Content marketing is a crucial part of any marketing activity. It encompasses visual and written materials, such as videos, pictures, blog articles, social media posts and more. Whether you’re trying to boost your sales or to grab the attention of your audience and redirect it towards your business, content should play a huge role in those processes. That is so, because in order to convey your message to your customers, you need to communicate with them. And any form of communication involves content creation.
According to the content marketing institute, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their strategies. Furthermore, review42.com shares that 86% of B2C marketers also implement content in their marketing strategies. The author of the article continues, by saying that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and conversion rates for companies who use it are 6 times higher compared to those who don’t. Therefore, If you’re a business owner you need to have a strong content marketing strategy. That’s not all, however. You’ll also need to pay attention to the latest trends connected to it and to include them in your business’s strategy. That is why we’ve decided to review some of them in this article.
Content Marketing Today
It’s safe to say that content marketing is influenced by a number of factors, connected mainly to what’s happening in the world at the time of the content creation. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that today’s content is affected by Covid 19 and the crisis deriving from it. Nostalgia and inspirational marketing became widely popular as a result of the lockdown and people being stuck at their homes. As more societies are being forced to stay inside and work from home, without having much social interaction, marketers nowadays are focusing their efforts on highlighting the good old times and proposing exciting activities for when Covid is gone. Moreover, people tend to spend more time on the internet and although there have been trends connected to limiting the time spent on social media and communications platforms, users are still very much scrolling through feeds in a desperate act of trying to break free from the boredom.
Additionally, because content marketing has become increasingly popular, and many brands are incorporating it to their digital marketing strategies (especially since the pandemic started), content creation exceeded and continues to surpass the content demand. This means that there are a variety of articles for all types of questions you may have and one cannot possibly read or see all of the content on a certain topic. Because there are so many visuals and texts available for the users to consume whenever they like, it’s really hard to grab their attention and to engage them with something you’ve created.
Furthermore, consumers are confused by all of the information they are bombarded with and only limit their content consumption to brands and businesses they trust. Therefore, although authenticity, trust and transparency have been trending for some time now, Covid has further reinforced them. Additionally, as more and more brands are flooding the digital, you’ll have to compete with businesses with bigger content budgets. This means that the standards for good, well-written content become higher, thus audiences have bigger expectations when they consume any kind of content.
Content Marketing Trends
Another peculiarity of today’s content is the fact that creators began experimenting and trying new strategies and techniques because of all of the time on their hands and the lack of news, activities and events going on in the world at the moment. Additionally, with technologies becoming more important than ever (because of the social isolation), we often turn to them when we need immediate help with a certain task. According to Google, more than 90% of their users use devices for inspiration and information while in the middle of a task. And consumers demand answers fast, therefore content creators need to find a way to answer their needs. Here are some of the latest trends and content creation techniques, which can help you keep your customers engaged.
As the pandemic drives people away from each other, online connections and virtual relationships become more valued. And although joined projects aren’t something new, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of content collaborations in the next months. Creators are relying on collaborations both with their colleagues and with people outside of their companies. This trend can turn out to be quite beneficial to marketers, because it eases some of the major struggles they face when it comes to content. On the one hand, collaborations can be affordable and will allow you to compete with brands, who have bigger budgets. On the other hand, through collaborating you are able to cover more points of view on a certain topic and come up with enticing content, which you wouldn’t be able to create on your own. You can either invite your colleagues to collaborate with you or include influencer marketing in your strategy. Think of people who are experts on the topic you’re going to write about and include them in your project. In that way you will increase your audience’s trust since there’s an authority figure on your team, which people will want to listen to. Because collaborations became so popular (and will continue to be) there are a variety of online tools and platforms, which can help you organize your tasks and create joined content easily. Some of them allow you to include multiple people in the planning and creation processes. Your team members can access and enhance content briefs or pin interesting information about the topic or even include files such as pictures and more.
- Question Optimization
As we already mentioned, consumers turn to technology in search for immediate answers or help. And although not long ago creators had to write keyword-based texts in order to support the SEO efforts, now things look different. As digitalmarketer.com shares, Google no longer focuses on keyword strings, instead it can now evaluate each query’s context and intent. Therefore, writers have to move away from the creativity-killing and dehumanizing keyword-based texts and focus on in-depth content, which adds value for the consumers. In other words, creators need to identify what are the most frequently asked questions from their audiences and try to answer them in a clear, detailed manner. The Question optimization trend is even supported by Google in a way. The search engine has special features such as “People also ask” or “Featured Snippets”, which have the purpose of easily directing the user to the answer of their question. A cool benefit, which this trend, intentionally or not, is proposing, is the fact that because questions are more natural than keywords, they will also perform better with voice search software. Furthermore, questions are ideal for easily making a given problem understood, so you can effortlessly provide an answer to it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make use of some online tools, which allow you to research questions. There is a wide variety of such softwares, so all you have to do is choose the one you think will be the best solution for your business. Some of those tools give you the opportunity to optimize your content based on popular questions identified by the platform and use Google snippets to find related terms and concepts. (such as Text Optimizer). Others are more focused on organizing your information and provide a space where you can group content by topic or question (such as Serpstat). Alternatively, you can do some research yourself by digging into social media comments, scrolling through Amazon’s Q&A section, Quora or Reddit, checking the latest reviews and discussion boards on the web or simply talking to your customer care team (and even collaborating with them).
- Provide Unique Experiences
If you have worked as a marketer, you’ll know how important it is to be able to provide engaging, interactive and pleasurable experiences for your audience. Furthermore, we needn’t have to say that knowing who you are talking to determines your tone of voice and sometimes even your message. Therefore, it’s no wonder that content personalization is one of the biggest marketing trends right now. Keep in mind, however, that this trend does not refer to segmenting (where you are providing a unique experience for a group of people), but it rather is about creating personalized experiences for each user separately. As bigcommerce.com suggests, younger generations of consumers rely heavily on Artificial-Intelligence-powered personalized product recommendations and personalized social media ads when making shopping decisions online. Thus, brands are becoming more inclusive of this ongoing trend. Furthermore, consumers even expect to receive personalized content, which is also connected to the fact that their expectations are heightened and it is almost impossible to grab their attention otherwise. Latest technologies and softwares make content personalization easier than you may think. For example, you can personalize the call-to-action buttons specifically for each user. Hubspot offers such features and claims that personalized CTA’s increase on page interactions by 202%! Through their software you can create unique user experience by customizing your CTA’s so that they include a given user’s name (you can do this through your list contacts first name on the platform). Additionally, you can customize your buttons based on the source the user comes from. Another tool, which allows for personalizing the CTA’s, the product recommendations and the banners on your website is Alter. The platform collects non-personal data from internet users and then optimizes the content shown to them. It’s pretty easy to use and offers simple reports about its performance, which is an additional benefit. Last, but not least, another online platform, which you can benefit from, when it comes to content personalization is Finteza. It is a free analytics software and with it you can keep track of the ways your audience is reacting to the personalized content. It is very important to regularly monitor your content’s performance if you want to accomplish your goals.
- Encourage User Generated Content
Allowing your users to contribute and create content for your brand is an extremely popular technique and is also highly successful in establishing credibility and trustworthiness about your business. Nowadays, however, this trend is being even more widely used by creators in new and innovative ways. Brands are provoking their customers to create and remix content. Marketers and business owners are offering materials and pieces of content to consumers, who on the other hand can interact with those files, remix them and enhance them. With the recent rise of Tik Tok and all of its features, this type of user generated content has become easily achievable. Furthermore, Tik Tok gave a huge opportunity for creators to experiment, which means that we may soon see innovations and additional tendencies when it comes to content delivery.
- Create Audio Content
Another ever growing in popularity trend is the creation of audio content. Podcasts and other types of audio materials, such as audio books, for example, are becoming a big part of consumers’s daily routines. Audio content is perfect for multitasking and while today’s world is not as fast paced as it was a year ago, users still need to perform multiple chores at one time. As we already mentioned a lot of brands are competing for users’ attention and the online space is flooded by more content than it’s asked for. Additionally, societies are staying at home, which doesn’t propose exciting experiences on a daily basis and therefore people get bored. So, in order to keep themselves occupied consumers nowadays spend more time in front of the technology in search for interesting content. If you give them easily accessible activity (such as listening to a podcast), which does not require any effort, what so ever, they will love you for it. Plus, according to smallbizgenius.net, there are now more than 29 million podcast episodes available in more than 100 languages. Moreover, 54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying advertised products.
Your content doesn’t have to always advertise products or services. Yes, your ultimate goal would be to generate sales and revenue and at the end of the day to grow your business further. However, you should also work on your brand’s relationship with your customers. Try incorporating online events or live video streams into your content marketing strategy, because as breaklineagency.com says, in 2021, video usage is expected to rise because it’s one of the types of content that’s consumed thoroughly, and consumers pay attention to it a lot more. Additionally, try to understand how your audience is feeling at those hard times, which 2020 proposed for us, and offer entertaining and engaging video (and not only) content to your customers.
While those are some of the most popular trends, nowadays, we’ve only covered a small portion of all current and future content tendencies. Keep in mind that as the global events take place, the content trends also shift, so it’s a good idea to keep researching and finding new ways in which you could grab your audience’s attention. Furthermore, you shouldn’t forget to monitor the efforts of your competitors, so you can stay on top of them.
Have a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
As we already mentioned, content marketing is extremely popular when it comes to both B2B and B2C communication. There are countless possibilities for you to show your creativity and entice your audience with really good creatives. Furthermore, there is a wide array of types of content, such as articles, videos, audio content, pictures and more. The constantly developing technologies are also contributing to innovative content creation. Marketers are inspired by all available mobile apps and tools on the internet and are taking advantage of their features by experimenting with interactive content creation. So it is safe to say that we can expect to see excellent creatives in the future.
However, we shouldn’t forget to note that it’s extremely important to have a content marketing strategy for your business. Although technologies and articles similar to this one can be helpful when you need ideas for your content, creating high quality texts or visuals is time consuming and not an easy task. Not to mention, that it will also cost you some of your budget. Therefore, if you don’t want your efforts to be in vain, you should have a clear content marketing strategy in mind (and on paper!). This will not only allow for better understanding as to whether or not your content is contributing towards your overall goals (as you’ll also need to track your performance), but it will also make it easier for you the next time your mind goes blank. Furthermore, if you have a strategy, then you should have set a goal for a certain period of time, which will help you create more consistent content, aiming to fulfill the next step of your content plan. In simpler words, your content will have a direction and a goal.
Additionally, by having a content marketing strategy, you are increasing the chances of your efforts being rewarded and your goals being met. This is so, because your plan will help you stay professional and on track with what your content topics and creatives should be. It’s important to implement the latest trends and techniques, however, you should always do so in accordance to your content strategy, your target audience and your overall goals. So when it comes to collaborations, don’t just invite a staff member to create a random piece of content. You should, rather, carefully think about why this employee in particular should be collaborating with you and how will that make your target audience feel. Furthermore, you need to understand the ways in which this joined project is going to contribute to your overall goal. Last, but not least, you should always create content, which corresponds with your content marketing strategy, so if collaborations absolutely don’t fit your style, then simply choose a more appropriate technique, which will be better for your business.
Have the writers block? Stressing out isn’t going to help you!
We all get a case of the writer’s block sometimes, so this is not a reason to be worried. Even more so when you can rely on Interval when it comes to all aspects of your marketing strategy, including content marketing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need some fresh content ideas. Get in touch with us now for a free consultation!