The past 18 months has been a heady time for content marketers, a watershed in many ways.
Content marketing for social media achieved a firm footing and maturity. Social media is now a leading driver of traffic to websites. Further, each social media platform has its own audience and way of communicating. Twitter users consume content differently from how information is made available on Facebook or LinkedIn. LinkedIn users are looking for different information and engaging different audiences than Facebook. Content marketers that managed to create and direct content at targeted audiences based on their consumption behavior reaped rewards.
Another recent phenomenon that benefited content marketers is that mobile consumers really made their presence felt. Mobile ad spend touched $8.5 billion dollars in the U.S, a 100% increase over the past year. In the U.S alone internet usage has doubled from 2010. The remarkable increase was driven largely by the fast-paced adoption of smartphones and tablets.
In 2014 things are getting even more exciting. How prepared are you to take this opportunity to reach out and engage your audience?
If you have followed how the content marketing landscape unfolded over the past year, then you know that content marketing strategies are going to center around quality content that answers questions. It will be about building authority and letting the world know you are an expert in your field. The use of authorship tools such as Google Authorship and various social media channels will have greater importance and impact. 2014 could sound the death-knell for thin content created solely for the purpose of generating clicks on social media.
Images and videos are gaining in importance both as an SEO tool and as a communication medium. You should use them to boost text-based content. Data on Facebook likes shows that posts with images receive 53% more likes and on twitter, a tweet with an image in it gets 150% more retweets. The reason is easy to understand. Our minds process visual data in a fraction of the time it takes to go through and assess text. You should make it a practice to incorporate images, audio, and video in your content marketing mix.
It’s no secret that an active presence on Google Plus boosts your SEO score. Google+ has already overtaken Twitter in terms of number of users. Also, a local Google Plus page with address details, shop hours, and contact information is a great way to reach out to customers searching for local businesses online. Almost 97% of customers search for local business online. You can reach out to them via search, maps, and Google+ simply by having a page up.
You may want to assess how tightly knit your present content marketing is, i.e. does it address a niche in a coherent manner. Avoid letting it get dissipated thinly across a faceless and nameless audience? The real benefits of content marketing are experienced only when you have clear profiles of your audience. Based on the different profiles, you create content that is personalized to the extent possible and adapt it to the channel – mobile, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, blog post, etc. A well-defined content marketing plan will enable you to align it to your businesses’ overall marketing plan.
To quickly summarize strategies that should drive your content marketing approach for the rest of 2014 – create rich content; factor in mobile users; create useful visual content to boost interaction with the audience; work on your presence on Google Plus; evaluate your present content marketing efforts and fine tune your message to target an identified audience.