If you're looking to boost your search engine ranking, start by taking a look at your content. We've all heard the adage: "content is king" - it's true now more than ever before.
With great content, you provide visitors with solutions to challenges they face and encourage them to invest in your brand. When this is done right, both you (and your customers) win.
What is content marketing?
Of course, remember that content marketing is a long-term endeavor. It's a way of life. We've grown accustomed to quick solutions that promise enormous returns but, as with most things, if it's at all worthwhile, it'll take time and effort.
In 2016, we see a number of important trends in marketing. The landscape is changing - in a big way - as consumers tastes/preferences shift and companies work to accommodate them. Here are some of the biggest changes and how you can capitalize on them:
Communication platforms will be abundant
Before the Internet, the average consumer didn't have a voice. If they bought a product and it didn't work out, too bad. A company avoided talking to the customer and exchanged its service department for long lines and frustrating support. Now, times have changed.
Every individual has a voice - one that is unique and deserves to be heard. It's easy to turn a blind eye to the "little guy" but the sum of customers far outweigh the size of even the largest corporations. This, in turn, means that it's easier than ever for word to spread about your company and its products or services. A customer cares about how you handle issues, measures how quickly you respond, and rates your interactions. Thus, communication (or even over-communication) is key to staying competitive in this world.
Luckily, there are tons of great tools to help with this. You can monitor your brand with Google Alerts or Mention, reply to social media conversations with Buffer or Hootsuite, and even chat with your customers using Olark or Zopim. If you aren't using these tools already, give them a serious look.
Websites will become more interactive
The world is busier now than ever. With an abundance of stimulation, it's hard to pay attention. It's easy to overlook advertising - especially if it's all the same. This is where interactive experiences come to play. The best creative marketers differentiate their brands with unique experiences and custom headlines, titles, and content designed to grab attention.
As you work on your content strategy, keep in mind that it's important to be interactive. When you write, write for your readers - not some search engine robot. Your website is like a restaurant: it needs to offer a variety of different types of content to appeal to the tastes and interests of patrons. This content should be interactive - allowing users to customize their experiences based on where they came from, what they're looking for, and their overall goals in life. Of course, you need to make sure that each customer voice is heard with tools like surveys, live chat, and accessible forms/contact information.
Content will be the driver in your marketing campaigns
The average customer resists gimmicky phrases and can detect when genuine content is present for their advantage. In a similar way, they also know when an element is outdated or present just to advertise to them. Because much of the population has become accustomed to this, companies must cater to their individual needs.
This involves experiences that, in the visitor's eyes, are strictly for their benefit. If your content marketing is core in your overall campaign, you can effectively reach and capture visitor's attention - driving them to take action.
We recommend creating customized content that appeals to your audience and serving it in a way that compels them. It's important to implement recommendation engines that suggest content when it is most fitting (such as reviews, similar products, and remarketing) and likely to be well-received.
Marketing tools become smarter
Traditionally, content marketers blindly used as many technology platforms as possible. In 2016, the trend is to focus on as few platforms as needed to get the job done. In addition, content marketers used to measure as many metrics as possible to get a clearer picture of whether their marketing efforts are bearing any fruit. Today, the key is to focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that tell you whether or not you're on track to reach your goals.
Many platforms offer analytics and campaign management are adding new features, which create a seamless experience for marketing professionals. Naturally, we recommend Mouseflow for session replay, heatmapping, funnels, and form analytics because it gives you visibility into your campaigns that's difficult, if not impossible, to obtain elsewhere.
For content, the click and movement heatmaps show you what pieces of content are most popular; the scroll and attention heatmaps show you which parts of a web page are most engaging (measured by visibility and interaction).
Ad blocking presents opportunity
In frustration, many consumers are downloading software to block online advertisements. This indicates that past methods of delivering ad content on the Internet has been affecting the customer experience negatively. Because of this, content marketers are adapting their methods of presenting online ads in a way that still promotes the consumer experience.
They are doing this by adopting the following techniques:
- Creating ads with fascinating content, relevant to what the user is interested in.
- Advertise from a native perspective - put yourself in their shoes.
- Market using reputable sources and influences - trust means everything.
In conclusion, there is a huge opportunity to cater content to your customers which makes you stand out among your competition. It's not that marketing or advertising has become less effective; instead, consumers tastes and preferences have changed and some old methods simply won't do the trick.
In this post, we explored several ways you can evaluate your existing content marketing from an unbiased perspective. We discussed tools and techniques you can use to monitor and enhance your customer experience. It's important to take the time to develop new practices that promote relevant and unique content on an ongoing basis. While the new way of marketing takes time, it's definitely worth the effort.
This is a guest post by Barrack Diego - developer and marketing expert at BigDropInc, a web design company based in New York. He has years of experience in website design and social media marketing.