Content marketing is a critical stage in your company’s advertising approach. In order to connect with your target audience, you need to mold your marketing material to not only meet the needs of a key demographic but to stand out from other advertising content put out by your competition. To elevate your content you need to understand what is currently trending and what stands out. To help, here are seven sure shot content marketing trends to take advantage of and to assist with your Breakthrough Advertising.
Customers online are tired of the same old content they’ve already seen time and time again. They want insights and real information. They want to be educated and to learn something new. For content marketing to reach your customers and to stand out it needs to possess unique insights and original ideas.
Original content doesn’t need to be 100% different from everything else online. After all, creating a blog post or a YouTube video that’s totally different from everything else out there simply isn’t possible. However, offering it is critical to avoid retreading the same plots and insights done time and time again.
Read More: What Does Original Content Mean?
For example, According to THR Research (2017) in 2012, Netflix released four brand new “Netflix Original” programs. It created two documentaries, one unscripted series and a scripted series to try and test the waters of original content. This led to 13 new original programs the following year, and 25 original programs in 2014. By 216, the streaming service offered 126 original programs, movies, and TV shows.
Netflix continues to move more and more toward original content not because it’s more cost effective. Often times it’s cheaper to pay a studio for the rights to stream a movie than it is to write, shoot, and produce a movie. It does this because it draws new viewers into the fold. It’s exactly what you need to do with your content marketing.
To fully harness the power of Breakthrough Advertising, you need to create original content people can’t find anywhere else. Whether this is your own YouTube channel with original shorts or a podcast where you discuss topics in an original format, it’s critical for you to elevate yourself above the competition with original content.
Move Past Clickbait
Google is constantly tinkering with its algorithm in order to improve search updates. The search engine’s continually looking for ways to deliver higher quality content to readers. One of the biggest problems plaguing search engines in recent years has been the rise of clickbait. It is where a reader is drawn in using a specific title and often a catchy, cliff-hanger phrase, yet the material on the inside of the post doesn’t always deliver. The blog post or other material didn’t do anything wrong in its search engine optimization. Unlike the days where a website could type in a certain search term a dozen times at the bottom of the page to boost its website ranking. However, Google has set its eyes on clickbait content.
In a drive to reduce the impact of clickbait and to ensure readers land on content that delivers exactly what they are looking for without being tricked into clicking on a link, Google has started to tweak its search algorithm. In August 2018, the search engine quality released one of its largest updates in years. According to Rank Ranger (2018), websites featuring mostly clickbait sales copy took on the biggest hits. Bodybuilding.com, for example, saw a 49% decrease in visibility following the update, because many of its posts use clickbait titles.
What does this mean for a content marketer such as yourself? Focus on creating original posts that do not mislead. You can still use certain methods for generating interest in posts, but if you read a post and find it’s a clickbait title and the content behind the title doesn’t deliver, chances are Google will think the same. And if there’s one company you don’t want to test, it’s Google.
Snapchat emerged on the social media front and surged in popularity thanks to its unique design. It allows users to post short videos and images that eventually disappear after a set period of time. Between 2014 and 2016 the platform grew from 50 million Snapchat daily users to over 100 million users. However, stories on other social platforms have become even more popular.
Instagram is one social media platform that has taken the “Stories” format to a new level. Much like Snapchat, Stories are short videos or image posts that last for 24 hours before disappearing. Instagram released Stories around the midway point of 2016. Since then, there are 250 million daily users posting Stories compared to Snapchat’s 166 million (according to Social Report, 2018).
Stories have become popular in that it allows you to offer small nuggets of information to followers. These “snackable” posts are easy to digest and take in without feeling overwhelmed by too much information. One of the biggest problems with modern consumers is the lack of an attention span. The need for immediate information forces internet users to bounce from one website and post to another. Because Stories and short posts are just a few seconds in length you can engage potential customers and push forward a complete message with a reduced chance of the viewer abandoning the view half-way through.
Live content has never been more popular. It also fits right in with the drive to create unique, original content. There’s a reason why so many social media platforms now allow you to create live video streams for your followers.
Twitter created Periscope a number of years ago, and while there are those who still use it, other social platforms make it easier for you to connect with followers instantly. YouTube gives you the power to notify followers you’re going online through push notifications and desktop pop-ups. Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) highlight your social icon when you go live, and Snapchat has emerged as one of the more popular social services that provide live video.
According to Reptile FX (2017), YouTube live videos have grown in popularity by 80 percent, while Facebook Live videos are watched three times as long as regular Facebook videos. If you’re looking to boost social interaction and to connect immediately with your subscribers and followers, you need to take advantage of what live streaming video services offer you.
On top of going live, services like YouTube and Facebook both allow you to save live videos for later viewing. This way, even if subscribers were not online when you went live, they can still watch the live content, allowing your live videos to function both as a published video and as a live video.
Personalization continues to drive content marketing. The ability to generate user-specific experiences is more important now than ever before. Cultivated services are now available in a number of subscription-based companies (ranging anywhere from Netflix to BarkBox).
Customers are more than ever looking for a shopping experience personalized to meet their needs. However, this doesn’t just begin at the time a potential customer enters the store (either in person or on a website). It begins with the company’s marketing approach. The more personalized you make your content marketing the easier it is to connect with a potential customer, which in turn boosts sales.
As Marketing Insider Group points out, 78 percent of consumers way personally relevant content increases their purchase interest. If a business waits to deliver this personalization at checkout or on the company website it’s too late. It needs to start with the marketing approach.
Documented Marketing Strategy
Dating back even a few years, most content marketers produced content to see what would stick. They understood the need to produce new material but they didn’t have a specific plan for how to create material and how to drive traffic to their website. They also didn’t have specific end goals for the content. According to CMS Wire (2018), this has changed and will continue to change in the coming years.
As the CMS Wire research points out, 62 percent of all business-to-business marketers now have a documented content marketing strategy. There are points of interest they want to focus on and they want to bring in customers for specific reasons (such as to increase social media followers or to grow an email mailing list).
Cornerstone Digital has slightly different numbers, with 47 percent of businesses not having a defined content marketing strategy. This opens up problems and reduces the efficiency of a marketing approach, similar to grocery shopping without a list. By having a clearly defined and stabled marketing strategy it becomes that much easier for everyone to stay coherent with the marketing material.
The Power of the Micro-Influencer
Social media influencers have grown in popularity in recent years. A single social media influencer with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of subscribers, can generate considerable traffic for your company and content marketing posts. However, similar to celebrity endorsements, influencers have become increasingly expensive. If you’re a small and even a medium business, this simply is not a viable financial option. This is where a micro-influencer comes in.
According to Curalate, micro-influencers are often more powerful than an influencer with a larger following. This is because the micro-influencer is more likely to receive and respond to direct messages while remaining active on their social accounts (and not have aids or interns manning their accounts). According to the research, micro-influencers have a 37 percent higher retention rate, boost interest by 70 percent and generate two times higher sales than the larger influencers. So while you may not be able to afford the large social account influencers for your content marketing, micro-influencers may prove a viable option.
Content marketing continues to evolve and will continue to evolve with the times. If you want to fully take advantage of Breakthrough Advertising and push your marketing to new heights, you need to stay on top of what’s trending and how advertising shifts to connect with audiences. While these are seven sure shot content marketing trends to monitor and take advantage of, it remains critical for you to stay on top of your analytical data and use it to fine-tune your own marketing approach. When combined with these trending marketing methods you’ll experience dramatic improvements in generated leads, followers, and eventual sales.