By Andrea Jones
Content marketing has been the lynchpin of many successful marketing strategies for the better part of a decade.
Though the ability to control your brand and messaging for current, former, and prospective customers is still a complete game changer, much has changed since the advent of content marketing.
Content marketing, like marketing in general, is not something you can put on auto-pilot—unless you want to get left in the dust.
While your current strategy may still offer adequate conversion and engagement, it may finally be time to rework what you’re doing from the ground up.
Thankfully it’s never too late to look forward and embrace current marketing trends as you rethink your current content marketing strategy.
Take a Step Back in Your Content Marketing
Nowadays it isn’t enough to fire off an email marketing campaign or publish a 400 word blog post every couple of weeks.
The truth is the general public has wised up to the basic forms of content marketing and it’s going to take a bit more work.
First off, it’s important to take a step back and look at what type of value your content is providing.
Content only provides value when it’s useful, well-written, and targeted to the correct audience; with that in mind, take a good hard look at your content and even your main competitors’ output.
The key to making your content stand out is to simply do it better than any of your peers.
Before you call in Captain Obvious on this post, really think about the time, money, resources and research used for every piece of content you produce.
It’s not enough to have a marketing assistant put on their writing hat and crank out an engaging piece of content.
With 75 percent of content produced never seeing a single social share or external link, you’re wasting valuable resources if you aren’t taking the proper steps.
The importance of investing in an experienced content writer to add to your marketing department cannot be downplayed.
Writing is a specialized skill, so you want the right tool in your marketing arsenal.
Quality Rules All
Above all else you need to ensure your content is clear, concise, relevant, and actually says something.
There’s no replacement for an original stance in a crowded marketplace.
Identify what your competitors are talking about and then discuss it in a more creative way.
Sooner rather than later you will be seen as a thought leader in your space.
Additionally, it is imperative you give thought to who exactly you want to reach.
The rise in Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a major contributor to how companies are rethinking the ways they target their marketing efforts.
ABM is all about drilling down and crafting super-specific marketing messages; this principle should be embraced with content marketing, too.
If content is designed to speak to various verticals and job functions throughout different points in the buying/acquisition process, then you have a much better chance of engagement and conversion.
All About SEO
There is no happier marriage in the world of digital marketing than SEO and content marketing.
When you separate the two, loneliness and miscommunication ensues, so let’s foster a productive relationship.
Previously, content was created for the sake of expanding our keyword set, with user engagement and behavioral metrics as secondary priorities. However, with the addition of Google’s quality-focused algorithm updates, this approach has essentially turned on its head for 2016, with user intent at the forefront of content creation, says experienced SEO analyst Timothy Hough.
Your content strategy should start with the following questions:
- What does the searcher want to know?
- Based on what they want to know, what else might they find interest in?
- How can the content be provided in a way that inspires further engagement?
- Which formatting style do we utilize to accomplish this?
Using this thought process as a jumping off point will ensure your SEO health is in tiptop shape.
Many marketing professionals believe content as “king” has been dethroned and that interactive content is now riding high.
Interactive content such as apps, quizzes, calculators, and assessments generate conversions moderately well or very well 70 percent of the time, compared to passive content at 36 percent.
Not only are you educating consumers or potential clients about your brand in a creative, engaging, and often enjoyable way, but you also increase your likelihood of shares on social media and blogs.
But (and let’s work on an example you’re trying to target fruit vendors), don’t assume you can just invest time and money to create a quiz on something like, “What Type of Smoothie are you?” and then simply cruise on that content asset for months. Audiences don’t want to interact with outdated content.
Regardless of how good the content asset may be, you still have to consistently create new and engaging content for your audience.
Further, users are still drawn to video when it comes to digesting their content.
Did you know that between April and November of 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from four billion video views per day to eight billion?
Audiences are experiencing significant written content fatigue and currently prefer to open their smart phones and experience content this way.
It’s not just videos that are changing the game for content; it’s the ultra-concise, bite-sized bits that have taken over Facebook newsfeeds across the globe.
Chances are you’ve seen mammoth food video series Tasty from Buzzfeed being shared at a colossal rate.
This proves audiences want their content in fun, engaging, and visually stimulating ways.
Embracing these principles into your everyday strategy will enable you to tower over your competitors and stay relevant in the murky world of content marketing.
image credit: shutterstock