Do you know the feeling of being hired as an SEO consultant, content manager or content marketer and feeling stuck on the content treadmill?

You and your teammates post content every week, but somehow it never quite seems to bring traction and results.

Ahrefs has conducted data studies over the past few years, and their 2017 research showed us some scary numbers:

90.63% of all the pages in our index get no traffic from Google, and 5.29% of them get ten visits per month or less.

Content experiences are the new content marketingAhrefs traffic study 2017 – Ahrefs

Worse still, a lot of content production on the content treadmill feels boring, exhausting, and uncreative to you.

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I feel you!

In this article I want to introduce you to the concept of the content experience. It is the interface between content marketing and user experience. The main aim is to structure, package and use your content in the best possible way.

Content experience building focuses from producing large-scale content to finding creative ways to repackage and update your content.

In this article we focus on the aspect of the package contents in an innovative way.

We as SEO professionals are rather boring in this department because Google is a text-based crawler. However, this shouldn't stop us from having meaningful experiences that build trust for your brand.

Why are meaningful virtual experiences more important than ever today?

Because we're fed up with zooms and walls of text and websites that all look the same.

2020 was too much of it.

It's time to incorporate this idea of ​​creating experiences through our user interfaces into content creation.

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What are content experiences?

Randy Frisch coined the term content experience in his 2019 book “F # ck Content Marketing: Focus on Content Experience”.

He defines it as:

A content experience is (1) the environment in which your content lives, (2) how it is structured, and (3) how it forces your prospects and customers to engage with your company.

Ultimately, mastering the content experience involves three elements:

  • A strategic approach to creating the environment in which your audience will consume your content.
  • Structure your content to make it easy to find.
  • Encourage your audience to engage with you – and ultimately convert – as you guide them through the buyer's journey.

Breathtaking content experiences that stimulate your creativity

Now let's see how we can translate this definition into practical examples and best practices.

I want to highlight four areas where you can improve your content experience.

The pyramid principle

The pyramid principle is often used in summaries or newspaper articles. It drives focus and attention.

The core of the principle is as follows:

  • Start with the answer first.
  • Group and summarize your supporting arguments.
  • Logically order your supporting ideas.

Get inspiration from journalists and start with the most important information in your heading H1 and in the first paragraph.

Don't bury the lede and hide your best information with a lengthy introduction, detailed text and keyword filling.

And what's more, not every keyword or topic needs a long article to be useful.

This Toggl online stopwatch is a great example of a useful page that ranks well and doesn't need long text.

Content experience – phenomenal!

Content experiences are the new content marketingCurrent online stopwatch

Here is an example of the "Invoice Template" keyword and topic.

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Who wants to read 2,000 words if that's what they're looking for?

Nobody!

For a good experience, we want the actual template. And Toggl offers it with a big red button above the fold – no registration required.

They reduce frustration and offer the visitor immediate added value.

This increases the likelihood that they will get involved later.

Resource libraries that meet search intent

The pyramid principles applied to your entire website and blog mean that you want to rethink your blog categories.

Sorted by date (like WordPress and many other CMS), it's a far cry from showing users relevant information when they need it.

Think of and structure your blog categories as resource libraries.

This means that you group your content by topic (silo structure) and / or content type (video, white paper, e-book) and / or funnel level (activation, maintenance, sale).

This is a helpful resource library that I love.

The theme is a child's first year.

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As you can see, sleep, nutrition, and care information is neatly sorted at the top of this blog category, before the latest articles appear at the bottom.

Content experiences are the new content marketingA blog category that is actually a resource library.

They make it easier for users to find information that is relevant to them by structuring your content according to context and needs.

Promote engagement and make a list

Speaking of babies, one website that encourages useful engagement is the diaper brand Pampers.

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Your website clearly has a content-first rather than an ecommerce-first approach.

But even if you make it to the shop, they make it super easy and helpful to find the right products for you.

One of the shop categories is a calculator that shows the diaper size and the amount of diaper required.

A great way to increase engagement on the website and improve the experience.

Content experiences are the new content marketingHelpful engagement.

A more classic way to increase engagement and capture leads is Coschedule.

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Garrett Moon wrote the book “10x Marketing Formula,” highlighting their approach to converting organic visitors into leads.

Almost every single one of your blog posts has an individual guiding magnet. This includes templates for content calendars and planners, as well as heading tips.

Your content is useful, pyramid-shaped, and yet it turns into email leads.

Content experiences are the new content marketing

And finally, a really entertaining experience campaign: HEY has created a real dumpster fire (for the dumpster fire of 2020). You can send them an email with the message you want to burn and you can watch it get printed and burned on their live stream.

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This is a real content experience!

Content experiences are the new content marketingIt's a real experience.

Avoid dead pages with internal content distribution

Do you know who could really use your content to aid their efforts?

  • Your support team.
  • Your sales team.
  • Your bills.

You may be wondering? What do my invoices have to do with my content creation? Well, your receipt is a missed opportunity to educate, explain, and build superfans.

Why not include your best guides in your automated receipt emails?

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You have just bought a pressure washer (or are only Germans like me? 😉). Here are a number of guides on how to use them.

Content experiences are the new content marketingAnswer product-related questions.

It should be clear why these guides will be very helpful for your support and sales team to highlight use cases!

If you don't have a sales team because you're B2C, this information will still be helpful in creating SEO-optimized category pages that are actually fun – and not just some SEO content that appears at the bottom of the page.

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It is time to think creatively in order to stand out from content-related experiences

In short, content experience is the practice of engaging your visitors, creating powerful online experiences, and being truly helpful.

The content experience design helps us get off the treadmill and create endless walls of text.

It allows us to be creative and get more out of the content we already have.

It's a tool to build trust, generate new leads, and really stand out as a brand.

Who wouldn't want to send a message to the HEY dumpster fire now?

Lastly, and most importantly, it helps us, SEO pros, content marketers, and content writers not to throw our efforts in the dumpster fire of pages that are never visited.

More resources:

Photo credit

Featured image: Pexels
All screenshots by the author, December 2020

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