Nope, I am not trying to use alliteration here.
Or, am I?
Content marketing in 2019 will be different from you and I have seen in the last few years.
Do you know why?
We recently talked about how digital marketing has changed, and what are the trends in online marketing in 2019.
Content Marketing is a powerful channel in digital growth hacking.
It covers almost every aspect of Digital Marketing-
social media marketing, blogs, email marketing, and paid search.
Since content marketing is one of the most important channels of Internet marketing,
it does make sense that a change in one will affect the other.
Digital marketing, and hence, content marketing, are dependent on two core aspects- Audience (demand) and Technology (supply).
Did you know that back in the 1990s, the website Hotwired would charge brands $30,000 for a 12-week ad?
A decade back, you could write an article, stuff keywords, and publish on multiple places, and you could be almost certain you would rank well.
But then technology became smarter, and then the model changed from that of sheer-volume to value and relevance.
Then what’s the secret to creating ridiculously good content?
If there’s one thing that will help you position your brand better through content marketing in 2019,
it is creating relevant content that adds value to the end user.
Nope. That’s half the game.
The next, and often challenging part of the game is marketing that content using the right channels to the right people.
Thanks to the overlapping customer journey and micro-moments of purchase, content marketing in omnichannel marketing is all about being there at the right time with the right information.
Without further ado, let’s dive into some ACTIONABLE content marketing tips and ideas for 2019.
I am positive that the content marketing ideas mentioned in this post will help you break through the clutter.
And help you win more customers by marketing less.
And these tips apply to both b2b content marketing as well as b2c content marketing.
Most Fundamental and Awesome Content Marketing Tips 2019:
Content that Reflects Business Objectives
Alright, so you have been publishing content in large volume,
and still not seeing the right engagement.
A disconnect between content creation/marketing and your business objectives (goals), among other reasons, could be the cause of this poor performance.
A majority of businesses, small and large, shoot in the dark with their content marketing process.
Churning articles and sharing them on every single channel out there is great, but only if it’s aligned with your business objectives.
Let’s go into a little more detail.
Why do we do content marketing?
Because we want to get something out of it, aka,
ROI (return on investment).
Now the ROI isn’t always money in the short-term.
Brand awareness, for example, is an ongoing, often long-term objective.
The first step in content marketing to brainstorm your business objectives.
Once you have a few ideas, it is time to work on those, until you have a clear picture of your exact business objectives.
Some of the common business objectives could be driving web traffic, generating more email signups, or improving brand awareness.
Prioritize your business objectives before mapping out a content marketing plan.
Some time back, I was consulting with a B2B SaaS company that would sell remote desktop software across the world.
Their primary objectives were generating trial users, growing email subscriptions, and increasing conversions on their landing pages via social and paid search.
The next step is to define the KPIs or key performance indicators.
How will you measure the success of a content marketing campaign?
For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, one of the KPIs could be weekly traffic growth.
You can easily measure this using your Web Analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.
If your goal is lead generation, you should focus on the number of conversions and leads from your website.
Please understand that not all KPIs and metrics will be direct in nature.
Unlike website traffic or lead generation, brand awareness is less quantifiable in nature.
Alright, so you have identified the goals and KPIs; what’s next?
Say hello to tactics.
In simple words, tactics help you answer- how will I achieve my goals?
Suppose you have an online store and your business objective is to have more engagement on your social media, say, Facebook.
An example of a tactic could be creating a targeted social media marketing plan.
Since you are focusing on engagement and not sales here, your content will be more about the non-sales part of your business- polls, fun stuff, competition.
The CTA (call to action) would rather say “Learn More” “ than “Buy Now”.
So focus on your business objectives, the corresponding KPIs or metrics, and the specific tactics.
Revisit your business objectives and see if your content marketing strategy is aligned with them.
Often, businesses have a one-off or ad hoc content marketing strategy or plan, and that does not bring the desired results.
Your Grandma Did It Right: Storytelling
Immersive storytelling will distinguish successful brands from the average ones in 2019.
What on earth is immersive?
When you tell a story using a narrative structure to the end user, it is traditional storytelling.
I am sure you already know that.
However, immersive storytelling allows the user to personally engage with a story.
And that’s possible due to technologies such as 3D gaming, AR and VR.
With artificial intelligence on the rise, storytelling must explore new areas such as games, advertising, and theaters using elements of VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and 3D gaming.
The New York Times nailed immersive storytelling with their Tomatoes can Blues initiative.
Another awesome example of immersive storytelling in content marketing is the interactive A Support Net from Open University.
Use immersive brand storytelling in your content marketing strategy in 2019, and get the most out of your marketing dollars.
Live Videos to Humanize Your Brand
Did you know that 80% of users prefer watching a live video over reading a blog?
And that 82% of users go for live videos over posts on social media platforms!
Talking about engagement, users on Facebook engage 2x more with live videos than with traditional videos.
The most important reason behind the surge in popularity of live videos is that they humanize the brand.
When your audiences see you interacting “live”, they see the real side of your business.
There are a few housekeeping items you want to address when creating live videos, say on Facebook.
- Inform the broadcast time to your audience ahead of time.
- Ensure that Data connectivity is fast on your device when going live.
- Use a catchy, relevant headline.
- Interact with your audience and encourage them to subscribe to Live notifications.
- Longer sessions of 10 minutes or more work better than shorter ones.
- Explore your creativity for content and presentation with live videos.
Artificial Intelligence Might Not Be Artificial For Long
From Google algorithms to digital marketing tools and technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning are evolving fast.
We recently talked about how artificial intelligence affects digital marketing.
Check that post to learn more about that subject.
So how can you deploy AI in your content marketing efforts?
The Associated Press, Yahoo, and several other companies use AI to automatically generate content.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are playing a major role in Google algorithms as well in other tools.
The improvements in voice assistants will change the way search engines rank content.
Make sure your content marketing strategy addresses these developments.
Ever wondered what will replace content creation as online marketing evolves?
Social Media Influencer Marketing
This is especially useful in the context of content marketing for small businesses.
We wrote in detail about social media influencer marketing a few days back.
While a majority of businesses are out on the hunt for Facebook or Insta celebrities, you can do something better.
Not to dismiss those stars with millions of followers, a smarter way is to go for micro influencers.
Again, the most important thing is to make sure the micro influencer aligns well with your business objective and your brand in general.
There shouldn’t be a disconnect between your brand and the influencer’s messaging.
Seek micro influencers in your niche with good audience engagement.
This might take a little time.
But the results will be sweet.
Invest time and efforts into choosing an influencer for your brand awareness.
Content Marketing Tips 2019: Long Form Content
Gone are those days when we could create 300-500 word content and post it on multiple websites to improve rankings on search engines.
Thanks to AI and Machine Learning, Google algorithms have become smarter.
In fact, Google user over 200 parameters to rank a website.
While it is a Herculean task to work on each of those 200 entities, a better and smarter way is to focus on creating long-form content.
Aim for 1800 words or more.
Again, don’t just fill words in your article to hit the 1800-mark.
Value comes first.
Content Marketing Tips 2019: Pillar Content
Do content creation and content marketing in 2019 make you frustrated?
I get it.
It can be annoying at times.
A great hack here is to create pillar content.
What is pillar content?
Let’s say you want to write a blog post on the benefits of content marketing.
Create an outline to break the article into derivative sections.
Examples could be what is content marketing, how to market content, benefits of content marketing and so on.
Now, you can use each of these sections to market as individual content pieces.
You can also create multiple versions of the article in form of eBooks, reports, and guides.
The biggest benefit of this approach is that it saves you time.
Here are some more benefits of creating pillar content:
- Longer Average Time on Page, aka, more user engagement
- Lower Bounce Rate
- A better avenue for link building
- Higher social signals through shares
- More website traffic
Finally, pillar content will help improve your Google rankings.
Audience First Marketing
I don’t think you would disagree when I say that Audience First Marketing is “the” best form of marketing.
When your website, social media, and the strategy in general, don’t focus on the audience, the bottom line sucks.
Your audience is your hero, advocate, and biggest critique.
For this reason, put your audience first when creating and marketing content.
I understand that for higher rankings on Google, you need to also focus on the search engine bots.
No harm in optimizing your content for those.
However, even with higher rankings, if your content does not add value to the audience (human beings), your conversions will suffer.
Every piece of content that goes out need to address the pain point of your user or try to answer a question of the reader.
Audience first marketing is the core of omnichannel marketing.
Hope you enjoyed reading these content marketing tips to kill it at Digital Marketing in 2019.
It’s time to pass on the mic to you.
What have you been doing to excel at content marketing in 2019?
Any tips, tricks, or hacks?
How are you quantifying your content marketing initiatives?
Share your comments below, and spread the good word!