Content marketing needs context.Content marketing has been one of the more important digital trends of the decade. Companies big and small have worked hard to become their own publishers, pushing out content that’s supposed to be educational and engaging rather than promotional and product-centric.

It’s worked pretty well. So well, in fact, that marketers have named content marketing as their number one priority in 2015. Content marketing was ranked as more important than Big Data, marketing automation, mobile marketing, and social media marketing.

According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends report, 70% of companies are planning to create more content this year. But does more content necessarily mean better content? And at what point are so many businesses creating so much content that it starts becoming less effective?

That’s where context is going to come into play.

Reversing the Search 

Right now, when we’re looking for tips about email marketing or social media marketing, we actively search for it. We’ll go on Twitter, take a look at LinkedIn groups or, most often, just type a question into Google.

A lot of the time, though, the results aren’t what we want. The articles and reports we find might answer some of our questions, but not all of them. Searching for those answers can take a long time.

But what if the content came to you right when you needed it? What if it was aligned perfectly with your needs in the moment?

That’s the potential of contextual content in a nutshell. By combining context with content, businesses can create a new kind of experience for customers and prospects. Rather than having people seek out the digital content they need, the content will adjust to what they need at that moment.

An email campaign, for example, would change content according to the recipient’s location or the time of open. Media companies can ensure that people who open the emails only get the most recent headlines – even after the email has been sent – or that viewers can keep track of a football score, in real-time, without leaving their inbox.

Context means more sophisticated personalization, too. Creative design can change on-the-fly, adapting to a user’s name or other data, while changing to fit the device on which it’s viewed. That means a more relevant web and email experience and, consequently, more engaging content for prospects and customers.

Getting From There to Here

As businesses start producing more content than ever, it’s going to become important to find ways to get that content in front of the right people. By empowering content with context, it’s possible to ensure that all the great content that’s being created doesn’t go to waste by going to the wrong people at the wrong time.

That’s the power of contextual marketing. By creating a way for your content to adapt to the context of individual customers, you can make sure that the content is as engaging as possible.

Nickelodeon, for example, did this during Snowstorm Juno. Nick Jr. sent out snow day activity packs to parents with customized messages based on the weather of the recipient’s current location. Just by ensuring that the content was contextual, the unique click-through rate of the email shot up 75%.

Contextual marketing isn’t another buzzword, it’s a different way of marketing that works to enhance the customer experience and provide utility. And it doesn’t take thousands of dollars to start thinking about context, either.

Want to learn how other brands are using contextual marketing and how your business can start using it? Register for “The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing,” our webinar on February 19.