We take a look at current trends and include practical steps to strengthen your content marketing efforts today.
The digital marketing space is constantly changing, with new trends continually emerging – it’s easy to get overwhelmed or lost in the noise. For new bloggers, SEO is especially intimidating because Google is notorious for changing its algorithms just as people start to get the hang of it in its current form.
Similarly, for non-writers and even many professional writers, content marketing may feel equally as overwhelming. There are so many different types of content that it’s difficult to know where to start.
Content marketing is a secret weapon in the digital marketing toolbox, so it’s worth getting the hang of it. According to SEO guru Neil Patel, it is 62% less expensive than your other traditional marketing methods, and yet it is three times more effective – especially in terms of lead generation with prospective customers. Researchers at Kapost & Eloqua found that content marketing strategies can generate 400% more leads than paid search campaigns.
For content marketing to be effective, however, you need to publish high-quality content that encourages your audience to engage with your brand. Below, we take a look at the current trends in content marketing that can bolster your digital strategy, and we end with practical steps that you can take to strengthen your content marketing efforts today.
The impact of AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way since the 80s, and today it is so seamlessly built into many of the products we use that most of us can’t even detect it at all. Google uses it to improve the search results that it delivers to its users, ensuring that they get given the information that is the most relevant to their query.
It’s essential to understand how this is done and how it impacts your content marketing campaign – although this sounds a lot more intimidating than it is. Google is simply looking for the same thing that your audience is – valuable content. By producing high-quality, useful content regularly, Google will notice the relevance you have to its users and will rank you higher in search results.
Many businesses are also making use of AI to understand their customer base better. This data can help drive your content marketing strategy further because you’ll have a better idea of whom you are targeting. What problems do your customers have, and how can you help solve them? Knowing this will help you to identify and target niche audiences that are receptive to the messaging and content you’re providing.
Optimise for voice search
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular, evidenced by the increase in home voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. This popularity is being driven by the fact that these devices have become far more reliable and intuitive. The days of constantly repeating yourself slower or louder are long gone.
Ensuring that your content has been optimised for voice search is essential because it can impact your SEO and the amount of organic traffic that you’re able to drive to your website. In fact, by the end of 2020, it’s expected that at least half of all online searches will be voice initiated.
To optimise your content for voice searches, keep in mind that users are likely to ask specific questions, so you should focus on long-tail keywords and sentences rather than short keywords. For example, “Are there any zero-waste grocery stores in Sydney?” The questions should be natural and conversational, and they can be used as blog titles or sub-headings, or you could include them in your FAQ section. There are plenty of tools online that can help you find what questions people are asking on Google – Answer The Public is an excellent one.
It’s quite common for voice queries to be about local content, so be sure to optimise for that as well. Make sure you include your necessary business details, such as your location, contact information, and operating hours. Also ensure that your details are consistent across your website, social media accounts, review sites, and industry listing platforms.
Remember that driving traffic to your site, whether through SEO, referrals from third-party platforms, or via paid campaigns, is only half the battle won. Once they’re on your website, you need to ensure that they’re staying long enough to absorb your brand message and potentially convert.
If you want visitors to spend more time on your website, you need to consider your user experience (UX). Your content can be engaging and perfectly suited to their needs, but if it’s difficult for them to engage with (your website loads too slowly or the information isn’t easy to read on a mobile device), you’re going to lose them – possibly forever.
Speed is actually the most critical thing influencing user experience today. Thanks to sound bytes, TikToks, and tweets, audiences are impatient, have a short attention span, and are already overloaded with information. Improving your site’s speed will increase the amount of time people spend on a page, decrease your bounce rate, and promote higher engagement with your content.
Page loading also influences your ranking on Google, and yet it’s one of the less-discussed SEO features. Search engines have begun prioritising mobile devices, so loading speed is especially important there. However, mobile versions of websites are usually the most neglected. Google is incorporating speed data into its reports, along with mobile usability stats, so this is a point that you don’t want to neglect.
Don’t underestimate influencers
Finally, we consider the growth of influencer marketing, which is now a massive $10-billion industry. Influencers play an exciting role in content marketing. When used correctly, they can be your most powerful tool for driving traffic to your website, increasing awareness of your brand, and boosting your reputation.
In terms of reputation, especially, there’s nothing that beats influencer marketing. If a real, trustworthy person makes use of your product and recommends it, others are far more likely to consider your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase. They create a sense of trust that only word-of-mouth otherwise could – except on a much larger scale.
Various celebrities are influencers as well, such as the Kardashians or Paris Hilton, who often promote beauty products, designers, nightclubs, and more. Celebrities are highly influential and can promote brands in various ways and also increase their reach.
Choosing the right influencer is vital, however. You need to keep the values and beliefs of your audience in mind when deciding whom to use for brand promotion. If you have a very conservative, religious audience, for example, working with Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton could wreck your reputation.
Once you’ve found a viable influencer, you can test them out for a couple of campaigns. If they’re well-received by your audience and the campaigns have been suitably successful, you can team up with them for the long term, either bringing them on board as a brand ambassador or as an affiliate for specific products.
Now it’s your turn
There’s no doubt that content marketing is a highly effective tool for digital strategy, especially when you combine it with SEO. It can help you enhance your brand, build a trustworthy reputation with your audience, improve awareness of your brand, educate potential clients, and set you apart as a leader in your industry.
If you want to take advantage of this trend for your digital strategy, here are some practical steps that you can start taking today:
Research and consider investing in AI programmes that can help you better understand your customer base and “ideal customer”.
Create valuable content regularly for real people – not search engines. Google’s AI is getting better at matching genuinely helpful content with user searches. Don’t try to fool the search engines, instead try to serve real content to readers.
Create content around questions to optimise your efforts for voice search.
Ensure that your pages load quickly – especially on mobile devices – or you’ll end up losing visitors to your site.
Research influencers to help create brand visibility and trustworthiness.
Staying up to date with current trends is not easy, but the potential return on investment makes it all worthwhile. If it’s too intimidating or you just don’t have the time, consider enlisting the help of professionals who have their finger on the digital pulse. At theContenTribe, our sole purpose is to deliver engaging, high-quality content to help businesses build their brands. Get in touch with us, and find out how we can assist you today.
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