Every year it's the same. Like clockwork, trends come and go. But not all those promising trends turn out to be remarkable and result-driven; some are mere flashes in the pan while some play out mediocrely. That's one unpredictable game and we aren't complaining.
As a company that has been providing content marketing services in Pune for the last 19 years, we have learned that it's not so much about trying out every new trend that's touted to yield favorable outcomes than it is about knowing how well it will sit within your marketing scheme of things.
So what are the trends in the content marketing segment that you NEED to know?
Trend #1: Amping it up with AI
Off late, there has been a lot of singing and dancing about AI and rightly so. It's a breakthrough technology, after all. Imagine a computer's ability to create content on its own or converse with quasi-human ease with users or empower social media giants to personalize their news feed. Apart from making content marketers' lives easier, it has enabled them to plumb the depths of consumer psychology and sentiments down to the last important detail. So that the content created hits right at the spot of the immediate need/want.
Another wonder from the AI family is predictive intelligence. By using this concept, content marketers can know at what stage of the buyer's journey their target audiences are. This is more than a content marketer could have ever asked for because it's so deeply satisfying to know that the content one is producing isn't getting lost and ignored but is actually reaching those who will readily lap it up and convert!
Trend #2: Connect with Case Studies
Case studies are so valuable and this year, we'll be seeing companies leveraging them to form a connection and demonstrate capabilities. A case study should be a meld of science and sentiment, emotion and insights, narrative and nuances.
For a case study to be effective and helpful, it will have to be presented with your consumer in focus rather than your product/service. While at the end of the day, it is indeed, about how your product/service, the idea is to make your customer the hero and your offerings a sidekick.
Trend #3: Make the most of micro-moments
We know we were the ones to tell you how seriously you need to push the standard 500-word count and focus on creating intensive, super detailed, and lengthy blog posts. We still maintain that. But there are all sorts of content formats and just like you need to have longish articles in your content mix, you also have to have shortish chunks to instantly satisfy the queries and whims of your smartphone using target audiences.
Let's say you hear from a friend about this cool beauty product they bought online. What's your next natural course of action? You whip out your smartphone and work those tap-ready fingers to type in those magical words. This is a micro-moment, folks. Content marketers need to produce digestible textual or video pieces that will instantly serve up the users the answers/solutions they are looking for.
Think about Instagram and Facebook stories. Ever seen those sponsored Instagram stories? We bet you have. Not only do you stumble across a new brand but also end up buying from them. All this happens with just a few slides. The intent here is to show your customers what they need that moment instead of serenading them around.
Trend #4: Create content for humans
What's this suppose to mean? Isn't this the prime job of an agency offering content marketing services? To produce content for human beings who can read? Yup but the content that they create must also appeal to the SERPs so that it can reach your target audience and for that to happen they must know about keywords and algorithms and other formidable jazz.
So we aren't denying that your content should comprise these technicalities for the sake of rank and visibility, content marketers don't have to be a slave to them anymore. Write content that is refreshing, bold, informative, empathizing, or anything whilst keeping your SEO in mind. Create content that a human will be happy to read and share without feeling coerced to spend his money.
The trick here is to create content that serves as a meeting point between your customers’ passions and interests and your products and services.
Tip #5: Connect with influencers
Influencer marketing isn’t new but if you are a brand that has not yet done it, now is the time for you to give it a whack. Influencers are people who have a massive fan following and clout on the industry they work in. Connecting with them bodes well for your brand. Partnering with them and fostering good relationships with influencers is crucial to building credibility and awareness about your brand.
Another way of going about this collaborative approach, which is gaining ground is inviting influencers to create content on your social platforms instead of theirs. A good example of this is Calpak, a US-based travel luggage and accessories bag. Their Instagram handle is often taken over by popular influencers who share tips on organizing the contents in the bags, travel essentials to carry, etc.