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Your content is the foundation of all your digital marketing efforts. It can make or break a marketing campaign. Content acts as a connection between your customer and your brand. And connecting with your audience with authentic content will increase your results exponentially. Content Marketing is the creation and distribution of content to achieve your business or marketing goals. It can help build your brand, spread awareness about your brand, get website traffic, and drive sales.
Therefore, keeping yourself up to date on Content Marketing trends and designing your content strategy with these trends in mind is always a good idea. So, let us have a look at some key Content Marketing trends that can help you shape your content strategy –
Content Marketing is all about providing value to your audience by educating them. In doing so, you communicate a sense of authenticity and transparency through your content, building trust towards your brand. Hence, authenticity and transparency are the two most important factors that help add value to your content.
The best way to provide value through Content Marketing initiatives is to create content that:
Aligns with your overall message and mission.
Helps your target audience accomplish their goals.
Makes your audience comfortable engaging with your brand in the future.
Now, let us go ahead and understand “Why do readers respond to transparency?”
There are two key elements that transparency affects – Value and Trust
People value content mainly for its usefulness and transparency helps make the content more useful. By providing high transparency like personal examples and experiences in detail, you help the reader see your advice in action. When your content is backed by personal stories and experiences, it adds value to what you are trying to convey. It moves you from an advice-giver to a credible source of information and real solutions.
And then there’s trust…
When people read a product review or case study, their scepticism radar is at high alert. Hence, earning a reader’s trust is not an easy task. But transparency goes a long way when it comes to building trust with your audience.
Now, coming to “Why readers respond to authenticity?”
Honesty and authenticity build trust for your Content Marketing efforts simply because authenticity cannot be faked. It requires a commitment to delivering through on promises and engaging in an honest level.
Your audience expects you to be reliable. Instead of just talking about your products or services, the key to drawing in an audience is to create reliable content that they can relate to. Providing authoritative content in an honest way builds a foundation for your current readers and potential future connections.
Your brand will always work better with authentic content as your audience will stick around because they know they are learning only what’s real and reliable.
People do not like reading anymore. Videos, on the other hand, is the #1 way people like to see content these days. Most people prefer visual content rather than text because it is easier to consume and understand. To make the best of this favoritism, brands are continually thriving to incorporate videos into Content Marketing. Include more visual content in your content strategy, be it infographics, photos, videos or memes, take your pick and start creating.
When it comes to visual content, videos will continue to dominate. According to a study by Cisco, videos will constitute 82% of online traffic by the year 2021. This indicates the increasing importance of videos for Content Marketing. What makes video content so popular among brands is their ability to deliver varied content in a captivating form. Videos can be used to drive awareness about your brand or feature inspirational journeys of your customers. Video content makes the audience connect with your brand even more. The important factors to remember while creating visual content are –
Be engaging and unique
Be relevant, and
Make sure your content is mobile-friendly.
So, if you haven’t already started using video content in your Content Marketing strategy, this is the right time for you to start. The secret to success is experimenting with new things without becoming immediately addicted. Try and test new formats and mediums, but also be willing to ditch them soon enough, in case they do not work for you. The only thing that really matters is that your content has to provide value to your audience.
If you have already been working with long-form content, it could be beneficial to test out shorter, bite-sized formats, like Instagram and Facebook stories. Or if you have been focussing on shorter video content, try testing longer-form content that can rank well in search, increase traffic, and offer SEO benefits.
Take time to plan out a solid content strategy that attracts your ideal customers, serves your current audience, and works towards your broader goals.
We all know the power of stories. They add colour, humanity, life, and meaning to our communications. Now, imagine blending a beautiful story into a Content Marketing campaign. The undeniable power of stories gives your marketing an ability to attract an audience. Storytelling gives your content life and makes it relatable, understandable, and personal. It is a big topic for marketers. Stories engage people, and people tend to remember them more than almost anything else.
Brand storytelling Content Marketing is an art of developing a narrative about your company which makes it easier for your audience to relate to who you are and what you do. It engages customers on an emotional level, so they see dealing with you is the right choice for them. Brand storytelling is about sharing your experiences and how you engage with your customers. It goes much deeper into who you are, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. It involves:
Defining who you are: This is about letting your audience know the person behind your business. Why and how did you start your business? What challenges did you face? How bumpy roads create amazing experiences for your clients, and why? Your story helps people understand what drives you to do what you do and therefore helps them understand why they should support you.
Defining what you do: It is important to spread awareness about your brand and you can do this by including your work in the story.
Defining core values: Your core values define why you do what you do. They explain how your business operates and what your business goals are.
Brand storytelling combines all of these elements and creates a compelling narrative which makes it easier for potential customers to remember who you are and what you do, and also understand why your company is suitable for them.
How to create your brand story?
Understand Your Customer: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand the challenges they face. Remember to make your story customer-centric and advertise your product as a product that helps them change it for themselves.
Be More Than What You Do: It’s important to give your potential customers a compelling reason to buy from you. You need to give them a value-based reason why they should turn to you.
Be Honest: Your story needs to be authentic even if it sometimes means talking about your failures. An underdog story is more appreciated than a fake successful one.
Content advertising means creating content with the intention of promoting it through paid distribution channels. Depending on the purpose of your content and the potential audiences, you can use a variety of paid channels to get your content out there. This can include paid social, PPC campaigns, sponsored placements, and any other type of paid promotional opportunities. The idea here is to combine digital marketing and Content Marketing under one umbrella in order to drive sales.
When it comes to ads, the takeaway is to brainstorm what makes a person click on your ad? What does a customer expect from your brand? Once you have a clear picture of this, you’ll be able to device the ad copies that your brand needs.
Here are the key points to keep in mind for Content Advertising-
Know your audience.
Set your business goals precisely.
Always invest in quality content.
Repurpose concepts from top-performing organic content.
Experiment with new ad formats.
Conduct A/B testing for results.
Any content format can be created as part of a content advertising campaign. For instance, you could create a whitepaper focusing on common problems in the industry and promote this through paid social ads.
Moving forward, let us have a look at some of the advantages of content advertising.
The biggest advantage of content advertising has over organic Content Marketing is that it doesn’t rely on search or discoverability. That means if you’re paying to promote your content, you don’t have to worry about appealing to a wider audience, or trying to appease the SEO gods to make an impact. You just need to find your audience and use whichever distribution channel suits your requirements.
Another advantage of content advertising is that it enables you to zero in on laser-focused topics that may be considered too niche to succeed organically. It means you can find specific points and tailor your content to meet the needs of your customers.
Remember, leveraging user intent and understanding the pain points of consumers in your conversion funnel is crucial to the success of any content advertising campaign. Make sure that your content is going to the right people, with the right offer, at the right time.
Content marketing and social media complement each other. Here are a few elements that apply both to Content Marketing and social media marketing. To succeed in your content and social media marketing strategy, you must address them in both-
What are the Aligning Objectives in Content and Social Media?
Help your audience understand the subject matter specialization.
Entertain your audience with fun and relevant content.
Educate your audience on new best practices.
Convince your audience to buy your product with strong content.
To turn your business goals into social media goals, you first need to convert them into the marketing equivalent, then the Content Marketing equivalent, and finally into social media marketing.
Social media is the prime vehicle on the Internet that drives your content in the right direction. It has many reliable platforms that you can use, which means you are not driving your Content Marketing vehicle on just one street. Social media can engage your targeted audience, give you a global publishing platform and reach out to a broad audience to establish brand awareness.
It is crucial for you to align with social media to make your Content Marketing campaigns a roaring success. This alignment needs some planning and strategy.
Companies need to get creative and enthusiastic about spreading their content to the right people. Don’t let your investment in content marketing go to waste by sitting on some of your most valuable marketing assets.
So, what are the key takeaways from this article?
With the advancements in technology, the content has become easily accessible and even more important. Content is no more just king, it is the kingdom; and as content marketing trends evolve, they will shape the future of marketing.
The way content is planned and created keeps changing which makes content creation more challenging for brands. As brands keep on refining their strategies, lukewarm content approaches will no longer be sufficient. Hence, companies must adopt the way marketers see and respond to trends as they could determine the fate of their organizations.
The coming years would be exciting and full of learning for brands and marketers. So, keep yourself updated with these trends and see how your brands can leverage them as they will prove to be key differentiators for you in this cluttered marketing world.
I hope this blog on “Content Marketing” was helpful to you. To get an in-depth understanding of marketing and content strategy, check out our interactive, live-online Digital Marketing Certification training here, that comes with 24×7 support to guide you throughout your learning period.