Content Marketing - 14 Apr 2021
Content Trends That Need to Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Content marketing and SEO have become integral parts of a well-rounded marketing strategy, and you can’t run a successful marketing strategy without either. However, content creation is an evolving beast, and what worked a few years ago may not yield results this year or next.
Content marketers need to continuously adapt their strategies to keep with fresh trends, shifting preferences and new technologies. Four of the biggest trends shaping content marketing strategies right now involve a fundamental shift in the way content is created and who it is created for – and these changes will have lasting effects.
1. Attention-Grabbing Interactive Content
A picture is worth a thousand words, or at least it is online, and that’s having a dramatic effect on where people go to consume information. According to recent data, social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are used daily by hundreds of millions of users worldwide. And once the cat videos and baby pictures are factored out, inspiration, news, advice, and how-tos are the most common reasons people are flocking to these sites.
To take advantage of this massive user base, businesses need to have platform-specific marketing strategies in place. What works on Instagram won’t necessarily work on Facebook, however, all marketing material should still be cohesive and aligned with your brand.
Ways that companies are currently engaging with users on social media platform include:
• Instructional videos
• Behind-the-scenes posts
• Original animated GIFs
• Custom stickers and filters for Instagram Stories
• Creating and sharing high-quality content, both original and links to other sources
The prevailing theme is that users want to feel connected, they want to interact, and they want to share. They don’t necessarily want to know why your product is the best. Although quality is important, they want to know why you are great by engaging with your business’s human side.
2. Engaging Users with Video Content
Marketing strategies that were once all the rage are falling flat with younger generations. While it’s too early to give up on email campaigns and promotions just yet, as Boomers and Gen X still display a preference for this type of content, Millennials and Gen Z are over emails and are increasingly engaging with social media and video content.
What doe this mean for businesses? It’s time to get creative with marketing strategies to connect with audiences. Over three-quarters of people have purchased a product or services after watching a video, and given that the under 35 crowd now spends more time on platforms like Instagram and YouTube than Facebook, static ad campaigns and blogs may be missing the mark.
3. E-A-T Right
A few years back, Google released a core update to improve the quality of search rankings by placing a deeper focus on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This update has had, and will continue to have, lasting implications on how content is written.
Initially, there was some confusion as to how this update would affect SERPs; Google later released an update clarifying the situation a little and pointed a digital finger right at E-A-T, and specifically quality rater guidelines. What is a quality rater? There is a nearly 200-page document available on the topic, but essentially, if your business wants to improve its E-A-T score, there are some pretty basic principles to adhere to:
• Building trust. Share what makes your brand valuable, and include credentials of expert or authoritative sources on your website About and Bio pages
• Linking to credible sources of supporting data, stats, and information in your content
• Being linked or mentioned by others as a source by other authoritative websites
• Keeping your content updated with current, relevant, and accurate information
• Managing your online reviews and brand reputation on third-party websites
Google has generally been a little cagey about how exactly the E-A-T principles influence (or don’t) SERPs, releasing this statement on their blog:
However, obeying the basic principles of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness are too important to ignore, especially given that they relate to the next point as well.
4. Meaningful Content with a Purpose
Better content is just as important for users as it is for SERPs. According to data compiled by Demand Metrics, consumers enjoy reading relevant content, and good content leaves a lasting positive impression.
It is no longer in anyone’s best interest to write for Google search algorithms; instead, content needs to be written to provide something of value to the reader. There is so much terrible content circulating on the internet, and users are becoming increasingly picky about what they consume – and marketers have picked up on the need for better-quality content.
A recent survey found that 70% of marketers believe content creation will be their top area of marketing investment in 2021. The shift toward better-quality, user-focused content is here to stay, and with more companies bringing out their A-game, the content marketing field is about to get much more competitive, particularly among heavily searched keywords.
Businesses wanting to come out on top will need to ensure their content doesn’t fall flat by:
• Researching their consumer and writing for their target audience
• Targeting user-specific and related keywords
• Writing better content supported by information, stats, and data from reputable sources
• Targeting specific topics with more in-depth and well-researched content
• Including better visuals, like custom imagery and infographics
Ranking with inadequately researched and poorly written content will become increasingly difficult as the playing field improves, meaning an investment in content should be at the top of your business’ marketing strategy.
All the current content trends share one commonality – providing a better user experience. Whether it’s SERPs that are getting better at weeding out the noise, by understanding a user’s intent, or content creators that are writing to provide something of value to their audience, rather than simply repeatedly jamming in keywords, better content is helping to build user trust.
There are so many opportunities for businesses to connect meaningfully with their consumers online, and those who do it right will be rewarded.