Content marketing is one of the oldest and most effective tools businesses have to connect with consumers. A helpful and informative post is just the thing to turn a casual visitor into a lifelong customer. Similarly, creating content is an excellent way to drive new people to your website. There's a good reason why companies that blog see 55% more web traffic than non-blogging brands.
But creating a jaw-dropping content strategy is not always a straightforward process.
As technology advances and consumers get more powerful tools in their hands, businesses have to adjust. We encountered more curveballs than we thought possible in 2020, so getting a proper strategy ready for 2021 can help save you time, money, and energy.
Today, we will explore several content marketing patterns we see emerging in the new year. After we explain each trend, we will go over some steps you can take to prepare your marketing campaigns.
Video content is on the rise
When it comes to popular types of content, you can’t go wrong with videos. Believe it or not, 43% of consumers want more video content from businesses. Delivering on this need can make the difference between someone coming back to your website or forgetting you exist.
You'll be happy to know that there are plenty of ways you can add more videos to your content marketing strategy. The most common way to create a piece of high-quality video content is to repurpose an existing blog post. Check your analytics and turn your most popular posts into engaging videos where you introduce a new spin or additional statistics.
Share these videos on social media websites, and update your blog with the embedded link. Now, if someone finds your website for the first time, they have multiple options for viewing your content. You'll find that opening accessibility options for users based on their preferences leads to more click-throughs and sales overall.
It's also possible to make video guides if you sell a physical product with multiple functions or offer an online service. Use this strategy to keep brand new customers engaged with your brand and allow visitors on the fence to see the benefits provided by your product or service.
Voice search impacts brand visibility
When you ask about the future of marketing, most people will tell you that voice search will make big waves in the industry over the next several years. We advise getting invested in this strategy now so you can maximize the benefits.
Voice search makes it easier for consumers to find your website, which means they are more likely to read your content, subscribe to newsletters, and eventually buy a product from your online store. Currently, 62% of smart speaker owners have used their devices to make a purchase. So, it's a safe bet that even more consumers are using their smart speaker to browse for helpful content.
The key to getting more traffic through voice search is to use long-tail keywords within your content. Think about word combinations that a user might say into their speaker when searching, instead of what they would normally type.
Don't be afraid to get creative. A whopping 55% of searches on Google contain words outside of the 10 million most popular keywords. Use Google's keyword planner to discover industry-specific words and phrases searched by your audience.
Once you start ranking for these keywords, your site will quickly gain traction. Ideally, you want Google to recommend your site to searchers that type in your keywords, but getting to that position takes time and plenty of research.
There's a demand for more user-generated content
User-generated content is a video, email, or social media post that endorses your brand or specific products. Business owners and marketers like user-generated content because it's easy to compile and helps build social proof.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people are more likely to make a purchasing decision based on others' opinions. So, if someone sees that you have a testimonials page loaded with positive feedback, they are more likely to read your content and shop on your website.
When people see that other consumers bought something from your store and had a positive experience, they assume they will too.
You can gather social proof by reaching out to your email leads, pulling feedback from social media, and even reviewing comments on your blog posts. All three sources can provide a wealth of information to marketers that want to send out more user-generated content.
There are other ways to cultivate user-generated content outside of positive feedback. Some businesses hold social media events where they encourage followers to take pictures of themselves using the product for the chance to win a prize. These events are great at building brand awareness and help keep the community engaged with your brand.
Focus on the bottom of the funnel
One problem we see content marketers make is they don’t publish enough content for the bottom of their sales funnel. A typical marketing funnel starts with new consumers entering the top and discovering a brand for the first time. The consumer goes through the bottom of the funnel when they complete their order.
Creating content for the top of the funnel involves writing general articles that make it easy for people to find answers to common questions in your industry. You don't need to focus too much on the sales aspect of writing yet.
However, people at the bottom of the funnel need to be convinced that they should pull out their debit cards and become customers. The best way to get consumers to that point is to show them exactly how buying your product will resolve pain points and make goals more achievable.
At this phase, you should have enough actionable data on the consumer to serve them personalized content. When you consider that 47% of buyers read three to five pieces of content before making a purchase, this step is necessary. Personalized content ensures that you can overcome objections and turn that reader into a customer.
Consumers embrace live events
Business leaders and marketing teams are now embracing the idea of live events for their company. Webinars, ask me anything (AMA) events, and chat sessions are now extremely popular across all industries.
You can check social media today and find hundreds of people hosting live events. The shocking part about that is most of these events have quite a few participants.
There’s no reason you can't hold live events on social media for your business and see similar attendance. However, you have to bring real value to your viewers if they sign up for one of your events.
Spend some time thinking about how you can help consumers understand your industry, product, and brand through your voice. Things like webinars need more structure, while AMAs are excellent places to have free-flowing conversations with your audience.
Regardless of the live event you choose to host, we can’t stress the importance of allowing viewers to ask questions at the end. Not only will this help you engage with potential customers, but it also gives you a look at people genuinely interested in your brand, which can help you develop more robust customer personas.
All of the trends mentioned here today are growing exponentially and are not showing signs of slowing down. Keep this information in mind when you’re sitting down to plan content for the coming year. You’ll find that having a well-prepared content strategy makes everything easier for your other teams and ensures that customers have a fantastic experience on your website.