August 24, 2016

7 Hot Trends Defining Your Content Strategy


Content marketingEDIT

Content marketing is an essential component in buyer engagement, social media, lead generation and online marketing. In fact, the power your content carries is growing by the day as new tactics and trends propel content development to new heights in brand publishing.

Blogging is not enough. Social media is not enough. There is a methodology that makes up smart content creation and it focuses on attracting, converting and inspiring your target audience — your clients and potential clients. Content needs to engage, inform and delight in order to build market identity, brand ambassadors and new opportunities for business growth and development.

What does this mean for your 2015 content strategy?

A comprehensive content marketing strategy is in order if you want to be not just a successful participant, but a winner, when it comes to creating effective content that fuels your brand awareness.

Your Content Strategy

Buyer Personas

Who are your buyers? Who is your target audience? Your buyer personas are the people you most want to engage. Your content needs to speak to their market interests, operational requirements, corporate goals, everyday problems, buying habits and even hobbies. In order to create content that is truly effectual, you must understand the customer demographics that compose your buyer personas:

  • Who are they?
  • What are their jobs?
  • What are their behavior patterns?
  • What are their professional goals?
  • What power do they have in their businesses?

Identifying your buyer personas will result in your content being tailored for your ideal audience — leading to enthusiastic content shares and new client conversions.

Expansive Content Platforms

If you think blogging is enough in terms of content creation, you are not even competing in today’s content-rich marketing environment. Blogging is one small component in an increasingly robust content portfolio.

In 2015, the content winners will be those expanding their content machine to include everything from:

  • white papers
  • ebooks
  • videos
  • webinars
  • email newsletters
  • blogs
  • podcasts
  • timely social media posts
  • guest blogs
  • strategic landing pages
  • visual content
  • live presentations

Think of content as a palette – one with diverse colors all necessary in painting a successful portrait of your business and its branding.

Mobile Content

As the rise in smartphones and tablets continues, the requirement for mobile content rises. Your content is being viewed 24/7 on diverse mobile devices. Is your content empowered for today’s mobile buyers? A mobile-optimized website is required to deliver content that creates a positive user experience. Are your clients using their mobile devices for virtually everything? Of course they are. Why aren’t you?

Your content needs to be reflective of the paradigm shift that has impacted the professional landscape — the age of the mobile workforce. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, get with the times — fast. Keep in mind also that these same mobile surfers are also active on social media — so you had better be as well.

The Rise of Adaptive Content

According to the Content Marketing Institute, adaptive content is a content strategy technique designed to support meaningful, personalized, interactions across all channels. The urgency of supporting personalization that considers multiple channels is apparent from stats like these. Ninety-four percent of businesses say personalization is key to success. And 48 percent of shoppers say they prefer to use a smartphone to shop while actually standing inside stores.

Today’s consumers want to see personalization somewhere in your content stream. Why? It reflects not only your ability to relate to their motives, challenges and needs, but also expresses your desire to deliver a superior and uniquely tailored customer experience. Adaptive content can boost presale and marketing content, as well as influence post-sale engagement. Researching and incorporating elements of adaptive content will benefit your 2015 content strategy greatly.

Ample Visual Content

Visual content is streaming big in online marketing strategies today. People want to see people, places and things. They want visual engagement. They trust visual engagement. If your 2015 content strategy is devoid of videos and unique visual elements, rethink it. Incorporating visual content is extremely important, especially when trying to engage mobile viewers.

Get creative with infographics, memes, charts, graphs and even cartoons to tell your brand’s story and win over brand loyalists — especially on your social media platforms. Don’t have a Pinterest yet? Stop neglecting the opportunities visual content will create for your online marketing endeavors. Odds are, your competitors are moving in a visual content direction. Don’t be outdone or outdated.

Website Content Optimization

When it comes to the content you are putting out there, the most important place to position optimized content is your website. Your website content needs to be powered with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to fully leverage it  as a marketing tool and funnel for new clients. The content of your website should be designed to attract, convert and close customers. It is your single, most important sales tool. Your website can convert leads into new business.

However, if your website is not SEO optimized, how will anyone find you? Searchers are buyers. They are searching, right now to accomplish a task. Will your business pop up as they are searching? If you have effective SEO tactics in place, you stand an excellent chance of getting noticed. It all comes back to the strategy and quality that fuels your content. Remember, search engines crawl content to understand a website’s purpose. Next, they index content based on the perceived purpose of the content.

If your website is equipped with smart SEO, clear Calls To Action (CTAs) and content designed to engage the right buyers, your website is doing its job. If not, research the best SEO and CTA techniques for your business and make the adjustments necessary to turn your website from a simple window to an open door for customer acquisitions.

Going Inbound

You’ve no doubt heard the term inbound marketing, but do you know what it means? Inbound marketing is everything from optimizing blog content to generating website traffic and conversions with strategic white papers and more. Inbound marketing is about developing customer-centric content and leveraging that content to produce results — new clients. Inbound marketing is all about creating original content that engages your target audience — buyer persona — in a conversation.

According to HubSpot, inbound content best practices include researching and understanding buyer personas, creating content tailored to both your buyer’s persona and your buyer’s three journey stages — awareness, consideration and decision — and leveraging your content to serve your business goals by optimizing distribution channels.

Creating remarkable content that is delivered to your ideal audience via your blog, social platforms and website is the core of inbound content strategy. Go inbound in 2015 — and see how your buyers react.

Content marketing photo via Shutterstock

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Marie Alonso


Marie Alonso Marie Alonso is a content branding and social media strategist at CompuData. She is a contributor on content, social media and business technologies for Small Business Trends, Philadelphia Business Journal, Social Media Today and VAR Guy and keeps track of social media trends on Twitter @DigitalPRLady.

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29 Reactions

  1. I had a chance to listen to Marcus Sheridan last night (you should look him up if you don’t know him already) and he talked about how content today should be structured more like a learning center instead of a blog. You’ve got to be THE source of information and education in your industry/space to win at this game and that means constant education & communication.

  2. Great post, Marie! You’re absolutely spot on in highlighting buyer personas – creating them is such a valuable for small business owners to market to the right visitors.

    One thing to add regarding CTAs, it seems as though many website owners underestimate the value of a great CTA, and therefore strew buttons and links aimlessly across their pages. This is the equivalent of having a customer in s storefront, and 5 sales associates pulling you in different directions. It can be confusing and distracting for users.

    Along with a big, bold CTA, placement is key – check out this post and let me know what you think! http://www.yola.com/blog/where-to-put-a-call-to-action-on-your-website/

  3. Aira Bongco

    I agree on the buyer persona part. You cannot sell to just anyone and hope it sticks. You really have to have a content strategy that is suited towards a particular persona.

  4. Understanding buyer personas and then creating content tailored to their needs as well as buying cycles are just the beginning. It will work if you don’t face strong and significant competitors. In a hyper competitive market, however, you have to differentiate your content and find ways to make your ideal customers choose you over other businesses.

  5. Great post Marie, and you’re absolutely spot on with regard to mobile content and buyer personas. A number of e-commerce websites are not exactly taking these into consideration during the designing phase. For example, they seem to disregard the part of knowing who their audiences are, which in turn leads to ineffective SEO and online marketing campaigns. You should know who to cater to before stepping into the outreach phase.

    As for the mobile content part, I can’t stress the importance of having a responsive web design and a special focus towards mobile users. Catering to them not only gives them a positive first impression of you, but it also makes you attractive to Google’s eyes. That being said, keep in mind mobile users have already exceeded desktop users, so optimizing for mobile is a requirement nowadays.

  6. Creating good content and making a great distribution plan is always important. Without proper distribution, your contents are nothing but a waste of time and you will loose a lot of potential customers for your business. There were some great insights about content strategy in this post and it will definitely help us a lot. 🙂

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