Content is my bread and butter. Over the years, I have shared content marketing trends, tips, tricks and best practices for this powerful marketing tool and become known for my own content in the process.
I am a firm believer that, regardless of changes in the digital marketing industry, content remains king. It is an effective, budget friendly and solid way to build and maintain a loyal audience and bring brand awareness. Not to mention a method for sharing a passion with like minded individuals who can gain genuine value from what you produce.
The statistics that we have seen through the year back up my belief:
- Content Marketing Institute has found that content marketing strategies provide 3 times the results in lead generation than paying for advertising.
- Kapost reports that doing aid content marketing has generated triple the lead power per dollar than any other form of search marketing.
- Wordstream asked B2B marketers their experience in 2018 vs 2017 with content marketing and discovered 70% saw a boost in engagement between those two years.
- Edison Research looked into the popularity of podcasts and has found a 2% year over year growth in listeners within the United States, a number that is remaining consistent through 2019.
- Responsive Inbound Marketing states that listicles remain the most popular and effective form of B2C blog marketing available.
What can we get from the information above, or the hundreds of other statistics that we have seen over the past three years? That content is expanding, adapting and ultimately remaining on top in the process.
It is always a good time to take stock of the strategies that will be carrying us forward into the upcoming months and beyond. These are some hot content marketing trends that, if you aren’t already following, you should get into now.
1. Long Form Content
This has been on the radar for awhile and you may be thinking, “Come on, that isn’t a new trend.” While it is true that we have been arguing the merit of content length for a long time, especially when it comes to blogging, it has now been officially put to rest. Longer is better and the days of the 500 word content page are no more.
Shirish Agarwal, founder of Flow20, was kind enough to share his own research results:
From the data Flow20, 1200 words per blog post seems to be a good target to keep in mind.
Shorter blog posts generally don’t have great engagement unless they were quite specialized or covered a niche topic.
When writing blog posts, you should be aiming for at least a thousand words. Those words should be optimized for skimming and easy readability. If you are in an industry where depth is important, it wouldn’t be out of line to go as high as three thousand words in a single post, though anything more is dipping into ebook territory.
Use Text Optimizer that will suggest related concepts and entities to include in your content to expand it. Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis platform that uses Google’s (or Bing’s) search snippets to cluster your target query into related topics and terms:
Text Optimizer drives long-form content strategy by encouraging you include underlying concepts, use diverse vocabulary and cover any topic in depth.
Additionally, here are more content ideas and content marketing tools to create long-form content:
- Here’s how to create beautiful long-form content with StoryBuilder. The plugin adds navigation menu, callout elements, columns, etc.
- Here’s how to create a user-centric long-form content marketing strategy. This tutorial will suggest more research, surveying and visualizing tools to help you create better content.
- Finally, here are a few free Schema code generators to better structure your long-form content for more organic visibility opportunities
Podcasts that have a greater length are also huge. True crime comedy show Last Podcast on the Left creates multi part series of an hour a piece that can end up being up to six hours or more in length. Hardcore History with Dan Carlin can have three or four hours in a single episode. Both have received millions of downloads.
On YouTube, the video of Edward Snowden’s interview with Joe Rogan was almost three hours long. In spite of the traditional shorter video lengths seen on that site, that single video has seen more than 6.5 million views in only two days.
2. Project (and Innovation) Sharing
Anyone who knows me will not be surprised by my fondness for content collaboration or what it can mean when two creators come together for mutually beneficial working relationships. Much of my own work has been centered around swapping content and engaging with one another’s audience, while increasing visibility for both.
Now, many others are seeing the positives of this type of relationship. Podcast hosts are taking turns chiming in on each other’s shows. Blogs are writing guest posts for one another left and write. Videos channels are effectively creating networks between them and others in their niche to put together their power, without the same tone as crossovers that used to be more a contractual obligation than a shared vision.
Moving forward, you will begin to see project sharing becoming all the more popular. It is a great way to band together and be seen in a digital world dominated by big brands with bigger budgets.
To find content co-creators, use BizSwipe, a new mobile app that connects business owners for mutual benefits. You can use the tool to find quotes for your content (or to be quoted), discover contributing opportunities, find influencers to interview (or get interviewed) or partner in any other multi-format content projects:
3. More Personal Engagement Monitoring
These days content marketers have access to enormous amounts of data sources including web analytics, email engagement, customer demographics tools, customer surveys, social media monitoring, etc.
Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions, data analysis and implementation allows us to personalize buyer’s journey throughout the whole conversion channel.
Thanks to that, content marketers are able to develop a genuinely customer-centric focus with help of tailored, cross-channel, and consistent audience targeting.
Not long ago, someone was kind enough to introduce me to Finteza. It is an on-page analytics tool that monitors your website and captures engagement on each part of it. By using the data that you gather, you can see exactly what it is that is catching the eye of your most influential demographic of website visitors.
Of course, you don’t need that particular tool to customize your content marketing strategy. But really personalizing your audience’s experience is one of the biggest trends to hit the web this past year and is only growing.
With omnichannel marketing trend well upon us, embracing all kinds of cross-channel content monitoring and advanced personalization is a must:
Personalization is the key to successful marketing. Use data-driven marketing to understand your customers, so you can engage with them in the right way by using the right channels.
Much of the work in achieving this goal is through market segmentation: dividing your audience into smaller, more manageable groups and targeting them in a meaningful way. This means hardcore research and analysis are needed to find the most effective ways of doing so.
Real-time personalization (i.e. data-driven personalization completed in less than 1 second) is another fast growing trend to keep in mind. Imagine your content changing in real time based on how a user is interacting with it. Being able to give your users what they need even before they know they do is the future of marketing personalization.
The Future of Content Marketing as Seen Through These Content Marketing Trends?
Finally, what does a more distant future hold? Well, it is surely going to be exciting! And we can see it happening already! Snapchat has released a new feature that allows you to create your own filters and lenses on their site. Which takes customization to a new, more social media oriented level.
With alternate and augmented reality becoming bigger and bigger by the year, what could be better than drawing it into your social ended content strategy? We all know the power of visual content marketing and this is a fun new branding tool that many haven’t yet tapped into. A good place to start now is to embrace story-telling on social media.
The old marketing saying “Content is King” is still going strong (and nothing is going to change that). Consumers all over the world are still driven by the thirst for content. Content is still the driving force behind any web visibility. But the technology is changing the ways content is being developed and delivered.
These days content marketers have a wide variety of advanced marketing tools to choose from including advanced content development and lead nurturing platforms, smart and increasingly independent chatbot-building apps, enhanced dynamic personalization software, email marketing automation solutions, and more.
Do you have any hot content marketing trends to share? Let us know in the comments.
For 10 more top trends in content marketing that you should be on the lookout for, checkout this great infographic from UrStoryZ.