More than 60% of B2B marketers report that last year, their content marketing strategies were more effective than in 2016. Can you say the same? If you’re looking to up your 2018 content game, these are the trends you need to embrace!
- Diversify your content formats: 2018 is the year to change up your content media. Content doesn’t just mean informative blogs, product descriptions and customer reviews. Your audience is consuming more content than ever before, and standard informative blogs just isn’t enough for them anymore, no matter how many perfectly curated stock photos you’ve included. This year, think bigger. You’re probably already publishing infographics (good for you), last year they were liked and shared on social channels three times more than any other type of content!
- Embrace the IoT: Alexa, Siri, Cortana and the Google Assistant are making themselves at home, and making it easier to find all the answers, without ever typing a search into Google. Your content strategy needs to be as connected as your target audiences are. Whether that means developing a new Alexa skill for your brand, like Whirlpool and Best Buy have done, or just making experience-first thinking an integral part of your strategy, get innovative in how your content can enrich the lives of your customers.
- Focus on authenticity and trust: With sponsored content, native ads, and cause marketing strategies everywhere you look, being transparent with your audiences has to be a priority this year. Consumers are quick to see through eco-friendliness claims, charitable donations, and other initiatives aimed at winning the hearts and trust of the public. Check out a previous post I wrote on making emotional connections with your audience and Emily’s great list of ideas on how to showcase the human side of your brand!
- Map out your buyers’ journeys: When it comes to strategy and editorial calendar development, both should be driven by your personas. Here’s a great rundown on what a buyer persona is, and why you need one! Once you have those established, take the time to map out the buyer’s journey for each, so you really understand what it is your target audience needs before they make their purchasing decisions. Without that insight, how are you going to effectively develop the content, distribute and promote it?
- Analyze everything: Does your content strategy account for analyzing and documenting your content’s performance? Once a post is up and shared, are you looking at it again? If not, you’re missing out. Repurposing old content is great, but ongoing, active optimization for long term content performance may be a missing piece to your strategy. When you’re tracking your content’s performance, and adjusting each piece for maximum exposure and conversions, you’re on your way to a more effective and efficient content strategy in 2018.
- Focus on distribution: “Content is king” they said, “great content is the best sales tool” they said, and we listened. Really well. So well, in fact, that there is TOO MUCH CONTENT for any consumer to get through today! If you’re running a Field of Dreams content strategy (you know, write it and they will come), you’re in trouble. You need to invest in a content distribution strategy, and you’re probably going to have to look beyond your website and owned social channels to really cut through the noise and get your content seen.
- Take a cue from Amazon, Netflix & Hulu: “Consistent, original, and addictive content is all the rage” says Joe Pulizzi from the Content Marketing Institute. What are you doing to make your brand binge-worthy online? The more engaging and impactful your content, the more likely your audience is to remember, keep engaging with, and ultimately buy from your brand.
- Make it personal: Whether you can localize your content, or just strengthen your personas and targeting to deliver a more personalized experience, do it. Do it all. There is so much data available to you, there won’t be any excuses for generic content in 2018. From content creation to distribution, keep your target audiences in mind first and foremost when designing your content strategy for the coming year.
So now that I’ve overloaded you with a content heavy blog post, what’s your next move? How will you be adjusting your content marketing strategy to account for these trends and shifts? Not sure where to go from here? We’ve got your back, contact us today!