FFW2019: What Content Forms Should You Embrace For Your Brand’s Marketing Next Year?
The world of content marketing has changed a lot in the last ten years. New ways of attracting customers through content have appeared, while older methods still maintain their effectiveness. It’s important for marketers to keep track of which content formats gather the most interest from audiences. Capitalizing on these content trends to drive even more brand awareness and attract new customers. In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 content trends you can integrate into your content strategy in 2019.
- Video Content Is Unstoppable
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: video content dominates internet traffic. In 2017, videos made up 69% of all consumer internet traffic, and that percentage is expected to rise to 80% in 2019.
And because consumers clearly prefer video over other formats, marketers must oblige. Not including videos of some sort in your content marketing would essentially be akin to leaving money on the table. Your business may have been doing quite well without video-based content, but if you integrate this format it can do even better.
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine? Your audience is searching for videos that answer their questions, so why not meet them halfway with your own channel?
The potential for video content is endless: tutorials, opinions, interviews, testimonials… and it doesn’t always have to be YouTube videos; you can make webinars.
If you decide to make video content part of your content strategy in 2019, be sure to invest in good production values and a spokesperson who knows how to address an audience in an engaging way.
- Instagram Content Is Doing Great Too
Instagram is all the rage these days. The combination of visual content, short videos (stories), and live-streaming is very popular, especially with millennials. Instagram works best for businesses based on physical products and personal brands. It’s also an effective platform for building a community and posting user-generated-content, both of which boost authenticity and engagement. What’s more, you can redirect followers to a landing page via the swipe function in stories.
But is Instagram right for you? While there is a big demand for Instagram content, you have to determine first if that platform meshes well with your line of business and your brand. If your product or services are hard to translate into exciting pictures, you can always focus on the people side of your company and show behind-the-scenes glimpses, events, customers etc.
- Have You Considered Starting a Podcast?
According to the Pew Research Center, 40% of Americans aged 12 and older have listened to a podcast.
A podcast combines the effortlessness of listening with the convenience of doing it anywhere, at any time. Getting people to listen to your message during the commute or on the treadmill is an option worth considering. Plus, having a podcast allows you to connect with your audience during situations where they are not using their computers or smartphones, meaning they are not distracted by other sources of content and you will have their full attention. And as with videos, a good speaker will create an emotional bond and keep the audience coming back for more.
While achieving success with a podcast is not an easy feat, as you must be capable of producing high-quality content consistently, it can attract high-quality prospects and business opportunities at a relatively low cost.
- Don’t Forget About Emails
Marketers who don’t know better may disregard emails in favor of more trendy channels like social media. But the fact is that everybody is still checking their inboxes. Email marketing has been around for a long while and is still persistently effective if done right. As online marketers like to say, “the money is in the list”. According to Statista, global email users amounted to 3.7 billion users in 2017. Furthermore, a study done by Emarsys revealed that 81% of small and midsized businesses relied on email as their primary means of customer acquisition and retention.
Industries like e-commerce and travel have greatly benefited from the power of email lists. Small businesses and big firms alike can generate more leads and sales from emails as well. Emails are effective because they reach a private space of the consumer and build a connection through valuable and entertaining content. That makes it easy to include calls to action at the end to remind readers of a limited offer, a discount, an upcoming product launch, or anything you want to sell them. Since they have already expressed an interest in your products or services – otherwise, they wouldn’t be on your list, pitching your offer doesn’t come off as too invasive.
However, it should be noted that it’s easy to shoot oneself in the foot. For example, boring subject lines will go unnoticed and using spam-triggering words ruins email campaigns. Likewise, boring email content or harassing sales pitches will push readers to unsubscribe.
Making the most out of emails requires a strong understanding of what makes your audience click on a subject line, what kind of topics they want to learn about and which times yield the highest open rates. A couple of hundred words can generate thousands of dollars in sales if the message is catchy and enticing enough. To maximize the impact of your email campaigns, you will have to A/B test, analyze results and optimize accordingly.
- What About Blog Posts? Are They Dead?
Not by a long shot. Reading remains widely popular – books still sell like hotcakes, after all.
If the bulk of your audience is older than 25, they will have no problem reading your blog posts, assuming you deliver value.
Here is a simple reason to keep investing in blog posts: they are great for SEO. From keyword targeting to link building, blogging allows you to put to practice many SEO techniques which, when combined with quality content, will propel you to the higher ranks of Google searches. Granted, video content is on the rise, but blog posts are here to stay.
On top of that, having your own blog on your website means total control of your content, as opposed to social media where sudden changes can affect your visibility. While you should leverage these platforms to maximize visibility, you should also have your “content headquarters”.
- Speaking of Written Content: Try Medium
This publishing platform took off in the last few years and is growing at a steady pace, reaching almost 196 million visits in September 2018. With such a large user base, there is a good chance your target audience hangs out there, especially if you create B2B content. From thought pieces to how-to articles, consider building a presence on Medium through posting and interacting with other content creators. As you gradually establish your authority, you can redirect readers to your website. You can still repurpose your Medium posts into blog posts to be published on your website.
You don’t need to try all of the content formats mentioned above. Focus on what works for you while keeping an eye on opportunities. In other words, reinforce your output of formats where you have been successful while experimenting with those you haven’t tried before. By doing so, your content marketing mix will evolve and reach its optimal version in 2019.
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