We’re almost a quarter of the way through 2019 and companies are getting serious about their content marketing campaigns. You don’t want to get left behind. But creating successful campaigns that generate links can be overwhelming, mainly due to the amount of time needed to create, outreach, follow new trends and try new tools. Despite this, content marketing continues to grow as one of the fastest developing industries, meaning content should always be central to your business’s social and digital channels.
In this post we will look at why you need content marketing campaigns, trends to make them a success in 2019, and handy tools to help you ultimately get links this year.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing = Information.
In short, it is to share entertaining, educational, relevant and insightful information that will improve your audiences lives. Marketers will then expect this improvement to result in a profitable action from current customers or to attract new ones. Alternatively, it could bring about changes in consumer behaviour by producing valuable and meaningful engagement. (It’s not about forcing a sales pitch at people).
For greater detail, check out the following definition provided by the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behaviour. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.” – Content Marketing Institute
Why Do I Need Content Marketing Campaigns?
$400 Billion Dollar Industry
You can be sure of a few things in life. The grass is green, the sky is blue and content marketing is here to stay. In November 2017 it was reported that an estimated figure of $400 billion (£303,004,000,000) would be the value of the content marketing industry by 2021. Something you’d like to be part of, right?
This shouldn’t come as a surprise in a marketing world that is changing everyday, through new tools that emerge (more on that later), emerging technologies and new outlooks on traditional tactics that continue to raise the bar for quality. Marketers will need to become more savvy and competitive in order to be a part of this financially rewarding industry.
While bearing this in mind marketers should also be aware of their audiences typical thought process during a buying/conversion cycle:
Josh Steimle discuses the importance of your campaign embracing this thought process in a Forbes post about content marketing.
“Traditional advertising and marketing is great when it comes to the second two steps, but after that it tends to trail off. Content marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before….
The return on investment for content marketing can be phenomenal….It provides additional content for social media marketing and contributes to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links and building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines.
In fact, for many companies the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.” – Josh Steimle
Content Marketing Trends Your Campaign Needs In 2019
1. Plan – It’s a Simple, But Timeless Trend
The perfect plan for your campaign content is to first find the sweet spot that allows you to ideate, create and publish content that gives both your audience great value in a personal/meaningful way, while also helping you achieve your own goals.
Ultimately, the plan for your campaign must result in you aligning your content with your business goals. Each year this will become more and more difficult and 2019 is no exception. Just simply throwing content at the virtual walls of social media is not going to win you links, this year or ever.
2. Original & Relevant Content – Not Click Bait
The content in your campaign needs to be relevant and original. You should always aim to create it from scratch using your own ideas, before you hire a consultant/writer/agency. This is because we’ve all developed a nous for avoiding click bait online. Your audience is looking for genuine content that helps solve problems and questions easily. You have to earn their trust. A study found that 78% of consumers say that personally relevant content increases their purchase intent.
One thing we’re limited to but want more of is time. If you respect this by keeping the narrative of your content to a short/mild reading time, your audience will love you for it. In return, they’ll repay you with organic reach and promotion of you as they share this brilliant content with others.
Although influencer marketing isn’t going to be anything new in 2019, it’s still very much misunderstood by people within business and marketing. We’re not suggesting you hire Kendall Jenner. Instead, looking at local and national leaders that aren’t too niche within an industry is important. Alternatively the right person for the job could be working alongside you at your own company. This can also extend to your customers too… they might be the best advocates for your brand.
The aim of successful influencing has never been about finding the most famous and convincing (or bribing) them to talk about you on their own social platforms. It’s about showcasing your research about why you’ve contacted them specifically and being open to the possibility of co-creating timeless content, that lasts for years rather than hours.
When approaching an influencer a common mistake is to spam them with copy/paste outreach. Much like how we discussed having a nous for click bait, influencers can tell when a company or brand has gone down this route. Possibly harming your brand and campaign rather than helping it.
Effective micro-influencer marketing will be pivotal in 2019 for your content campaigns, no matter how big or small your brand is. It’s one of, if not the, fastest ways to generate brand awareness and connection with your audience. Choose the right influencer wisely and approach them with a well thought out program to maintain relationships, set goals and measure the results of your work.
Be ready to work. Don’t expect overnight success.
4. Voice Control & Search
50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 according to comScore. (This should be impressive enough). The popularity of voice controlled devices/programs like Alexa and Cortana increased hugely in 2018 and will continue to grow. SEO will always remain important as you optimise your keywords for people typing them into a device. But you now need to get ahead of the curve and consider:
‘How will my audience be vocally asking questions to their device?’
As the opening stat suggests, huge changes are coming and successful marketers and their campaigns cannot ignore this trend in voice search. A small percentage of your content must be able to answer quick questions with quick answers in order for your content to rank high in the future. Remember, your campaign is about longevity, not just today. So, in 2019, you need to be considering what words people type AND say.
One final mic drop of a statistic on the subject…30% of searches will be made without a screen by 2020 according to Mediapos.
5. Video, Audio and Short Stories – Test New Formats
On our final trend for 2019 we encourage you to have fun with formats that you maybe haven’t used as much or at all in the past. Haven’t used video, podcasts or even VR in your campaigns? There’s no better time to introduce these mediums into your campaign. It’s easy to avoid such mediums and other new trends when your focus is solely on the campaign ‘being live’ or ‘safe and performing well’. But in truth, the only thing that matters is that provides value to your audience and is memorable for a considerable period.
If you have the guts to try new things and formats within your campaign, without overusing them and ditching any failures, then your chances of success in 2019 will be high. However as mentioned in the 2nd trend (Original & Relevant Content – Not Click Bait) your content needs to be original. Don’t just force video in your campaign because it’s recommended. It needs to support an original and relevant idea.
Another trend to use for social media, especially if you’ve been writing long-form content, is shorter format content that is suitable for Instagram and Facebook stories. On the other hand, if you’ve already focused on short format video content, see how long-form content can rank well and offer you more SEO benefits.
Sometimes, to find the best answer to your campaign, you need to step away from the norm and try something new. If the introduction of video will attract more of your ideal audience, while still keeping your current audience informed, then use video. If not, you’ve learned to look at different opportunities.
Tools For Effective Content Marketing Campaigns
1. Plan Your Content with CoSchedule
A popular platform is CoSchedule. The platform makes planning and scheduling content for social media a breeze. Working as a WordPress plugin, it creates a section on your dashboard where you can plan posts, give out details, assign tasks, schedule posts for certain times and update social media.
This may not cut down on content marketing for your campaign, but it will make running a team and editing tasks easier.
2. Research & Optimise Your Content With TextOptimizer
If you’re looking for a tool that can drive your contents whole creation process, from ideation to SEO, then TextOptimizer is a great choice. Starting with ‘Top Ideas’ it provides you with a list of popular questions within your niche. Choose any and it will then search for that question using semantic analysis in Google. The results will give you a list of:
- Related terms and concepts
- Related questions
Subtopics and questions may help break content into sections, allowing for easier readability and related terms that drive research. This, in turn, informs what should be included in the content. Once your content is produced, you can run the tool again and let it compare your text to what Google returns for your core query. TextOptimizer will score your article and show any improvements if necessary.
3. Automate Email Marketing With Mailchimp
The popular email marketing platform Mailchimp offers convenient automation features that help you easily manage your lists. The email templates and scheduling system is easy to use, rather than traditional
drip templates which can be frustrating and complicated. An automated marketing feature was launched recently (customisable for your brand). Gone are the days you have to create, delete and then recreate email lists, only to find the initial settings were wrong.
4. Research Your Outreach Opportunities With Buzzsumo
Buzzsumo is a platform that works by taking information related to content from the web, and then proposing it to you to use for targeting your own content campaigns. This vital information can show what your competition is writing and what content is performing best. You can then see how you match up.
The tool is initially free and is regarded as one of the best discovery tools out there. It is however worth paying for the pro services on offer. Bigger brands can’t go wrong with the ‘Agency Package’, but smaller brands will get enough from the free tier of the tool. It’s also to handy to help research where potential influencers could contribute and give you an idea of any experts you may want to interview for copy.
5. Monitor Content Mentions With BrandMentions
Reputation management requires you to keep up to date on all mentions of your brand and its industry. Hootsuite and Google Alerts have been popular choices for that. Although Hootsuite can still work well in tandem with BrandMentions.
Allowing you to send alerts reply in your dashboard, BrandMentions is a lot more straightforward and cleaner than Hootsuite, Google Alerts and other social media dashboards out there currently.
Hopefully now you and your future campaigns are ready to make a mark in 2019! Be sure to check out our other insights so far this year.