On the internet, content seemingly lasts forever. But content marketing is a whole different story. Effective content marketing strategies change from year to year and if you want to continue attracting business leads, you must adapt to the times. These are just some of the rising trends in the industry and ways you can leverage them in your business:
While your tweets and Facebook posts themselves should be short, there's a growing case for making your linked out content long. A Buffer and Buzzsumo study found that linking out to long-form articles (2,000+ words) saw 40% more Facebook interactions than linking out to short form content.
Both algorithms and people themselves are savvy to bad, fluff content meant to game SEO. To get more leads, businesses will need to post content that's in-depth and actually adds value or solves a problem for the reader. The push toward long-form will force content creators to provide usefulness and not content for content's sake.
Popularity of the Unpolished
The rise of livecasting apps like Periscope not only solidify video's integral role in content marketing, but it also marks a shift away from the over-polished and into the authentic. The success of Snapchat also speaks to consumer's desire to watch content that's fleeting, creating a sense of urgency and drama. This demand for instant, 'real,' even low-production content should inspire businesses to stay agile with their content output.
Do Right by Your Data
More content means more data to inform marketing strategy.
Just as content seems to grow exponentially, so does all the data around it. While not every business needs to exploit 'big data,' they should be measuring the impressions, clicks, reach, and all other available metrics for each piece of posted content. While free tools are a great start for small businesses, those that aim to scale should consider outsourcing their data to experts in order to make the most of those findings.
Previous content marketing strategy painted a rosy picture of what it takes to get content shared and seen by the right people. "Make quality content and the cream will rise to the top." But organic reach on social media platforms in particular is increasingly fleeting. Content marketers are essentially at the whim of platforms and need to invest money into promoted posts and ads if the want their target audience to see their content.
Influencers as Promotion
Promotional strategies are just as important as the content itself. A steadily rising trend on the promotion front is connecting with platform-specific influencers. From YouTube to Instagram, there are countless celebrities, influencers, that you've likely never heard of. If you needed any proof of this, consider that Bethany Mota got to interview the President of the United States. If your business and their brand align, these influencers can make your content visible to thousands and even millions of subscribers and followers and result in more leads.
Go Mobile, or Go Home
Mobile devices mean new content marketing strategies and conversion architecture.
From smartphones to tablets to wearables, mobile technology is here to stay. Google even confirmed that in 10 countries they're serving more searches on smartphones than desktop computers. Your business's conversion architecture must reflect this shift and optimize for mobile. This means incorporating things like single page scrolling and strong enough CTA within your content to convert leads.
Different Content for Different Platforms
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all content. You must keep up with the evolving best practices of social platforms and create content that is best setup for success through that channel. Without that attention to detail and strategy, you run the risk of losing leads based on ill-suited platform content. Nobody wants to see a Facebook post loaded with hashtags and usernames that aren't compatible or don't link out properly.
Ted Rubin of Brand Innovators stresses the importance of "looking people in the eye digitally." This applies to content marketing in that effective campaigns are trending toward the authentic and personal. Rubin cautions marketers away from looking at data alone and encourages the creation of real community around a brand or business. This may even mean using more personal language like "I" and "we" while at the same time maintaining authority with your expertise.
Get More Mileage on Pieces of Content
Content may be at a tipping point in terms of quantity, forcing marketers to work smarter rather than harder at making more. Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting suggests repurposing and re-promoting existing quality pieces instead of churning out as many pieces as possible.
This shift in strategy isn't just convenient for marketers with limited bandwidth, but it's beneficial to potential leads as well. There's a reason why the ICYM ("In Case You Missed" ) acronym is so popular on places like Twitter. Internet users are bombarded with so much content on a minute to minute basis that repurposed content may appear completely fresh to most. Curation and aggregation are another strategy that leverage already existing content to reach more leads.
Gone are the days when content marketing just meant posting the occasional blog on your business's website. As technology shifts towards mobile and new apps and social platforms launch, marketers need to get smart about what content belongs where. With authenticity and posts informed by data, your content marketing can leverage influencers and paid promotion to get leads in the future. For more information and tips on content marketing, contact us or check out our blog.