Last Updated on by Karl
Content marketing trends that help you get your strategy in order.
Consumers want information! They want to feel in control and make their own decisions.
This behavior means that companies need to provide people with valuable content to build trust instead of marketing hype.
Content marketing has been a growing trend for several years, and it's not going away. Following are the major content marketing trends today and beyond.
The key trend this year is effectiveness. Read how to get better results with less effort.
1. Case studies
Case studies are one of the growing areas of content marketing. Case studies are especially important for complex products and services.
Case studies help people understand what problem does a product or service solve and lets them come to an understanding that “this is exactly what I need.”
You can use case studies in B2B content marketing but it also works for consumers.
Show how real people use your products, how they can get more out of your product or service.
2. White papers and e-books
White papers and e-books are the second important tactic to use in content marketing.
White papers work mostly in the B2B content marketing sector. E-books and videos fill the similar niche of market education for B2C content marketing.
This content aims to provide answer questions how to get most out of the product or service. Create content that buyers need to feel comfortable about their purchase decisions and provide stories from existing customers.
Take a look at your existing content and find ways to combine that with white papers and ebooks. Re-using your existing content helps you save time and get results faster.
Check out this year's social media marketing trends that help you get ahead.
3. Business blogging
Business blogging has become so mainstream that it hardly needs mentioning but it will continue to be the foundation of all content marketing activities.
The blog is the hub that combines all your content from plain text posts to interactive e-books and courses. This hub is your link magnet and getting links to content stored on your blog is one of the most effective tactics for some time to come. Why Businesses Need to Blog?
Recycle! Once is not enough!
Audit your blog and make a list of evergreen posts. Create a table where you can track the performance of your best content.
Enter Goals from Google Analytics, conversion rates, and a number of sessions.
Update and promote your evergreen content regularly but at least twice a year. This will help you improve the effectiveness of your content marketing.
Storytelling becomes more important. The reason for this is that when content marketing matures and the volume of available content explodes then great stories get the edge.
Write about personal experience and spice theory up with real life examples and you'll get content that people want to read and share.
Examples, real people, and companies. What happened to whom, when why. Don’t forget to add the value to your target audience.
What is the action item they should apply form your story? Read Content Marketing Is Dead: It's Is All About Storytelling.
5. Content marketing budgets increase
In B2B sector marketing budgets will move from other areas to content marketing as it proves to be a more effective tool.
Content marketing will generate results long after you made the initial investments in time and resources. The growth of content may create a situation where marketing budgets decrease as money spent on in-house content marketing will be payroll expense.
Success generates budgets. Increasing budgets and effectiveness will help best content marketers leave the competition far behind.
6. Creating enough content will be the greatest challenge
Creating enough content will be the greatest challenge for content marketing. As the need for quality, originality, and storytelling increases, marketers are hard pressed to come up with enough new content.
A higher need for content may lead to more content creation being outsourced as in-house resources become exhausted or do not meet the quality standard.
Find permanent content outsourcing partners. You will overspend and lose effectiveness if you switch from one content creator to another. Permanent content outsourcing partners help you time spent on evaluating and editing.
This in turn will free up valuable time for other content marketing tasks. Read How to Choose a Content Writer.
7. Content distribution and promotion
Social media will still be the most popular channel to distribute the content.
Channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others work best for the content that makes people want to share what they have found. Store the content on your self-hosted blog and distribute it through social networks.
As social networks keep limiting your organic reach find effective ways to use their advertising platforms to get your message across.
Switch your focus to list building. Find out how email lists beat social media and how to use social media to build your mailing lists. Find out why your email list beats social media.
Use new tools like push notifications.
8. Top goals for content marketing will be sales
Top goals for content marketing will be sales and retention. B2B content marketing is more oriented towards generating leads and sales. In the case of B2C brands, the goals are retention and creating word of mouth.
Set metrics and KPIs that reflect the bottom line. Tracking this data for your most important content helps you understand what works and put your effort in the right place.
9. Measuring results gets more important
Measuring results gets more important and more real. Most content marketers continue to use traffic as a measurement KPI. However, growing numbers of marketers turn more tangible results like sales and leads.
Check out the list of social media KPIs and adopt meaningful metrics for your content marketing program.
10. Create once use everywhere!
Marketers will use more formats, tactics, and channels to distribute their content trying to maximize the value they get from each piece of content. Using a content distribution strategy like Social Media Bomb will stretch a single piece of content over a long period.
Similarly, refurbishing old content and finding periodically repeatable topics will lighten your content creation load.
Content atomization is one of the most valuable tools to get better results from your content marketing strategy.
When evaluating your evergreen content make notes what can be atomized into other formats. Create a schedule for creation and promotion of that additional content.
11. Content use on mobile devices is exploding
Making your content mobile-friendly will give you an edge over you more old-fashioned competitors.
Create mobile layouts for your blog and website, make them location aware if appropriate, add click-to-call. Make sure your e-books, case studies, videos and other content is usable on mobiles. Hint: try to read a letter sized PDF on your smartphone.
Check your evergreen content and make sure that everything is usable on mobile. Test your sites mobile loading speed and SEO as this is becoming a top priority for ranking well in Google search results.
Find out How to Improve Your Mobile Content Marketing Strategy.
12. Content curation
Content curation as an alternative or addition to actually creating your own content.
Marketers who lack the resources to create a continuous stream of original and engaging content turn to curation.
Collecting important pieces of valuable content and distributing it through your own social media channels or newsletters.
You will lose the value of people visiting your site for the content, but you will get the image of “being in the know.”
The best strategy would be to find a balanced mix of your own material with curated content from partner and even competitors.
Become the resource by not only publishing your own content but also bringing together all the best material in your field.
13. Video content
Video content will grow. It's easier than ever to create video content, but it's still under used compared to video consumption by the consumer.
When we have asked different audiences what kind of content they would like to have, the video is an overwhelming winner every time.
Tip: create easy to follow videos (max 2 minutes) long to engage people and make them take next step or share your content.
For longer videos, you need really compelling content to make people sit through you 10-30 minute production.
Create video versions of your best content and promote the clips in all your channels from social media to email lists.
Find out about 8 powerful reasons you need to use video marketing.
Infographics are one of the fastest growing content format. Infographics have visual appeal and easily digestible information that makes them fun to consume and easy to share.
At the same time, infographics are relatively easy to create as the main effort goes into graphic design and the research part is modest compared to other forms of content. Infographic: The Content Grid: Content Marketing in a Blink
Find out Why Their Infographics Go Viral and Yours Don’t.
15. Shortening attention span.
Short videos and infographics point in the direction of ever increasing information overload. Short, concentrated pieces of content should be used to engage audiences in the initial stages of interaction. This will lead them to more demanding content and ultimately to converting to leads and customers.
Decide what existing content can be turned int infographics. Select the most promising topics and make creative visual material. Evaluate the results and plan your strategy around that.
You can use this trend for content atomization. Cut key scenes from your videos and share them as stand-alone pieces of content that link back to original long form content.
Take the meatiest quotes from your long-form content and use them in image form.
16. Targeting content to buyer personas
Understanding the motivation of potential customers will help you create stories that connect and engage. Interview your target audiences and find out why they buy. Targeting content will get you a lot more results form the same budget.
Update your buyer personas at least once a year. Trends and interests change. Updating frequently will help you keep ahead of your competition.
$44 ROI for every dollar spent in 2016, compared with $38 in 2015 — Campaign Monitor
The most effective marketing channel. Whatever the goals of your marketing strategy one of the most important step is to get the permission of the potential buyer to continue the dialog.
This way you can influence them during their path to conversion. Use all tools available to build an opt-in house list of prospects and then convert them.
Hell, nowadays you can even build out completely automated email workflows.
Mark Zuckerberg announced that the organic reach of the posts from Facebook pages would become lower. As the reach is already low, this means that now the reach will be virtually zero. Email to the rescue. Create campaigns to get your Facebook fans to join your email list.
A review of content trends over the last three years. The research found a significant fall in content referrals from social, particularly Facebook. These slides highlight some of the key findings. The full report is available at the BuzzSumo website.
Quill: image credit Kaushik Narasimhan
GoPro: image credit Chris Zielecki
Email: image credit Miguel Ugalde
Dollar: image credit Bill Brooks