The digital age has created a form of Darwinism for marketers in recent years. Like any major change, some have welcomed it with open arms and eagerly await what lies just down the road, while others are dragged kicking and screaming down that data-paved path. Whether it’s openly embraced or not, however, digital marketing is an industry that’s already knee-deep in evolutionary, at times revolutionary, currents that won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Just as natural selection created an endless variety of species, the marketing industry is watching technology transform the marketplace into an ever-growing number of segments, each naturally organized according to every imaginable affinity.
To keep pace with this rapid evolution, marketers need both the tools and knowledge to convey their message in the most agile and impactful manner possible, personalizing those messages to engage with each distinctly different segment on their own terms and not according to traditional, cast-a-wide-net philosophies of old.
Thankfully, just as technology was the primary driver behind the hypersegmentation, it also provides solutions to ensure nuanced content appeals to the specific affinities of each segment, providing marketers the flexible and potent tools they need for effective digital campaigns. Machine learning lies at the heart of those tools and offers insight, agility, immediacy, and accuracy to marketers at levels that were previously the fodder of daydreams.
Content Assessment & Optimization
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are two of the primary drivers behind this rapid technological evolution that is sweeping across industry. By leveraging these two technologies to deepen understanding of your customers and segments, you are positioning yourself to produce personalized content that reflects the voice of the customer, targeting their specific wants, needs, perceptions, and occasions of use.
Of course, these innovations bode well for your future campaigns but might not provide immediate solutions, at least at first glance, for your existing content – the very same content that your team has produced and curated for years through websites, blogs, emails, campaigns, collateral, merchandising, and product descriptions. Given the massive investments of time, money, and effort represented by that content, it is obviously important to align it as best as possible to those different segments. If paired effectively, that content can be extremely beneficial in filling the gaps between your brand’s voice and the voice of your customers.
By utilizing Oculus360’s platform for content optimization, you can analyze your existing content at scale, using machine learning and natural language processing technology to score each piece of content against the views being expressed by your customers in unaided, natural online conversations. In the process, you can identify the content that is most engaging for each demographic segment, subsequently filling any gaps in your overarching message to lend your content even greater precision.
Using consumer commentary trends as an example, if commentary data reveals the buyer’s journey is misaligned with your current marketing strategies, causing that journey to fall short of making a purchase, you can quickly pivot and change your approach to better engage the audience. Similarly, for retailers and other companies with large catalogs of products, this approach can also be used to score product description alignment to each demographic segment, enabling product and assortment planning that is specifically honed for each of those segments.
It’s So Much More Than SEO
While keywords, page aggregating, and search rankings still play a vital role in a digital marketing campaign, effective digital communication must rely on more than mere SEO to maximize opportunities. Buyers in our digital marketplace are far more savvy than before and, therefore, have higher expectations and demands.
To successfully advertise to these sophisticated market segments, marketing teams must keep their focus on the bigger picture, being deliberate with their choices of copy, content, and message. Aside from keyword and copy optimization, content optimization strategies must include other critical components of effective digital campaigns – websites, email, print, video, and images in particular.
Oculus360: Technology-Driven, Practical Solutions to Better Engage
To use a case study as context, Oculus360 recently worked with a large, global non-profit organization on content optimization. With our AI-powered consumer insights platform, we analyzed offsite conversations about purchasing gems and jewelry to extract a number of powerful insights to guide the design and implementation of their content.
Through our analysis, our client was able to better understand their consumers. Millennials are their most important market, constituting the vast majority of the customer base getting engaged and married. Much of the natural, unaided Millennial conversation in forums, reviews, and social channels focused on “value” – specifically, how the 4 C's used in gauging diamond quality (color, cut, clarity, and carat) relate to price. As a result of our analysis, the client determined a redesign of their online content was necessary to mirror the voice of their primary customer, placing an increased emphasis on gem value and, therefore, optimizing their site messaging to better engage with their ideal segment.
In another example, a fashion brand utilizing the Oculus360 platform found date nights to be the primary drivers for customers using handbags with price points under $250. To that point, offline conversations representing the voice of those customers emphasized themes like glamor, elegance, and style. The retailer’s product descriptions, however, concentrated on more practical and work-oriented aspects of the handbags. Thankfully, through their content optimization efforts, they were able to properly align the voice of their brand with rewritten product descriptions on retailer websites to better speak to the voice of their target customers.
Both of these case studies represent the importance of leveraging technology to maintain an accurate pulse on your targeted customer base. The digital economy is far too segmented and precise to rely on outdated methods intended to appeal to as broad a demographic as possible. Times have changed and, as such, so should the strategies you use to convey your message, strengthen bonds, and generate the conversions you desire.
Conversions Are Built on Trust
In other words, marketers must have a thorough understanding of customer needs, desires, and goals to truly engage audience segments and craft marketing messages that appeal to those particular qualities. “The goal of content marketing,” as SEO experts Moz put it, “is to inform and entertain prospective customers in a way that inspires them to trust you for the right reasons; authentic, legitimate, deserving and well-earned trust.”
To generate, maintain, and build on an ever-important sense of trust, brands should adopt specific best practices to maximize customer acquisition within a competitive environment. Again following the lead of Moz:
- Be concise, clear, and transparent when providing customers with information.
- Your marketing isn’t about you. Don’t create content that fancies your eye and fall in love with it. Your content should be designed with the singular purpose of engaging your audience, regardless of you and the brand.
- Personalization should be the focus of every digital campaign. Your content needs to appeal to all of your target audience segments, not just one. An evolved, segmented digital marketplace makes it more advantageous for marketers to fish for bigger, isolated catches on rod-and-reel rather than casting even the widest of nets and hoping for the best.
Create Content That Hits the Bullseye
The combination of machine learning and consumer commentary gives marketers invaluable insight to hone their message relative to individual audience segments – including brand or category perceptions, preferences, or occasions relevant to purchasing behavior. These finely-tuned insights give marketers precisely what they need to engage a segmented consumer base – a deep and meaningful understanding of the buying characteristics and intricacies that make each segment unique. Furthermore, it allows messages to be tweaked as campaigns age, extending their useful lifespans and potency to evolve with the audience’s changing demands and expectations. Thanks to machine learning, campaigns and content no longer have to be static or reliant on skewed, outdated insights.
With the help of Oculus360, you can leverage the immense power of machine learning and consumer insights through customer commentary to give you meaningful, real-time guidance. You no longer have to blindly navigate a complicated marketplace on your own. Let Oculus360’s platform be the insightful roadmap needed to find your voice and ideal audience segments, optimize your content, and engage at deeper levels than ever before.