insights

The Art of Content Marketing - What we learnt from 2018

Posted by Deepshikha Dhankhar on Oct 11, 2018 12:14:40 PM

Over the last six months, Transfunnel launched more diversified content marketing campaigns than ever before. And each one of those had a considerate impact on different clients in many ways - starting from fixing the basic content issues to them landing great leads due to impactful content. This can explain their recent HubSpot Platinum status!!

2018 has been a great year in terms of how content marketing changed the game for us. And as the Content Marketing Strategist, I couldn’t be more kicked. I shared some practices from my previous experiences and adopted some of the new ones with the fast changing requirement of consumers when it comes to content. Either way, it’s been pretty exciting.

So, whether you are the “King” or “Queen” (in my case) of content, one thing is certain - with the right content marketing insights, you sure can be the agent of change!

As modern content marketers, no matter how equipped we are to handle today’s pressing opportunities and challenges that keep coming up, we cannot lose sight of what the future might bring. Being in the digital industry, we cannot ever be too complacent even if our content is doing amazing, because that’s what we are supposed to do - constantly create meaningful content experiences. And to keep doing that, we have to keep evolving with our clients’ stories and our own. That’s the only way to have the cycle of great customer experience and successful brand strategies moving.

From my own experiences of carving the content-focused path, freshly brewed and strongly fragranced, here are a few lessons that I learnt from 2018 in the art of content marketing:

1. Don’t Offer Just Anything Interesting - It Needs To Add Value

For a lot of people, it might be really interesting to know what the Queen of England is up to each second of her day, but it might not offer them any value. You need to offer what they need, not just something which might interest them.

Let’s face it, with each piece of content you offer, you are trying to achieve one or all of the following:

  • You are trying to influence a buyer who has no reason to switch
  • You are trying to gain attention of a new prospect who doesn’t know she needs you
  • You are trying to turn a competitor’s audience into yours who might or might not be happy with them

No matter what you are trying to achieve, you can distract them by offering something interesting which adds no value to them but you sure cannot make them turn to you for good. What’s the fun in that?

2. Have A Documented Content Strategy

I have noticed it slipping away so many times from my own schedule and I can say from experience - it hurts.

But wait, do I mean documented as in writing it all down or is it something else?

No, it is not just writing it all down, documented strategy is a bunch of proven and actionable steps which yield predictable results, which are reduced to writing. So, instead of just ‘winging it’ or re-inventing the wheel each day, you basically look at replicating what already gave you great results.

This can not only reduce the number of coffee takeaways you are probably getting to mitigate the ever increasing stress of creating new content each day, but can also lead to smarter decision - such as, not getting too many coffee takeaways.

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3. Get Over Your Glossophobia!

Now what is that!

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking - which explains why not too many marketers are doing much public speaking even though they might know a great deal of content marketing tactics. Because 74% of all people suffer from it!

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Source: http://brandongaille.com/14-fear-public-speaking-statistics/

Wondering why this is important?

Think about it! Speech is content too! And some great content at that!

With the right body language, gestures and smile, one can make an irreversibly positive impact on the audience. Infact, public speaking might be the most overlooked type of content that we don’t think we should tap into. The reasons could be many, from the actual fear of public speaking (thank god, stats speak) to not feeling the need to establish an entirely different platform for content delivery. But the result is common - you are missing out on a lot of prospects who are more interested in listening than reading.

4. Literally, Just Let Them Snack On Content

According to LookBookHQ, “Almost 60% of marketers repurpose content two-five times. They generate “Snackable” content based on assets.”

The only way you can have your audience snack on your content is by repurposing it. You might not always have the time, budget or resources to keep generating new content and many organisations have already come to terms with it. So, instead of just writing anything (refer point 1st) which adds no cherry to the top of the creamy content, just make an ice-cream out of it or a fudge. How about a double layered cake?

If you are not bothered about the calories, just take that piece of content your audience engaged with the most and re-make it with some beautiful designs, graphic, images or even quotes.

5. More, And Some More - No, Don’t Do It!

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Source: CMI

Looks like you don’t have the luxury to be bothered by the calories after all! According to CMI, 72% of marketers are already producing significantly more amount of content than they did a year ago!

Would you like some more snacks?

Well, you cannot help it. With about 2 million blogs published a day, it’s pretty easy for someone to not go for your snack after all. It’s both good and bad news if you have a one in two million chance to stand out. Good because not everyone might be producing quality content, and bad because what if you are not doing it either! You need to create more visually appealing and in-depth content if you want your audience to keep asking for more. And when they do that, don’t just literally give them more - in terms of content, give them more - in terms of quality.

6. It’s All About How You Make Them Feel

Ever wondered why you get so pissed looking at the wrong spelling of your name on your Starbucks coffee mug? You might have a cringe or a gritted smile on top but your insides might as well be screaming at how unfair it is to not have your name spelt correctly! Well, that’s because you feel terrible. And that’s because you associate so closely to your name more than anything else.

It’s exactly the same with your customers as well. A little custom content goes a long way.

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Source: https://www.deviantart.com/keydifferencemedia/art/Consumers-Believe-in-Custom-Content-566134338

Custom content is more like building affinity towards your existing customers, rather than pulling in the new ones. And you’ll know just how important it is when I tell you that about 61% of consumers’ buying decision is influenced by custom content. I didn’t say that - Dragon search marketing did! Custom content might just be what you need to retain your existing customers if by any chance you are failing to keep them interested in you.

7. Your Original Written Content

We have heard all sorts of things about how important it is to have authentic content and we’d all agree that those sorts of things are correct and most of us do focus on that anyway. So, what’s the point here?

According to Social Media Examiner, 58% of marketers said that original “written” content is the most important type of content, outdoing visuals and videos. That’s the point! You need to create more “written” content more than anything else - a real eye opener, right? It could be a great thing for you if you are a small company and cannot afford to hire resources to create visual content and videos at this point of time, or if you simply don’t have the capacity to do that. You can still succeed by working on the blog posts, articles, case studies, white papers - all possible forms of original written content.

8. Personas that help everybody

Some of your audiences organically travel the seamless funnel of Lead, Opportunity and Buyer, while others won’t. But don’t simply shun them because they may provide long-term value even if they couldn’t turn into customers. As long as you keep them engaged, they can serve as the connecting link between you and new customers that you can acquire. They can also be the right influencers, amplifying your reach in the market. The point is, take the time you need to research, quantify and define your target persona, eventually also including those who were the targeted prospects before, and now are influencers. Share the documented persona with everyone in the team so they know who they are trying to engage. But remember, personas do need to be updated - thanks to the ever changing mind of a regular consumer. So, before they lose relevance, re-work on your person on a regular basis.

According to research, 71% of companies that exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas.

2018

How people interact with content today can say a lot about how they consume it. A good marketer is already aware of it and another one is making you aware right now. A lot has changed, moved, evolved in 2018 and a lot is coming in the year ahead as the only thing constant is the continuously changing buying behaviour and how your prospects and clients consume content. Leads are everywhere, from your Facebook friends list to your next door pub - all you have to do is get the content marketing right! Be the content King or Queen (or the whole Kingdom?) again!

Leave your comments below and let me know what your take-away is from 2018 or simply give a clap!

Tags: Inbound marketing, content marketing, Marketing Strategy, B2B Marketing