For years you’ve been hearing about the importance of developing higher quality content and making that content a central part of your overall marketing strategy.
Don’t count on that thinking to go away anytime soon. That’s because long-term content marketing strategies across every industry are bearing fruit and helping brands to significantly expand their reach.
A study performed by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed that 2017 was a big year for content marketing. The survey of more than 1,000 American companies representing a vast range of industries – ranging from technology and consulting to health care and publishing – found that investments in content marketing have produced promising returns.
Here are some of the most notable takeaways from the study:
- 89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing in 2017.
- 63% of respondents are “very committed” to content marketing.
- 85% of companies said that improving content quality had considerable benefits.
- 88% of respondents agreed that content marketing was the most important part of their marketing strategy.
It’s clear that content marketing has been just as effective as promised, and that means more and more companies are going to be jumping onto the trend in 2018. The pressure is even higher on individual brands to develop fresh, relevant copy that drives sales and social media engagement.
So how do you plan to stand out next year now that thousands of companies are dedicating serious resources to content?
Fine-Tune Your Content Marketing Strategy
The following strategies outline a few ways to keep your content marketing strategy as unique and engaging as possible:
1. Next Level Content Marketing: Going Beyond the Blog
Today, blogging is the go-to strategy when it comes to content generation. This straightforward medium can become quite dynamic in the right hands.
As studies have shown, more brands are becoming adept at developing blog posts that communicate the right message to their customers. That means your company will need to start thinking about new options for content generation beyond the traditional methods as you head into 2018.
Yes, you’ve put a lot of time and resources into mastering social media, blogging, newsletters and whitepapers. Taking your content to the next level does not mean abandoning these efforts; you’ll still want to keep generating dynamic blog and social content.
However, it’s equally important that your company start devising new ways to leverage these skills to stand out from your competition.
For example, some companies have elevated their blog and email newsletters into something more akin to a full-blown publication. Food Processing and Food 52 are two instances of publishers that have transformed their newsletters to have the look and feel of a magazine, rather than just another disposable email message.
By leveraging subject matter experts in your network, dedicating time to developing regular featured content and your knowledge of customer pain points, your brand could create consistent resources that provide audiences with in-depth information about your industry and your business.
These are just a few of the many ways your company can elevate its content creation strategy in 2018. The sooner your team starts brainstorming a new approach, the better.
2. Leverage Transparency: Kill Two Birds with One Stone
With data breaches and digital scams in the news on a regular basis, today’s clients want to feel like they can trust the brands they work with. One of the easiest ways to establish a connection with potential customers is to let them peek behind the curtain.
Transparency is more important to customers than ever. The companies that are able to provide the inside look that clients are looking for will be more effective in building important, long-term connections with those same customers.
Now, what does that have to with your content strategy for 2018? If you’re willing to think outside the box, the push for transparency could very well be the solution your brand needs.
First, develop a long-term strategy for increasing transparency across the company, both between the brand and customers and between leadership and the rest of the employees.
Next, start documenting the progress of these transparency efforts. Not only does this approach help your staff stay accountable, it also generates a bevy of material that can be turned into eye-catching content.
Here are a few more ways your transparency implementation can double as trust-building content for your customers:
- Host digital Q&A sessions that answer customer questions and address any ethical concerns.
- Develop a series of blog posts that track, describe and discuss the results of new transparency initiatives.
- Develop a case study that analyzes and reviews company-wide transparency efforts.
3. Copy and Video: Hire a Specialist Who Does Both
In 2018, everyone will looking for ways to implement video into their content marketing strategy. Few, however, will find an effective way to integrate video into their content strategy.
The difference? Consider the advantage of posting video content that relates to or even directly refers to the written content on the same page.
YouTube personalities have become adept at breaking the fourth wall on the Internet, physically gesturing in their videos toward buttons and special offers that exist on the page. They also dedicate time to verbal calls to action that encourage viewers to follow certain links once the video has ended. Why can’t you pull off the same tricks with your content?
The most efficient way to get this type of project off the ground would be to have the same writer develop copy and related scripts. This way, there should be cohesive tone and messaging from one medium to another.
Placing irrelevant videos on content pages can just end up distracting your viewers, after all.
The possibilities for leveraging video and content together are endless. Ultimately, your goal is to provide visitors with content and engagement they’ve never seen before. If you can execute uniquely exciting video, visual and written content, you put yourself at a major advantage going into next year.
Think Bigger than Your Competition
2018 is all about thinking outside the box and utilizing the content marketing strategies you’ve learned to subvert expectations. The longer the content marketing game plays out, the better everyone is going to get at it. So keep mastering new moves!
Enjoy what you just read and want to keep learning? Check out a few more of the entertaining and insightful content marketing blog articles that Eminent SEO has to offer. Remember, the quickest way to innovate is to continue absorbing solutions and strategic tips like these.