Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools that any web-based business has at their disposal.
Content allows you to establish your authority as an expert in your field and helps build trust with your audience. It can also help to educate prospects on how your products or service can solve their problems, and showcase why you’re the best solution for their needs.
But when it comes to content creation, it’s important that you stand out.
The internet is bursting with content of all forms: short, long, low-quality, high-quality, blogs, videos, and social media posts. Almost everyone has a mobile device, and anybody can start a blog or YouTube channel. There’s also a high chance that your neighbor’s pet cat has an Instagram account too. But successful content marketing is not always a do-it-yourself venture, and you’ll have to step up your game if you wish to soar ahead of the competition.
In a sea of millions of blogs, witty Tweets, and cute pet videos, how can you make your content stand out from the rest? Where is content marketing headed, and how do you stay afloat?
There are so many platforms as well, each with its own unique features. For a business, it can seem overwhelming to simply start-up in the content game after seeing all the competition that’s out there.
It’s also important to look into how you distribute your content. Are you on the right channels? Are you present in the platforms where your target audience is most likely to hang out? Have you narrowed down your niche and targeted to where they will be most likely to see (and engage) with your content?
A “post-and-they-will-come” approach to blogging and social media platforms doesn’t cut it anymore. That might have worked a few years ago, but with search engines and news feeds being saturated, extra efforts have to be done to get yours seen. It takes work to get on that first page of Google. Today’s audience just doesn’t have time, or the patience, to sift through bad content. Instead, if it’s not providing value to them in some way, they’ll leave, and fast.
Content Marketing: 8 Tips for Creating Content That Resonates With Your Target Audience
Today, more than ever, it’s important that you have a solid content marketing strategy and are creating content that your audience is interested in. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few strategies that can help you to create content that will resonate with your target audience today.
Create Value-Driven Content
Today, people are seeking more authentic connections, even more so with regards to how they interact with brands and businesses. They want to feel that they’re buying from real people who care about their needs. They want to give their time and attention to businesses that offer something to the world.
People are becoming more conscious of sales-y pitches and techniques and are steering clear from content that’s begging for a purchase. They also have more control over the content they see and could easily hit the hide/block/unsubscribe button. The days of spammy, insensitive, and irrelevant advertising messages from brands are over.
To provide something valuable to your target audience, you should meet them where they’re at. What are their concerns? What keeps them up at night? What new things would they like to know about? What could you do to make their life better? How can you solve a problem they have?
Value-driven content does more than grab attention. Your audience walks away learning something new or feeling better. They feel that their day has somehow improved, thanks to what you put out there.
When your audience feels valued, trust is built with a brand and they are more likely to buy from you again, and maybe even become advocates for it, as well.
Create Engaging Content
Next, make sure you’re creating content that resonates with your audience. This means your content should be engaging. It needs to get their attention and convince them to continue reading, or watching.
There are a great many forms that your content can take; from written content to video to podcasts, infographics, and more. Including interactive features in your content is one way to make it more engaging. Adding polls and surveys add value because it makes people pause, think, react, and interact. If done well, they can be engaging for the people answering them and are often forwarded, which means free advertising for you. They are also great sources of information and leads, giving you a way to get insights from your audience.
You can easily create your own surveys with tools such as:
As humans, we’re highly visual. So make sure you add in graphics, images, and video into your content as well. Infographics are a combination of figures, texts, and photos, and this makes them engaging and easy to follow. It’s also for these reasons that they’re easily – and widely – shareable.
Here are some free tools to help you make your own infographics:
Start Using Video (And Consider Live Streaming)
In 2016, only 61% of businesses used video in their content marketing; this has gone up to 85% in 2020.
Video as a content marketing tool has seen a surge in the last few years and it’s easy to see why. They’re inherently engaging, it’s a combination of visuals, audio, and sometimes even text, all in one package. This also makes them easier to digest and remember. In fact, Social Media Week says that 95% of people are able to retain messages that they receive from videos.
If you’re still hesitating to use video, here are some stats from Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2020:
- People watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week – a 52% increase in the last 2 years.
- People are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content.
- 86% of people would like to see more video from brands in 2020.
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Here are some examples of value-driven video content you can implement into your marketing strategy: explanation videos, educational videos, presentation videos, and testimonial videos.
Live streaming is also becoming increasingly popular. It’s a great medium that allows you to connect with your audience in an authentic and personal way.
Neil Patel says, “Pre-recorded videos used to be the preferred format at the moment, but the pendulum is definitely swinging towards live streaming. Video- both recorded and live streaming – is a top tactic in both B2C and B2B. And online netizens love to watch and consume it.”
Does the concept of live streaming put you on edge? Try to prep, practice, and ensure that you’re all set before you go live. Or, consider doing something else at the same time; many people find that live streaming while driving or walking is helpful (just be safe)! With the right approach and enough practice, you’ll be able to master this somewhat challenging form of marketing.
What comes first, the product or the community? For many successful companies today, the answer is community!
Communities are a great way to reach out to your audience or users. By having a group with common goals and interests, you create a space for people to gather, share ideas, and stories.
You can foster a sense of community by providing a space for your audience to share and connect. Creating engaging activities that encourage your audience to participate is also a great way to do this. You can do this through Facebook groups or doing challenges and contests.
User generated content (UGC) is another tremendously powerful tool, and many brands are jumping on board with it. It helps to add a level of authenticity to your content, and can make producing your content easier as well. Create your own hashtag and promote it, it’ll make it easier to interact with, and keep track of your UGC.
Many big brands have done this with great success. Consider Starbucks’ #WhiteCupContest that encouraged customers to share their doodles on cups and send their art in for a chance to win.
Or, Coke’s “Share a Coke” campaign that featured popular names on Coke bottles. This encouraged people to share snaps of them drinking “their” bottles of coke. A great way to get their brand on social media.
Monina Wagner, from Content Marketing Institute states, “New digital habits have formed. There’s a renewed need for real-time connections. As a result, there’s been a rise in private social media communities. This trend will continue. Facebook Groups, Slack, and Discord provide an intimate space for consumers to share similar experiences. The content is unfiltered, giving way to authentic relationships.”
And don’t forget to harness the power of testimonials. The reach of word-of-mouth has been amplified thanks to social media platforms. Featuring testimonials from your customers shows others that people love what you do and trust your brand.
Re-sharing your customer content – such as “unboxing videos” or “in-use videos” – on your own platform is another way to make your audience feel like they are seen, heard, and valued.
Invest In Personalized Marketing
Personalized content is more engaging to users because it serves them what they like and need. Using data and interpreting it correctly helps gain insight into your audience’s behavior and their interaction with your content. It also saves you a lot of time and guesswork, giving you more time to create content that resonates with audiences more successfully.
Look to Create Dynamic Content
It’s important to attract, engage, and delight your audiences. Provide your audiences with what they need- make them laugh, involve them in the experience of your content, teach them something new.
According to Hubspot, “Smart content delights customers. When you use data-driven content, you can influence a lead’s buying journey”.
Dynamic (or adaptive) content is data-driven and personalized web content that changes based on the behavior, preferences, and interests of the user. It creates a customized experience for readers, showing them items or suggestions they might like, or picking up where they left off from a previous session. It acts as a guide all the way from product discovery to checkout.
Neil Patel says that “Dynamic content increases conversions by making the customer experience more relevant and intuitive. Many of these techniques work by reducing the amount of unnecessary and redundant information delivered to visitors, therefore eliminating friction and/or by presenting users with the logical next step in their customer lifecycle or discovery process.”
Focus on Effective SEO
“I expect to see high quality SEO continue to be a critical piece for content marketing in 2021,” says Sales Hacker Head of Content Brooklin Nash. “Second-movers will continue to figure out how to differentiate themselves from the big SEO titans—capturing niche and long-tail keywords and creating content that’s more engaging than all the ‘Ultimate Guides’ and ‘Top 55’ lists.”
In this new era of digital marketing, focusing more on inbound marketing still makes a lot of sense. This is done through the creation of content that people are drawn to. They look for it because it answers their questions and anticipates their needs.
Focus on Authenticity
Finally, authenticity matters. Customers today want brands to support causes that they care about, and it’s important to work to incorporate this authenticity into everything from your marketing materials, to how you operate your business. It’s also important to find issues that your audience cares about, and align yourself with them. Just make sure you do this in a way that’s genuine, and consistent with your brand.
Marketing continues to be dynamic and audience behavior will surely continue to change. It’s important to be aware of the trends so that you can stay ahead. A successful content marketing strategy goes beyond customer acquisition. It helps you retain your audience, drives quality traffic, and leads to conversions.
Times change and trends do as well. Keeping up with shifting dynamics and preferences is important. But at the heart of it all, however, what you really need is content that’s unique, engaging, and relatable. But most of all, it has to be value-packed for your audience. Don’t forget this very important rule in marketing: always cater to your customer.
Agree? Disagree? What do you think the future of content marketing holds?
If you’d like to discover how you can scale your company, then reach out today for your no-cost, 20-minute consultation. Let’s find strategies that you can start implementing today that will help you to take your business to the next level. See what others are saying.
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