Spotify and Netflix are billion-dollar brands first and foremost because they deliver outstanding consumer experiences. Part of what both brands do well is organizing their vast libraries of content in a way that is accessible and intuitive for users.
Spotify and Netflix understand how people search for content. On Spotify, you can browse by genre and mood as well as artist and content type (songs or podcasts). Netflix did what Blockbuster never could – show you titles based on whatever search terms you want to use, whether it’s director, actor, genre, or category.
Let’s look at eight steps to organize your content like Spotify and Netflix.
Step 1: Start by indexing
The first step is to audit and tag the content you have. It’s not a fun task, but it’s the reason Netflix’s market is now north of $150 billion. To start, ask these questions:
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- What are your topics?
- Who are your personas?
- Will you organize your content by stage of the funnel?
- What kind of content do you have?
Regardless of whatever tagging and organizing choices are the right call for you, it’s going to take a full content audit to complete this stage correctly. Find out what you have, tag it, and make it easy to be found in a personalized manner.
Step 2: Look for the gaps
Another benefit of auditing your assets is that it will reveal gaps that you will want to fill. For example, you may find you’re lacking content for the middle of your buyer journey, which may be why your company often stalls out halfway through the sales cycle.
Once labeled, your content can be categorized for easy discoverability on the front-end through the top navigation, and on the back-end through a spreadsheet or CEP. This will allow you to quickly and easily build personalized experiences at any time.
Step 3: Prioritize discoverability
The problem with your content is not that it isn’t good; it’s just not easily accessible. You, like many B2B marketers, have neglected your content discoverability.
Content discoverability is the findability of your content within your blog, resource library, or other public-facing content destination. Sure, good SEO can help your content rank high on Google, but SEO is a tactic to drive website traffic.
Once you’ve attracted traffic to your site, how easy is it for a person to move from asset to asset? Can they find all that kickass content you’ve produced without having to set out on an epic quest or back to a new Google search?
Step 4: Organize the way people search
The default way of organizing content is from newest to oldest. In truth, only a small percentage of devoted fans who come back to your site daily notice if stuff is new.
To the casual drop-in, the recency of a post doesn’t matter much. What does matter is whether they know how to find what they’re looking for when they do land on your site.
Some of the most effective ways of organizing content are by persona or job title, by topic, by industry, and by vertical. After some heat map testing, my team discovered that organizing by content topic was the best approach for us.
Step 5: Devise a navigational path
Remember: your goal is to guide someone on a path to purchase. How are you going to organize your navigation to follow that? Keep these two things in mind:
The first is to learn from Google and add a search bar to your site. That way, users can see if you have anything in your library that aligns with their interests.
Second, search is easier with headings. Think of these headings as suggested filters for your audience. Are you taking advantage of this prime real estate? Once you’ve thought through the different ways to organize your content, plot them across your navigation bar with separate menu headings. Typically, the more options, the better.
Step 6: Tag it
Metadata tagging makes your content more discoverable for an external audience. The question is, how should you approach the tagging process? Your tagging considerations are fully based on your content strategy and how you’re going to market.
Here’s a few ways our team tags elements for our buyers:
- Stage of the buyer journey
- Content type
- Marketing automation platform
- Whether the asset discusses a specific product
Tagging has improved our ability to find and provide the right content at the right time.
Step 7: Maximize AI
To make a complex conversation simple, if you’re able to tie AI to your content, it dramatically improves your ability to recommend new assets by drawing from large sets of consumption and third-party intent data. Having a data-backed recommendation strategy is essential to having a strong content experience. It’s a great way to keep your prospects moving and get them where they need to be.
You can do this manually by applying insights from your analytics to set the path but investing in an AI recommendation engine is crucial to scale.
Step 8: Don’t get lazy
One final warning: put in the work as you go. Especially when it comes to tagging, make these steps part of the process. It will take an additional 30 seconds to do it right. If you don’t tag as you go, you’ve just created a lot of work for your team on the back-end.
The longer you wait, the more work you’re creating down the road. And we’re not talking hours here—more like days, weeks, or even months. Trust us. We didn’t invest in tagging early enough and had to learn this lesson the hard way.
For more advice on organizing your content, you can find F#ck Content Marketing on Amazon.
This article was adapted from the book, F#ck Content Marketing, by Randy Frisch, the CMO and Co-Founder at Uberflip, a content experience platform that empowers marketers to create content experiences at every stage of the buyer journey.
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