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Author's profile photo Jonas Amoss

The Creative INSIDE of SAP: Custom Content Has Engaging Edge

It’s essential to digital transformation, too.

If you were to host a small group brainstorming session and ask participants what words they’d use to describe a successful customer interaction and then ask what words they’d use to describe an enjoyable conversation, you’d probably get a list chopped full of synonyms.

While customer engagement should flow like compelling conversation, in today’s crowded space for dialog, it isn’t necessarily easy to do.

The internet abounds with both crowd-sourced and more academically focused research on the topic of what makes a meaningful conversation. Here’s an admittedly oversimplified cull from several different resources.

Do…

Remain open.

Keep it inclusive, balanced, and honest.

Make it memorable without being controversial.

Choose relevant topics; they lead to the most valuable conclusions.

Know your audience and relentlessly tailor every aspect of your messaging to focus on them.

Don’t…

Conduct one-sided exchanges.

Use forced language or ideas.

Tackle too much in one exchange.

Be bland or benign in your delivery.

Be generic or one size fits all in your approach.

In an almost identical list, you’ll find many of the same how-to conversation dos and don’ts also apply to what makes for engaging content.

Further cementing these parallels is the importance of CUSTOMIZATION.

How can we have more personal conversations at a time when the breadth of the fire wall between companies and new customers is growing? It’s going to take more than knowing how to keep it interesting or how NOT to make it boring. It’s going to take messages that land at the right time and with the right recipients.

We have some thoughts on this subject.

Here are some aptly selected ways that will make every pixel of content you share with your customers as powerful and provocative as your word choice in a conversation; whether you’re setting the tone for an introduction, proposing an innovative new idea, level setting expectations, or simply showing appreciation.

Here’s a breakdown of ways to make your customer touchpoints feel more custom – or personalized, we’ll use both interchangeably in this article – and why it matters.

Authentic Content is Brand Content The traditional way of thinking was that brand content opens the door for more custom content to enter the room. This theory still carries weight, however as the demand for new types of content continues to be a boon for customer engagement opportunities, custom content – that’s on brand – can enter at almost any stage of the customer relationship cycle. We’re fortunate to be a part of a top 100 brand here at SAP. We’re supported by a prolific repository of messages to speak confidently and concisely in an authentic tone to almost any size business, in any industry. This community for example – some of our most valued customers are members. When it’s done right, custom content enhances larger brand messages and reaches customers in more intimate ways that broader resources would like to but simply can’t.

Lean Into Tech Trends Embracing the latest and most innovative ways to execute and disseminate your message is the currency of now. As trusted advisors and as customers, we are drawn to conversations propelled by new ideas put in current terms. Content that’s delivered in ways that’s provocative and leans forward shows an openness that encourages interaction. Look ahead; AI is helping us create and optimize content; enhanced user experiences are helping us get more personal and proactive with customer outreach; AR and VR is helping us tell better stories with more immersive demo experiences. Now look around you, most of these trends have already arrived. Which ones are you using?

The Power of Perspective New platforms or channels like the ones listed above can help increase the ways in which we can reach customers – in the ways they want to be reached. Custom content speaks to customers on their terms through an open window to new messages. When content is personalized and created for a specific message on demand, you are telling your customer you not only get their business, but you understand the importance of their role within their company. Custom content lets you put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Before the Iron Gets Cold The flip side to staying hyper-relevant is not a matter of falling behind. FOMO with your audience takes on a different meaning through missed opportunities that might even send the wrong message. That’s why it’s important to move fast on latest content trends; research, development, and proper execution all take time. Assume the competition is already talking to your customers by way of the next big thing. And for good reason, because the competition assumes you are doing the same.

It’s Not a Stretch, It’s Within Reach How can you create an environment to have more lasting conversations? How do you ensure those viral ideas that people love to share, are shared with the right audience? Scalable, personalized content allows you to replicate the best conversations and stretch the stickiest ideas to reach the most and best intended audiences. Good conversations endure. Great ideas stick. The best content resonates at scale.

The Engaging Edge Let’s check back in with that hypothetical small group brainstorming session where our discussion began. If you were to ask the participants what type of content they’re most likely to click on or share, you’d probably get a lot of different responses: microsites, videos featuring people, animated videos, digital flipbooks, immersive experiences, etc. If you were to look at the analytical side of these examples, you’d see the more personal the messages and the more specifically targeted the visuals, the more views. Do those views translate into purchasing decisions? You decide. Likable content ties into our emotions, is easily understood, and engenders trust in its message. These are also many of the same ingredients that go into a purchasing decision.

The digital transformation is personalized for customers. Custom content is expected for engagement. The numbers don’t lie, the proof is in the analytics.

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