Every marketer knows that content marketing consists of three key components: creation, delivery, and analysis. Each aspect contributes to brand awareness, brand credibility, lead generation, and conversions.

However, there’s another fundamental aspect of content marketing that an increasing number of marketers are talking about: the “content experience.” The experience around our content has a major impact on what prospective customers do next.

Unfortunately, many marketers still don’t pay enough attention to this side of content marketing. In this post, we’ll look at what content experience really means and how you can optimize it to improve your content strategy going forward.

What is a Content Experience?

Whenever consumers come into contact with your content online, they’ll feel certain things and behave according to the way content is presented to them. This is the content experience. It takes place where your content lives, affects how users feel about interacting with your brand, and ultimately shapes the buyer journey from prospect to lead to customer.

Every piece of content has an experience surrounding it. Indeed, a negative content experience can cause potential customers to look elsewhere.

You can split the content experience into three parts:

1. The Environment in Which Your Content Lives

This is how your content appears to anyone who finds it. It’s important because many people judge the value of something by first impressions. Does the content look attractive? Does it look professional? Is it consistent with your brand’s image? All these factors influence how people view your brand.

The content environment also means where you place your content. Is it in an email, on a landing page, or gated, behind an email subscription form? In this way, it’s closely related to the user experience.

2. The Structure of Your Content

This is more about the user experience. Can someone find what they’re looking for and navigate your website easily? Is your content structured so that it gives viewers the right information at the right time? This part of the content experience is essentially about how your content is organized.

Related Reading: Best Practices for Beautiful and Effective Blog Design

3. The Impact of Your Content

Does your content encourage users to take the necessary next steps? One of the key parts of a content experience is whether it compels users to take action. This involves inserting relevant CTAs and personalizing content to potential buyers.

Why Content Experience Matters for Content Marketing

The content experience has a big impact on conversions, streamlines the buyer journey, and helps with customer retention. From the viewpoint of a prospective customer, certain factors contribute to a positive content experience:

They can easily find what they’re looking for.

They enjoy the way the content is presented.

They can easily view the content on whichever device they’re using.

They feel emotionally engaged with the tone of the content.

They can quickly find other content relevant to their interests.

When you get all of these things right, your content marketing will have more impact and ultimately increases the return on your marketing investment. So the value of your content doesn’t just rely on the subject matter; its value is dependent on how it comes across to viewers.

What Can Marketers Do to Improve Their Content Experience?

Content Environment

One of the main reasons consumers give up on content is if it’s poorly designed. According to Adobe research, around 38 percent of people will stop engaging with content if it’s unattractive in its layout or imagery.

It’s, therefore, crucial to ensure your content is easy to read and scannable. Use shorter sentences and paragraphs. Break up text with subheadings, bulleted lists, images, graphics, and white space. Summarize videos with text in case people don’t want to watch.

Using responsive design is also key. If your content isn’t optimized for mobile, your Google rankings will drop and you’ll damage your conversion rates. After all, around 60 percent of content consumption happens on smartphones and tablets. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to discover if your website is mobile friendly.

Related Reading: How to Create Mobile-Friendly Content (2019 Update)

Content Impact

Every piece of content should have a purpose, but ultimately it’s about driving prospects further along the sales funnel. This means you need to do two things:

Every piece of content should have a purpose, but ultimately it’s about driving prospects further along the sales funnel. This means you need to do two things:

1. Personalize Content

Get to know your target audience and the issues they face. Make sure each piece of content focuses on a particular issue and provides specific solutions.

2. Encourage Action

Ensure every piece of content includes a CTA that is relevant to the content. For example, you shouldn’t be promoting a “Beginner’s Guide to Marketing” white paper on the same page as a blog post that is aimed at advanced marketers.

Match each CTA to the context of the page and consider where prospects are in the buyer journey. If your CTA doesn’t relate to the content that comes before it, it’s only going to alienate readers and damage the content experience. You’ll get the best results when you help users continue their content journey.

Related Reading: 11 CTA Tips That Will Turn Your Blog into a Lead Machine

In Summary

Content experiences happen whenever and wherever there is contact with your content. It could be when a visitor lands on your homepage after clicking a link on social media, or it could be when a customer receives your “Thank You” email after a purchase.

The question is whether or not you’re delivering content experiences that engage your audience. Every encounter affects how your audience feels about your brand, and how the customer-brand relationship will progress.

Creating content takes time, effort, and resources, so you can’t afford to let any content sit dormant and alone. You need to put every piece of content in an environment that connects with prospects at every stage of the buyer journey. It needs to be visually appealing, contextually relevant, and promote further action. Only then will your content have the potential to help your business grow.