According to Sirius Decisions, 60 to 70% of content produced by B2B marketing firms goes unused by its audience. Yet another report by CMI research shows that (2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends) marketers consider producing enough content to be a huge challenge, with nearly a third listing it as their #1 marketing challenge. What is causing the problem? The issue is not about creating enough content but about creating enough usable content.
Why content goes unused
With online content generation clearly a priority for marketers these days, there is a huge amount of content created and made available to online audiences every day. That abundance creates a problem for site visitors. How can online prospects sift through all the available content to get what they need, in the format they prefer?
Imagine that you are the VP of marketing for a company with 10 product lines. For each line you may have a brochure, 2-3 webinars, 2-3 case studies, a couple of e-books or White Papers and perhaps a video or two. Times 10 products this means around 100 individual content items.
So, to present this content to your online visitors, you must make a choice. You can present an overwhelming laundry list of all your content items with calls to action, providing an abysmal user experience and likely driving away your visitor frustrated. Or, you take the more common approach and optimize each page to show a small selection of calls to action directed at content, hoping the visitor either happens to see what they want immediately or is inspired to dig through your site for something relevant. Given the time and attention poverty of the average web user and the abundance of content available elsewhere, few visitors will bother to pursue your content in either instance.
The result is that the vast majority of your 100 valuable content items, that 60-70% we mentioned earlier, are never seen or consumed.
Maximizing content utilization
Given limited space on your Web pages and a growing library of marketing materials, the solution to the content utilization dilemma is clear: dynamic content recommendation. It provides the best of both options above: a manageable, narrow selection of options for each visitor, and the assurance that the user will be exposed to the specific content on your site that meets their needs.
Dynamic content recommendation enables you to present the right content to the right visitor at the right time without the visitor having to discover it themselves. Machine learning does that discovery for them.
Not only will more content get consumed, more visitors will engage and convert. And over time, analysis of these consumption patterns (what items remain unconsumed; which are the most popular and by whom) will help you refine your overall content marketing strategy. You’ll be able to tune your content creation system for maximum utilization.
Generating good content will remain a priority for marketers, but without a utilization strategy, it’s a wasted effort. Automated, dynamic content recommendation is a crucial element in the content pipeline to ensure the investments you make actually reach the audience you covet.