Content Taxonomy: Definition, Benefits, and More

Content marketing is a non-negotiable in today’s business world. Unfortunately, the problem that most content marketers face is creating content for the sake of creating content. 

This is problematic for several reasons. First, it leads to content that easily gets lost in the sea of information online. Second, it makes the content seem less authentic and less valuable to potential customers. Finally, it leads to content that’s never used. 

With approximately 70% of B2B content created never being utilized, there’s a clear need to take a more strategic approach to content marketing. One way to do that is to implement a content taxonomy.

What is Content Taxonomy?

Content taxonomy is a way to organize content into a more meaningful structure that uses controlled vocabulary to define relationships between content items. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, it uses descriptive metadata to group similar pieces of content together into different categories and subcategories. 

Source: Nielsen Norman Group

3 Types of Content Taxonomy

Research shows that approximately 38% of consumers first look at a website’s navigational structure when visiting a new site. They will click away and look elsewhere if they find it difficult to use. Content taxonomy is a widely used approach for organizing content, making it easier for users to navigate your website and find what they’re looking for. While there are several different types of content taxonomy for use, there are three that stand out as being particularly effective:

  • Flat Taxonomy: This is one of the simplest forms of content taxonomy and is most often used by smaller businesses that don’t have a lot of content to organize. The flat taxonomy system allows you to create categories, such as “invoicing” or “accounting,” and then organize your content into those categories. 
  • Hierarchical Taxonomy: This form of content taxonomy is similar to a flat taxonomy in that you can still create categories, but the categories are organized into a hierarchy that allows you to further break down your primary categories into more specific subcategories. 
  • Network Taxonomy: For larger organizations in the B2B space, a network taxonomy is an effective strategy because it allows you to connect related categories to create a network of related content relevant to your audience.

Why is Content Taxonomy Important?

Content taxonomy is essential because it provides a structure for organizing content into a clear, concise, and easily navigable hierarchy. Not only does it help your marketing and sales team find what they need, but it also helps simplify things for your audience as well.

Having this predefined hierarchy makes your site easier to navigate, which plays a significant role in increasing your content engagement and improving your user experience. In fact, approximately 70% of website users say they prefer web designs with high usability (easy to use). In comparison, 89% say that a poor user experience drives them to a competitor’s website to find what they need.  

Content Taxonomy Examples

MarketingProfs does an excellent job with its content taxonomy, which makes finding the content you need simple and easy. Their hierarchy is well structured, allowing users to easily navigate between different categories and subcategories to find precisely what they’re looking for.

Source: MarketingProfs

Here at Hushly, we utilize a simple hierarchy taxonomy to break down our online content into easy-to-navigate categories. This allows our audience to find the information they’re looking for quickly and ensures that our content remains organized and user-friendly.

Source: Hushly

How to Set Up a Content Taxonomy Strategy in 5 Simple Steps

Content taxonomy is a powerful tool for organizing and managing content. Setting up a content taxonomy strategy is simpler than it sounds, and it can be done in five easy steps:

1. Define Your Brand’s Purpose and Audience Needs

Without a clear purpose and understanding of your audience’s needs, you can easily fall into the trap of producing content that doesn’t speak to your target market, resulting in poor performance, wasted resources, and reduced ROI. 

With that in mind, if you already have an established content strategy but think you could benefit from better organization, then you should run a content audit. This will allow you to evaluate what type of content you have, which is working well, and which needs to go. It will also help you better identify your audience and their needs.

2. Do Your Keyword Research

Keyword research is an absolute must when creating your content taxonomy. This will help you find out what your audience is searching for online and how your brand can meet those needs. Not only does this help you create content that will resonate with your target audience, but it will help you better organize your content into categories and subcategories and develop tags so your audience can easily find the information they need when they need it. 

Source: Social Media Today

3. Choose a Taxonomy Structure

If you’re a smaller organization just starting out with content marketing, consider using a flat taxonomy that helps your audience get right to the content they want to see. However, if you’re a well-established company with multiple verticals, then you may need a multi-level taxonomy that will help you organize all of your content and create an intuitive user experience.

Keep in mind that roughly 42% of people will leave a website due to poor functionality. So make sure you’re not overcomplicating your taxonomy structure, especially if you’re a smaller brand that’s still developing your content strategy.

4. Test Your Taxonomy Structure

As with any system, you won’t know whether it works until you’ve tested it. One of content taxonomy’s ultimate goals is to improve your website’s user experience. With 88% of consumers saying they won’t return to a website after a single poor user experience, it’s crucial that you organize your site and make it easy for your audience to navigate.

So, when testing your content taxonomy structure, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:

  • Are my primary categories clearly defined and addressing the audience’s primary needs?
  • Are my secondary categories clearly linked to the proper primary categories?
  • Do my meta tags accurately describe the content of my pages and link to the appropriate categories?
  • Does my content taxonomy simplify the user experience on my website?

5. Monitor and Optimize as You Grow

Finally, you want to ensure you’re giving your content taxonomy the time it needs to take root. You’re simply not going to see results overnight. You need to test your taxonomy structure over a period of time to determine whether or not it works. As you monitor your site’s performance, you’ll be able to further organize and optimize your content taxonomy and strategy as a whole.

Get Deeper Insight into Your Audience’s Needs with Content Analytics from Hushly

Understanding your audience and their needs is the cornerstone of a successful content taxonomy strategy. With Hushly, you can better understand what your audience really wants and tailor your content taxonomy accordingly. By tracking user behavior and engagement, you can optimize your content strategy and ensure that your content taxonomy is optimized to meet your audience’s needs.

See how Hushly’s content analytics can help you better understand your audience by requesting your demo today.  

A Guide to Building a Content Marketing Hub

Imagine a user who searches for a problem and finds your website that offers a potential solution.

The article they clicked on from the search result answers their questions, but there’s another blog on your website that answers a question they didn’t even know they had yet. It’s this question that, if answered, could lead to an instant conversion.

If your website isn’t utilizing a content marketing hub, there’s a great chance the user may never even notice this additional content.

On the other hand, if the content hub is nearby or even on the page they landed on, the odds of them clicking through to more content on your website increase dramatically.

If you want to attract more traffic to your website and keep it for longer, you’ll need to create a content marketing hub.

What is a Content Marketing Hub?

In broad terms, a content marketing hub is a place where all of your content is collected in one place. This includes all forms of content like blogs, social media, case studies, videos, user-generated content, and any other kinds you may be producing.

A content marketing hub is more specific than your website. This is because your website has to serve other purposes and isn’t purely organized around content like a content hub would be. A content hub should be thought of as a hub within your website where links to content are collected and sorted into easy-to-find buckets.

A content hub should be focused on making this information accessible to anyone interested in it.

What Should a Content Marketing Hub Include?

Fundamentally, your content marketing hub should be a place where all of your content marketing examples are displayed. Customers demand ease of use, so you’ll need to sort content by type, allow searches for specific information and keywords, and update dynamic and shifting webpages based on intent analysis and best practices.

Your content hub should be a one-stop shop for all of your content. A place where users can go to find answers to all their questions, engage with your content, and find the value that will eventually drive them to convert.

The Benefits of an Adaptive Content Hub

When it comes to content hubs, there is no question that you’ll want yours to be adaptive. At the very least, you’ll want it to update frequently with the latest content that tracks the ups and downs of your unique industry.

Here are a few of the benefits of an automated adaptive content hub:

Dominate SEO

Your content hub will be a cacophony of SEO keywords that boost your search rankings. It’s also a great opportunity to draw users in with one keyword and allow them to find content that they weren’t searching for.

Nurture Leads

An adaptive content hub can create personalized content streams tailored to attract your best buyers. These streams, or tracks, will funnel these users through content that meets them where they’re at in the buyer journey.

This means introductory material for customers who are first encountering your website, and more technical educational material for returning customers who’ve already purchased from you once and are more likely to do it again.

Lead with Value

You gain customer trust by proving to them that you know what problems they face and that your solution can counter those. The best way to do this is with free, ungated content that meets users where they are.

An adaptive content hub is the best way to keep customers on your website for longer by curating their content flow. The longer a user spends with your content, the more likely it is they trust it and will be willing to buy your solutions.

Build Loyalty and Engagement

When all of your content is in one easy-to-manage place, customers are incentivized to stay longer and engage more. Over time, consistent and high-quality content will convince customers that you know your industry well and are prepared to diagnose problems and find solutions.

The more trustworthy your content is, the easier it is for your loyal customers to share and engage with it. If you are legitimately providing value – that is, improving the customer’s life every time they engage with your content – why wouldn’t they keep coming back?

How to Create a Content Hub in 5 Steps

Here’s a list of steps to follow now that you’ve chosen to create a content hub on your website.

1. Categorize Existing Content

The first thing to do is sort your existing content by their commonalities. This should be based on factors like:

  • Content medium
  • Subject
  • Buyer journey stage
  • Technical detail

There are a few benefits to this step. Not only will you be better able to visualize the types of content you’ve already got, but it will also help you see where shortcomings are in your current content strategy. It may even become obvious what kind of content to produce next.

2. Build Internal Links

Linking from one piece of content to another is a great way to demonstrate authority over the topic that’s being discussed. It tells users that you’re not only writing on the topic at hand but that you’re experienced with the industry as a whole and ready to find solutions to any new problems that may arise.

3. Focus on the Customer Experience

Think about how the customer will be encountering your content. Which pieces might they find after searching for a question they may have? What are the most relevant details about your product for customers who are searching for those keywords?

These kinds of questions can shed light on the customer experience.

4. Observe, Gather Data, and Refine

Your content hub must remain living and flexible. The types of content that perform well today may not perform well next year. Gather data and check it often to monitor the performance of your content, find out what channels buyers are flowing through, and gain insights on what content needs to be delivered and when.

5. Use Hushly

Hushly can automatically manage every step of the customer experience journey, including curating your content hub. We’ll use intent data and analytics to produce content streams that are proven to increase engagement and drive conversions.

Best Content Hub Examples

Here are some examples of content hub websites to inspire your own:

Hushly’s Resource Center

Hushly maintains a resource center that allows users to search our content by type, category, or with a search feature.

Substack’s Inbox

Substack directs users to their inbox, which is filled with the most recent posts from users they’ve subscribed to.

MediaVidi’s Home Page

MediaVidi’s website is a content hub designed to suggest high-performing content, which is tagged and easy to sort through.

Hushly Makes Managing Content Hubs Easy

Hushly specializes in crafting adaptive content marketing hubs that update in real time depending on customer data and insights.

Our platform requires no developer. Customizing and personalizing your digital marketing content hub can be done with just a few clicks. We’ll also generate data from every step of the customer journey to give you insights into what’s working and what needs to change.

Hushly can help you scale by developing, managing, and optimizing your content hub. Contact our team today.

Should You Really Use a Content Experience Platform (CEP)?

Deciding on a strategy that will define your overall content experience is the easy part. The hard part is putting in the work to develop that experience across all forms of content.

If you’re thinking about implementing your own content experience strategy, then you’re probably wondering whether it would make more sense to employ a content experience platform to take on the job for you. There are plenty of ways to optimize on your own without a partner, yet few ways to match the data-driven analytics you’ll have access to with an automated platform.

We’ll lay out the case for using a content experience platform, but we’ll also explain the intricacies of the content experience, from what it is to how to start implementing one yourself, so you can make the best choice for your business.

What is the Content Experience?

The B2B content experience is the way all of your content relates to each other and forms a cohesive customer journey from landing page to checkout. A seamless and natural content experience is one in which the customer doesn’t have to try hard to find information about your product or why it should matter to them.

This is part of the reason why a great content experience should be a key part of any go-to-market strategy.

Your content experience should be an overarching voice or theme, which communicates a consistent message across all forms of content you produce. This includes content produced for every stage of the buyer journey. The main goal is steering prospects naturally through the content most likely to show value and convert them into buyers.

By focusing on and developing this goal through content production, you will naturally generate a content experience for customers. This experience should continue to develop over time as your products, customers, and market conditions evolve.

What is a Content Experience Platform?

A content experience platform (CEP) takes on the job of producing your content experience for you. Ideally, this includes everything from the way users first encounter your content, where they land on your website, what kind of content is recommended for them once they’re there, and generating data-driven customer insights.

5 Key Features to Look For in a Content Experience Platform

Here are five key features of a CEP:

1. Dynamic Web Design

Your website is the window through which your customers will look at your products. It’s where they’ll spend all their time engaging with your company online. Ideally, your website should be dynamically tailored to individual buyers.

Hushly’s platform allows clients to update their websites – including text, banners, calls to action, and more – to change in real time for individual customers.

2. Personalized Content

Once you’ve found your ideal buyers, it’s time to figure out what specific problems they may have and produce content tailored to their needs. This is the time to find your voice and stick to it in all forms of content.

Remember that there should be content for every step of the buyer journey. This includes the moment they find your landing page to the checkout process. The goal is a seamless transition from beginning to end.

3. Multiplatform Content

Customers today expect content in many formats and across many platforms. Some customers prefer written content, while many convert better with video content. You’ll need to mine your customers for data to figure out where they’re coming from and how they’d like to engage with your product.

It’s key that your content experience is cultivated across a wide range of content mediums. Blogs, social media posts, videos, audio, or podcasts each deserve special attention and a unique strategy that adheres to the overall content experience.

4. Digital Content Analytics

You’ll never have the perfect content experience because the ecosystem is constantly changing. There is a constant need to gather data on the performance of your strategy and update it on the fly.

You can try gathering data on your own, but it’s a complex process. It’s not always clear where to begin turning data into useful information. Instead, you should use a CEP like Hushly.

Hushly’s platform generates data from every stage of the customer experience, so you can analyze it from beginning to end. Hushly can give you insights like what content is resonating and where, engagement metrics, traffic sources, post-conversion analytics, and more.

5. Constant Optimization

However you’re getting your data, it’s important to use it to glean insight, so you can shape and optimize your content experience as needed.

The needs of your customers won’t stay the same, and your solutions to their new problems need to be flexible and responsive. A CEP should take data and optimization seriously to keep your strategy up to date.

Content Experience Platform vs. Content Marketing Software

A CEP is an automated service that takes on the task of optimizing your customer experience from beginning to end.

A CEP stands in contrast to typical content marketing software (CMS) which may focus narrowly on content creation, marketing, distribution, or content analytics. A CEP focuses more holistically on the way customers will be finding, consuming, and making decisions based on your content. It should also use data to generate insights that help you refine and update your content experience as market conditions change.

What Types of Content Can a CEP Manage?

Ultimately your content experience can be managed in a variety of ways. Depending on your customers and your product, a mixture of content mediums may be best, or you may find that your conversions rely on a single type of content. No matter your unique needs, a CEP should be able to manage all forms of content.

The idea behind the content experience is to push content that is relevant, valuable, and likely to drive engagement. A great CEP combines website customization with content personalization in service of the customer experience. Deciding what content works best for this is Hushly’s goal, and it’s the main reason we incorporate so much data and analytics into optimization.

The reality is that the best content is that which drives the most conversions, regardless of its medium, and your CEP should be capable of managing it.

A Content Experience Platform Can Save Time and Resources

The task of managing a content experience is unending.

There is the identification of buyers, content creation, deciding which content is most relevant to which buyers, personalization, multichannel outreach, and more. All must be carefully balanced and overseen to optimize performance.

Though it may be possible to manage on your own, hiring a content experience platform like Hushly could make your job a lot easier.

We’ll take on the time-consuming tasks for you. We know content marketing, and we’ve refined our system for years to take advantage of the massive amounts of data it generates. We use unparalleled customer insights to perfect the content experience, so you can focus on creating innovative solutions to customer problems.

If you’re ready to see what Hushly can do to make your content experience more seamless, request a CEP demo today.

Content Engagement: Definition, Importance, and Steps to Create It

Your ideal buyer has found your website thanks to your great SEO practices. They’re now on the landing page, hoping for an answer to a question they’ve been asking themselves for days.

This buyer has a problem and is ready to spend money on a solution. It happens that your company is in a position to provide that solution. You’ve got them where you want them, with their eyes on your website ready to consume content that will increase their likelihood of doing business with you. What happens next?

If your website’s content strategy is strong enough, this customer should find themselves in an engaging rabbit hole of information that answers their questions, reassures them that your product is right for them, and removes friction from the buying process.

Anything less than this is simply not going to compete with the modern advancements in marketing and technology.

Hushly knows this, which is why we created this introduction to content engagement. We’ll cover information on the definition of content engagement and how to measure it, as well as some concrete steps on how to increase audience engagement.

What is Content Engagement?

In broad terms, content engagement is the myriad ways users can react when consuming your content. The phrase content engagement doesn’t indicate a positive or negative reaction to the content, but rather the decision of the customer whether to amplify, consume and move on from, or ignore the content.

Every action, or inaction, that a user reacts with can provide valuable insight into the quality and value of the content they’re engaging with. This is the core principle behind content engagement.

What Does It Mean to Engage in Content?

A user may decide the information in your content is so valuable that they feel they need to share it with others. They may disagree and leave a comment. They may simply like the post or even ignore it completely and keep scrolling. Each of these technically represents content engagement.

Content engagement examples include social media engagement like clicks, shares, and other direct metrics like bounce rate. When marketers discuss content engagement, they are generally referring to concrete metrics like these.

In other words, content engagement is an important measure of the quality of your content.

Why is Content Engagement Important?

Knowing how strong your content is matters a great deal to your overall content strategy. Identifying which content is performing well can help you increase the efficiency of your marketing budget and direction.

It’s also the best way to build a loyal and interested customer base. In other words, a customer base that will be excited and knowledgeable enough to try out new features and give sophisticated feedback on how to improve your product.

What Content Gets the Most Engagement? 3 Examples of Engaging Content

Content that gets the most engagement often invites engagement by its very nature, like a poll or a quiz.

Here are three examples of content to create when you want to boost your engagement.

1. Polls and Quizzes

A well-conceived poll or quiz can elicit an emotional response from a customer. If a customer feels strongly about the question you asked, they’re far more likely to engage with it.

Polls and quizzes can encourage a customer to think about how your product affects their daily lives.

2. Case Studies

A case study is an example of a situation where your company found a problem and solved it. It’s a recap of the way your company successfully delivered value to a satisfied customer. The best case studies involve interviews with representatives from the company you worked with as well as in-depth explanations as to how your company recognized the opportunity for growth and executed that vision.

3. User-Generated Content

Polls show that users trust user-generated content more than content they perceive to have been created by a marketing team. They are more likely to engage with and enjoy this content, which means your company must find a way to identify UGC and add it to an accessible hub.

How Do You Measure Content Engagement?

The first step towards measuring content engagement is deciding what success means. You’ll need to know what your goals are concerning content engagement, including who you’re engaging with and why. Then, you can identify which engagement metrics will be most important for you to track.

Metrics like the ones we list below are invaluable data points in your quest to optimize content engagement. However, don’t forget about the context of these figures. They should each be weighed according to their importance to your overall plan.

  • Conversion Rate: Your best content is that which drives the most customers to buy your product.
  • Bounce Rate: A measure of visitors who enter your website only to immediately leave it. A high bounce rate could indicate poorly executed or difficult-to-find content.
  • Page Views Per Session: A sign of how many different web pages a user opened during a single session. More page views mean the user browsed more of your content.
  • Time on Site: A measure of how much time the user spent on your website.
  • Likes, Comments, Shares: Likes and shares are the most important to track for a social engagement strategy. Comments are also a great place to encourage discussion and build a community of users.

What is a Content Engagement Strategy?

A content engagement strategy is your plan to create content that satisfies customers’ needs and drives engagement. It can be implemented on its own or as part of a broader go-to-market strategy.

All of this is done in the service of improving sales conversions.

4 Elements of Creating Engaging Content

Ideally, a content engagement strategy has these elements:

1. Idealized Buyers

Buyer personas are the best way to theorize your ideal customer and form a plan to speak to them directly.

2. Identification of Pain Points

You should already have an idea of what kinds of problems the customer could be facing before creating content for them.

3. Efficient Solutions

Finding problems is easier than building solutions. Design content around your unique ideas. This is how you’ll build credibility and trust.

4. Plan to Drive Conversions

All content should be designed to increase conversions, not necessarily engagement. Don’t forget that engagement is just another measure of content quality, not the only or most important factor.

How Do You Make Digital Content Engaging?

Buyers today expect personalized content. To keep up with the demands of the marketplace, Hushly recommends thoroughly personalizing content to your most valuable buyers. This includes things like:

  • Adaptive content hubs
  • Dynamic websites
  • Personalized self-nurturing landing pages
  • A constantly refined data-driven approach

Consider personalizing messaging all the way down to website text, banners, logos, and calls to action.

Are you ready for Hushly to take on the job of developing your web content to drive engagement and boost conversions? Get a personal demo today.

What Content Experience Means and Why It Matters

A B2B buyer that wants to solve a problem their company is facing begins a months-long sales cycle by researching keywords on Google.

If they come across your page, you’ve successfully captured their attention and now have the opportunity to pitch your solution.

If your content is high quality, the prospect will get a lot out of it and probably appreciate the free help you gave them. But then what? Do you keep their attention and provide more value, eventually leading to a closed sale? Or do you lose their attention to the search engines, and maybe another company?

The answer depends on the quality of your content experience.

Today’s guide will give you the principles behind this practice as well as some easy steps you can take to curate your own content experience.

What is Content Experience in Marketing?

Your content experience is closely related to your content matrix.

In a few words, your content matrix is the strategy behind the way you create content. It details the kinds of content you’re creating and who it’s for.

The content experience is how you deliver this content. It considers not just individual pieces of content and broader content strategies, but the entire user experience of your brand.

Curating a great content experience is about ensuring that needed content is delivered to the right people at the right time. Doing this builds brand trust and authority and ultimately increases conversions.

Why Content Experience Matters

Customers don’t always know what they’re looking for when researching solutions. You may capture the attention of someone from a Google search and then fail to convert them. It could be because your content was underwhelming. But it could also be that the user enjoyed your content, and appreciated it, but couldn’t easily find more.

A poor content experience means the user isn’t being recommended anything else that’s relevant to them, even if your site is filled to the brim with great information. The user simply doesn’t see it and instead clicks back to Google to find another link.

On the other hand, if your content experience is well designed, the user might come across another link to a relevant article on your website and click through to it.

Perhaps they spend some time on your website learning about your brand and product in a user-friendly way that doesn’t force them to engage in any way they don’t want to: you have videos if they prefer videos, blogs if they like to read, and most importantly, you gently suggest the right content based on a personalized profile you created in advance.

This is what a great content experience looks like, and it’s what you should strive for.

Prove You Know More Than Just One Thing

B2B buyers need content that doesn’t just address singular issues, but a broad stream of content that shows awareness of all their pain points and demonstrates that you know how to make their lives easier.

Your content experience is the management and philosophy behind the delivery of this content.

How to Create a Great Content Experience

Your content experience must be unique to your industry and company. It should even be personalized to individual buyers where possible. However, there are some universal principles that any great content experience should share.

Here are a few of those principles to help inspire your own content experience.

Start with a Content Audit

You should begin by taking a look at the content your marketing has already produced.

How well does each piece connect with the rest? Is there an overarching theme or message that pervades all pieces of content? If not, why not? Is it due to a lack of quality content, or perhaps a total lack of this kind of cohesiveness on the part of your whole marketing effort?

Knowing where you stand on these key issues will inform how you continue with the following steps.

Focus on Seamlessness

When we refer to a seamless experience, we’re talking about the way customers move through multiple pieces of content in a given session.

A customer may begin with a blog of yours they found on a SERP. Within that blog, there could be a link to a video on a related subject that actually is more closely related to what the user needs.

Alternatively, they could meet some microgated content that fills a similar need.

There is more art than science to the idea of seamlessness, but in general, it’s about minimizing the possibility of losing the customer’s attention once you’ve gained it.

Make Multi-Channel Content

Your content should be available in many formats.

Customers appreciate having multiple ways to engage with your brand. It also increases the odds of keeping their attention for longer because it reduces the odds they’ll become fatigued or bored with your content.

Personalize Content Whenever Possible

There’s a well-known public speaking dictum that states you should try and make eye contact with individuals even as you’re speaking to a large audience. It engages individuals and will make them feel like you’re speaking to them only.

The simple reality is that generic content is less engaging and less effective at converting target audiences. Your content should be personalized wherever possible to take advantage of the fact that people are eager to be heard.

Centralize Your Content

We recommend you set up a content hub.

Imagine going to Netflix and having to manually search for each movie or show you wanted to watch. It would be doable but cumbersome, and you’d miss the recommendations you’re currently given when you open up the app.

Your content hub should follow this example.

What is a Content Experience Platform?

A content experience platform like Hushly can make curating a great content experience easy.

Hushly believes ungated content captures higher quality and human-verified leads. We follow this data-driven philosophy with a simple platform focused on removing friction, personalizing content, and delivering this content on time to the right buyers.

You should never be done optimizing your content experience. There is always new content to show off and new customers to convert. Each new factor will require a fresh take on your overall content experience. This is something we understand instinctively, and we make it our mission to measure the performance of your content experience and optimize it with detailed analytics.

Great Content Needs Great Distribution

The challenge of creating high-quality and high-performing content regularly is immense.

It takes the dedication of many individuals and teams to produce relevant content that identifies customer needs and proposes solutions to them quickly and efficiently.

All of this effort could be for nothing if the content experience is lacking.

Users simply don’t have the attention spans necessary to wade through large catalogs of unorganized content. More importantly, they don’t have to. If your content experience isn’t cutting it, they’ll find a company that can manage theirs better to solve their problems.

Use the ideas in today’s blog to avoid this fate by curating a memorable content experience that will keep customers happy and coming back for more.

Take a look at Hushly’s eBook, Efficient Growth at Scale, for more information on how to manage your content experience.

Marketing Pillars of Efficient Growth at Scale

To create an efficient growth model you need to develop a repeatable, scalable motion. And know your ‘Why’. Why should your buyers care about your company? Why did you create this product and what problems does it solve? Understanding your ‘Why’ will be the catalyst to your entire go-to-market strategy. 

Luckily, marketers have started to see a shift in growth at all costs to efficient growth based on data-driven, scalable marketing. There are big trends in the market supporting this shift — most of which focus on how to drive predictable pipeline and revenue generation with the adoption of technology, data, and prioritization of the buyer’s experience.

Source: GTM Partners

The key to driving efficient growth is to orchestrate well-timed and personalized experiences that meet the needs of the prospective buyer – where they are in their journey – reduce friction and build relationships. There are two key marketing pillars required to drive efficient growth: content and experience. Read on to see exactly why without investment in these two areas it will be tough to develop a repeatable, scalable motion.

Pillar 1: Content 

66% of marketers
are devoting more budget and resources to content
this year than the last – according to HubSpot.

Content is more imperative than ever. And you need to have it for every stage of the buyer journey. But, your content can’t just be content for the sake of content. You need to establish the right message for the right people at each stage of the buyer’s journey that maps back to your “Why”. 

Gartner does a great job illustrating how complex the B2B buyer’s journey is and why you need to ensure you have the right content to answer questions across every channel and stage. In fact, the research found that customers who perceived the information they received from suppliers to be helpful were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.

source: Gartner

There are three core components to developing a content strategy that drives efficient growth. 

Step 1: Identify topics and keywords

Understand what your audience cares about by looking at the data. What are they searching for at each stage that’s relevant to your “Why”. It’s really important to dig into keywords you are tracking and prioritizing. Your keywords will be used for several things like, capturing intent data, SEO strategy, and ultimately developing your content pillars. Remember the old adage “Crap-in, crap out”? Well it definitely holds true here, so take the time to get your keywords right!

  • What words, phrases etc. Start by thinking about what you’d seach for if you were one of your persona’s
  • Interview customers and talk to other people your company
  • Once you get a long list, do some research to see what you’re missing.

Step 2: Establish content pillars

Leveraging intent data provides great insight into what your target accounts are interested in, especially in relation to your product and solution offerings. If you don’t have an intent data provider, no problem! Go back to your keyword list and make some assumptions based on what you know. You could also try a free tool or Google Search Console to see what keywords users used to get to your website.

source: Hushly

Once you know your top keywords and topics you need to tie them back to your product and value prop and establish “Content Pillars” or themes.

source: Hushly

In this example, you can see that the organization offers B2B growth marketing solutions, and that their target accounts are showing intent for keywords such as ‘B2B Growth’ and ‘Marketing Growth.’ Do this exercise for your business and develop pillars that can support both your inbound and ABM strategies.

Step 3: Create a content matrix

Now that you have your content pillars you will need to map out the different types of content you need for each stage in the buyer’s journey, personas, and channels.

source: Hushly

Pro Tip: Most content can be turned into multiple formats with varying degrees
of depth according to the persona and stage in the buyers journey.

Hopefully, you have existing content ou can leverage, but now is a good time to inventory what you have and find the gaps you have. A lot of businesses tend to have more top of funnel content but not enough for the mid and bottom of funnel. 

The best thing about having a content matrix is when you are planning marketing campaigns you can easily pull it up to see what you have to leverage and where you need to make more investments. 

Pillar 2: Experience 

“To put it bluntly, if a buyer doesn’t like the way you
interact with them, they will go somewhere else.”
Sangram Vajre, Founder at GTM Partners

Every step in your buyer’s journey is an opportunity to delight your prospects and make doing business with you a pleasure. That’s why it’s so important to examine each step and think about how you can better enable your buyers. Where are the points of friction and how can you alleviate them? Make every interaction

purposeful and as frictionless as possible!

The best way to understand what experiences you need is to map the content you have to the touchpoints and channels you plan to deliver it on. This should allow you to easily identify what experience you need to build.

source: Hushly

Then from there, you should look to the following areas to improve the experience.

  1. Use intent data.
    In order to understand what your audience is looking for and what buying stage they are in you need to know what they are doing behind the scenes. 
  2. Inspect what you expect.
    All of your paid and earned channels should be driving your audience to your website. Evaluate what your audience is seeing when they get there.
  3. Create dynamic landing pages.
    Using the content matrix and taxonomy you developed plus advanced technology like Hushly, you can dynamically serve up a content experience that is highly relevant to your audience.
  4. Ungate content & utilize smart forms.
    These days, most of your content should be UNgated! Be sure to consider the type of content you are publishing before putting it behind a form. If you do have to use a form don’t ask for information you don’t need. 
  5. Be sticky!
    After you’ve done all the hard work of getting someone to your landing page keep them there! Perscribe content to read next and answer questions on the spot with live chat. Make sure people are finding what they are looking for and more when they are there.

We know it can be intimidating to put together an experience that is both repeatable and scalable. The good news is, there is technology and data to support us in making it happen. As we think about the buying experience, we like to design always-on programs that are in sync with your buyers needs. 

It is our job as marketers and sales teams to meet potential buyers where they are in their journey with helpful, relevant information. Leverage content and reduce friction to make it easy for buyers to discover what they need to make an informed buying decision.

source: Hushly ABM Experience

By leveraging tools like Demandbase, RollWorks, 6Sense Zoominfo or Bombora for intent data and buyer experience and conversion platforms like Hushly you can dynamically personalize your website, ABM pages, and campaign destinations in real-time. You can personalize things like:

  • Showing target account logos
  • Copy and graphics
  • Videos 
  • Swap out content by persona, account, industry, etc.
  • Providing the right account reps contact info
  • Messaging by stage of the journey

Investing in the experience does require the right resources and technology. But once you have it in place, you really can build a single page and scale it to thousands of your target accounts. This is really where you start to see efficiencies in your marketing efforts. 

Pulling it all together

Using the right technology coupled with a strong content strategy allows you to create a relevant, and scalable content

experience that will both educate and move prospects along in the buyer’s journey faster and more efficiently.

Without a content strategy and the right technology, the chances of a disconnected and inconsistent experience are high. However, when creating a content strategy, the tendency of many businesses is to create a lot of content and put it all out there (behind a gate) for prospects to consume after they give you their contact information.  And then send a BDR, or Sales Executive after them to try and get a meeting. This experience creates low conversion rates, missed revenue targets, and poor brand perception.

Increasingly, we are learning that prospects are looking to simply figure out how to do things better, and get results. They buy products with the result in mind. They do research to uncover what their options are and how they work. They are pulled in many directions so when it’s hard to find what they are looking for they will bounce and go somewhere else.

Marketing teams that create meaningful, personalized content experiences, in a repeatable, scalable way – will win the hearts, minds, and wallets of the customer. It’s time to create a better buying experience in the name of efficient growth!

Your Guide to Creating a Content Matrix

Try visualizing yourself as someone shopping for a product like the one you’re selling.

How do you expect to engage with content? What does it feel like to learn about a product, educate yourself on it, decide whether it’s worth buying, and pull the trigger on the purchase?

If you’re selling to B2B customers, you know this journey can take months and involve half a dozen decision markers.

Each step on this buyer’s long journey is a chance to present them with content that will close the deal. However, each piece of content needs to make sense of where the buyer is on the path.

From the first moment the customer learns about your brand, through the education process, all the way to the closing of the sale, different marketing content will be needed to keep the customer well nurtured and on the path towards buying.

This strategy is what a content matrix embodies, and it’s the main principle behind our recommendation that you build one.

Our guide today will cover some important reasons to consider creating a content matrix and give you some easy ways to begin crafting your own.

What is a Content Matrix?

In broad terms, your content matrix is the overarching theme and flow of your content marketing.

Think of the buyer journey as a path along which many smaller paths branch. Each smaller branch is a piece of content that is right for that stage in the buyer’s journey.

For example, a radio or television ad is appropriate for someone who’s never heard of your product before. On the other hand, an email to a lapsed customer is only contextual if that person has actually bought something from you before.

Both of these pieces of content are crucially important and can lead directly to conversions. Though they’re separated by time and context, you’ll need both at the right time to truly succeed in marketing content.

Why is a Content Matrix Important to B2B Customers?

Just like the movie, customers shouldn’t realize they’re in the matrix.

Your content matrix isn’t something that you’ll be presenting to customers, yet it’s still crucial to the process of marketing content to B2B buyers. This is because it represents your plan, even if you’re not calling it a matrix.

Not having a plan is tantamount to going in blind with your marketing materials. Why waste time creating high-quality and engaging content only to skip the step of figuring out when and where to deploy it for maximum impact?

B2B Customers Have Higher Standards

B2B buyers spend more time researching decisions than B2C customers.

The quality of their research is also better, meaning they won’t be swayed by rushed or poorly made content.

In this LinkedIn blog post, Pinterest’s Christina O’Connor makes the great point that although 67% of the buyer’s journey may involve self-directed research, it doesn’t mean sales teams should be excluded from the process. Sales teams can prove why they must be involved by providing tangible value.

In short, B2B decision-makers expect more – a longer sales cycle means more opportunities to impress. Other companies will make the effort, so yours won’t stand out if you’re not doing the same thing.

However, you can’t just insert yourself into the process arbitrarily.

There needs to be an obvious reason for your involvement from a customer perspective, or else they won’t bother with the interaction. Why should they trust someone who wants to sell them something over their own research?

The only reason would be because you’ve proven to them you can improve their lives for free – hence the value of great content organized well.

A well-thought-out content matrix is a key step toward ensuring each client has a memorable and positive experience every time they engage with your brand.

How to Create a Content Matrix

If you want to get started on a content matrix, or just want to evaluate the one you’re currently using, consider some of the following core principles that Hushly follows when crafting a content matrix.

Create Content Pillars

Start by thinking about all of the different kinds of content you’ll need for the buyer’s journey. These are your content pillars around which your content creation will be organized.

Here are five examples of content pillars you can follow along with or change for your own purposes.

  • First Impressions: The most basic form of advertising – you’ll want content designed to reach new customers by introducing them to your brand.
  • First Purchase: This is more advanced content aimed at customers who are ready to make their first purchase. Think of this type of content as something someone would find when browsing your website for the first time.
  • Retaining Customers: Once a customer has bought your product, you’ll need to keep them hooked with content that educates them about how to get the most from your solution, as well as informs them of new features they may not be familiar with yet.
  • Re-Engagement: After your customer has bought from you once, they’re much more likely to do it again. You’ll want marketing content that acknowledges their status as loyal customers while informing them on how further purchases can make a similar positive impact.
  • Converting Lapsed Customers: Finally, for those customers who bought from you once but didn’t come back, it’s worth crafting content that tries to find out why. A simple email campaign asking for feedback could change their mind, or at least supply valuable insight as to why they left.

Create Buyer Personas

To go along with the theme of putting yourself in your buyer’s shoes, it can be extremely useful to craft a buyer persona.

A buyer persona is basically a fictionalized version of your ideal B2B buyer. The purpose of creating one is to imagine all of the ways your company can make their lives easier. This is a form of preparation that is invaluable to matrix creation.

Create Multi-Channel Content

A diverse mixture of video, print, blogs, and other forms of content is necessary. Just like the timing of the content is important, the kind of content you create needs to be diverse and suitable for all stages of buyer development.

Organize Content

The majority of the matrix will be made here.

Organize your content based on the pillars and channels they are most appropriate for. An excel spreadsheet could help with this, but there are also templates online that you can use.

Take Stock and Reevaluate

No plan is perfect, especially the first time you implement it. Your content matrix will be no different.

A truly great content matrix is one that’s been developed over time with feedback from clients and fellow marketers. Remember to frequently take stock of how well your content is performing and try to adjust it where needed.

A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail

Ultimately, your content matrix is the plan you’re following for your marketing content.

As with all human endeavors, preparation is key to success in this arena. You’ll want a comprehensive matrix that follows some distinct pillars and always takes into account the point of view of the customer.

A well-made content matrix will be constantly updated and drive your marketing well into the future.

For more on content matrices and scaling content with your growth, check out Hushly’s Efficient Growth at Scale eBook.

When Should You Ungate Content?

The decision to ungate your website’s content hinges on many factors. The performance of your MQLs, the importance of your brand awareness, and the quality of your content are all pieces of a puzzle. To know when and how to ungate your content, you’ll need some important information about your company as well as the state of gated and ungated content.

To help, we’ve produced today’s guide. In it, you’ll find a list of helpful tips and concepts that will help you understand when the best time to ungate your content will be.

Gated vs. Ungated Content

Gating content means requiring something from the client before allowing them access to, for example, an eBook that your company has published. This could be monetary, but more often is in the form of landing pages that ask for contact information.

The principle is that if someone is interested enough in your content to give you personal information for it, they should also be more likely to want to buy your product.

Generating MQLs (marketing qualified leads) this way was once seen by many in the marketing world as the most profitable way to use content. However, how consumers engage with content is evolving, and the philosophy behind gated content is no longer ironclad. In fact, many companies are seeing the benefits of switching to ungated content models, or at least modifying their gated content.

Questions to Ask Before Ungating Content

The simple path is to ask whether ungating content will increase the performance of that content. This could be in the form of impressions or revenue. However you define it, your marketing and sales team must be on board first. To convince them, you’ll need to be sure yourself.

 Here is a list of four questions you can use to determine if now is the right time to ungate content.

1. Is Your Gated Content Underperforming?

Gating content comes with some major drawbacks that can affect its performance.

For one, handing over personal information, even if it’s to a business they trust, is still a big risk from a customer’s point of view.

You may just be asking for simple contact information. However, if that contact information is sold or given to a third party, the customer is the person who will suffer the consequences. People are aware of this before going through content gates, and many legitimate prospects could disqualify themselves once prompted for information.

If your gated content is underperforming, this could be a key reason why.

There is also the simple fact that a landing page is an additional step in the sales journey. Each new action you ask a customer to take is another opportunity for them to do nothing and forget about your product instead.

2. How Important is It for Customers to Consume Your Content?

If your content is a key part of your brand, ungating it is something you should strongly consider.

Customers appreciate in-depth articles about topics they care about. They want to learn. Customers care not only about your product, but the context of the problem it’s solving. They also want to learn how to use your solution once they’re convinced you have one.

Gated content can have a deleterious effect on customers like these, who come to your site seeking answers and are dissuaded when it becomes obvious you want to sell it to them. (Make no mistake, even if you aren’t asking for money, customers view their information as a form of currency.) This is especially true if the customer can find the answer to their question for free somewhere else.

3. Have You Already Started Producing Multi-Channel Content?

If you already have a catalog of content made for multi-channel marketing (a mixture of video, blogs, podcasts, etc.), now may be the best time to establish a content hub.

Netflix and other streaming platforms have changed the way customers view content. There is no longer the expectation that you’ll learn a bit about the content before deciding whether or not to “buy” it.

Instead, customers expect to view and access content on their own time and without needing to give anything in return. It may seem counterintuitive to create value and give it away for free, but remember that building your brand awareness by utilizing all the high-quality content you spent good money on is not nothing.

4. Do You Have Time to Wait for Results?

There will be a time lag between making the switch to ungated content and seeing the results.

Remember that you are not capturing existing demand but creating new demand by ungating content. This means that you’ll need to wait for customers to find the content for it to work. This is, of course, in direct contrast to gated content which requires (and is made for) marketing to push.

If your company can’t afford to relinquish existing demand in search of new demand, now might not be the time to ungate.

How to Start Ungating Content?

Here are a few tips for making the switch from gated to ungated content.

Start With Your Best Performing Content

It may be tempting to test out ungated content using the content you care least about.

This is a mistake. Instead, you should use your best content to ensure that users who come across it are engrossed and educated at the same time. Remember that one of the main benefits of ungated content is the boost it can bring to your brand awareness and credibility. Maximize that with your highest-quality, best-performing content upfront.

We recommend you measure this by cost per lead or other content engagement metrics.

Create a Hub

Long-form content, like eBooks, is a fantastic resource for content hubs. Chapters of eBooks can be broken down or expanded on to create blog posts. Chopping up an eBook like this could generate blog posts for months.

You can also use the email campaigns that previously pointed to your gated content to direct traffic to the hub.

Generate Buy In

When selling this to your sales and other marketing executives, come prepared with statistics. Compare the performance of your MQLs and SQLs and leverage the attitudes of your sales team. Do they feel like they’re wasting time on low-quality MQLs when they could be focusing on outbounds? This is a powerful sentiment that can be leveraged in your favor.

Allow Time

Set the expectation among yourself and others that the results of the switch won’t be immediate. You’ll need to allow the time for the new demand to be generated. Have faith in your content for which you paid a lot of money and worked hard to produce. If the content quality is there, the impressions will follow.

It’s Not All or Nothing

Keep in mind that gating or ungating ALL content is not a requirement. As with many decisions you make in marketing and business strategy, there is often a happy middle ground that your content might occupy.

Hushly’s philosophy of micro gating content could also be right for you. By micro gating, we mean giving people some of the content for nothing and asking for contact information once the user goes deeper into the material. Hushly’s advanced software can track these leads to generate MQLs and other valuable data as well.

Check out Hushly’s Efficient Growth at Scale eBook for more information on curating your content and how micro gating can give you the best of both worlds.

How to Create an Effective Content Engagement Strategy

Content engagement is the world of shares, likes, clicks, and reposts. The more engagement you have on your posts and the higher the quality of that engagement, the more likely the customer will enjoy spending time on your pages or with your content.

In some respects, high content engagement acts as a self-reinforcing cycle. Improved content quality creates more engagement, boosting even more engagement as your posts are shared and amplified.

Two companies could spend the same amount creating and marketing quality content, but one company could reap the benefits of high content engagement while the other languishes with little attention because of a weak content engagement strategy.

In today’s guide, we want to teach you how to begin improving your social media content engagement. We’ll explain what a content engagement strategy is, why it matters for your business, and how to produce one with a repeatable 10-step process.

What is a Content Engagement Strategy?

A content engagement strategy is the method your company uses to improve likes, shares, comments, and other forms of engagement with your social media content.

You may have different content engagement strategies for different platforms which emphasize different things. For example, Twitter is a primarily text-based platform, so written posts with plenty of wit and humor are the best at generating engagement. Similarly, Instagram and Facebook are focused on the visual aspects of life, so images and video reign supreme there.

The types of responses you can expect on different types of content vary. For example, text posts will likely be engaged with more text, and images can be consumed more easily and quickly than videos. Likewise, attention-grabbing posts like polls or questions can provide fast engagement boosts by giving your social media followers something to respond to.

There are a few keys to creating an effective content engagement strategy, which we’ll detail in the section below.

10 Steps to an Effective Content Engagement Strategy

Here is a repeatable ten-step process to guide you in crafting your social media content engagement strategy.

1. Identify What Success Looks Like

You need to know what you’re aiming for to hit it.

We recommend identifying a few key metrics and keeping track of how they evolve in the weeks and months after implementing your new strategy. The results of these measurements will inform what kinds of changes you need to make to your plan.

A content engagement tool like ours at Hushly can keep track of these metrics for you and even take on the job of creating content on your behalf—eliminating this stress from your job.

2. Find your Targets

Knowing your audience is the most important way to generate interest in your product. Meeting them where they are is a great way to demonstrate credibility and knowledge of your customer base.

Make sure your content is being posted to the right platforms at the right times. This will depend on who your customers are and what you’re selling.

3. Focus on Attention Grabbers (Headlines)

The philosophy of this one is simple: you can’t sell to someone who doesn’t bother to pay attention to what you’re saying. Use headlines with strong language that will draw attention to the most important information. A striking visual or a strongly worded, fascinating, or hilarious headline will increase engagement and conversions.

4. Introduce a Story

After the headline, the introduction to your product begins. Since your attention grabber promised a story, here is where you deliver. Set up introductions that follow these guidelines:

  • Speaks directly to the customer
  • Acknowledges the customer’s problem
  • Promises to reveal how you can fix it

This natural flow of information is pleasing to customers and will help them understand how your product will add value to their lives.

5. Provide Quotes and Statistics

Quotes from industry experts, or statistics from reliable sources, are great ways to lend credibility to your product. An eye-popping statistic or highlighted quote can serve as an excellent attention grabber, as part of a smooth introduction, and in the middle of content to boost the likelihood that a customer will believe your claims.

6. Post Regularly

It’s easy to create too much or too little content all at once. You don’t need to post daily or even frequently (though that is a subjective term). It’s more important to post regularly and on a schedule that makes sense for your target audience.

This may take some work to get right: it’s not always obvious how to determine when your audience will be scrolling social media or how often they’ll appreciate content from you. Keep track of your metrics and be ready to adjust as needed.

7. Add Reminders to Share

Creating content users want to share is an important part of boosting engagement, but it’s not always easy or fast. You can supplement your quality content with encouragement and reminders to share your posts.

8. Focus on Your User Experience

Users associate every interaction with your brand with their overall customer experience. In essence, them interacting with your social media post is the same as them walking into your store: both are opportunities to maximize the customer experience and improve the likelihood they’ll spend money with you in the future.

Aesthetically pleasing and fast-loading pages, websites, and posts will improve the user experience for minimal investment. Focus on making your content feel like part of your company’s product. The value it creates will become a key part of your marketing cycle.

9. Post to Many Platforms at Once

As mentioned earlier, it’s important that you try and find customers where they are instead of hoping they’ll come to you.

Fans of your product will often want to share your post with friends but may run into problems with cross-platform sharing. For this reason, it’s important that your content (or some modified form of it) is pushed out to many platforms at once so that users can find and share content no matter where their social circle is concentrated.

10. Rethink Your Strategy Often

The final and most important step to boosting your content engagement is to rethink and optimize your strategy often. It’s highly unlikely that any strategy will be optimal from the moment it’s implemented. For this reason, you must always be willing to admit where your strategy is coming up short and look seriously at ways to resolve that.

Often can mean different things to different companies. We recommend referring back to step one if you’re unsure where to start.

Get Specific for a Wide Reach

There are thousands of unique companies and billions of unique customers, so there is no guaranteed way to boost engagement on all platforms or with all customers simultaneously.

Instead, we recommend focusing on a specific type of customer: your best customer.

Find out everything about them, including where and when they use social media, and tailor all of your content to them. You’ll still be sharing the content widely. Still, by focusing your time and attention on those most likely to become customers, you’ll maximize your ROI and make it easier to take a risk by expanding your marketing to new types of customers later down the line.

If you’re interested in how Hushly can create and manage your content engagement strategy, contact our team today!