Content marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. It’s what your users care about — it not only helps solve their problems but also guides them to conversion. As the Internet evolves, one thing stays constant: the need for content. You need it, and it needs to be good.
What does change, though, is the type of content that users enjoy most, and the way companies approach their content marketing. Having an up-to-date content strategy drives revenue for your website by engaging current and potential customers.
How can you make sure that your content is fresh? Check out these five content marketing trends for 2019.
1. Voice search
Voice search has taken off rapidly. With voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Android’s Google Assistant, as well as voice-enabled speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, voice search is here — and it isn’t going anywhere.
In fact, it is only going to get bigger. Analysts predict that voice search will account for 50 percent of all searches by 2020. Google also reports that 20 percent of searches in the Google app are now by voice, versus text.
Get ahead of voice search by implementing a content strategy conducive to this new technology.
What does that mean? Adopt voice search optimization, which optimizes your content for voice, rather than traditional search. In comparison to traditional search, voice searches are much longer because they are natural language.
Instead of searches like, “best digital marketing agency,” voice searchers use more question-based queries like, “what is the best digital marketing agency?” With voice search, your team needs to think more about the user intent behind a search.
That’s why using commonly asked questions as the headings for content is a great strategy. For an even better voice search optimization strategy, try these eight tips for optimizing your content for voice search.
Chatbots communicate with site users on a 24/7 basis. They also help websites communicate — and automate communication — with tons of users. That allows companies to minimize their customer service costs, as well as maximize the time of their customer service team.
Consumers also report having a positive experience with chatbots. In fact, chatbots are the most successful customer service channel, boasting a 73 percent customer satisfaction rating. That’s why many analysts predict that chatbots will become an essential part of customer service.
How do chatbots influence your content marketing strategy, though?
With chatbots, you can provide shoppers with personalized recommendations based on their questions. For example, if a user asks a frequently asked question (FAQ), your chatbot can direct them to your FAQ page — or reference the example in-chat.
Or, once your chatbot provides a shopper with what they need, they can recommend content based on the interaction. For example, if you’re a travel agency and your chatbot offers a user information on their bookings, you can conclude the interaction by suggesting content related to the user’s destination.
If they’re traveling to the U.K., for example, you can direct them to blog posts about the best restaurants in the area — or even a blog post about using the subway or tube. This content helps your customer prepare for their trip, which can have a positive impact on their relationship with your company.
Use chatbots to support your content marketing strategy and enhance your shoppers’ experiences.
3. Lifecycle marketing
Content marketing is a great way to support lifecycle marketing. What is lifecycle marketing? This type of marketing provides audiences with the communications and experiences they need or want as they move from a prospect to a lead to a customer.
In short, your website and content provide everything a user needs to become a client.
That’s why it’s essential to cater to customers at each stage of the buying funnel. Be intentional about everything you do. Your content is how you communicate, and communication is critical in today’s competitive online market.
Before you incorporate lifecycle marketing into your content, answer these questions:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What do they want?
- What do they need?
- What makes them purchase your product or service?
Once you have a clear understanding of who your target customers are, you can begin creating customized content for each stage of the purchasing process. For example, if you offer travel services, you may appeal to users in the beginning stages with blog posts that highlight a location.
For users in later stages, however, you may offer videos or long-form content that focuses on shoppers looking to partner with a travel agency. As an example, a piece of long-form content may discuss how to choose a travel agency.
Continue connecting with your target audience, as well as guiding them through the buying funnel, by encouraging website visitors to sign-up for your emails. That way, they can receive updates on your latest content, which motivates them to revisit your website.
No matter the stage in the buying funnel, having the right types of content on your site will drive results.
4. Data privacy
With the passing of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which protects the data rights of Internet users in the European Union (EU), data privacy is becoming a more common topic. It’s also another content marketing trend for 2019.
That’s why it’s paramount that your company’s compliant with the latest permissions and guidelines.
Plus, by properly acquiring and using user data — as well as informing the users themselves — you can build trust with your target audience. You can also preserve your company’s brand and financial stability by adhering to data privacy standards.
A few tips for ensuring compliance include:
- Make email opt-ins optional: Require users to check a box, indicating that they would like to receive email updates, before you add them to your subscription list.
- Offer an unsubscribe button: Allow users to opt-out from your emails any time they wish. Make sure users can also access their email preferences via the unsubscribe button.
- Assess data protections: Review how and where your company stores user data, as well as its level of security. Look for potential risks and develop a plan for making your data storage safer.
While data privacy won’t impact the content your company creates, it will influence how you connect and interact with leads via content, especially with content delivered through email marketing. That’s why data privacy will continue to have an essential role in the future of digital marketing.
Transparency is critical in 2019.
Customers value transparency and openness. Why do consumers trust online reviews more than a company’s statements on their services? Users look at fellow customers as more trustworthy and transparent.
That’s why 80 percent of shoppers say reviews have changed their mind about a purchase.
The desire for transparency has also contributed to the rise of influencer marketing — and its partnership with content marketing. Customers see social media personas as more trustworthy, especially when they are honest about the pros and cons of a product, service, or company.
How can you incorporate transparency into your content marketing strategy?
Highlight the experience of your customers in your content, on occasion. For example, maybe in your blog posts about the best restaurants in the U.K., you feature tweets or testimonials from customers that visited those restaurants on their trip.
You can even have an occasional feature, such as for your blog or email campaign, that shares the experience of your customers in a question-and-answer style. For instance, you can ask them about the ease of the planning and booking process, as well as the seamlessness of their trip.
In your other digital marketing strategies, it’s also worth promoting transparency.
Encourage reviews, open information, and communication, for example, about the perks and pitfalls of your products and services. Use that information to improve your services and customer experience, such as by redesigning a product or updating your response to emergency calls.
Thank customers for their positive and negative reviews too.
Help dissatisfied customers find a resolution and follow-up with them as well. Providing post-service and post-purchase support makes customers want to not only work with you again but tell the people they know about the great experience they had with your business.
With these additional measures, you can boost the trust and loyalty of current and future clients.
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An ongoing content marketing strategy is an absolute must for companies that want to reach their target audience and engage with them — as well as improve their business’ bottom line. For those results, however, it’s essential to stay up-to-date and adapt to the latest content marketing trends.
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