What’s the trick to create quality content that sticks? And how can you scale for growth and momentum?
We’ve summarized the key trends in global content marketing about the state of content marketing in the last semester of 2022. Where 1500 marketing experts were surveyed, and 500,000 articles were analyzed.
Next, we delve into eight marketing tips for you to consider implementing in your strategy for this year.
Trend #1: Focus on Creating Personalized and Humanized Content
In an increasingly noisy digital landscape, personalizing and humanizing your content remains a key factor for success.
With artificial intelligence (AI) on the rise and the ever-increasing presence of mediocre content published daily, readers are increasingly seeking authentic and unique content.
How is this achieved? Experts cite original research and finding one’s own voice as two drivers for creating thoughtful and inspiring content.
Go beyond the algorithm of what your competitors are doing. Conduct surveys, interview your customers, and define your target audience’s persona to understand who you really want to reach.
Even if you’re in a large and competitive space, carving out a niche where you can speak with unique insights is another way to stand out in the digital realm.
Sharing real-life stories or case studies with your audience can elevate your humanity in the eyes of your target audience. Unlike a search engine, your audience will immediately notice your intellectual leadership, and as a result, they might become loyal to your brand.
When it comes to creating your content, defining your brand voice can be the difference between building trust and simply sounding like another competitor.
Trend #2: Track the Changing Needs of Your Audience
Nearly everything we read now mentions the pandemic. While we’d like a day without knowing anything about it, it has forever changed how we work, interact, and how users behave online.
With that in mind, it continues to be part of our global dialogue, and your content marketing strategy should align with these changing trends to match the sentiments and needs of your audience.
Note that optimizing your content for voice search is different from traditional SEO.
For instance, on a mobile device, you might type “olive oil cake recipe.” At home, you might say “Hello Alexa, what’s an easy olive oil cake recipe I can make at home?”
Truth be told, these concepts should always be part of your content marketing strategy. As the pandemic continues to evolve, adapting these best practices can help you achieve success beyond 2023.
Trend #3: Embrace Empathy, Research, and Storytelling
Look at factors like your career, lifestyle, hobbies, and motivating interests. You should also figure out if they’re the ones making the final decisions and, if not, who is the decision-maker and how much authority your customer avatar has?
Content creation is always about the customer, right? That’s why understanding who they are, what they need, and generating empathy should be part of your narrative.
Especially in B2B industries, too often we see content marketing strategies that elevate the business instead of the customer. A report found that 55% of successful content marketers attributed personalization to better conversion rates and growth.
It starts with understanding your customer, empathizing with their situation, and presenting a valuable story that aligns with their needs.
Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Prioritize audience research.
- Gather audience insights.
- Define your buyer personas and audience.
- Create quality content with intention and purpose.
Before planning and creating any piece of content, ask yourself: Who is it serving and why should they care?
Trend #4: Approach Content as a Revenue Generator
Content marketing might not be the easiest channel to measure and optimize. But it’s not impossible. Adding end-to-end analytics to track the impact your content has on the bottom line is perhaps the most crucial step.
Just as the old saying goes “it takes money to make money,” here are some tips to keep up with your resources and budgets:
- Stepping back and looking at the big picture will help make your content efforts less chaotic and more effective. Start by analyzing the performance of your existing content and the impact of organic traffic. Then, set benchmarks and main goals.
- Track KPIs. After outlining high-level goals, think about specific metrics you’ll use to track the performance of each content type. Consider on-page engagement, actions, organic traffic, conversions, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), closed opportunities, etc.
- Look at the data and consider multitouch attribution. Keep an eye on other metrics like traffic, leads, and events.
- Optimize and adjust. Not all content you publish will succeed. And that’s okay, it’s a learningexperience. Correlate your data with well-performing content, so you can shift towards what works best.
Trend #5: Focus on Click-Through Rates (CTR) in Search
When creating a content marketing strategy, remember that measuring success without defining criteria is impossible. That’s why setting data benchmarks, including CTRs, should be a central component of your strategy or campaign.
At the end of the day, a good ranking is important, but wouldn’t you prefer to attract more clicks and positive traffic?
Let’s say you published an article claiming a top position on the search engine results page (SERP) for a valuable keyword.
Sounds like cause for celebration, right? While you might secure a top seat in search, have you received fewer clicks?
Some tips for improving your CTR include:
- Repurpose other media. Google also displays results from videos, images, news, and more. Consider how your existing content could be repurposed to gain clicks for different SERP features. The same applies to blog posts and landing pages. Bonus tip: if you put video content on YouTube and then embed it on visitor-attracting pages, you’re winning!
- Create content around “big questions.” A featured snippet is great, but it might not necessarily get clicks. Instead, diversify your content around related, deeper questions that offer more value to your target audience.
Trend #6: Create More Short-Format Video Content
35% of companies plan to make video a key part of their content strategy in 2023. The popularity of video, especially in short format, has grown significantly in recent years. Instagram Stories, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram Reels, and many other platforms have emerged, offering a very specific benefit: delivering content to the viewer in an incredibly short space of time.
While professional video production can be expensive, it doesn’t always have to be. Try some of these content ideas to add more videos to your marketing strategy:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Video ads
- Engage with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
Trend #7: Make Content Audits a Priority
Nearly 75% of surveyed companies conduct a comprehensive content audit every year, and 65% of successful content marketing companies run them at least twice a year.
While running a content audit might not seem as fun as storyboarding your next creative campaign, it’s an essential practice that reaps significant rewards for content marketers.
By discovering which content performs best, you can make informed decisions that require much less effort than creating a ton of new content that might not work. It also gives you the opportunity to rediscover old content that can be spruced up and redesigned for future interactions.
Frequent Audits = Successful Metrics
When content marketing teams perform content audits more frequently, they achieve stronger results across the board.
What are the relevant signs that a piece of content needs an update? Our respondents cited the following reasons:
- 44%: Because the content was outdated
- 29%: To prevent fluctuations in high-performing content rankings
- 28%: To revitalize content when rankings and traffic are low
With 82% of our respondents engaging in some form of content audit, it’s clear that this strategy is working for them.
After updating your content, 45% of participants reported higher engagement, and 43% said that rankings and traffic increased, showing a strong correlation between content refreshment and key metric improvement.
So, aim to conduct at least two content audits per year; data suggests that quarterly or even more frequent audits could be even better.
Trend #8: Use Data and Automation to Scale and Optimize
Depending on the industry you’re in, it’s likely that thousands of articles are published daily competing with your brand. This creates a noisy digital environment where companies vie for the top spots in SERPs.
The upside is that it gives you the opportunity to create winning content and use data to inform your content marketing strategy.
Our research found that “content marketing tools” once again ranked as one of the most popular topics worldwide, indicating a strong need for increased automation, as content managers often handle labor-intensive processes.
But just as we discussed the importance of conducting content audits, it’s crucial to understand the data behind high-performing content.
Utilizing tools to identify opportunities, plan, execute, and automate your content production will be advantageous for content marketers aiming for the best results.
Since each brand is unique, your content marketing strategy should be based on an understanding of the nuances of your industry and ideal customers. We hope that these insights, gathered from thousands of sources worldwide, help marketers achieve more competitive goals this year!