90% of Businesses will use Content Marketing in 2019
So what’s new for content marketing in 2019? We’ve all heard the phrase “Content Marketing” by now right? That doesn’t mean we understand it completely. If we haven’t already, it’s time to hone our plan for the year.
Content Marketing in 2019 should definitely be a part of that plan. Over 90% of businesses today use content marketing, but far less use it effectively. One reason for this is that it’s hard! Less than a third of us believe they are using it effectively. So what are the other two-thirds doing wrong and how can we NOT do it?
Beyond the fact that it’s difficult, it can be expensive. Half of B2C marketers lack the budget for effective content marketing in 2019. So step one is to review the budget and make sure we can make it happen next year. Where are your priorities for 2019 and where are you going to spend your marketing dollars? It’s incredibly easy to throw money at a problem without knowing what the return on that investment is. Measuring return on investment (ROI) is a topic worthy of an article all by itself, so I’ll keep the details for another time. Suffice it to say that if you don’t know the ROI for any particular investment, including your content marketing, you are doing it wrong. With the myriad of tools available to us as businesses today to manage our marketing, there is absolutely no excuse for spending money without understanding, at least fundamentally, how effective that effort is.
Now this isn’t meant to be a primer on statistics or make you feel bad about what you’ve done in the past. 2014 is in the rear view mirror and all that matters is what we do going forward.
Getting Traction, If it’s not Valuable, it Better be Adorable
Am I the only one that gets frustrated at times when what I think is amazing content doesn’t get the traction I feel it deserves? By traction I mean “Likes,” “Shares,” “Clicks,” etc. However, it does seem that a cute picture of any animal doing something adorable gets waaaay more traction that it deserves. The engagement is off the charts. This can be infuriating, but it’s a lesson in human behavior, and how we’ve become more discerning in our consumption of information. We are more savvy and quicker to click “next” versus click a link, unless, it immediately appears valuable to us. If it’s not valuable, it better be adorable.
The reality is that as opposed to the old 80/20 rule, we are faced with the new 90/5 rule. That is to say that 5% of our content/articles/blog posts etc. drives 90% of our traffic. What happens to the other 5%, yup, another article. The majority of the content in that 5% is in-depth, educational and amazing content. It has to grab attention quickly, offer something of great value and if at all possible in this digital age, be unique. If it’s not entirely unique, it should be a different spin on something we believe that we already know about, but don’t quite understand as well as we’d like. So we have become impatient, quick to click away and easily bored. Evaluate the content that you are creating and if you fall into the blah blah category of content creation, shift your focus. Spend your money on the types of content that have enjoyed good engagement in the past year. Understand your consumers, your personas. Feed them what they seek and your engagement will increase dramatically, and more importantly, your content marketing dollars will yield returns as they should.
Focus on Your Audience
So all that is easy to say, but not necessarily easy to execute right? Certainly the single most important factor is to keep your audience focused. Understand who you are writing for to the exclusion of everyone else. Your content needs to resonate with the people that you’d like as customers or clients. To move them along that path, from prospect or lead to customer, make sure that your content has a goal and is linked to your sales funnel in some way. Anything you publish should, of course, be optimized for search engines (SEO). It’s very easy to measure the effectiveness of these strategies using Google Analytics, more specifically the Bounce Rates, Number of Pages per Visit and Time on Page aspects of your site. Measuring the social media attractiveness is also easy with built in tools of sites like Facebook (Insights). Finally, Links or Backlinks are an important measure of how others view your content. If you’re getting links to your content from other reputable sites that’s a great indication of the appeal. Good job!
Of course Content Marketing in 2019 is just a part of your overall marketing strategy, but it’s an increasingly important one. Your Content Marketing Strategy should include the following:
- Define your audience. Know their interests, needs and areas of pain.
- Be very familiar with the areas of knowledge that you’ll be sharing. Try to be somewhat specific, but broad enough to allow for continuous additions to your content.
- Differentiate yourself from your competition in some way, shape or form.
- Create different types of content including blog posts, articles, webinars, ebooks, newsletters and surveys. Pick the ones that are appropriate to the content and audience.
- Know where your content consumers are. There are different demographics for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.
- Create a content publishing schedule.
- Learn how to pull snippets of your content for social media.
- Learn how to optimize for SEO. This is an ever changing field as search engine algorithms change regularly.
- Don’t skimp on the graphics. We are visual and an enticing or important picture or infographic can make a huge difference in engagement rates.
- Finally, decide what is important to measure as far as success for your various campaigns and measure, adjust and measure again.
What Does The Future Hold?
So we are all still waiting for our flying cars right? And, we have all heard the phrase, “The only constant is change”? That will always hold true. Keeping up with the latest trends in all areas of marketing is important, but doubly so for Content Marketing in 2019. What I encourage you to do with your content marketing in 2019 is to give more emphasis to content marketing in general and specifically follow these guidelines:
- Invest more time, attention and money.
- Focus on how/when/why to distribute content.
- Use paid distribution when it makes sense. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, do it all internally.
- Utilize existing clients, contacts and evangelists to share your most important content.
Your existing and past happy customers are, and probably always will be, your best marketing tool.
Let us help you work through your strategy. Contact Us Today.