As a marketer, you know that marketing continues to evolve at warp speed. From the customer journey to the increased pressure to produce strong returns on investment to the explosion of new media channels, marketers are continuously reacting to change.

Due to the multitude of changes, marketers are also aware of just how difficult it has become to captivate the interest of their target audiences. Recent studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. As more channels are created to reach customers, that number will grow exponentially.

As the digital communications space becomes more cluttered and we accept the mantra of “more is not better” nor is more content going to cut through the noise, marketers find themselves looking for ways to help their company differentiate themselves from the competition in ways important to the target audience. You might be asking yourself questions such as:

  • Is your messaging strategy working and cutting through the noise?
  • Does your team have the right tech stack in place to understand how content is performing?
  • How can you show the effectiveness of your content strategy to prevent budget cuts?

Rather than guess at strategy, marketing teams are looking for solutions that help them better understand what content customers are currently interested in to uncover what messaging to deliver, content to create, where and when to place/promote the content and more.

One solution that is playing a key role in the development of successful content strategies is content intelligence. Content intelligence platforms provide content marketing with the foundation it needs to be successful.

Why Content Intelligence?

Content Intelligence takes the guessing out of your current messaging, communications and content strategies and empowers you to communicate and differentiate your brand from competition in ways important to the customer.

Worth recalling is the idea of content shock. The world is being flooded with content from your brand and your competitors content or as author Mark Schaefer puts it – content shock. In a blog post published several years ago, Schaefer stated that content marketing as a strategy was no longer sustainable due to its greatly diminishing returns. Marketers would have to spend more marketing dollars to get less attention. So as a marketer, what should you do?

Rather than looking at content shock as a threat, Schafer looks at content shock as an opportunity. In a more recent blog post, Schaefer shared, “… Content Shock isn’t the problem – it’s the solution. This is the goal. Create Content Shock for your competitors by saturating your niche.”

I would propose that “saturating your niche” should be interpreted as taking control of your target market’s attention. And keeping it. Not simply trying to overwhelm your niche with content volume.

In order to grab your target market’s attention, especially from competitors, you must have insight into what matters most to your target market down to the segmented persona level – needs, goals, intent, and behaviors. By utilizing persona intelligence on a mass scale, you will be able to gain insights that can help you create successful strategies on how to get the right content in front of the right people at the right time. That feels personalized.

To help break down content intelligence further, we put together three reasons why content intelligence is the foundation that marketing strategies need. Content Intelligence:

  • Provides deeper insights on what messaging your target audience responds favorably to the most
  • Offers broad, data-driven customer insights; Content intelligence helps you take a more holistic approach to develop content and messaging that provokes a response
  • Not only provides you with more data insights that direct you on how to deliver the right content to the right audience, but it also guides you on when and where to deliver that content

Say Adios to Limitations

It could be argued that platforms like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics and Adobe Analytics provide content intelligence via performance analytics and attribution. Certainly, marketers have been able to gain real-time insights on user behavior and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, including analyzing the patterns that come with conversions.

However, these platforms lack the insight to guide marketers with strategic planning. Specifically, delivering prescriptive and dare I say predictive messaging, communication and content recommendations. Marketers are truly limiting performance if they continue to rely solely on post-execution analytics to create messaging strategies. Marketers need a smart tool to assist in the strategic planning of content that lives prior to creative.

You still think content is King? Sorry, content is not King. Your customer is King and he who listens, understands and utilizes customer insight data to craft relevant messaging and content will win the attention of consumers, prospects and clients alike; increasing order/contract values and LTV.

In fact, a recent Gartner study found that by 2020 smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable businesses to increase their profits by up to 15 percent.

Through machine learning, natural language processing, and other artificial intelligence technology, you can give your target audience an experience that feels personalized; what they want. In other words, intentional messaging and communications exactly where they want it with the information they need. Not only will your customer feel seen, heard and valued, but your company will also be happy to see a greater ROI.

The Emergence of Content Intelligence

In its truest form, content intelligence will give you a true view of exactly what your target audience finds most relevant in your products and services, how, when and where they want to engage with your content, and what content will most effectively drive ongoing connections with them. Once you understand what matters most to your personas from a value, offering, theme, and messaging standpoint, only then does worrying about sentiment, tonality and style matter. How you say it is not as important as what you say.

However, this type of content intelligence is not here, at least not quite yet.

The emerging solutions in the content intelligence space are providing various levels of content intelligence to drive deeper levels of actionable insights that go beyond the level coming from most analytics platforms.

Similar to other emerging technologies, the content intelligence industry will continue to transform quickly. 70 percent of content marketing leaders are increasing investment in marketing technology. From early adopters to the late majority and laggards, there will be a wide range of acceptance of content intelligence solutions from marketers across all industries.

As brands continue to invest in technology to help advance their brand, content intelligence platforms will begin to rise to the top as a critical piece of technology. Whether it is planning, creation, promotion or performance, marketers are facing many hurdles to develop successful marketing content strategies. Marketers who take the time to further educate themselves on this growing industry beyond this crash course will put them in a better position for success in the future.

This article originally ran on The 60 Second Marketer.