Content has long been king in the world of online marketing. In the early days, business exploration of the potential of the worldwide web included website creation and the use of content pretty much solely as a vehicle for SEO. Of course, search engines were none too pleased about this as it served to deliver keyword-stuffed top search results that had little to no relevance to users.
Over time, algorithms changed to favor websites and blogs that delivered the most relevant and timely content for user searches (and punished black hat practices). This was the true beginning on content marketing, or utilizing content not necessarily to make sales, but to appeal to user interests, boost engagement, and build a rapport that would lead to patronage down the line.
Today, content marketing has to do more. Companies need to understand the impact their content has so they can hone strategies to create clearer pathways to return on investment. The good news is, there are a number of exciting changes in the world of content marketing that could help you to revolutionize your efforts in 2019.
Focus on Products
This sounds like the antithesis of content marketing, which is supposed to focus on content that caters to niche audiences, addresses the needs of consumers, puts a human face on your brand, engages through education and entertainment, promotes a position of thought leadership, and avoids any hint of trying to sell something. Of course, it pays to remember that consumers are ultimately interested in your brand because of what you sell, be it goods or services.
While your audience surely appreciates how-to posts, user-created content, and insight into your employees and your company culture, the truth is, they want to know what sets your products apart from competitors. For this reason, at least a portion of your content marketing strategy should center on high-quality content that educates consumers about your products – what they are, how they work, desirable features, and creative ways to utilize them.
Get on Board with Video
This shouldn’t even be a discussion at this point. Study after study has shown that video content performs better than written, graphic, or other (infographic, for example). Video is more engaging and it offers the opportunity to deliver a wealth of information in a very short time frame.
Short-form video content of two minutes or less is ideal. You can surely convey your messaging in this amount of time without losing engagement with busy consumers. Short and sweet is the name of the game.
Adjust Your Measurements
There are plenty of ways to measure the impact of your content marketing strategy, but you may want to rethink which measurements you favor. Engagement is still an excellent indicator of performance, so you don’t want to give up tracking conversions like click-through, shares, comments, and so on.
However, in 2019, you may want to place less emphasis on reach (views and likes) and assign greater importance to secondary conversions like downloads and direct sales, as well as overall efficiency of your campaigns. Don’t just look at what you’re spending and earning, but also what you’re saving, in terms of customer support, for example. This will give you a more complete view of the actual impact of your content marketing strategy.