Our world is jam packed with all sorts of content from the most general topics to the most niche industries. When there’s already so much out there to watch, scroll through, and enjoy, how do we as marketers determine what’s left to create? In this case, we look to the trends.
One of the fun aspects of content marketing is that the landscape is always changing, and you never know what the next popular thing will be. In looking to the upcoming months, let’s touch on some content marketing trends that we can expect to be in the spotlight.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is everywhere. Basically it’s an area of marketing that focuses on online assets like blogs, social media posts, videos, etc. to nurture an audience and promote a brand without explicitly functioning as a sales pitch.
This is an important strategy to pursue because it works to attract and connect with audiences. It creates a community around a brand and is useful for establishing yourself as an expert and keeping your company top of mind to potential customers.
Marketing Industry Trends
Knowing how to spot and execute a trend in content marketing gives you a competitive advantage. This is a viral space that’s already been created and all you need to do is find your place in it. Tailor your content strategy to notable trends and you’ll find your team and your audience having a better experience.
Authenticity and Transparency
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Gone are the days where people want to see picture perfect, glossed over feeds. Instead, they want to see content that connects with them on all levels and feels genuine.
What does this mean? Peel back the layers and give your audience insight into what you’re truly all about. Give them a glimpse at a typical day in the office, let them follow your sales team to conferences, or show them sneak previews of upcoming products. Remember that your audience is looking for content that is human-focused and natural. Embrace the one-to-one moments that make them feel like you’re interacting directly with them.
Video Content & Lives
Short-form videos are all the rage thanks to innovative social media platforms and our ever-decreasing attention span. We all know that scrolling through TikTok is like telling ourselves we’re only sitting down to watch one episode in a TV series. Before you know it, you’re down a rabbit-hole.
This is why video content works. Brands are able to share a fun moment, important information, or quick tips in less than a minute. You can utilize this across all of your platforms too — Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and others give you the opportunity to highlight short-form videos.
In this same breath (or couple of breaths), we also need to touch on live content. People love real-time engagement. It’s that additional content strategy that shows audiences there actually is a person behind the brand. You can set up a formal event to share a how-to or start a Q&A. This can just as easily be used casually as a quick check-in with your followers or short snippets of what the day is like at your company.
Content is really tapping into some good ol’ word-of-mouth marketing, except this time, we’re taking it to the next level. Influencer marketing has taken the internet by storm. These are people on social media that have built up mass followings and can include micro influencers with10,000 followers or major celebrities with millions of followers.
Focus on quality partnerships rather than quantity. Reaching out to someone that really stands out in the industry as a trusted and knowledgeable person is important. This person should fit predetermined criteria like a certain number of followers, followers in your target audience, etc. Once you’ve identified or attracted influencers you want to work with, remember to invest time in nurturing those relationships too and keep track of progress.
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Also known as UGC, user-generated content is making its rounds everywhere and it is certainly here to stay. This makes sense in a lot of ways because it dips into many of the points we’ve covered. It’s a form of unpaid influencer marketing and it’s an authentic way to showcase what’s loved and what’s not.
People trust content made by other users especially when attached to a “not sponsored” comment. This is how products have gone viral —popularity is boosted through exposure by communities of people. It not only backs up your brand, it also creates multiple dimensions and layers to your company’s persona.
Content Marketing Strategy
It’s not just trends that will keep you ahead of the curve but also having a strong content strategy in place. This means delivering quality content on a consistent timeline. It’s not really the point anymore to post just to post. Each piece of content you share should have a purpose whether that’s to entertain, move, engage, etc.
At the same time, you also want to make sure there is a constant stream of content being put out there. This keeps you front and center to your followers and increases engagement. Those that stay silent on social media for too long can find their content suppressed to followers due to inactivity.
Get with your team on a regular basis to define your goals ahead of each quarter. Plan out the overarching strategy first and then dive into the specifics. Put yourself in the mindset of your audience and ask what you’d like to see. This can help you plan out what kinds of Lives to host, which Shorts or Reels or Stories to prioritize, and where you can make things fun or interactive. Blend this list of ideas with your content for product drops, service announcements, etc. and you’ll have a full calendar to execute.
The Future of Content Marketing
There’s a lot to look forward to in content marketing as trends change and technology continues to advance. AI and machine generated content are just some of the few innovations that we’re seeing emerge. There are also brands experimenting with AR and VR marketing strategies. All this will contribute to audience experiences that take personalization to the next level.
At the same time, we’re also going to see traditional strategies holding their own and even evolving alongside trends. SEO, video, and storytelling will continue to add value to whatever technological advancements we use in the future. And behind it all will be teams of creatives who are passionate about what they do and searching for new ways to evolve.