You might be familiar with this famous misquote from Charles Holland Duel, the commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 1898 and 1901:
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Of course, as you sit (or stand) and read this from your smartphone and tablet, maybe from the backseat of an Uber ride or in the cabin of an airplane, you know that this concept is laughably untrue.
And, like the rest of the world, content marketing is in a constant state of revision and reinvention. The marketplace's continued transition into online platforms hands out opportunities for marketers to log in and creatively meet digital demands.
Once you get to know digital marketing, you can begin to anticipate and prepare for its changes. Here are five huge changes to content marketing that will affect the way you engage with leads:
1. Seeing is Believing - Visual Content
Visual content continues to be the most popular form of content among consumers. In a world that demands the whole story in 140 or characters or less, visual content provides an opportunity to show instead of tell while also offering an opportunity to build brand awareness through striking and specific graphic design.
When it comes to selecting media and content to share with your leads and community, show, don't tell. Videos, pictures, and graphic designs like infographics increase your chances of being shared. Use visual media on your social media sites to increase your SEO.
2. Make It Something Personal
Starbucks knew what they were doing by scribbling names onto cups. Making a personalized experience for your lead creates brand loyalty.
Personalized content addresses named interests and concerns belonging to your audience. If you have an understanding of what your customers are looking for in terms of product or service, you've already done the hard work.
For the sake of continuing a metaphor (and because we're caffeine addicts), we'll use a coffee shop for an example of personal vs. impersonal content marketing. Imagine you're the owner of that coffee shop. A bland use of content would be to repost a local publication's café rankings, where you're ranked number three. Yes, you shared some good information about the nearby coffee scene, but you've encouraged your customers to try two other shops before trying your own.
A great alternative to this piece would be a profile on one of your shop's featured roasts. In this light, you'd get to show off your expertise, sell your product, and provide the customer with information that they can use to impress their Facebook friends.
3. Be as Mobile as a Smartphone
Businesses need to prepare their content for mobile users. There's plenty of research out there showing that mobile use is surpassing that of the desktop. Of course, you can "think in touch screens" and produce content specifically for mobile devices, but you should test your site's mobile-friendliness before embarking on a new project.
4. Take Your Friendship Past the Facebook Level
There are several rules when it comes to social media etiquette for businesses, and, if you mind your manners, a collaborative marketing strategy might be a great way of building relationships with other businesses.
Get in touch with another business who shares your target audience but doesn't compete with your interests. Work together, following the three C's of collaboration:
Communication, Cooperation, and Coordination.
Your campaign can be as large as an entire, year-long campaign, or it could take place in a giveaway of each other's products on social media.
5. Entertain Them
Content needs to become more condensed and interactive. Have you ever bemoaned the fact that Perez Hilton might have a larger readership than you? Look at what entertainment and social sites are doing and use these concepts in your content to attract more viewers.
You don't have to write about Lindsay Lohan's latest rehab stint, but you can summarize a story in current events and use it as lead into the point of your article. Making your content relatable (i.e. the stuff you talk about over coffee) while getting to the point is, to be sure an art form. It is something that can only be mastered through the constant production of digital content.
Content marketers need to be able to meet the challenges of an evolving audience that is becoming more and more accustomed to online trade. Whether it's adapting your site for a mobile device or planning at a collaborative campaign with another entity, you need to act on the updates coming to content marketing.
The team here at Geek Chicago would love to kick your campaign into gear. When you're ready to take the plunge into content marketing, drop us a line, and we'll help you with everything from the coding on up. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of all things tech and digital marketing!