In the evolving world of content marketing, we continually need to refine how we communicate with and reach our customers. Here are a few content marketing trends you should consider as you refresh and plan for this year's blog posts, newsletters, and social media campaigns.
1. Sophisticated algorithms will force you to get serious about quality control
If your goal is to reach users with first-page search results this year, then it's about time you ditched the traditional SEO marketing strategy. The truth is, the game has changed. Google algorithms now evaluate content based on its value to readers who are searching for it. The focus on quality content means excessive keyword stuffing and backlinking won’t do you any good.
Just as Facebook algorithms filter content based on quality and interaction, Google is forcing content creators to focus on the value, relevance, and reliability of their content. Let's face it, the internet is a relatively noisy place, and mediocre blogs are NOT going to cut it.
If you want to distinguish yourself from the competition, make sure the quality of your content is in check. Before hitting publish, ask yourself, is this attractive, value-driven, and appealing to readers? And if the answer is no, what can you change to take your content to the next level?
2. Lights, camera, action!
As internet speeds increase and more people gain access to rich media content, the desire for visually appealing images and videos will intensify. Users are impatient, demanding faster and more immediate forms of information and entertainment. And that’s why videos are especially valuable.
Video content tends to attract higher levels of interaction and outperforms any other piece of content including pictures, links, and text.
Throughout 2015, we released FOUR videos, which included two of our "Beyond the Draft" series videos, where we focus on content-related subjects. I know it's easy to sit here and tell you that you'll score big with video content, but take a look at our Facebook insights below.
There is a pretty significant difference between the types of posts, right?
3. Social media marketing isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
In June, we made a point to get serious about our social media strategy. We found that while developing purposeful posts and planning content can be a bit time consuming, it paid off as we began to grow our following!
Making a focused effort to engage users through quality branded content will position you to increase brand awareness while building a strong line of communication between you and your desired audience.
When it comes to social media marketing, it's simply not enough to go through the motions. You need a focused plan that is consistent and delivers real results. And if you don't have the time to manage your pages yourself, look into hiring a savvy virtual assistant or third party company to do this for you. At the end of the day, you need a creative, dedicated individual who can make your business's social strategy a priority.
4. Speaking of branded content, you're going to need quite a bit of it!
If you're going to succeed with a content strategy, then you will need a healthy dose of branded content (photos, graphics, etc.). Filling your blog posts and website with generic stock images doesn't do much to further your brand and expresses little about who you are. Companies who dedicate themselves to producing original branded photos, graphics, and other media will create a stronger brand profile than those who continue to borrow from other sources.
5. Live-streaming will EXPLODE.
When live-streaming apps such as Periscope first landed on the map, we weren't sure if they were going to stick around. However, as more users continue to tune into stream sessions of their favorite bloggers and celebrities, more companies have tapped into this trend.
Live Q&A's, event coverage, and mini vlogs will be a few ways companies utilize this forum. But like any new method of communication, those who master this platform will discover exciting ways to capture user attention and create a unique experience for their followers.
How will these trends affect your content marketing strategy? Will your company launch a video series? Photograph its own blog photos? Or live-stream one of your events? Whatever the case, we wish you the best of luck in 2016!
Cheers to a year full of authentic, beautiful, and engaging content!
Are there other trends you think business owners should pay attention to? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. And, as always, the best conversations happen after the post.