Content is the link between your customers and your brand. Like most online marketing strategies, content is never a ‘set and forget’ affair. As technologies evolve, new ways of connecting with users via content emerge.
Content Marketing Strategies
How is your content marketing strategy for the year looking? Are you still doing content marketing the old way?
If you want to learn content marketing strategies that will turbocharge your results, here are key trends to keep your eyes on.
1. Interactive and Personalised Content
Marketers are producing a lot of content already. A more powerful way to connect with consumers who might feel overwhelmed in a sea of generic information is creating personalised content.
Personalised content capitalises on micro-moments where users interact with your brand. Users will purchase and engage more with a brand that serves them highly relevant content.
Use readily available tools such as Google Analytics, social media conversations, and email signups to create buyer profiles. Then, create content tailored to each user that interacts with your brand.
In addition to personalisation, consumers are looking to interact with your brand in a way that feels accessible and authentic.
Want to make your content marketing strategies more interactive? Try live video. Live video will only increase in popularity over the coming years.
The numbers do not lie either:
78 % of online users are already watching live videos on Facebook and 82 % prefer live video to status updates or posts. Live videos are also becoming more popular than reading a blog.
What is really great about live videos is that they do not have to be professionally produced. In fact, 87 % of those who watch live videos prefer behind-the-scenes footage that is authentic and human.
You can make your foray into live videos with easy steps. Give viewers a tour of your office, record a Q-and-A with team members, film a product demonstration, or record an event. Your customers will appreciate that they can connect with your brand genuinely and intimately.
Live video is a great way to make your brand accessible to your target audience, which in turn grows your customer base.
2. Audio Content
Video is a big deal but audio has not been left behind either. As online audiences seek niche content, podcasts seem to have made a kind of renaissance.
The number of podcast listeners in the UK has grown to 6 million and that figure is predicted to increase in the coming years.
What is driving podcast content consumption? The universal penetration of smartphones, the portability of podcast content, and the audience-specific nature of content created for podcast listeners.
All in all, podcasts are a low-cost yet impactful way to create amazing content. They provide real value to your existing audience and potential customers. A branded podcast can increase brand visibility and help you leverage the benefits of storytelling as a strategy for engaging users. This will help to grow your customer base.
You’ve probably been thinking about a podcast but have not yet figured out how to get started and how to maximise your impact. Here are a few tips:
Select An Area That Interests Your Customer
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of starting a podcast is figuring out what subject to cover. Generally, you want to start a podcast on a topic you have experience in.
It’s also a good idea to engage your existing customer base. Ask them about the kind of content they would like to listen to. This ensures that you can go out and create content that people actually want.
Successful podcast hosts recommend focusing on subject areas that lend themselves easily to storytelling and conversation formats. These types of podcasts are generally more engaging and draw a wider audience.
Leverage Your Existing Network To Line Up Guests
While you can do a solo podcast where it is just you talking, a great way to add zing to your content is inviting guests for interviews and conversations. Use your personal and professional network to find interesting people to interview.
Promote, Promote, Promote
After recording and publishing your podcast, be sure to promote it far and wide. Start with subscribers who opted into your podcast mailing list and send an email alerting them to new episodes. Encourage users to share or invite their friends to listen to the podcast.
Directories such as iTunes and Google Podcasts are also another easy way to make your podcast visible to existing and potential listeners.
Lastly, be sure to use your social media profiles to inform your followers about the podcast and encourage them to listen to the newly available episodes.
Repurpose Content To Improve ROI
Podcast content is versatile and can be an easy source of multiple pieces of content. Instead of just stopping at audio, use the podcast content to create additional marketing collateral including e-books, blog posts, long-form articles, guest blog posts, and email drip campaigns.
A podcast is not only a great content marketing channel; it is also an excellent source of tangible revenue.
There are plenty of innovative ways to monetise your podcasts. Examples include:
- Classic in-show ads and sponsorships
- Selling your own products and services
- Product downloads via your website
- Affiliate links on the show and website
- Monthly subscriptions of podcast
Pro Tip: Just like with any other content strategy, you will see better results with podcasts if you commit to producing new content regularly.
3. Super-Niche Content
As the need for personalisation grows, content marketing strategies will become more and more niche-focused.
Creating content for highly specific online audiences, also known as ultra-niches, allows your brand to stand out in a cutthroat market. Indeed, audiences no longer want just targeted content; they want content that is tailored-made and curated just for them.
This year, consider refocusing your content marketing efforts from wide buyer personas to narrower, more specialised audiences.
Benefits Of Ultra-Niche Content Marketing
Super-niche content marketing offers several advantages.
It is easier to connect with your audience: In a highly competitive marketplace, it is becoming more and more difficult for brands to capture users’ attention, engage them, and earn their loyalty. Narrowing down your niche eliminates these barriers and gives you a greater competitive edge.
You can build a community of loyal customers: Niche marketing targets a small group of users with a common and often, unmet need. Rising to the occasion and meeting this need lets you build a loyal fan base that comes to depend on your brand for the long haul.
It simplifies your marketing campaigns: Creating content for large audiences is never an easy feat—you simply cannot please everyone. On the contrary, marketing to a narrower market is not only straightforward but may also offer a greater return on investment.
So, what is super-niche marketing?
We’ll start with what niche marketing isn’t—it is not about carving out the smallest possible audience and creating a content strategy that only caters to this audience.
On the contrary, niche marketing is about identifying an underserved audience. Then, formulating a suitable marketing strategy to meet the needs of this specific market. It is about identifying your ideal customer, understanding their pain points, and creating an exciting like-minded community.
The two attributes that make for a successful super-niche content strategy are exclusivity and storytelling.
- Super-niche marketing involves creating an exclusive community of people united by a common quirk unique to them.
- Super-niche marketing also hinges strongly on storytelling—it’s not just about identifying a product to sell. It is about formulating a powerful brand story that your audience can resonate with and therefore feel a sense of belonging.
How do you get started with super-niche marketing?
- The first step is identifying a niche audience. When defining your super-niche audience:
- Identify the specific traits that set this audience apart from the larger audience
- Narrow down your audience using identifiers such as demographics, personal attributes, behavioural trends
- Be sure that you can realistically grow the size of your market
- Next, identify your unique selling point. To get started, determine:
- The unique product/service/experience you offer your target audience that no other brand can
- What makes your product/service unique or worth purchasing
- The impact your brand has on your audience
- How your products/services meet customers’ needs
Once you identify your niche and the unique value you can offer, you can now develop a solid content marketing strategy that will help you deliver this value.
4. Voice Search Content
There is no doubt that voice queries are the future of search. Studies predict that in the future most searches will be voice-based.
The availability of technological advances in the form of digital voice assistants such as Siri and Google Now coupled with the widespread use of mobile devices has seen consumers preferring voice to text during those key micro-moments.
To ready your content for voice search:
Use Local SEO
Majority of the time, consumers use voice to search for local businesses. If you have not readied your business for local search, now is a good time to start. Simple steps such as listing your business in relevant directories and proving consistent contact information across the net can make a big difference in helping potential customers find you via mobile voice search.
Optimise For Mobile
Ideally, you should have a mobile responsive website with a great design that allows online audiences to seamlessly access your website on any device. Be sure to implement robust mobile SEO to improve your ranking for specific voice search phrases that your target audience is likely to use during those micro-moments.
Identify Questions of Interest
In an era of voice over text, keyword research will be even more important.
How do you know the type of questions or phrases to use to optimise your content for voice search? Use readily available tools such as Google Suggest to find out the top questions users are asking about your brand at every step of the sales funnel.
Once you identify these questions, you can create mobile-optimised content to provide appropriate answers using the keywords and phrases you identified. This way, you can nurture your online audience down the funnel and drive them to the purchase point.
5. Social Commerce Content
With the growth of online shopping and the unprecedented popularity of social media, social commerce has been a long time coming.
While in the past consumers have been slow to take to shopping on social platforms, the tides are changing and as many as 30% say they would shop on their favourite social sites.
Social commerce is certainly a win-win for everyone involved. For brands, it is a way to improve return on investment for social ads while for customers, social commerce offers a seamless way to shop without exiting their favourite social platform.
Many of the popular social sites already have features that brands can leverage to facilitate social shopping. Some common features include:
- Shoppable stories and posts
- Buy buttons
Shoppable Stories and Posts
Instagram and Snapchat have shoppable stories and posts that allow a brand to tag a product alongside a piece of content. So, instead of annoying users with over-the-top adverts, brands can use storytelling to subtly sell a product to fans and followers.
Shoppable stories and posts enable fans to view a product in its natural environment and if interested, buy the product without leaving the Instagram or Snapchat platform.
Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have incorporated ‘buy now’ buttons that allow brands to capitalise on their social community by converting followers into buyers.
Brands can also use third-party apps that are compatible with major social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to enable followers to make a purchase easily and enjoy a seamless buyer experience from the point of purchase to delivery.
If you have not taken advantage of the social shopping trend, now is a great time to get on board. Use the available features and invest in brand storytelling to really get the most out of social commerce.
Content Marketing Strategies
As content marketing strategies evolve, consumers will continue to demand authenticity and personalisation. In addition, they will also want to connect with their favourite brands via multiple channels including live video and audio. To stay ahead of your competitors, spruce up your content marketing strategies by anticipating key trends such as voice search, podcasting, social commerce, and ultra-niche marketing.