You can’t say that content marketing is boring. There is always some new strategy or technique that is worth trying to give our content a helpful boost.
As we see the end of 2017 drawing near, now is the perfect time to start thinking about which new strategies and tactics are worth investing in for the coming year. After all, you want a strong start to 2018, don’t you?
To help you figure out which new content marketing tactics are worth your time, we’ve made a list of the ones we think will gain steam in 2018:
Optimize Content for Voice Search
The use of voice search assistants such as Siri, Echo and Cortana continue to rise, and there is no doubt that it’s changing the way people search online. Online searches are becoming longer and more conversational, which is forcing content marketers to rethink their content strategy in the future.
To prepare for the impact of voice search, now is a good time to start optimizing your content for voice-activated questions. Good news—you may already be doing this if you’re creating longer, informational articles that target longtail keywords.
Along with creating informational pieces, make sure to use structured data markup to help search engines understand and crawl your site and potentially rank higher in search results. Taking these small but important steps with your content will pay off as the importance of voice search continues to grow.
2.) Earn Loyalty Through Authentic Content
In case you hadn’t heard, live video streaming has gained serious momentum in the last few years. Today, it has become a powerful tool for brands to engage their followers in real-time.
The rise of live streaming in recent years is no coincidence. Consumers, especially millennials, demand transparency from brands and live streaming is an effective means of demonstrating their authenticity.
At the end of the day, consumers want to know that you are not a faceless business, but a team of people just like them. Give them the transparent content they crave in 2018 by experimenting with different formats such as Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.
3.) Generate Leads Through Interactive Content
It’s not enough for your audience to consume your content. They need to enjoy it and take some sort of action, whether that is opting into your email list or signing up for your webinar.
This is where interactive content comes into play. Interactive content is content that changes based on how readers interact with it (i.e., quizzes, assessments, games).
Brands are using interactive content as an effective way to capture new leads. In fact, a CMI survey found that 81 percent of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effective than static content.
As attention spans grow shorter, interactive content will play a more important role in our content marketing strategies. While not every content marketer has the bandwidth and budget to create interactive content, those who do should take advantage of its powerful lead generation capabilities.
4.) Highly-Targeted Audience Segmentation
As a content marketer, you don’t want your content to reach just anyone—you want it to reach the right audience. To ensure that your content connects with the right audience, you need to leverage advanced audience segmentation techniques.
Whether you are segmenting your emails or targeting specific audiences by attitudinal behaviors, more precise audiences are key to driving results. Unlike targeting broad audiences that waste your precious ad spend, advanced targeting techniques will convert higher and drive down your cost per lead.
Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve seen this first-hand through our work with Trunk Club. By uncovering attitudinal behaviors, or Trunk Club’s target audience, the company was able to lower its cost per lead from $25 to $5, significantly raising the value of their ad campaigns.
5.) Start Podcasting
Podcast consumption has risen dramatically over the years. According to Edison Research, four in ten Americans now tune in to podcasts.
From a marketing standpoint, there are clear benefits to starting a podcast. People enjoy consuming content in different ways and the more mediums you can use to spread your content’s reach, the better.
But should your business start its own podcast? To answer this, there are some considerations you will want to keep in mind. Still, if you have the time and resources, getting into podcasting can be an effective way to grow your brand in 2018.
6.) Content for Omnichannel Marketing
A customer can bounce between multiple channels and devices before making a purchase. To accommodate these customers, brands are investing in omnichannel marketing, which aims to create a seamless experience at every customer touchpoint.
What does this have to do with content marketing? We’ll answer that for you—everything!
Multi-channel marketing can’t work properly without an effective content marketing strategy. To unify your brand’s message across all channels and devices, your content must be fueled by data and be consistent in voice, tone, and style.
Additionally, content for omnichannel marketing must be adaptive, meaning that it can change based on different user interests and customer journeys. To successfully create adaptive content, you will need to map out a variety of customer journeys and build extensive customer profiles.
It may sound like a lot of work, and it is. However, it is essential for brands to get on board with adaptive content if they want to master multi-channel marketing.
7.) Create Content to Rank #0
Forget about ranking #1 on Google—it’s time to set your sights higher and rank in Google’s featured snippet (position #0).
If you’re not sure what we’re referring to, here is a screenshot of Google’s featured snippet for the search query, “What is Google’s featured snippet?”
Essentially, it is the quick answer that is featured at the top. It saves the user time by answering their question without clicking on any of the search results.
So how can your content appear in Google’s answer box? No, you don’t need to be an SEO genius to hack your way to position #0.
Here are a few best practices to grab this prime piece of real estate:
Create educational content: It isn’t called an answer box for nothing. Research what others are asking in your niche and answer with your own expertise.
Give a thorough answer: The more comprehensive you are with your answer, the better. Make your content detailed and helpful to readers to outperform the competition.
Format correctly: Breaking content into paragraphs, lists, or tables is key to ranking in Google’s featured snippet (i.e., “Step 1, Step 2, Step 3).
Put the search query in one of your headings: For example, if you’re trying to answer the question, “How to Train an Adult Dog,” you should include this in one of your paragraph’s headings.
If there is one thing that is constant in the world of content marketing, it’s change. New technologies and trends are continuously changing the game for marketers, and those who embrace these changes are poised for success in 2018.
Not every content marketing tactic listed here is going to work for your brand, but they are worth exploring as we move forward. You never know what might take off in the coming year and by being one of the first, you can potentially pave the way for serious growth.