. And with over 77% of consumers saying that UGC versus branded images provides that proof[1], brands need to find a way to deliver on this.

UGC can help resolve the issue of generating new content. Many of the brands we work with have previously been faced with the choice of reusing the same images or limiting communications.  Selling on social media also has clear benefits and when UGC is integrated the results are extremely attractive: 300% increases in click-through rate, 56% lower cost per click and 50% lower cost per acquisition[2]

For brands to be successful, they must find ways to become a part of the conversation and not jump in and interrupt it. Strategy and the right technology are essential to successfully integrate UGC into the customer journey. The very best tools enable marketers to leverage the power and reach of social media platforms like Facebook, and use UGC to connect with different segments of customers along different stages of their journey.

UGC is a powerful way for marketers to build relationships with customers, encouraging them to tell the brand story in their own pictures and words. These stories then become the social proof that encourage their friends and others who look like them to become your customers.

Customers win because who doesn’t like telling their own story, and brands win because who doesn’t like being the story?

Kym Reynolds is a senior marketing expert at SmartFocus. SmartFocus is an innovator in messaging and communications, enabling the world’s largest brands – including Nestlé, Mercedes-Benz and House of Fraser – to understand and connect more closely with today’s connected consumers; whether that be via web, mobile, email or social channels. Through The Message Cloud solution, SmartFocus genuinely listens to and learns from customers using patented algorithms and unique location-based marketing tools. Using The Message Cloud, SmartFocus customers have the rich data, intelligence and the tools for contextually unique engagements, through any

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