Visit with the Ghosts of Content Marketing Present
By Sarah Malcolm, COO of The Content Funnel
Just as ol’ Scrooge learned the error of his ways, so can we learn from our past social media mistakes, our current marketing work, and the future trends. In this series, we’ll be visiting with the ghosts of content marketing past, present, and future to glean insights on the state of social media and blogging.
What a wonderful social world we live in! Marketing is incredibly creative these days. We’re engaging customers with clever video campaigns, snatching wonderfully created user-generated content, and presenting helpful customer service in multiple ways. So what are the big trends going on now in content marketing?
#1. Focus on more helpful content.
One current practice we’re in love with is how content marketers are providing better content at every level. From researched white papers to how we live stream interviews, the emphasis is delivering substance to customers. We’re assisting our customers with chatbots, FAQ videos, and relevant blogs.
#2. Personalizing your experience.
As we’re challenged to deliver meaningful content, we’re still competing for client attention. We’re getting better at using metrics to present social ads that mean something to our customer base. Email lists are more targeted and crafted with better content. Content marketers are pushed to think outside the box to connect with customers. People are creating clever campaigns that bring social media into the real world and vice versa.
#3. Emphasis on research and data.
The world is so saturated with content, that people are more discerning about the content they’re choosing to read. Research shows people want–wait for it–more research! Assertions need data to back them up. The result is content is getting longer again to incorporate this well-thought-out data into white papers, ebooks, and blogs.
#4. Podcasts are a thing.
We learned from the specters of failed content marketing that trying certain methods is like beating a dead horse. However, sometimes there’s a resurgence. Long-form blogs are an example, and so are podcasts. What was hip and cool when the iPod launched is making a serious comeback among the educated demographic. People like to listen to thoughtful discussions about a range of topics.
#5. Influencers get smaller.
Engaging influencers as a content marketing strategy is not new, but presently there’s a shift towards using micro-influencers. Social proof is a powerful way to endorse products or services, but brands are questioning the impact of major influencers on bottom-line sales. A micro-influencer doesn’t necessarily have tens of thousands of followers but may have 1,000-5,000 loyal followers in their niche. The result is more authentic influencer marketing that could increase engagement without overpaying.
The State of Content Marketing
It’s easier than ever to support our clients and communicate real value. We’ve arrived at the present state thanks to lessons learned from the past. So where is social media marketing and blogging heading next? Stay tuned and find out!