Content marketing is as much about relevance as it is about reach.
The aim is “to create something genuinely helpful or with a purpose, that considers the individual person at a specific moment in their life”.
The content division’s next step, therefore, is to “find out what a conversion looks like”, examining brand uplift and turning a conversion back into “something meaningful.
With more and more competition, many more media options (video, live video, VR etc), and the growing epidemic of information overload online, standing out has never been more difficult. Content marketing is an industry that constantly demands newness in its techniques and targeting. There will always be new hurdles to face, new media to grapple with, and new metrics to be measured against
The challenge of tech and tactic fatigue
Back in 2014 the terms “content fatigue” and “content shock” were populating headlines everywhere. In good content marketing fashion these were used to excess then scathingly dropped (to use 2016-17 parlance people “double downed” on them too much).
Both were a reference to information overload and glut. But what about the flip-side? The overload on marketers trying to feed their content pipelines? This was a challenge then and it remains so now.
There is definitely a sense of fatigue out there. Caused by all the channels, formats and tactics now available. So many possibilities have given rise to the ironic challenge of being just too spoilt for choice. That’s why I’ve gathered what I tentatively call ‘evergreen’ hacks that should serve you well in 2018 and beyond.
1. Actually get to know your audience
It sounds obvious, but you may be surprised how many companies I’ve dealt with that still rely on hunches and assumptions over data.
2019 will take us even deeper into the ‘age of big data’, knowing what drives your target group is easier than ever before. You must not only know who your ideal prospects are but learn about the context in which their conversions happen.
Detailed persona profiles are the lowest-hanging fruit here. But the most effective and necessary way to do it in 2019 is to bridge your social media and CRM data. Your venerable ol’ CRM is still invaluable, but it takes evergreen data sourced through social listening to really get a handle on what drives your audience.
McKinsey found that companies using data-driven personalisation to drive their marketing and sales decisions increased their marketing ROI by 15% to 20%.
2. Invest more in retargeting
Even the sharpest persona scoping and targeting aren’t going to convert everybody.
For example, the average conversion rate across all Facebook advertising is 9.21%. It’s a daunting 2% for website visitors. Don’t give up on that 90%!
Retargeting is one area where the social networks are only growing in strength. Facebook and Twitter frequency caps keep audiences from continually seeing the same ads. Custom Audience segmenting or exclusions help you do the same. You will also save money by not targeting earlier conversions.
A good tip with retargeting is to put a Facebook pixel in your emails and then retarget the people who open with a personalized paid ad.
3. Trust in SEO
Search engine optimisation may seem something of an arcane art, but it is simply making your content visible to the people who care. As with organic social media it is often declared dead, but the logic just doesn’t stand.
Consider this: 80% of website traffic begins with a search query.
Using the words the people are searching for makes your content far more likely to cross their path. It can be laborious but adding keywords (especially localized ones) to your headlines, meta titles, URLs etc. are simple SEO techniques that can make a huge difference.
4. Picture it on mobile
Google’s algorithm has prioritized mobile-optimized websites since 2015. Mobile internet traffic first overtook traditional desktop devices back in January 2014 – and now accounts for 65% of digital media time.
And yet a lot of brands still don’t pursue a mobile-first marketing strategy. Only one in five do according to one study, settling instead for just ‘mobile-friendly’.
‘Mobile-first’ doesn’t need to be a technical exercise. Much of it is simply employing the classic art of short-form content: shorter headlines, tighter copy, portrait images etc.
One important technical consideration though is loading times. Mobile devices lack the CPU of desktops, so your website’s loading times need to be optimized or you risk losing people at the first hurdle.
Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to see how your website stands up.
5. Say it with (Instagram) video
No one needs to be told that video is taking over.
One poignant fact among the million available is that one in four consumers lose interest in a company if its content lacks video. But without dedicated video resources and a shoestring budget what is the best way to go here?
If there is just one format you have the bandwidth to pursue, then all the numbers point to Instagram Live Videos and Instagram Stories. Both Instagram and Facebook’s algorithm’s prioritize video, especially live video, in their newsfeeds.
Added to that is the fact that Instagram’s engagement rate is ten times higher than Facebook’s and 84 times higher than Twitter’s. And that 70% of Instagram followers follow at least one business.
Viral video production is now accessible to everyone
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Instagram – and social media video in general – has the added advantage that people expect it to be rough and ready. Basically any intern with an iPhone can produce it.
Some simple tips here include the use of links. Verified Instagram users can embed links that viewers can open with a quick upward swipe. Another is to make ample use of all the filters and effects now on offer. One thing that will never change in marketing is the value of a little pazazz.