With every new year comes change and improvement in almost all aspects of life: social, economic, and political. We live in a dynamic world and failure to move with the changing times could spell a loss to your business.
Talking of change, the marketing world is one of the most rapidly changing industries, with content marketing leading the pack. To stay more competitive in the market, it is imperative to keep updated on the latest trends and techniques in the digital marketing industry.
Without a doubt, content marketing is here to stay. Its current growth is phenomenal and is estimated to be worth more than $400 billion by 2021.
With internet users everywhere being exposed to more content daily than they can quickly process, the bar for distinct and quality content continues to rise. Content is ever at the center of interaction between your customer and your brand.
Here are 5 key content marketing trends that I believe must not be ignored in this golden year 2019:
Document a Content Marketing Plan
With content marketing developing and maturing every day, companies and businesses view their content as a tool to achieve their specific objectives and set goals. Despite content being a very powerful weapon, it cannot solve every business target you set on its own.
There is a need for a guiding strategy or plan, which aligns your content to your business goals, to maximize its effectiveness and guarantee audience engagement.
Anything that is done without order or strategy is said to be chaotic and nothing good can come out of chaos. In the marketing world, business goals are best met by laying down a blueprint that steers the organization in the right direction.
This is the only way profit can be realized. Content marketing also uses the same principle.
Attracting new customers requires quality content. Content marketers, therefore, need to lay down their plans and strategies, or document it, to be able to keep them in check and on the right track to their targeted goals.
A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute suggests that 65% of the majority of successful content marketers have a documented strategy.
Develop a Personal Connection with Consumers
Content marketing is not just about inundating consumers with videos and articles. It also entails developing and maintaining a personal connection with them.
Most consumers would want to know the faces and people behind a corporate logo. You should ensure that your strategy includes opportunities that enable you to build relationships with consumers.
Ways of implementing this include:
- Replying promptly—You should quickly respond to people who are getting in touch with you, and your reply should be precise and informative. It needs to show that you listened and understood whatever the person was asking about. In a nutshell, if someone contacts you via email, blog comment, text message, social media, or any other way, never delay in responding.
- Hold chats on social media—Some social media platforms have very good features that allow you to have chats or conversations with your audience in real time. You can create monthly chats with your audience on Twitter, or hold live conversations with them via tweets. On Facebook, you can run Facebook Live Q&As where users can ask questions and they are answered by the person right in front of them. It uses ‘in the moment’ videos which are usually real time.
- Showcase your staff—Other than just featuring your products and services, your content marketing strategy should make room for your team members to be known. Showcasing your staff reveals to consumers the joint effort of different people, with different personalities and interests, working towards a specific goal (quality content for consumers).
Embracing Social Media
With most consumers worldwide having access to social media, businesses and organizations too take to the platforms to be in touch with their customers.
Content marketers also should jump into this bandwagon and not be left behind. Social media usage increases on a daily basis with many users signing up into new social media platforms.
It is easier to connect with consumers on social media as these platforms provide a very useful podium (social commerce) to showcase your content. Remember that a fisherman only goes fishing in areas where more fish can be found.
Using Multiple Formats
Long-form articles are not the only way that consumers can take in content. There are more methods that you can use to make your content available for consumption by consumers.
- Podcasts—Audio content has been growing for the past several years and attracting a good number of listeners too. According to Edinson Research, last year, 24% of Americans listened to at least one podcast in the month of November. Podcasts are easily understood, portable, and accessible at any time. Content marketers should embrace this trend as it promises to get content across at any time even when a person is busy doing other chores.
- Videos—2019 is the year to start using video in your marketing if you haven’t been using it. It is very efficient and generates more shares than likes compared to images and texts. Videos are watched by many people, with Impact reporting that more than 70 million people in the USA watch videos online on a daily basis. Videos are a trend a good content marketer should incorporate into their marketing strategy in 2019.
- Visuals like pictures and real photos—Improved technology has enabled visual search to become more popular among consumers. Visual content stamps authority to your competition against your opponents. Through high-quality photos and infographics, it is easy to introduce your brands or products to your users.
Authenticity, Transparency, and Value Marketing
Authenticity, transparency, and value are important aspects of any type of marketing. Companies that are not transparent and go ahead to create inauthentic content jeopardizes their smooth transition to the future.
Lack of transparency is a red flag to consumers and this causes problems between the company and its audience. Companies’ mission statements are taken to be valid when their content goes hand in hand with what they stand for.
Content marketing has never been just about promoting your brand, but rather value addition to the consumer-be it entertaining them, educating them, or otherwise. This communicates a sense of transparency and authenticity eventually earning your customers’ trust in your brand.
For a content marketer to joyfully enjoy the benefit of this trend in 2019, you should create content that:
- Aligns with the overall mission and message of the company or business.
- Makes customers comfortable with engaging further with your brand.
- Assists your target audience to accomplish their goals in line with what you are offering.
To add icing on the cake, statistics from a study PBNPilot conducted show that more than 70% of businesses would pay more for a product and remain loyal to that brand if it provided complete transparency.
In conclusion, a good marketer grabs onto the slightest opportunity presented to increase their chances of defeating their competitors. So 2019 promises to be a successful year to those who are able to conform to new trends and adapt to the ever-changing market.