In a world embracing digital transformation and requiring new ways to implement strategies, marketing teams are responding to the current climate. After the effects of the Coronavirus, marketers are changing the ways they develop their content marketing strategy to continue to build brand awareness and turn leads into conversions for their clients.

Understanding the latest trends and technologies in content marketing can help marketers and agencies enact the best possible strategies for their clients and create clear content plans that reflect the brand they are working with.

1. The Future Is AI: Content Marketing Strategy Meets Technology

As technology develops so does artificial intelligence and it is natural that this will be incorporated into the world of marketing. A McKinsey survey that was conducted in 2020 entitled ‘The State of AI in 2020’, found that a huge array of industries attribute up to 20% or more of their organisations’ earnings to artificial intelligence.

This incredible impact shows how AI is already contributing to business growth and wealth. AI is continued to be used freely in content marketing for a variety of purposes like optimisation, A/B testing, and even content analysis.

While artificial intelligence won’t be replacing content marketers any time soon, there are plenty of SaaS tools that incorporate AI to make content marketers jobs much easier. Software like SEMrush has a keyword magic tool to help generate relevant keywords into topic clusters to create better content for customers.

Ways Your Content Strategy Will Change
artificial intelligence content marketing strategy
AI is being used to enhance other business practices and is beginning to develop within marketing too.

2. Original Research and Studies for Content Marketing Strategies

In a market saturated with plenty of content, companies are consistently trying to find innovative ways to appeal to consumers and deliver worthwhile content for consumption. With plenty of people trying to highlight their expertise in subjects or using influencer marketing to sell products or services, having original research in a particular field gives you an insight other companies may not have considered.

Creating original research or studies can help you connect with other leaders in the industry or field you operate in and give content that has a deeper insight for your clients or customers.

When creating original content that centres around research and studies, ensure you are discovering more about an issue that is applicable to your customers. When you have your problem, present your research and results to clients who will be able to physically see the originality of your studies. This could be done through surveys or graphs that discuss the information you have gathered.

original research
In an era where content is in surplus, original research and studies can set you apart from your competitors.

3. Value-Driven Content is Critical 

As human beings, we are exposed to multiple forms of content daily. This can cause many consumers to lose attention rather swiftly which means brands and companies need to be creating content that consumers find valuable to their daily needs.

Creating valuable content can be what clinches your business a sale, so having a content marketing strategy that focuses on content that delivers something of merit can increase interaction with your offerings and encourage your audience to participate on your site.

Providing solutions and answers to problems your customers might be facing is a great way of engaging your audience – not just telling them but showing them practical steps they can take to ensure that they’re able to enact their vision.

Creating valuable content
Creating templates are a great way to showcase skills and offer solutions to problems creating relevant traffic to your site.

4. Content Marketing Strategy: Make a Content Template

Using examples to inform us on how to make products better has been the standard in most industries. With that in mind, every content marketing strategy should have product or service related templates. You can use multiple methods and techniques here like showcases or how-to guides.

Customers are drawn to spaces that are solutions to their problems. Having templates offers your site higher search intent and thus relevant traffic to your site.

5. New Ways of Understanding Content: Content Atomisation 

It can be difficult to consistently produce fresh content and one way to relive your ideas is through content atomisation. This is done by taking a piece of valuable, lengthy content and dividing it into a variety of smaller articles or blogs.

This type of repurposing is a great opportunity to break content into smaller chunks that can be repurposed in a variety of ways: think video as well as written.

You should also think about using seasonal content, e.g.) Halloween marketing in order to attract audiences with relevant and up-to-date content.

6. Goodbye Keyword Research and Hello Topic Authority 

Keyword research is one of the most important parts of a content marketing strategy as we learn more about what consumers are searching for and how to direct content to them that will turn leads into conversions. 2021 is going to see this develop even more with topical authority being considered the most important factor in expertise.

While keywords and link building will continue to play an important role in your content marketing strategy, but Google is becoming more finesse around content, being able to evaluate whether the content is valuable or not and if rich snippets of content can be lifted to show on SERPs.

Google’s algorithm is advancing to the degree that it can tell if your content is relevant to the site it is hosted on. This is operating on the premise that your site is producing content that is valuable for its expertise and how it presents itself as an authority in the industry it is marketing in.

To feature highly on Google as an expert in your industry, ensure that you are publishing long-form content on your site that is built around pillar pages. This allows Google to see that you are building on your expertise and existing content, offering consumers plenty of opportunities to learn from you and building a community around your work.

Collaborating through guest posts is another great way of building trust in your content. This can be done by using SMEs or subject matter experts who help you create content around a topic that they are renowned for and passionate about, giving you more content to repurpose in the future as well.

topic authority
Google is focusing on content that generates expertise rather than on keyword research.

Prepare to Change Your Content Marketing Strategy 

To succeed in marketing, you have to be willing to mould with the times and 2021 promises to have incredible innovations. Developing a content marketing strategy that is open to the trends and operates on improving user experience will see their strategies succeed.

Considering all the incredible technology being developed and understanding more about consumer behaviour, there are plenty of ways your content strategy can be adapted to benefit your company and grow your business.

Fostering Engagement Through Content and Connection

In today’s digital landscape, content isn’t just king, it’s the catalyst for captivating conversations and building vibrant online communities. Gone are the days of one-way broadcasts; audiences crave interaction, dialogue, and a sense of belonging. This is where conversational and community-focused content strategies come into play, transforming your target audience into active participants and co-creators of your brand story.

Using Content to Build Engaged Online Communities:

  • Create Compelling Conversation Starters: Go beyond informative blogs and eye-catching visuals. Craft content that sparks questions, debates, and shared experiences. Ask thought-provoking questions, share personal anecdotes, and invite your audience to contribute their own perspectives.
  • Embrace Diverse Content Formats: Cater to different learning styles and preferences with a variety of formats. Podcasts and Q&A sessions encourage intimate audio interactions, while live webinars and online conferences foster real-time discussions. Social media polls and surveys offer quick pulse checks on audience sentiment, while interactive quizzes and games can spark playful engagement.
  • Humanize Your Brand Voice: Ditch the corporate jargon and speak authentically. Share your team’s personalities, passions, and vulnerabilities. Encourage user-generated content through contests and hashtag campaigns, showcasing the diversity within your community and strengthening its identity.
  • Prioritize Value Over Sales: Don’t bombard your audience with promotional pitches. Focus on providing genuine value through educational resources, expert insights, and actionable tips. This builds trust and loyalty, organically leading to sales when your audience sees you as a valuable resource, not just a seller.
  • Reward Engagement and Participation: Actively acknowledge and appreciate those who contribute to your community. Feature user comments and questions in your content, host online celebrations for reaching milestones, and offer exclusive rewards for dedicated members. Recognition fuels further engagement and solidifies the sense of belonging.

Facilitating Conversations via Forums, Live Chats, etc.:

  • Choose the Right Platform: Select forums, chat tools, or social media groups that align with your audience’s preferences and engagement styles. Some may prefer the anonymity of online forums, while others thrive in the immediacy of live chats.
  • Set Clear Guidelines and Expectations: Establish ground rules for respectful discourse, preventing negativity and fostering a welcoming environment. Encourage open communication while outlining boundaries for harmful behavior.
  • Be an Active Participant: Don’t simply set up the platform and walk away. Participate in discussions, answer questions, and address concerns promptly. Your active presence strengthens connections and demonstrates your commitment to your community.
  • Host Special Events and Activities: Organize live Q&A sessions, online workshops, or virtual game nights to spark excitement and bring the community together. Collaborative activities further solidify bonds and create shared memories.
  • Leverage Community Feedback: Listen to your community’s needs and suggestions. Use feedback to adapt your content strategy, refine platform functionalities, and ensure your offerings remain relevant and engaging.

Remember, building a thriving online community takes time, dedication, and consistent effort. By crafting conversation-worthy content, prioritizing genuine value, and actively facilitating discussions, you can transform your audience into passionate fans, co-creators, and brand advocates.

Optimized for Emerging Discovery Channels: Reaching Audiences in New Spaces

The media landscape is evolving rapidly, and savvy content creators are adapting to thrive in the age of smart speakers, in-car apps, voice search, and over-the-top (OTT) streaming. With audiences discovering content through new channels, understanding how to optimize your strategy for these emerging platforms is crucial to reach and engage them effectively. Let’s delve into the specifics:

1. Mastering Smart Speakers and In-Car Apps:

  • Conciseness is Key: Users on smart speakers and in-car apps tend to seek quick, bite-sized information. Craft concise content pieces with clear headlines and bullet points for easy comprehension. Aim for short sentences and simple vocabulary to ensure voice assistants can read them accurately.
  • Focus on Answering Questions: Anticipate the questions users might ask through these channels. Create content that delivers direct answers in conversational language, leveraging FAQ formats, “How-To” guides, and explainers.
  • Embrace Audio Storytelling: These platforms thrive on audio experiences. Produce high-quality podcasts, audiobooks, or audio snippets as engaging companions for daily routines. Consider incorporating background music and sound effects to enhance the immersive experience.
  • Optimize for Voice Search: Remember, users might interact with your content through voice commands. Incorporate relevant keywords and natural language phrases into your titles, descriptions, and scripts to improve discoverability by voice assistants.
  • Interactive elements can boost engagement: Explore adding interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or even simple “yes/no” questions within your audio content. This encourages active participation and keeps users hooked.

2. Conquering Voice Search and OTT Streaming:

  • Understand User Intent: Voice search queries are often phrased as natural language questions. Research commonly used phrases within your niche and ensure your content answers those specific queries comprehensively.
  • Target Long-Tail Keywords: Focus on long-tail keywords that reflect actual user search behavior. Instead of “cooking recipes,” target “quick vegetarian pasta recipes for one” to be more relevant to voice search queries.
  • Optimize Metadata and Descriptions: Ensure your titles, meta descriptions, and video descriptions on OTT platforms are keyword-rich and accurately reflect the content’s value proposition. Include relevant questions viewers might be asking to improve search discoverability.
  • Engage with OTT features: Many OTT platforms offer interactive features like polls, quizzes, and annotations. Utilize these to increase audience engagement and make your content stand out amongst the rest.
  • Mobile First Approach: Remember, many voice searches and OTT viewership happen on mobile devices. Ensure your content is optimized for mobile screens with clear visuals, readable text, and fast loading times.

Bonus Tips:

  • Experiment with different formats: Don’t limit yourself to traditional formats. Consider creating audio snippets for smart speakers, short explainer videos for OTT platforms, or interactive quizzes for voice search optimization.
  • Track and analyze performance: Monitor how your content performs on these emerging channels. Use platform analytics tools to understand user behavior and refine your strategy for optimal reach and engagement.
  • Stay informed about trends: The landscape of these channels is constantly evolving. Keep yourself updated on the latest features, functionalities, and user preferences to adapt your content accordingly.

Measuring True ROI: Quantifying Content’s Impact on Your Business

In today’s data-driven world, simply demonstrating engagement with your content isn’t enough. You need to prove its tangible impact on your business goals and justify its value within your marketing strategy. But measuring the true ROI of content marketing can be a complex puzzle. Fear not, intrepid content creators! This guide will equip you with the tools and insights to quantify your content’s influence on the buyer’s journey and demonstrate its contribution to your bottom line.

Focus on Quantifying Content’s Business Impact:

  • Move Beyond Vanity Metrics: Likes, shares, and page views are nice, but they don’t tell the whole story. Shift your focus towards metrics that directly correlate with your business objectives. This could include lead generation, conversion rates, customer acquisition cost, brand awareness, or customer lifetime value.
  • Attribute Value to Content Stages: Understand how your content influences different stages of the buyer’s journey. Track how blog posts attract new leads, landing pages drive conversions, and webinars nurture existing customers. This helps you see the holistic impact of your content efforts.
  • Utilize Analytics Tools: Leverage website analytics platforms like Google Analytics and marketing automation tools to track user behavior and content performance. Identify content pieces that drive leads, nurture prospects, and ultimately close deals.
  • Focus on Quality Engagement: Prioritize meaningful interactions over superficial metrics. Track time spent on pages, scroll depth, click-through rates on calls to action, and even social media comments and shares that demonstrate genuine engagement.

Proving Content’s Role in the Buyer’s Journey:

  • Map Content to Buyer Personas: Align your content with your target audience’s needs and pain points at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Create awareness-building content for the top of the funnel, nurture leads with educational resources, and provide decision-making support with case studies and testimonials.
  • Track Conversions and Revenue: Use tools like UTM parameters and marketing attribution models to accurately track leads generated and revenue attributed to specific content pieces. This demonstrates the direct financial impact of your content efforts.
  • Analyze Customer Feedback: Conduct surveys and interviews with your customers to understand how your content influenced their journey. Gather testimonials and case studies showcasing how your content helped them solve problems and achieve their goals.
  • A/B Testing and Optimization: Continuously test and refine your content based on data and user feedback. Experiment with different formats, headlines, and calls to action to see what resonates best with your audience and drives the most engagement and conversions.

Putting it all Together:

Measuring the true ROI of content isn’t a one-time exercise. It’s an ongoing process of data analysis, strategic adjustments, and optimization. By focusing on the right metrics, aligning content with the buyer’s journey, and leveraging powerful tools, you can transform your content from a cost center to a revenue-generating powerhouse.

Remember, your story doesn’t end with page views. By demonstrating the true business impact of your content, you can secure buy-in from stakeholders, allocate resources effectively, and ultimately prove the value of your content marketing magic!

FAQ: Content Marketing Strategy

1. I’m overwhelmed by all these metrics! Where do I even begin?

Start by identifying your primary business goals. Do you want to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or boost sales? Once you know your destination, choosing the right metrics to track becomes much easier. Focus on 2-3 key metrics that directly correlate with your goals and use those as your north stars.

2. My content gets lots of shares but few conversions. What am I doing wrong?

Don’t fall into the vanity metrics trap! Likes and shares are great for engagement, but they don’t necessarily translate into business value. Ensure your content aligns with the buyer’s journey. Create awareness-building pieces for the top of the funnel, nurture leads with educational resources, and provide decision-making support for those nearing purchase. This way, your content guides users towards valuable actions that benefit your business.

3. How can I prove the ROI of content to my skeptical boss?

Data is your best friend! Use analytics tools to track content-driven leads, conversions, and revenue. Showcase testimonials and case studies demonstrating how your content directly benefited customers. Build a compelling narrative that connects your content efforts to concrete business outcomes. Remember, speak their language: focus on numbers and tangible results to earn their buy-in.

4. I feel lost in a sea of tools and dashboards. What should I use?

The good news is you don’t need every tool out there! Choose platforms that seamlessly integrate with your existing workflow and offer insights relevant to your goals. Google Analytics is a solid free option for website traffic analysis, while marketing automation tools like HubSpot or Marketo excel at tracking leads and conversions. Experiment and find a combination that works best for you.

5. I’m not a data whiz! How can I make sense of all these numbers?

Don’t panic! Plenty of resources can help you interpret data and build a strategic content plan. Look for online tutorials, attend webinars, or even consider hiring a freelance data analyst for guidance. Remember, data is only valuable if you understand it. Invest in learning how to make it work for you, and you’ll unlock the true power of content measurement.

Content Marketing Strategy Conclusion:

Measuring the true impact of your content isn’t about counting likes and shares, it’s about quantifying its influence on your business goals. By focusing on the right metrics, aligning content with the buyer’s journey, and leveraging powerful tools, you can transform your content into a revenue-generating asset. Remember, data is your friend, not your foe. Embrace it, analyze it, and use it to tell the compelling story of your content’s success.

With every data-driven decision, you unlock new possibilities for your content marketing strategy. So, go forth, content creators, and conquer the world of measurement! The power to prove your magic lies within your reach.

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