All parts of a customer journey should have appropriate advertising content to guide people through the process, it is claimed.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Pete Young of Mediacom i-Lab stated: "Content is king. Fact."
He went on to explain digital consumer engagement is reliant upon providing target audiences with content that is of "genuine value and interest".
According to the digital media planning expert, marketers need to create a brand persona that people want to spend time with and get to know better. He said they should deliver content that is "rich, rewarding, informative, entertaining and all manner of other things that consumers increasingly expect of brands".
Mr Young, the Mediacom i-Lab board director of search strategy and social director, points to the increasing competition and noise in the online marketplace, urging brands to become authors and provide an experience that extends to every aspect of the media environment.
Advertisers can employ customer relationship management (CRM) technology to identify target audiences, develop a greater understanding of what sort of content would best suit them at each stage in their customer journey and measure the success of campaigns.
Highlighting the growing importance of digital consumer engagement, Mr Young said: "It's more or less a certainty these days that all forms of content will find their way online through one channel or another."
Marketers need to be able to respond to changing online behaviour, which is where CRM software can provide them with a competitive edge, as it can provide improved management and oversight of the whole customer journey, from using a search engine to research a brand to completing a purchase.
In recent comments on engaging consumers, Google's consumer marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Graham Bednash declared brands should find out what makes their customers tick and gain "deep insights" in order to develop ideas and content.
He told Marketing Week effective CRM can capture "their imagination and interest", with more and more channels for digital engagement opening up opportunities to engage with consumers and experiment with new methods of advertising.
Click here to learn more about how CRM can drive up customer engagement levels through the use of mobile, social and more.