Content marketing is something that is constantly evolving and now is essential to any successful marketing strategy. It can be an overwhelming experience but as we approach the end of the year, there are some content marketing trends that will need to be made a priority and become commonplace as we move into 2018. So what is content marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Video is the future of content marketing and if you have been holding off until now, it is a medium that you will need to explore in 2018 in order to stay current and create high levels of engagement with your content.
According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, by 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. By using video in your marketing strategies, a business is able to provide a great customer experience which improves sales results. You don’t need an expensive camera or high-tech equipment (althoug it can help!), a smart phone and a social media account can be enough!
Live streaming is rapidly growing across all social media platforms and encourages a user to engage and to share the content. There are many ways in which live feed can be effective and businesses are creating innovative ways to use video across their platforms.
Using video in content marketing can also demonstrate ‘behind the scenes’ transparency by allowing a customer to see what’s happening behind the scenes and understand more about your brand, enabling them to trust and feel more secure in their relationship with a business.
Customers love authenticity and the knowledge that a brand is original and true to its values. With that in mind, larger organisations are spending more on their content marketing budgets to create original and consistent content.
Blogging regularly or keeping content updated and fresh will show a customer that you care about their experience and that you have an in-depth knowledge about the industry which you are willing to share. The more knowledge you share, the more you will seen as a thought leader which will help in terms of SEO and customer attraction.
Try not to think of sell-sell-sell in every post that is created (this is crucial!). People like to read advice and tips or useful information relevant to that niche, they are not looking to be sold at in every post they come across (which can lead to them not following your content). Be original and natural and think about what YOU would like to see if you were an outside customer.
Personalisation can be a very powerful tool when used within a marketing strategy which helps to boost engagement, drive traffic and make people come back for more.
In a study by PWC’s Digital Services group, 94% of senior level executives believe that delivering personalisation is critical to reaching and retaining customers. As content marketing becomes more successful, personalisation becomes more popular, and it’s also going to become more competitive.
Personalisation is particularly effective when it comes to email marketing as this can become a much more personal experience for the customer, creating excitement and engagement.
Include user-generated content
Brands are finding that by using user-generated content, they are providing a better service to their audience and are able to engage more with them by relating to their needs and understanding them a lot more, thus providing a better service.
What ways can you utilise user-generated content?
Social media contests
Create a fun and sociable way for customers to engage. Boost your contests to reach a wider audience and promote the winner once the competition is over.
People like to hear about experiences where people have bought from you or about people who have had interaction with your business. Recommendation is a marketing tool that is SO effective and using success stories to relate to potential clients is a must. Incorporate into your marketing plan a way to ask new customers for reviews or testimonials of their experience with you and then use these in your strategy.
Create a place where customers, old and new, can come and talk and provide advice or tips. Use this as a platform to share expertise and knowledge and to build your brand awareness.
Nothing beats engagement than asking people for their opinion – get people talking and create a buzz around your brand. Ask industry related questions (often better to ask closed questions), gain knowledge from outside businesses, use local communities to attract local people and reach out to people that wouldn’t necessarily have heard of your brand.
You can also use the results from surveys to create your original content. Always plan out a content strategy ensuring that all avenues are explored and as much effort as you are able to put in, is being utilised.
The brands that will stand out in the coming years will be those who have taken on board the power of their user insights and data to drive engagement and sales for their business.
If you’re looking to implement a marketing strategy for your business to ensure you don’t miss a beat in 2018, get in touch, we’d love to help. Or to stay on top of all the latest content marketing trends and social media updates, follow this blog!