It's been decades since Bill Gates said, "content is king". That was all the way back in 1996, around the dawn of the World Wide Web. An age ago: things have changed a lot since then. We've changed.
As the lines blur between the real and digital worlds, we spend much of our lives online – from dating to watching movies and TV shows and everything in between. And organisations are struggling to keep up.
The answer lies in data and the insights it can give us on our customers – their intentions, pain points and preferences. Marketers are getting a better understanding of who they are, right down to an individual level. We're soaking that data up at an exponential rate.
So, we have the data. What now?
Brands should be trying to continuously add value to the lives of their customers. As marketers, our objective should be to create symbiotic relationships with them.
But take a look at content marketing. Apart from some isolated cases – especially in B2B – we've not got much further than whitepapers, eBooks and blog posts. There'll always be a place for those more traditional forms of content, but data, and the content that it informs, can do so much more to build stronger relationships with our customers.
New technologies, new experiences
For some inspiration, let's see what's already being done with a combination of data insights and technologies such as sensors, IoT and natural language processing.
We're all familiar with AI-powered virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.
Amazon is also experimenting with using all their data in the physical world, namely retail. A combination of sensors, cameras, facial recognition and deep learning technologies has enabled a shopping experience that lets shoppers go in store, pick up items and walk straight out without having to wait in line.
Similarly, KFC has experimented with one of their restaurants, letting hungry customers pay for their chicken with nothing more than a smile.
How? Enter Content 3.0
Until now, content has been mostly one-way. You guess what your customers want to hear, and then create a piece of content that tries to address that.
Content 3.0 will go a step further to provide a two-way conversation. It will react to your customer and provide an experience based on what they need at that exact moment in time. It will take them continuously through the buying journey while letting them stay in control. And you'll be able to keep tracking results to improve the content experience.
Content marketing is due for its own data revolution.
Before you can evolve to Content 3.0, you must first get to grips with what stage you’re at right now.
Attend one of our Content 3.0 workshops, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of it and look at how to provide your audience with personalised, contextual content experiences.
If you’d like your team to take part, you can learn more and book a free workshop here.
Alex Sandoval, Global strategy director at MOI Global.