All words that describe content marketing, especially as 2018 gains steam. Content is the backbone of websites and marketing plans. Content has already evolved well beyond articles and copy. Blended media already holds a top position and with good reason.
So many eras have come and gone already in internet marketing. Best practices have flourished and died out over the last decades and through them all only a few elements have stood the test of time. Chief among those is content.
Catchy websites, fluid designs, bait-clicking headlines and SEO tricks have risen and fallen (and might rise again), but through it all content has truly remained king.
You can’t have a powerful web presence without offering your readers and visitors something meaningful. Why visit your website if there is nothing of value?
Content can mean so many things, and it is truer than ever that your content matters most. The type and amount of content you create and use might vary, but one thing is certain.
Content will continue to evolve. And those who make the efforts to be early adopters will certainly reap the rewards.
Remarketing is Booming
Remarketing is the advanced version of traditional ads. Effective remarketing is simply showing would-be customers ads for things they were looking at on your site. They browse through something on the site and then when they click away, remarketing shows ads for those items on many other sites, encouraging customers to return and buy.
Customized Experiences Thrive
Customers like to feel special, and what better way to enhance a customer’s experience than by making it all about them? A customized experience can take many forms, but generally involves setting up an account or entering information so that the website can tailor suggestions and information specifically for the customer.
Niche Specific Specialization
In the online marketplace there is always room for new ideas and innovation, especially in niches of the industry. Dig deeply into a particular niche. Don’t just provide information about exercise, drill down a bit and provide exercise information for one specific sub group like new moms, pregnant women, people with mobility issues, or in the case of Nerd Fitness, focus on exercise for the non-athletic.
Voice and Natural Language Searches
Voice searches and commands are growing at an enormous rate. People speak differently than they type, however, so natural language searches are playing an increasing important role as well. This means that keywords will be less important and using search questions will be more so. People ask Alexa and Siri questions – they don’t ask her keywords.
For a while the trend was to make content as long as possible. Longer and more complicated text does do well in search engines, but younger viewers don’t like it. They have a short attention span and they want something that is visually interesting and easy to digest. Content in smaller snippets makes this possible – especially when the snippets are accompanied by richer media.
Deep Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing works. People trust recommendations made by people rather than what they see in advertisements, so it’s likely that companies will build even stronger relationships with influencers. Rather than spreading some marketing efforts (and dollars) across dozens of bloggers and social media personalities, they may sponsor and develop deeper relationships with those most closely associated with their customer market.
Internet users, Millennials especially, inherently distrust advertisements. They don’t believe it when a company tells you something is valuable or that you should own it. They don’t like feeling manipulated and they see companies trying to label themselves with brand advertising as desperate. Companies that are transparent about who they are and what they represent are appreciated by customers and people spend their money accordingly.
The Importance of Video
People like videos. They watch well over an hour of video per day and would rather see something in a video than read about it. The preference for video is still increasing, which means there is more opportunity than ever to develop a true media presence through commentary, instructional media and pure entertainment developed for customers.
Take It Live
The next level of video is to live stream. Live streaming makes people feel connected to others in real time (which they technically are) and comments and interactions with the videos actually increase dramatically. In addition to thinking about new ways to create video for followers, consider using live video feeds to help boost viewership and interaction.
Content Professionals, not Writers
Content is complex. It’s not just articles or videos – there are infographics, rants, how-tos, live streams, social media posts, comments and questions and so much more. Successful companies know that one writer can’t do all of the writing that a robust company needs. They need the services of many content professionals in various specialties to create the full range of media and material.
Keeping Existing Customers
The customer cycle isn’t new, but it’s being embraced more than ever. A new customer is much harder and more expensive to get than an existing customer. Keeping an existing customer around is not only cheaper, but can lead to more referrals and long-term relationships. Companies are spending more time building relationships with customers and meeting many needs of individuals in order to benefit from what we know about the buying cycle.
Explosion of Native Advertising
Native advertising is about the only type that customer don’t seem to mind. A quality native advertisement contains something that is useful to the customer – an entertaining article, a slideshow of relevant material, an infographic to support a favorite hobby. But that content is clearly labeled and sourced as an advertisement so customers not only get useful information, they appreciate the transparency from the company that provided it for them.
The only thing constant is change. Content marketing is no exception. Never get complacent with what you’re offering your visitors. We know that in a digital world, customers don’t like to settle, and they won’t. Stay on top of your content and give your visitors what they want. They will reward you in kind.