Content forms the focus of connection between a brand and its users. Content gives the power to a brand to connect with the audience in an authentic, heart-warming way, creating a means to developing a deep relationship with consumers vis-à-vis simply being a proposition to sell a brand.
With the always-connected, always alive world that is the digital space – one that sees brands diversifying into new technologies, constantly competing for the audience’s attention and loyalty, content gives the power to a brand to be different from the other, crafting a unique brand proposition that resonates with the audience and stays long in their memory.
The onslaught of new digital tools and mediums, puts greater focus on content, indicating that in today’s era, it should definitely be an unprecedented business focus. It is also pertinent to mention here that with time, there shall also be a change in the way content is marketed, distributed and created.
Let’s delve into the nuances of the digital tools, tactics and channels that marketeers will continue to use in 2019 and how they will evolve and consequently, the content marketing trends that they will create and result in.
Personalization and Interactivity:
Original content increases purchase intent. Copying ideas, click-baiting shall no longer work with the audience, given that today they are very well-versed with brands and their communication, on the Internet as well as off it.
It has thus become important to value the trust of the audience as well as give importance to their cognizance and understanding of content. The audience should be able to gain practical insights from the content that the brand puts up. The content should help the audience understand the brand quickly and coherently and solve the audience’s problems, with equal ease.
If the brand creates interest, and caters to the needs of the audience, the content shall surely result in organic amplification that will create interest in it, among the users’ peer circle, friends and family.
Personalization can be achieved by sending a mail to the audience, for their review after the use of a product or a service. A rating section in an app, catering to the brand or service, can also be created to get the requisite feedback of the audience and mold the product accordingly.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram, are other platforms that can be used to create engaging, content – content on these platforms, can be personalized to create interest for the audience. These platforms can also be used to create live-chats, Q-A sessions, interactive videos, among others.
Findings by a popular digital platform suggests these numbers:
- 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a key differentiator– and this can lead to a purchase decision
- 78% consumers say that personally relevant content is a determining factor for their purchase decision
- 73% consumers say that they would pay more for a product if the company behind it promises transparency and they believe that they can trust the company
- 94% consumers say that they would remain loyal to a brand if they believe that it is completely transparent, with its audience.
How personalized in your content?
With exceeding brand clutter, it has become difficult for the audience to choose a brand over another. Influencers cut through clutter, helping lend a defined identity to a brand. It’s only likely then that these influencers will cost a lot of money, thus making way for an alternative i.e. micro-influencers. Anybody with over 40K followers can effectively do the job of a micro-influencer. So even if the business cannot afford a celebrity, it can look at domain-leaders, company employees as well as current customers to advocate their brands.
Although to most, influencer-marketing may seem like only paying an influencer to post relevant content – it does not always have to be like this. Brands can also work with influencers to co-create content. This can then be posted on the channels of the brand.
When an influencer co-creates content, to be published on the brand’s page – it adds credibility to the brand in the eyes of the brand’s followers. The creator of the content, is also likely to share the content with its audience, resulting in greater visibility for the brand. Co-creating content in partnership with an influencer, helps reach out to many more industries, as long as the brand and its products cater to the industry in some way or the other.
While making use of the tactic of influencer marketing, it is crucial to not fall prey to ineffective influencer agencies who spam influencers with spam virtual outreach. This ends up hurting the brand more than working as a benefit. Yet another crucial aspect is to not just looking at short-term goals, for example concentrating on how to make a post go viral, but also focusing on how one can build a long-term relationship with the audience – one that is win-win and one that works well both for the brand as well as the influencer.
Influencer marketing: Plays a crucial role in shaping purchase decision
Varied formats like videos, audios, podcasts and ‘stories’, help garner more interest. All across social media, experimentation has become the buzzword – to be unique, use different mixes of content formats and strategies, to observe what works for a brand.
Marketeers are advised to mix it up, be different – if long format has been your brand’s forte, try the short format – use it on Instagram or Facebook or any other platform of your choice. Try ephemeral videos, like stories. And if yours is a brand that has always tried the short-form content format, then try the long form, like long-form blogs of 1500 words or above. These rank well on search engines and make for content that gives deep insights and is explanatory and increases traffic to the content and to the brand.
Create a content strategy that creates value for your brand’s audience. Don’t stick to norms, create some. Try a strategy and if it doesn’t work out, try something else.
Emphasis on video formats:
Research shows that video formats are increasing in popularity – creating great scope for popularity of webinars, webcasts and live videos. A research by Animoto suggests that 64% users find it easier to make a purchase decision after watching videos on social media. Yet another research shows that the video shall in the future account for about 82% of the traffic on the Internet, globally. While integrating videos into content marketing plans, it is crucial to follow some of these ground rules i.e. make sure that the content is engaging, one-of-a-kind, clutter-breaking and medium friendly – it should be able to be watched with equal ease on both mobiles and desktops.
Be data driven:
It’s crucial to be data-driven when it comes to deciding on the brand’s content marketing strategy to avoid falling into traps of emulating trends and popular social media technologies blindly or suffering from the shiny object syndrome.
It is crucial to create a plan based on data, as also that which serves customers well. Understanding data helps create and promote content that works for the brand’s proposition so that you, as a marketeer, don’t have to keep experimenting or diving head-first into every new feature or technology that the world of social media throws one’s way. It is pertinent to note here that success will not come if you simply chase new trends, whilst beating others to it, but will come if you choose the right means, medium and strategy.
How a data-driven organization works
Search via voice control:
A new means of search has started gaining precedence and that is the feature of the voice search. Hence, the question for marketeers today is not to merely ask themselves what keywords the users use to look for while typing in a search-box on a search-engine but how they are likely to frame a question while asking a question and posing it to their phone.
Today, marketeers can no longer ignore the significance of voice search. Content, today, should be framed and created in a way, such that it answers quick questions, with easily attainable answers, that show up on the search engine, with ease, making it pertinent for marketeers to pay heed to not just what the audience types in the search box but also how they ask questions.
Websites that are mobile-responsive and mobile optimized, are crucial to businesses nowadays. This is further fueled by the fact that voice-activated searches are carried forth abundantly on mobile devices. As voice controlled devices and the trend of voice enabled searches on google, increase, marketeers are expected to gain knowledge of using these mobile tools, to be able to market their content better.
In conclusion, it would be only right to say that having the right content marketing plan, makes it easy to align content better to the business and its overall-goals. It’s crucial to leverage the brand’s story appropriately and leverage the right narrative to be able to attract the right customers and engage the audience.
One needs to find the right blend of ideas and publishing platforms that serves both the audience as well as the brand, adding value to both and helping each reach their objectives.