Content marketing is basically a form of marketing that is focused on producing and distributing content online to target a specific audience.
Businesses employ content marketing to
- attract attention and generate leads
- expand their customer base
- increase brand awareness or credibility
- engage an online community of users
- generate or increase online sales
I consider content marketing a crucial part of my main job. It helps with branding, partnerships, community resources, accessible content for my team, educational pieces for new candidates, sales material, and a PR powerhouse.
Even if it takes 50% of my time, its compound power is generally worth it.
The first goal of content marketing is being able to identify your ideal buyer persona and provide them with the most useful content that would solve their problems, help them generate more sales, save time, automate their processes, or whatever is the main thing that you can assist with that resonates with them.
Defining your content marketing strategy requires an in-depth overview of the target market, your competitors, the SWOT analysis of your solution, and how does your solution relate to your prospects’ needs.
But one of the indisputable trends is the transition of textual content to video production.
Different Ways to Leverage Content Marketing
Depending on your audience, what you planned as a content strategy may not be what your customers need or be presented in a way that your audience isn’t used to when it comes to assimilating information.
Which is why there are variousthat may come handy and generate different conversions based on your target market.
The Content Marketing Strategy Process
Here’s a quick rundown of the content marketing strategy process that you can utilize for starters and use as a foundation of your ongoing content production workflow. If you primarily focus on text, run the checklist twice: the second time predicting video production.
- Analyze your target market and the needs of your customers
- Figure out what’s the best type of content that your prospects need
- Identify the best medium for content production (long vs. short stories, reviews, how-to articles, lists, YouTube videos, podcasts, infographics, a radio show)
- Compile a list of major industry problems and struggles that you can explain and help out with
- Find your main competitors and reverse engineer their strategy – what sort of content they publish, what are the major topics that they cover, what tone do they utilize when speaking to their audience
- Formulate a brand strategy and tone that is consistent and will be followed as you go forward
- Run a number of tests using SEMrush, Moz, BuzzSumo, Serpstat in order to analyze the main keywords that your competitors rank for, the content that converts the best and generates the highest number of shares
- Combine that with a set of queries through Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends in order to find out what are the direct and long-tail keywords that you may write about and target
- Create a spreadsheet or a mindmap that defines the different categories and verticals that you want to target within the realm of your audience
- Figure out whether you can work on content upsells (additional guides, checklists, ebooks or whitepapers included in your top resources)
- Start producing outstanding content that solves all of the main problems of your audience
- Spend a ton of time distributing all of them to your social media channels and all of the other venues where your ideal customer hangs out
- Refine your content, update it and continue to include additional data, stories, stats, case studies
- Repurpose your content and create other forms of information (infographics, ebooks, roundups) that could be leveraged in different outlets
- Publish valuable content on Quora, LinkedIn, Medium and refer your best entries as long as they are contextually relevant and will add value
- Build partnerships for fusion marketing and submit guest post entries to other industry sources that would link back to you
Content marketing takes time but as long as you have successfully identified your target audience, what works for them and how you can solve their problems, the rest is following your process and sticking to the same strategy.
Your new content will support your previous entries and let you link through your relevant articles in order to grow an encyclopedia that would position you as a subject matter expert.
Once your traffic grows, you can study your followers and monitor their interactions on social media and through your comments and incoming emails and refine if necessarily.
Content Marketing For Audio Devices And Voice Search
According to various surveys out there, about 50% of all search queries will be generated by audio search by 2021.
This is a peculiar problem considering the common reasons websites use the web to generate revenue, such as:
- Memberships (gated content)
- eCommerce with upsells and downsells
- Affiliate links
None of these popular verticals (each resulting in tens of billions or more in market cap) is easily monetizable with voice search.
Brand recognition is also drastically impacted once you stop caring about the reputability of a brand. #3 and beyond in Google won’t matter anymore, and that is a serious problem to keep into account.
Even though voice search is becoming more common, this isn’t the standard way customers navigate the Internet. A more convenient alternative while driving, sure, but far from a go-to source for performing 80% of the popular web activities.
TechCrunch project $659M in podcasting revenue in 2020. Transforming posts with text-to-speech or converting video sources to audio is the easiest way to leverage voice without stressing too much on this medium — just yet.
Will Content Marketing Transition To Video?
Content marketing isn’t completely transitioning to video. That said, video becomes a more important channel for marketers for different reasons.
1. Oversaturation of Text
The textual format is somewhat oversaturated.
- Blogging has been around for decades now.
- Traditional journalism has shifted to digital outlets as well – porting previous issues online.
- Small businesses purchase mediocre content for ~$10 apiece.
This has led to hundreds of millions of articles and posts covering most popular topics. Finding the right information becomes more challenging. This leads to focusing on long-tail keywords from users limiting their queries to a certain region, niche, specified term in order to sift through the noise.
Alternative mediums like podcasts or video channels are less saturated and thus more interesting.
2. Limited Information
has aggregated reporting the ideal length of a post in terms of SEO ranking:
According to their findings, “3,000 – 10,000-word content gets the most shares.”
In September of 2016,their own research that found that the ideal word count had dropped a little bit, and “the average word count of a Google first page result was 1,890 words.”
Numbers will vary but 5 to 8 years ago, a 500-word story was more than sufficient for ranking and providing enough context to readers. Complexity and the amount of available educational channels require more insights and in-depth details for every case.
This takes time for writing AND reading. An alternative format (from infographics through videos) works better for busy readers.
3. Reward on Effort
Speaking of increasing the global volume of content, showcasing expertise becomes harder for consultants and marketing experts.
A professional with 15 years of industry expertise may be outranked by a 16-year-old blogger stipulating on concepts gathered through a few existing posts.
That’s not necessarily bad – but adds some overhead to establishing an online reputation in 2017 and onward.
Some prolific writers have focused on writing books, spending months on research studies, or investing their expertise elsewhere – in areas that require more time, effort, and know-how. The video medium – being less oversaturated – is an easy way out for certain niches.
It’s also the expected medium for professional online courses or webinars.
4. Growth of Video Services
Video platforms like YouTubeon a daily basis. The platform reports 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users watching over a billion hours of video content every single day.
Every minute 400 hours worth of video content are uploaded on YouTube alone. There are over 1,500 channels reporting over a million subscribers each.
While the platform is fairly popular in certain areas, content marketers have become wary of the value of video services and allocate a portion of their effort to video content.
5. New Video Upload Features and Integrations
LinkedIn has announced video uploads in August as a publicly available feature to their audience. Quora has also introduced video answers. Telegram featured live streaming through video.
Different platforms have embraced video as a crucial medium in demand. Analytics applications keep announcing new features on tracking average watch duration, demographics of users, and other KPIs important for data science purposes.
Snapchat has amassed a good chunk of its popularity thanks to their interactive videos – as seen in the latest iPhone X features including Animojis.
6. Interactivity with Viewers
You can stream live videos on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and a number of alternative popular platforms.
Google Hangouts has been one of the top choices for organizing video events streamed online automatically synced with your YouTube account.
Creating content, on the contrary, is a broadcast approach that often doesn’t work well in its traditional format. Different variations such as Twitter chats or AMA sessions are great — but still lack that sense of interactivity with other members. Interactions increase interest and attention which leads to higher conversions.
7. Collaborative Video Formats
Video allows for showcasing different perspectives with several different members involved in a conversation. The traditional copy is generally created by a single content writer or a marketer.
Videos allow for training courses and webinars. You can record a sneak peek from a conference you are attending, or interview some celebrity during a meetup.
It’s more natural to create a collaborative format through video than via textual content. Add the live streaming services to the equation and note the dynamics of, for example, a TV news report – compiling stories from different parties and projecting the atmosphere in various scenes.
8. Better Connectivity
Video has been a preferred format for assimilating news and stories for many ever since the clash of newspapers versus TV. The limited connectivity and expensive data plans were an obstacle for a while.
Nowadays, 4G and affordable mobile plans combined with Wi-Fi that’s widely available, make video consumption a lucrative alternative when compared to reading textual stories. 5G is already on the rise, it will take a while to pick up and a couple of generations of smartphones with complete 5G support, but streaming or watching video on the go is totally possible in 2019 (and onward).
9. Smart TVs
Smart TVs play a role in the importance of video as well. Almost every household owns a TV and previously, only cable TV channels were available.
Nowadays, streaming video courses or YouTube playlists becomes more common and is a preferable alternative for those who want to avoid the constant nagging of ads or who want to entertain themselves with more valuable content.
It is also possible to record streaming video and enjoy even after the streaming is done–of course, under the right circumstances.
10. Benefits of the Video Format
Text content may be misinterpreted by people in different regions with different cultures that don’t necessarily know the reader that well.
Popular psychology studies report that 93% of all communication is non-verbal. While this myth has been busted (partially) by many, expressions have been heavily influenced by other factors than delivering a message alone.
Body language, facial expressions, dramatic pauses, eye-rolling, the intonation of the voice are among the factors that may bring different perspectives to an informational story. Reflecting those in a purely textual format may omit the context and convey a different story accordingly.
While audio and video will not directly replace traditional textual content, both certainly grow in popularity among marketers across the world.
Producing visual, audio, video content is becoming easier, too. Slide decks turn to ebooks, image editing apps like Canva win unicorn valuations, low-cost apps offer reliable text-to-audio conversions and even video generation based on a blog post. Mixing in different channels and ranking well in audio–or-video-specific networks will become even more common.
And with YouTube ranking #2 among the leading search engines, we should be prepared for innovation across all media channels.
What percentage of your content production strategy contains video in 2020?