Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know

Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know

What is content marketing? Content marketing, a comparatively new discipline, is the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, social media posts, and newsletters. Typically, content marketing does not promote a brand outright. Instead, it generates interest in a brand’s products or services. As recently as a few years ago, many marketers separated content from traditional marketing whereas today they often act like one. Content marketing has become essential. While the marketing of the past was once a conversation directed at consumers, today successful companies know that content marketing is about a two-way dialogue and relationships with customers unlike they have had before.

Why content marketing? Content marketing is one of the best ways to build brands, earn trust with customers, generate site traffic, and generate leads. These are all key to any effective marketing strategy and cannot be done without content marketing. Successful brands understand how key content marketing is to their overall marketing strategy. Here are some trends you need to know to maximize your content marketing.

1. Develop a Content Marketing Plan

If you don’t already have a plan, now is a great time to create a content marketing plan that aligns with your business goals. You want to create meaningful audience content that delivers value and helps you achieve your business goals. Every company is different and must generate their own plan. However, there are a few general goals many will share such as lead generation, SEO, and thought leadership. Start there and then personalize your strategy to work with your company.

2. Customer Success = Your Success

Within any company, content marketing fills many needs. Sales teams use content for client relationships and sales pitches. Marketing brand managers can transform content into influence. HR uses content to attract the best candidates for employment. There are so many possibilities internally. And now, there is another way to maximize content. Content can prepare customers for success.

Customer success is when companies help customers gain the most value from their services or products. Yes, it’s important to make the sale, but that’s not enough today. Companies need customers to gain maximum value from their products, promote them via word-of-mouth, and build stronger customer-brand relationships. All of that takes quality content that adds value and shows how to best use the products and services, general industry how-tos, and other related content to keep the customer informed and up-to-date.

This way, companies set their customers up for success. Customers are not just purchasing a product, they are entering into a successful long-term relationship with a company they can count on.

3. Building Partnership

For many companies, the marketing funnel is one which accepts any new customer without regard for what happens next. After all, the leads come in and the objective is to make a sale. However, often the buyer’s journey is a lonely one with an endpoint after the sale. This is changing as there is an increased focus on building relationships with customers, especially post-sale. The priority today is relationships over transactions with the goal of keeping customers long-term, to both buy from you again and to recommend you to others. While a competitor can always offer a lower price, only you can continue to personally engage your clients, build trust, and form partnerships with staying power.

Valuable content allows you to stay engaged with your customers, and to reach new prospects all while positioned as an industry leader and expert. Build content that creates partnership with customers.

4. Create Original & Relevant Content

When you create content, you make it your own and you make it relevant to your business and your customers. You know your business better than anyone so use your own ideas, experience, and industry knowledge. You will earn trust with real content that helps customers solve problems or teaches them something new. Avoid clickbait, instead make your blog posts chock full of valuable data, give them a call-to-action they can use, and be sure to write a newsletter with added value. Their time is worth something and they are spending it reading your content. Respect their time and they will love you for it. Watch as they share it and amplify your brand rewarding you with organic reach by sharing your content with friends and colleagues.

5. Leverage Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling tells the story behind your brand and its success. It’s deeper than just who you are and why you are doing what you’re doing. Think about the experience you create and how you engage customers versus boasting. What were some of the bumps in the road you faced and how did they lead to amazing things for your customers? How did you overcome tough times to get where you are today? For someone to remember your brand, it often takes about seven brand touches. Make the most of every touchpoint by creating experiences. Be authentic and share your story with customers and you will certainly create compelling, original content in brand storytelling.

Whatever you do, make content marketing part of your customer engagement and retention strategy this and every year. Need help creating a plan that works for you? We’re here to help. Contact us at Alt Creative.

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