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What is Content Marketing?

Planning, creating, and distributing valuable and relevant content helps to engage and build a relationship with your target audiences. It’s your priority to know who your customer is – their challenges, behaviours and needs. Through content marketing, you can cultivate a positive customer experience by guiding them through every step of their consumer journey. 

Today’s customers have access to 5.39 billion pages of content from sources globally. You need to deeply understand your customer, providing the right products, at the right time, across the right channels. Businesses are on a quest to provide the most relevant and engaging solutions for an audience who often seek on-demand. With this content has moved from an interesting marketing element to an essential marketing strategy. 

Why Content is Important?

  • Content keeps your audience informed

    Content is how the audience gets to know about your business and offerings. The visitors who are visiting a business platform like a website or a social media platform are looking for certain answers such as the products or services that the businesses offer, their USPs, prices, the experiences of the past customers, the business process, business culture etc. Content is the key to all these answers. And content does not only inform your customers, but influence their purchase decisions. Therefore businesses should make sure that they continuously monitor the content requirements of the customers and update their business platforms with relevant and up-to-date content.

  • Content is at the centre of any digital marketing strategy

    Content marketing acts as the hub that coordinates and supports all the elements of your marketing plan. High quality, relevant content is the key to any digital marketing strategy such as PPC, social media, website, blog, email campaigns etc. Content is the primary determinant on achieving your marketing goals such as signing up, making a booking, purchasing a product etc. Therefore, businesses should develop a solid content marketing strategy that would address all the stages of the marketing funnel.

  • Content is the key to SEO

    When someone searches on a search engine like Google using a keyword or a phrase, the search engines crawl the content of the websites to find the most relevant information to the search query. When you create expert content that is relevant to your business and your audience, it helps you to maintain strong rankings on search engines and you will get high quality traffic to your website.

  • Increased demand for Content

    The demand for great digital content has increased drastically with the change in the consumer digital behaviour. Today the consumers are hungry for quality content. Internet users spend 20% of their time online reading content and 70% of this is brand related content. Online research has become one of the main contributors for consumers’ decision making process. 

    Along with this the demand for custom content has also increased. People are looking for content that they can relate to. So it’s very important to identify your audience segments, their behaviour and requirements and address these through quality and original content.

  • Content marketing is cost effective

    When compared to other marketing efforts, content marketing is less expensive. But you shouldn’t underestimate the power of content marketing just because you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create content. You should invest enough time and effort to create authentic content because the more effort you spend on content, greater the results.

  • Stand out from the competitors

    Today the businesses are operating with fierce competition and everyone is trying to take various measures to stand out. Content marketing is ideal to differentiate your business from the rest of the players in the market. You can showcase your personality, USPs, values, innovations, culture and any other type of content that set you apart from the competitors through a well crafted content marketing strategy.

  • Content is Sharable

    Consumers share great content that are unique, relatable and innovative. This amplifies the viewership of content as well as impacts the business reputation positively.  Therefore you should aim to create useful content that people find interesting. With viral content you can gain more momentum than you had ever imagined.

  • Give visitors a reason to come back to your website

    Your credibility and trustworthiness increase with great content. This increases the likelihood of people revisiting your website for more content. Businesses should always aim to provide insightful and informative content and to form a community around your content.

Future Trends in Content Marketing

How people engage with organisations has drastically changed over the past couple of years. This in turn influences the types of content marketing created, from voice search to live videos. 

Part of understanding your audience is knowing the mediums they proactively engage with. Are there particular segments of your audience who would rather listen than read? Are you targeting a certain customer type who you’ve found learns better via video? Is your customer interested in short- or long-form content when interacting with your brand (or by product)?

By diving into the details, marketers can empathise with their audience and gain an understanding of the why.

Here are 6 future content marketing trends to investigate.

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Voice Search

  • Instead of typing, people can search by speaking. This means they can use natural language to find answers.
  • For example, you might type in “Best CRM software” on Google, but you’re more likely to say, “Hey Google, what’s the best CRM software?” to your Google Assistant. 
  • Thanks to BERT, Google’s improved understanding of semantics means it can better interpret long-tail search queries.
  • Voice search has grown rapidly in recent years. During the first quarter of 2019, 42% of the global population had performed a voice search
  • Accordingly, marketers need to start understanding the questions of their customers, considering their intent. And more important to create content than give those questions an answer.
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Personalize Content

  • Confirmation is at the core of a great customer experience. Creating personalized content helps to establish trust and improves short- and long-term ROI across the entire customer journey.
  • A customer who searches for “best working from home platforms” doesn’t intend to read a post on “How to Work from Home (…with Kids!)”. 
  • They’re searching for software which facilitates and eases remote working.
  • By serving personalized content that appears when and where it’s needed, you can support your customer at every stage. And as a business, you can leverage intent to drive content creation. 
  • There are four main types of user or search intent:

Informational: the searcher is looking for information; they want to be educated.

Navigationalthe searcher is looking for a specific website and they type this directly on the address bar.

Commercial: The searcher is scanning the market for a specific product or service.

Transactional: the searcher is considering a purchase. In most cases, they are ready to buy or take action.

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Video and live-stream Content

  • When creating an integrated content marketing strategy, remember that written content is not a silver bullet. 
  • Not everyone learns or comprehends content via reading – in fact, many are visual and aural learners. 
  • It’s noted that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch a video, compared to 10% when reading text. 
  • This can come in various forms: explainers, interviews, demo videos, and live videos.
  • Videos keep audiences engaged longer, which creates an opportunity to educate, connect, and drive leads. 
  • Livestream content entered the digital world in 2015 and is now becoming an important component of video marketing. Through live streaming, you can get up-close and personal with your viewers and engage with them in real time.
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Podcasts

  • For the audience, integrating a podcast into your content marketing strategy can increase engagement. 
  • Podcasts provide a convenient way for listeners to tune in when they want, where they want. 
  • In 2018, 80% of respondents in the ABC Podcast Research cited that the reason they listened to podcasts.
  • Podcasts bring marketing to a more personal, deeper level. 
  • This form of content works well with busy audiences who prefer to multi-task, like listening on the commute to work.
  • Podcasts are easily accessible forms of content – both long and short form, whereas written content often requires time and focussed attention.

 

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Mobile- First Content Marketing

  • There’s a common divisor across voice search, podcasts, and videos: they’re conducted largely on mobile devices. 
  • Mobile is so important to the future of engagement that Google Search is seeking to roll out mobile-first.
  • This means that crawlers will use the mobile version of a site’s content for ranking and indexing purposes. 
  • To stay relevant and compete within this new landscape, marketers must plan and create mobile-first and ready content. 
  • Further ensuring that Google will render and best present that content on mobile thus helping create an optimal user experience.   
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Crisis Communication Plans

  • More a ‘need’ than a ‘trend’, it is crucial for content marketers to have a proactive crisis communication plan.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and has catalysed forced and rapid scanning. 
  • Deploying a crisis communication plan allows an organisation to demonstrate that it cares in a time of dire need. 
  • It’s important to select the right channels to convey a consistent message and curate the content queue.
  • A successful content marketing strategy stems from a well understood audience. When you make confirmation and mobile reading a priority, you make your customer a priority.
  • Find more insights about the future of content creation and the entire marketing landscape in our Sixth State of Marketing Report.

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