What’s trending? That’s the question on every content marketer’s mind. It turns out utbound is out, and long-form, personalised content is in. One thing we all know is that customers are becoming increasingly disgruntled with one-sided content. They’re installing the latest adblocking software, fast-forwarding through marketing content and speed-reading articles to get to what they really want to know. Learn how to overcome these content hurdles with a few pointers from Wordsmith:
Localise your content
Marketers are now taking the “think global, act local” philosophy seriously when it comes to content. To reach your intended audience, you need to understand your readers and adapt content to fit their preferences. Stacy Huggins, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Tamara Mellon believes “Data-driven personalization is today’s handwritten note” – explaining that customers want to see marketers making an extra effort to connect with them.
To stay ahead of the game, Starbucks introduced a hyperlocal campaign using geofencing technology to set a virtual boundary around specific Starbucks stores. Customers who signed into their Starbucks app received location-based notifications about up-to-date offerings, as well as coupons to use in their nearest Starbucks – making it even more enticing to pop in for a quick double chocolate mocha latte before work.
Make the most of Influencer Marketing and UGC
Gone are the days when people scrutinised company reviews before making a purchase. Nowadays, it’s all about influencers. Recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing generated by your customers will not only boost your SEO, but also increase your reputation on a massive scale.
According to influencer marketing firm The Shelf, 92% of consumers trust referrals from other consumers, even if they don’t know them personally. To succeed, marketers should encourage consumers to promote user-generated content that’s mutually beneficial for both parties.
Hydration solutions specialist CamelBak decided to promoted their new bottle colour palate by incentivizing influencers from Instagram and Twitter with chances to win an Apple Watch, Camelbak bundles and other weekly prizes. During the campaign, users were encouraged to capture how and when they used their bottles, which not only gave Camelbak great crowdsourcing information on preferences and habits – but also boosted their bottle sales by 19.92%!
Get interactive with storytelling
Prospective customers aren’t going to be won over by your push-ads and outbound marketing techniques – what they want is to get involved. In the midst of all this static content, interactive strategies stand out by increasing your brand’s credibility, exposure and customer engagement. Business leaders in today’s marketplace need to present content in new and interesting ways through live streaming videos, colourful infographics, quizzes and assessments, to keep your customers on their toes.
Taking this advice to heart, The New York Times launched “T Brand Studio” — a marketing team of journalists, video producers, technologists, and strategists who create native advertising content for brands. Their “story-mining” encourages consumers to get interactive with businesses. For example, T Brand Studio hosted a series of interactive webinars, allowing audiences to tweet questions before and during the live stream using specific #hashtags. The marketing unit also introduced its first virtual reality film in November 2015, which it claimed to be “the most successful NYT app launch ever.” With more technologies at our disposal than ever before, interactive content provides an optimal solution for businesses wishing to increase engagement and conversions.
Engage consumers with episodic content
Content Marketing experts are now recognising the benefits of episodic writing. Leaving cliffhangers or withholding vital information until the following week creates suspense, anticipation and buzz around your content.
Designing an overarching theme with digestible chunks of information will keep your readers engaged, and encourage customer loyalty for the long haul. For instance, content marketing agency Contently generates curiosity about their brand by producing captivating podcasts story in monthly, hour-long segments. Every episode of “Content Sutra” ends with the host commenting on market predictions and asking hypothetical questions, which creates a desire to tune into their next episode.
Tailor your content for Google’s Rankbrain
SEO consultant Al Gomez advises marketers to “stop thinking of SEO as a game where you act like a bot to beat the bot.” Instead, let your writing flow like a conversation. Even Google is encouraging marketers to produce content that’s high quality, unique and ultra-specific. How? Through its new artificial intelligence system: Rankbrain. Since early 2015, RankBrain has looked for answers to problems in natural language, adding context and semantics to the traditional keyword-based search.
Successful marketers are now adapting their strategies to create more long-form, in-depth content, with conversational undertones. Watch your content climb the list of relevant searches when you make your links concise and content relatable. For example, online business magazine Fast Company has established itself as a leading long-form storyteller on creativity, innovation, culture and consumerism – attracting 12.3 million unique visitors and 35.8 page reviews every month.
Content is still king, and it’s here to stay. To flourish in a content-packed world, provide readers with content that’s educational, entertaining and – most importantly – different.