What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Experiential Content

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Experiential content will help drive 2020’s digital agenda, and savvy B2B marketers should take notice.

Experiential is a word with subtly differing meanings depending on which setting it’s used in, however at the core of each definition is the fact that it all boils down to experiences.

Experiential content makes us a central part of a story, and not just a passive subject receiving a one-way brand message.

Experiential B2B Word Cloud Image

Use of experiential content has grown over the past several years as online technologies have reached a level capable delivering vibrant and engaging motion and sounds alongside clickable, swipable, and all other manner of interactivity to put you front and center.

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden recently mentioned experiential content in his annual list of the top ten B2B digital marketing trends for 2020.

5 B2B Brands Delivering Great Customer Experiences

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Today’s B2B customers expect more B2C-like experiences, and here are five brands delivering great customer experiences that go far beyond the tired tradition of boring-to-boring.

Research from Gartner has shown that 89 percent of firms compete primarily on customer experience. Not all companies may be taking this to heart, however, as according to additional research some 60 percent of marketers fail to take into account consumer expectations, despite 95 percent seeing increasing expectations from customers.

Making memorable customer experiences a priority can help build successful campaigns and make for delighted customers, and with further recent research showing that just 14 percent of B2B survey respondents view customer experience and support as a top priority, there may be no better time to work on delivering great customer experiences.

How Marketers Can Improve the Customer Experience (And Why They Should Want To)

How Marketers Can Improve the Customer Experience

Recent research from Gartner shows that 89% of companies compete primarily on customer experience. The way your brand makes customers feel can mean the difference between advocating for the brand or going with a competitor.

So, who owns customer experience?

It’s not just the customer service team or the Chief Experience Officer or any other dedicated department. Every touch point with a customer or potential customer is an opportunity to enhance the experience. It’s everyone’s responsibility.

As customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author Blake Morgan puts it:

“Today, companies are thinking about customer experience in everything they do, from hiring and leadership development to marketing, supply chain, logistics, IT infrastructure, product design and continuous improvement for the entire business.”

How to Optimize Customer Experience with AI – Top Tips from Microsoft’s Purna Virji

Microsoft's Purna Virji at Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 Photo by Lane R. Ellis

Purna Virji, senior manager of global engagement at Microsoft, has spoken at the Pubcon conference several times over the years, but the main stage presentation she gave yesterday in Las Vegas was her first time taking a deep look at the ever-evolving artificial intelligence landscape and how it can bolster customer experience.

“When it comes to optimizing the customer experience, design for conversation from the start. Remember, the most important thing for the user is convenience,” Purna recently told our CEO Lee Odden in his Pubcon preview highlighting nine top speakers at the event.

Is Voice Search Living Up To The Hype?

Purna began by asking the gathered audience whether they thought that voice search was generally overrated and not living up to all the hype it has increasingly attracted as more AI-assisted devices are in our homes, cars, offices, and lives in general.

How Can Marketers Create Stronger Customer Bonds? Focus on Convenience, According to Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken on Convenience Marketing

Savvy digital marketers have their ears to the ground and eyes to the sky, striving to be on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest trends, tactics, strategies, and tools. After all, change comes hard and fast in this industry—especially when it comes to evolving buyer demands and expectations.

However, innovation doesn’t have to be net-new. To put a slight spin on a classic line, everything old can be new again. And that’s where convenience as a strategic digital marketing tool.

Convenience has been a core customer service principle for decades. And more often than not, convenience is a defining characteristic of customer experience and the brand as a whole. Think about what 7-Eleven did for weary travelers or time-crunched professionals. Think about what Amazon first did for avid, deal-seeking readers—and what they’re doing now for folks from all walks of life.

Connecting the Dots from Data to Better Customer Experience

Right Message Wrong Time
I love how Tom Fishburne aka marketoonist always does a great job of showcasing marketing truths. While the focus for marketers to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time is nothing new, it’s also safe to say that we have a lot of work to do.

External Battery Charger SERP

For example, I was recently in the position of having to look for a new external battery charger. I seem to burn through these things like candy. A search on Google gave me relevant ads right on top. I clicked on a Best Buy ad and checked out the RAZORMAX Portable Power Bank.

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It looked interesting enough and while I noticed reviews from the Best Buy site, I’m the kind of person that likes validation from 3rd party review sites. So I went back to search and looked for reviews.

5 SEO Considerations to Win with Both Customers and Search Engines

Win with Customer Focused SEO

One of the cornerstones of any digital marketing presence is a company website. From being a destination for people to visit that are searching for your products and services to servicing existing customers, it’s difficult to understate the importance of a great website (or understate the missed opportunities that come with having a bad one). Of course, a great website isn’t much use if nobody can find it, which is where a solid investment in SEO can pay big dividends.

However, a question that often comes up when planning out an SEO strategy is: should you be more focused on optimizing for customers or search engines? Arguably, there was a time when this was a real trade-off. Many SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing or spam linking were effective for gaining search presence, but came at the cost of customer experience.

3 Ways to Create a Lasting Customer Relationship Online

Pamela Wilson - Authority Rainmaker 2015

A warm handshake, an inviting smile and a shared joke. These types of in-person interactions create a personal connection that builds trust. As more and more business today is conducted on the internet, brands are challenged to create a warm customer experience online which is crucial to build the trust required for transaction.

In this post, we cover three basic tactics which build a warm experience in person and how that translates to the online experience as told by Copyblogger’s Pamela Wilson at Authority Rainmaker 2015.

3 Ways to Create a Warm Customer Experience in Person

  1. The Introduction – A warm introduction is the first step in building trust with a prospect. Introducing yourself can make your prospect more open to hearing from you and more likely to listen.

New Report: How Content Co-Creation With Influencers Beats Information Overload #MastersofCX

Influencing Influencers Co-Created Content

Creating remarkable marketing isn’t just about the flash and dazzle of big ad spends. It’s about creating great experiences for your customers whether they’re early stage prospects researching solutions or satisfied clients looking for ways to better engage with the brand.

One of the best marketing investments a company can make is in the experiences they create through content. The challenge is, we live in an age of information overload where there’s more information created every 2 days than since the dawn of time to 2013 (Eric Schmidt).  While content plays an increasingly important role for attracting, engaging and converting prospects to buyers, content competition has created challenges few companies are prepared to overcome.

The Best Marketing Investment You’ll Ever Make

The Best Marketing Investment You Can MakeInbound, content, social, mobile, converged, omni-channel, transmedia. The list of marketing channels and strategies vying for our budgetary attention goes on and on.

Where should companies invest to attract more attention and engage those that would influence or act on buying?

To answer that question, we could consider the promotional advantages of each discipline:

  • Inbound Marketing – Inbound drives 54% more leads than outbound (HubSpot)
  • Content Marketing – 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and they are more likely to buy because of that (Custom Content Council)
  • Social Media –  74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  • Mobile – 41% of smartphone owners have made a purchase from their mobile phones & US m-commerce sales will reach $31 billion by 2015 (Visual.ly infographic)