For a long time, content marketing has been mainly about blog posts, ebooks, white papers and other written content formats. Generating email subscribers and inspiring readers to take action is generally the goal of most content writers. But with so much content around, getting your voice heard is becoming more and more difficult. According to Rand Fishkin, of Moz,
“In 2017, content marketing is going to be even more challenging than it is today.”
Research by HubSpot shows that 40% of businesses are now using a strategic approach to content marketing. It is also expected that businesses will increasingly evaluate their content marketing return on investment as competition increases. So in this increasingly challenging environment, what can you do to make sure you break through the noise and see a good return for your efforts?
The most effective content formats for 2017 are:
Visual content is widely known to make more of an impact than just text. In fact, it is estimated that over 70% of all content will be video in 2017. In an announcement in January, social media platform, Facebook, has said it will actively boost distribution of long videos (that people are actually watching). Using video content can also help improve SEO as Google favours them in the search results.
There is a lot of very general content out there, written with wide appeal for a wide audience. The best way to stand out to your target audience is to address them directly. You want what you are saying to resonate with them and the only way to do this is to speak to them about their specific issues and problems. So, for example, rather than “5 common garden weeds and how to eradicate them”, be more specific with “ How to eradicate Japanese Knotweed”. Or instead of “What to consider when choosing a website designer?” be more specific with “What to consider when choosing a website designer for your restaurant business?”
Traditionally, most content out there has been purely passive. We read it or watch it – but we don’t have to do anything. A new wave of content that is now emerging is interactive content. Interactive content generally takes the form of marketing apps. This could be a real-time survey or poll, an interactive ebook, a quiz, a game or an assessment tool for example. Interacting with an app is far more engaging than simply reading text and higher engagement means your message is being communicated much more effectively.
So content marketing is getting much more creative and marketers are finding new content formats that allow them to speak to their audience in a meaningful way. It’s no longer just about posting regular blog posts, it’s about using a wider range of digital media and keeping your message focused on that core group of people that really matter to your business. How are you making use of digital media in your content marketing?