It’s no secret that content marketing can offer great returns on investment and is a growing strategy used by online companies around the world. The techniques and processes used in content marketing are also developing year-on-year, making it a dynamic strategy for growing your website audience.
There are a few factors owing to the success of content marketing worldwide, but what are the latest trends in the industry that can help you grow an audience for your site? What worked in previous years may not hold true today, or going forward.
The ability to analyse audience behaviour and spot emerging trends will help you plan a marketing strategy that will attract consistent organic traffic to your website. Here are some of the newest methods to use in your content marketing plan:
Churning out content for the sake of publishing to your site is not good enough anymore. Articles, videos and other visual materials need to be original, planned and executed according to your strategy.
Your audience demands more thought and the process of writing or creating is just as important as the actual content itself. These processes need to be constantly improved and adapted to suit your audience’s format preferences.
Writing articles alone won’t work anymore – you need to introduce video, graphics, illustration, animation, audio and photography to your content output. You need to grow your content team and include various skills, even branding, communications, analytics and reporting.
Taking content off the screen
The newest advances in internet technology have meant that we can access it even without a computer, phone or tablet. With gadgets such as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, we can simply talk and the voice-activated devices will give us any information we require.
The internet is becoming hands-free and omnipresent. Content can now be shared with a much wider audience through artificial voice and audio platforms as if listening to the radio. These devices can spread your content to their users while they sit and have breakfast before work, so you need to adapt your content to take advantage of this tech.
Consumers are getting tired of one-way advertising and branding. The sheer volume of ad-blockers being downloaded every day is a testament to our shifting attitude towards marketing. Internet users want companies to be more authentic, transparent and personable.
Consumers tend to be wary of cause marketing strategies – when companies claim they are charitable, eco-friendly and philanthropic – we tend to disbelieve their claims because this type of marketing is overused.
Nowadays, consumers place most of their trust in their friends. The 2017 Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey indicates that 82% of consumers completely trust their friends’ recommendations for companies. Only 42% trust social media adverts that come from the businesses themselves, which shows that we are sceptical of brands’ authenticity.
That’s why being transparent is important. Brands need to build relationships with their consumers and clearly state when a social media post is a paid endorsement or advert. This will alert the cautious consumer and make them aware of your intentions from the outset, and at the same time, make your brand more transparent.
Documenting your strategy
By recording the performance of your content marketing strategy, not only are you able to make changes and adjust your approach where necessary, but you are also able to see where you are succeeding and how you got there.
Although spending more time on your content and targeting it correctly are good practices in your strategy, documenting the process and looking at the data will give you insight into your audience’s preferences.
A study conducted at the Dominican University of California revealed that participants who document their goals, review their performance and shared their success were 33% more successful in achieving their goals.
The same applies to companies looking to achieve their own goals – recording your strategy and content performance will allow you to adapt your strategy and achieve positive growth.
Embracing live video
Marketers and consumers are already embracing live video through their social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook. Videos on these platforms attract 135% more organic reach than photos and the engagement on live videos is staggering.
Facebook released statistics stating that users spend three times longer watching live videos and comment 10 times more on live videos than with regular video content. Similarly, Livestream surveyed consumers and found that 80% would rather tune into a live video than read a blog post, and 82% would rather watch a live video than read a social media post.
Live video is the way forward, and only 14% of marketers are committed to using it as a part of their content strategy.
Interactive and virtual reality content
Despite video’s superiority in terms of engagement, the future seems to be shifting quickly towards interactive visual content and virtual reality (VR). Online consumers can immerse themselves in a 3D VR world with gadgets such as Samsung’s Gear VR headset (that can be used with their cell phones) and 360-degree cameras.
The possibilities with marketing products in a false three-dimensional space are endless. Companies have only just started experimenting with innovative ways of branding and marketing through VR, but the virtual reality industry is expected to reach almost two trillion rands by 2020.
Distributing your new content
Will all of these new ways of producing exciting content, you may run into some trouble when it comes to distributing it all. Some tech may take some time to reach the common household, but it is better to be ahead of the game and waiting for that time than to try and catch up.
Keep producing your content, boosting it on social media and engaging with your audience. Your content will stand out above the millions of other sources on the internet if you stick to your strategy and utilise a multi-channel method.
Like all trends, these may come and go in the blink of an eye – some may not take off at all. If you’re looking to develop a successful content marketing strategy, do your research and keep an eye on top performing websites to see what techniques they’re using. Running a successful website and business online is all about tracking performance and staying ahead of the curve.
Discover the latest trends and tips that shape an ever-evolving digital world.
Mobimeme offers content marketing, SEO, analytics, social media management and expert direction in the digital sphere. Building and growing online audiences for your business is what we do best. Get in touch with us to find out more about our package offerings and how you can improve your website and following.