You’ve probably heard it dozens of times before: content is the cornerstone of marketing. Sure, you’ll still need to design eye-catching advertisements and have quality products to practice what you preach, but that alone won’t cut it. However, here’s the tricky thing about content marketing: it keeps evolving. What worked last year may not necessarily work this year. To maintain marketing growth and to get ahead of your competition, you have to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of content marketing.
In this post, we’re going to look at 3 crucial shifts taking over content marketing, as well as how you can align your current content marketing strategy with these shifts.
Better Audience Personas Will Lead to Better Content
The first thing on your mind when coming up with a new marketing campaign is your audience. You can’t help but wonder whether they will receive your campaign well or reject it altogether. If there is one thing you can do to eliminate this concern, it is to know your audience.
As content marketing continues to advance, marketers will have to focus more on gathering data on their target audience, as well as getting to know them better. Aiming to create content that appeals to the mass is setting yourself up for failure. One of the most powerful and easily accessible tools a marketer can use to understand their audience is their own website. Observing your audience’s behavior, including new and existing customers, can teach you a lot about effective new customer acquisition strategies.
Looking at your site’s data can help you understand which website behaviors most consistently lead to a sale or conversion. It also teaches you what kind of pages see good engagement and traffic, and what pages don’t. Using these insights can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, and allows you to focus on creating content that your audience truly needs.
More Data Will Ensure More Accountability
One of the realities of effective marketing is that both quality and quantity matter when it comes to content. You need to continuously come up with content that people will actually want to read, or you’ll be out of business sooner than you think. While there have been tremendous strides in the creation of content, data remains a core pain point among many marketers. Creativity remains a key focus for many marketers, leaving little time for data analysis.
Very few content marketers have the right goals or right metrics to support their goals, which is now a prerequisite rather than a competitive advantage. As content software becomes more sophisticated, it becomes easier to gather insights. This will create more accountability on the marketers’ part. With the help of data and increased accountability, marketers can gain more support from other parties in their future projects, and learn more about what works and what does not.
The best time to start thinking about what kind of data you’ll need to support your strategies is when setting up a content campaign. Next time you’re working on a new campaign, start with the end in sight to ensure that you’ll have the right data elements in place when the time comes to do your review.
Content as the Fuel and Infrastructure for the Entire Company, Not Just Marketing Teams
Over the years, marketing teams have continued to focus on creating blog posts, print magazines, and social media copy. However, the brands that are experiencing the most success with content marketing aren’t just writing blog posts and social media copy, they are creating all rounded content across practically every department in their company. This is good news if you have your content management strategy under control, but bad news if you do not. When other arms of the company partake in the content creation process, there can be a lot of chaos surrounding the content that prevents brands from achieving scale.
Ambitious companies will tackle this problem by making content their infrastructure. This shift in content creation will not only benefit marketing teams, but also other areas of the company, including corporate communications, public relations, demand generation, and sales enablement. And with smarter content strategies, all departments within the company will be connected and working towards the same goal.
Content marketing is constantly evolving, so be prepared to continuously re-evaluate and upgrade your strategies. With growing strides in technology and an abundance of data and resources to leverage, it is up to content marketers to take advantage of these trends and to push their team forward.