What is content experience and why is it important?

What is content experience and why is it important?

6 minute read

What is content experience and why is it important?

6 minute read

What is content experience and why is it important?

Afoma Umesi

GatherContent Contributor, Writer
If you’ve ever found an article through relevant search engine results, visited the website, and realized you were still on the site nearly an hour later, you’ve likely been sucked in by an excellent content experience.

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With more companies hopping on the content marketing train (97% of marketers!), it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. Building an immersive content experience is one way to ensure that website visitors stay longer, build affinity for your brand, and convert—thus completing the buyer’s journey.

We’ll explore what a good content experience is, why it matters, and how to build one that will increase your brand’s return on investment (ROI).

What is content experience?

In his book F#ck Content Marketing, Randy Frisch of UberFlip coined the term “content experience,” which he defines as “the environment in which your content lives, how it’s structured, and how it compels your prospects and customers to engage with your company.”

Content experience is how users discover, access, use, and benefit from your content. It encompasses their overall impression and how it impacts their engagement with your company or product.

Why does content experience matter?

In this digital age, more companies are investing in content marketing, so to stand out, brands must do more than share information or market aggressively.

They should also optimize their content for discovery via search engines (more than 50% of online experiences begin there), make it easier to navigate their websites and convert after repeated exposure.

That’s where content experience comes in.

Infographic from the 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report. The survey question asks: How many pieces of content have you typically consumed before engaging with a salesperson when you are making a purchase decision? The answers are: 1-3 30%, 3-5 44%, 5-7 16%, and more than 7 10%.
B2B marketing executives typically consume three to five pieces of content before engaging.

44% of B2B executives stated they typically consume three to five pieces of content before engaging with a vendor. Companies must consider how that content makes the site visitor feel. A great content experience is memorable and seamless—it makes acting on that content feel easy.

What is the difference between content experience and content marketing?

Although content marketing and content experience are related, they are different.

Content marketing uses various content formats—blog posts, videos, webinars, podcasts—to promote a brand’s products or services. It involves planning, creating, publishing, and distributing published pieces of content and then analyzing their performance.

On the other hand, content experience is a broader concept at the intersection of user experience (or customer experience) and content marketing. It doesn’t only involve what content teams are doing to promote their brand but also how customers are impacted by engaging with the full scope of their content.

For example, while content marketing is publishing ebooks, case studies, white papers, or blog posts, creating a good content experience would entail additional efforts to make the content more interactive, discoverable, and accessible for visitors.

Overall, where content marketing seeks to draw users in with one piece of content, the content experience keeps them engaged throughout the buyer’s journey using multiple touchpoints and a comprehensive approach.

How to build a solid content experience

Here are five steps to follow if you’re ready to build a strong content experience for your audience.

Run a thorough content audit

The first step is to determine the state of your brand’s current content experience—if any—and how it meets customers’ content needs by using a content audit. Start by creating an inventory of your content and then reviewing it for key performance metrics like:

  • The number of page views and organic traffic from search engines
  • Clickthrough rate on call-to-action buttons
  • Social shares and page backlinks
  • Page load times
  • Keyword rankings

During your content audit, look for experience blockers like a lack of internal links, absent connections to related content, opportunities to include lead magnets geared toward a specific segment of your audience, and other factors that can enhance the content experience.

Good to Know: If you need help organizing your content audit process, our audit spreadsheet will help you get started. Download it for free.

Build an effective content strategy

After the content audit, create a content marketing strategy to level up your brand’s content experience. Start by setting goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do I want my content to impact prospects?
  • How can I create more personalized content for my audience?
  • Which content topics most relate to my audience’s pain points?
  • Which content formats does my audience gravitate towards?
  • How can I create a more engaging digital experience?

Answering the questions above will help you determine the most effective way to create the right content for your audience. Once that’s done, you can move on to the content creation phase. This includes thorough keyword research, creating content to engage your audience, content management, and publishing it in a digestible and distributable format.

See Also: You don’t have to wait until your next content audit to keep track of website content. Use our website content post-launch checklist to ensure your content stays up to date after a launch or relaunch.

Distribute content strategically

Content distribution is an essential piece of the content experience puzzle. It affects how customers find and experience your content. Some popular content distribution platforms are social media, search engines, podcasts, infographics, email newsletters, and videos.

You can also distribute content and build an immersive content experience by using the following tactics:

  • Using lead magnets targeted toward a specific audience
  • Creating quizzes to increase social shares
  • Guest posting on industry websites
  • Using paid advertising on search engines or social media

To ensure that your content distribution practices lead to a rewarding content experience, focus on delivering consistently high-quality content and value across channels.

Analyze the results of your content experience

Test, test, test! Make sure your attempts to build a strong content experience are working by re-evaluating the same metrics you did in your initial content audit. It’s best to give content at least two to three months before evaluating its impact.

In addition to immediate quantitative metrics such as traffic, clicks, social growth, and gains in email subscribers, for example, zoom in on conversion metrics. Learning how many leads your efforts generate is a vital way to measure your ROI.

3 Best practices to follow for a revamped content experience

Constructing an appealing content experience can be challenging, especially if you need to overhaul pre-existing content. Here are some simple tips you can start with to build an excellent content experience:

Use pillar pages to link relevant content

Building topic clusters is one way to deliver value while reaping SEO benefits.

A pillar page acts as a central source of truth for a huge topic and links to several other pages discussing subthemes in greater detail. For example, a pillar page on “what is SEO?” would lead to topic different cluster pages with articles on related subtopics. Those subtopics might include on-page SEO, technical SEO, off-page SEO, and tips for successful SEO.

Building pillar pages makes it easier for website visitors to find related content and go from article to article without interference. This increases the likelihood that they will find something that addresses pain points and see your brand’s relevance to their business.

Include interactive elements to maintain engagement

Unfortunately, not much B2B content includes interactive elements, even though they’re excellent for capturing a visitor’s attention. These could be anything from animations to interactive content like infographics, calculators, checklists, or quizzes.

These elements increase reader engagement and create a more immersive content experience, letting visitors have fun while consuming useful content. This, in turn, builds positive feelings about your brand and makes them more likely to return and convert in the future.

Don’t neglect basic website architecture

The core of the content experience: basic website architecture. It should be intuitive for website visitors to find the content they need on your website. Using features like breadcrumbs ensure they can always find their way home or return to the first page where they landed.

Other essential elements of website architecture include a well-structured menu and navigation bar, a simple URL structure, and a submitted XML sitemap.

3 Examples of brands with remarkable content experience

Now that we understand the basics of creating a stellar website experience, let’s review three B2B brands doing a killer job at providing an A+ content experience.

Pipedrive

Screenshot of a blog post on the Pipedrive website, highlighting a box on the right hand side f the page that suggests downloading free sales invoice templates. There is a space within that box to submit the reader's work email.
Pipedrive hosts targeted sliders and lead magnets on their blog.

Pipedrive creates a great content experience with blog sections divided into various categories, including sales, marketing, and product updates. It also features pages with specific engaging pop-ups, sliders, and lead magnets geared toward the content’s target audience, as seen in this article about sales invoices.

Hotjar

Screenshot of a page on the Hotjar website. It shows a bar of topic clusters at the top of the page, suggesting topics like Heatmap examples, how to analyze a heatmap, heatmap case studies, etc.
Hotjar’s blog features topic clusters.

Hotjar’s blog is also structured by sections, but more impressively, the blog hosts broad topic clusters on the brand’s expert topics, such as heatmaps and product management.

Wistia

Screenshot from the Wistia website. We can see a video placed in the middle of the article to illustrate lighting techniques, which is the topic of the blog post.
Wistia features autoplay videos to support tutorial articles

The video creation platform, Wistia, boasts a highly interactive blog. Most blog posts (like this one) feature tutorial videos that autoplay within posts, providing readers with a more informative and immersive experience.

Improve your content experience with GatherContent

An exceptional content experience sets you apart from your competitors and fosters trust and appreciation for your brand—positioning you as an expert in the industry.

Whether you’re planning, creating, reviewing, or publishing content to build your site’s content experience, GatherContent is a worthy ally. Our content marketing platform supports content collaboration and helps content teams build engaging content experiences for their audience.

Looking for more ways to improve your content marketing and create the best content experience? Sign up for the GatherContent newsletter for weekly tips.

With more companies hopping on the content marketing train (97% of marketers!), it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. Building an immersive content experience is one way to ensure that website visitors stay longer, build affinity for your brand, and convert—thus completing the buyer’s journey.

We’ll explore what a good content experience is, why it matters, and how to build one that will increase your brand’s return on investment (ROI).

What is content experience?

In his book F#ck Content Marketing, Randy Frisch of UberFlip coined the term “content experience,” which he defines as “the environment in which your content lives, how it’s structured, and how it compels your prospects and customers to engage with your company.”

Content experience is how users discover, access, use, and benefit from your content. It encompasses their overall impression and how it impacts their engagement with your company or product.

Why does content experience matter?

In this digital age, more companies are investing in content marketing, so to stand out, brands must do more than share information or market aggressively.

They should also optimize their content for discovery via search engines (more than 50% of online experiences begin there), make it easier to navigate their websites and convert after repeated exposure.

That’s where content experience comes in.

Infographic from the 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report. The survey question asks: How many pieces of content have you typically consumed before engaging with a salesperson when you are making a purchase decision? The answers are: 1-3 30%, 3-5 44%, 5-7 16%, and more than 7 10%.
B2B marketing executives typically consume three to five pieces of content before engaging.

44% of B2B executives stated they typically consume three to five pieces of content before engaging with a vendor. Companies must consider how that content makes the site visitor feel. A great content experience is memorable and seamless—it makes acting on that content feel easy.

What is the difference between content experience and content marketing?

Although content marketing and content experience are related, they are different.

Content marketing uses various content formats—blog posts, videos, webinars, podcasts—to promote a brand’s products or services. It involves planning, creating, publishing, and distributing published pieces of content and then analyzing their performance.

On the other hand, content experience is a broader concept at the intersection of user experience (or customer experience) and content marketing. It doesn’t only involve what content teams are doing to promote their brand but also how customers are impacted by engaging with the full scope of their content.

For example, while content marketing is publishing ebooks, case studies, white papers, or blog posts, creating a good content experience would entail additional efforts to make the content more interactive, discoverable, and accessible for visitors.

Overall, where content marketing seeks to draw users in with one piece of content, the content experience keeps them engaged throughout the buyer’s journey using multiple touchpoints and a comprehensive approach.

How to build a solid content experience

Here are five steps to follow if you’re ready to build a strong content experience for your audience.

Run a thorough content audit

The first step is to determine the state of your brand’s current content experience—if any—and how it meets customers’ content needs by using a content audit. Start by creating an inventory of your content and then reviewing it for key performance metrics like:

  • The number of page views and organic traffic from search engines
  • Clickthrough rate on call-to-action buttons
  • Social shares and page backlinks
  • Page load times
  • Keyword rankings

During your content audit, look for experience blockers like a lack of internal links, absent connections to related content, opportunities to include lead magnets geared toward a specific segment of your audience, and other factors that can enhance the content experience.

Good to Know: If you need help organizing your content audit process, our audit spreadsheet will help you get started. Download it for free.

Build an effective content strategy

After the content audit, create a content marketing strategy to level up your brand’s content experience. Start by setting goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do I want my content to impact prospects?
  • How can I create more personalized content for my audience?
  • Which content topics most relate to my audience’s pain points?
  • Which content formats does my audience gravitate towards?
  • How can I create a more engaging digital experience?

Answering the questions above will help you determine the most effective way to create the right content for your audience. Once that’s done, you can move on to the content creation phase. This includes thorough keyword research, creating content to engage your audience, content management, and publishing it in a digestible and distributable format.

See Also: You don’t have to wait until your next content audit to keep track of website content. Use our website content post-launch checklist to ensure your content stays up to date after a launch or relaunch.

Distribute content strategically

Content distribution is an essential piece of the content experience puzzle. It affects how customers find and experience your content. Some popular content distribution platforms are social media, search engines, podcasts, infographics, email newsletters, and videos.

You can also distribute content and build an immersive content experience by using the following tactics:

  • Using lead magnets targeted toward a specific audience
  • Creating quizzes to increase social shares
  • Guest posting on industry websites
  • Using paid advertising on search engines or social media

To ensure that your content distribution practices lead to a rewarding content experience, focus on delivering consistently high-quality content and value across channels.

Analyze the results of your content experience

Test, test, test! Make sure your attempts to build a strong content experience are working by re-evaluating the same metrics you did in your initial content audit. It’s best to give content at least two to three months before evaluating its impact.

In addition to immediate quantitative metrics such as traffic, clicks, social growth, and gains in email subscribers, for example, zoom in on conversion metrics. Learning how many leads your efforts generate is a vital way to measure your ROI.

3 Best practices to follow for a revamped content experience

Constructing an appealing content experience can be challenging, especially if you need to overhaul pre-existing content. Here are some simple tips you can start with to build an excellent content experience:

Use pillar pages to link relevant content

Building topic clusters is one way to deliver value while reaping SEO benefits.

A pillar page acts as a central source of truth for a huge topic and links to several other pages discussing subthemes in greater detail. For example, a pillar page on “what is SEO?” would lead to topic different cluster pages with articles on related subtopics. Those subtopics might include on-page SEO, technical SEO, off-page SEO, and tips for successful SEO.

Building pillar pages makes it easier for website visitors to find related content and go from article to article without interference. This increases the likelihood that they will find something that addresses pain points and see your brand’s relevance to their business.

Include interactive elements to maintain engagement

Unfortunately, not much B2B content includes interactive elements, even though they’re excellent for capturing a visitor’s attention. These could be anything from animations to interactive content like infographics, calculators, checklists, or quizzes.

These elements increase reader engagement and create a more immersive content experience, letting visitors have fun while consuming useful content. This, in turn, builds positive feelings about your brand and makes them more likely to return and convert in the future.

Don’t neglect basic website architecture

The core of the content experience: basic website architecture. It should be intuitive for website visitors to find the content they need on your website. Using features like breadcrumbs ensure they can always find their way home or return to the first page where they landed.

Other essential elements of website architecture include a well-structured menu and navigation bar, a simple URL structure, and a submitted XML sitemap.

3 Examples of brands with remarkable content experience

Now that we understand the basics of creating a stellar website experience, let’s review three B2B brands doing a killer job at providing an A+ content experience.

Pipedrive

Screenshot of a blog post on the Pipedrive website, highlighting a box on the right hand side f the page that suggests downloading free sales invoice templates. There is a space within that box to submit the reader's work email.
Pipedrive hosts targeted sliders and lead magnets on their blog.

Pipedrive creates a great content experience with blog sections divided into various categories, including sales, marketing, and product updates. It also features pages with specific engaging pop-ups, sliders, and lead magnets geared toward the content’s target audience, as seen in this article about sales invoices.

Hotjar

Screenshot of a page on the Hotjar website. It shows a bar of topic clusters at the top of the page, suggesting topics like Heatmap examples, how to analyze a heatmap, heatmap case studies, etc.
Hotjar’s blog features topic clusters.

Hotjar’s blog is also structured by sections, but more impressively, the blog hosts broad topic clusters on the brand’s expert topics, such as heatmaps and product management.

Wistia

Screenshot from the Wistia website. We can see a video placed in the middle of the article to illustrate lighting techniques, which is the topic of the blog post.
Wistia features autoplay videos to support tutorial articles

The video creation platform, Wistia, boasts a highly interactive blog. Most blog posts (like this one) feature tutorial videos that autoplay within posts, providing readers with a more informative and immersive experience.

Improve your content experience with GatherContent

An exceptional content experience sets you apart from your competitors and fosters trust and appreciation for your brand—positioning you as an expert in the industry.

Whether you’re planning, creating, reviewing, or publishing content to build your site’s content experience, GatherContent is a worthy ally. Our content marketing platform supports content collaboration and helps content teams build engaging content experiences for their audience.

Looking for more ways to improve your content marketing and create the best content experience? Sign up for the GatherContent newsletter for weekly tips.

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