It’s almost 120 years (or 6 score, in the old) since Mark Twain uttered the immortal words “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”.
Twain was of course referring to an earlier newspaper article which described his condition as “deathly ill”, however if we fast forward some 6 decades later, the same could be applied to content marketing, which despite some pundits writing it off, is set to continue its rise to prominence.
Whilst we do know that content marketing will remain at the core of many companies marketing strategy – and so it should – what will that look like? Let’s take a peak:
QUALITY WILL BE QUEEN
You’ve heard the phrase ‘content is king’, right? Well, there’s no denying that, but it’s the brand that produces the quality content opposed to the volume of content that will set itself apart from the pack.
As consumers get wiser and more informed about a particular topic or even industry, there’s going to be a shift to them seeking out higher quality content that delivers true value to them, not just a forgettable impression. It’s often said that it’s the thought that counts, but you need that thought to stick in the memory in order to break through.
CONTENT MARKETING WON’T BE THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
In the past few years, people are starting to cotton on that content marketing is the new way of doing things. This stops now. Instead, when we’re writing the first page of the marketing playbook, we’re starting off with a headline ‘MY CONTENT MARKETING PLAN’. It may well be underlined for emphasis, too.
Instead of the marketing department being left to their own devices in creating the content they think product or service users want to see, we’re going to see an all-in, company-wide approach to content, where the CEO is going to engage technical expertise to facilitate the content creation process, sales is going to communicate pain points and so on and so forth.
Content is here. Embrace it.
CONSUMERS WILL CONTINUE TO CONNECT
Social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, consumers now demand a higher engagement with a brand or product than ever before. Not only in service industries where recurring revenue makes up a high percentage of money coming through the door, but also consumer product industries are seeing the need to provide higher levels of ‘after sale service’.
A strong engagement on social media platforms will win the day. Your SEO dept. will love you if you pump out 150 blog posts considering there’s probably 100+ companies in the same niche you are, but not everyone has the manpower to be able to do that. Instead, quality social media engagement is a great way of growing your brand organically (new school version or word of mouth) without engaging in the arms race.
NO MORE ‘GUT FEEL’
In the past marketers have gone on what they feel their consumers are searching for or what they think they like. What do I say about that? No, no, no, NO!
The future lies in data. The beauty of content marketing is that we’re now becoming increasingly aware of what makes consumers tick, thanks to more and more research statistics being available. Marketers will need to take stock of the numbers and craft quality content that will sing to the group they’re marketing towards.
SO, WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Now that we’ve gazed into the crystal ball, what are some takeaways that you can get from the above that will make you stand out from the crowd moving forward?
- Don’t get sucked into producing content just for the sake of it. Put simply, content with no value-add is SPAM! Consumers are looking for information, they’re not looking to give their clicking finger some exercise. Craft quality content.
- Embrace content marketing. It should be at the heart of your marketing strategy – it’s not going anywhere. Make sure the lines of communication between all departments are left wide open, that way you’ll ensure your content remains on point. It’s all-in on content from hereon.
- Get social or die trying. Consumers expect – no – demand more, so give it to them. Particularly in highly competitive markets, you’ll gain more traction by growing your brand organically in social media than you will through traditional SEO methods.
- The trends are your friend. Don’t rely on what you think people are searching for – look at the data and make informed decisions. It will save you time, money and will ensure you’re only producing content that has a chance of being consumed.