The future of content marketing in any industry is impacted by the wider trends in consumer behavior. Emerging technology and the way consumers use it to interact with brands, find the products they need and research their options before making a purchase are all important factors to consider. While quality content is still quality content, the way you share it changes over time, and your content marketing strategy should reflect that.
The other thing is, as time goes on, more and more content continues to populate the Internet. This means you need to find new and innovative ways to rise above the pack in your industry. You also need to be able to predict what content will convert in the future based on what's worked in the past.
Future-proofing your content marketing plan means preparing for the changes ahead and that current content meets your customer's evolving needs.
Here are 4 ways to future-proof your content marketing strategy and stay ahead of the trends of 2019 and beyond:
1. Get Comfortable Creating Video Content
Video content has been a trend for a while, as online consumers continue to prefer videos over blog posts or articles. The more videos you can put out, the more future-proofed you'll be, because video isn't going away. If you mainly publish written content, make a plan to duplicate it into video format, or have someone on your team do it for you.
Use videos to lure prospective customers onto your email list, include videos in your email marketing, post short but valuable clips on social media, and incorporate video into every other aspect of your content marketing strategy. If creating videos is a time-consuming production for you, find ways to make it easier, like outsourcing your video editing or producing video content in larger batches to save time.
2. Get Serious About Going Live
No matter the industry, livestream videos have proven to garner massive conversion rates, and this trend has only intensified since it began in 2016. In a recent survey, 82 percent of participants said they'd rather watch a brand's livestream than read its posts on social media. Other research shows that users spend more time watching livestreams than pre-recorded videos and leave more comments on them.
While livestreaming is not the way to create evergreen content, the truth is, it creates something much more important. Livestreaming helps you gain better customer loyalty and even get raving fans who will recommend your business to other people. Live video makes your audience feel they have access to you. It breaks down barriers and makes you authentic. In a digital world where everyone's being advertised to online, live video makes it feel more human-to-human.
By incorporating more livestreaming into your content marketing strategy, you're future-proofing your brand by building its credibility and base of genuine fans. On live video, you can host live interviews, demonstrate your product, host Q&A sessions, or simply talk to your audience the way you would in a pre-recorded video to provide value.
3. Invest in Ads that Showcase Your Content
In the past, creating high-quality content for the Internet used to be enough to get noticed. Now that everyone's implementing a content marketing plan and there's a huge volume of content online, running ads that push your content to the top of a search engine results page or onto the social media feed of targeted prospective customers is the best way to give you an edge.
While the best platforms to run ads on may continually change, ads themselves aren't going away. In fact, they're a major trend in content marketing. "Remarketing" ads that re-target individuals who showed up on your website and then left without converting are a huge trend for 2019 and beyond. Another key trend is running ads that showcase your content rather than your product or service itself. Starting a prospective customer off with your best content rather than your sales pitch lets you establish yourself as an expert rather than just another salesperson, and this leads to higher, better-targeted conversions.
4. Measure and Analyze Audience Engagement with Content
Content marketing isn't all about content--it's also about marketing, which means your content needs to be bringing you returns. To future-proof your content marketing strategy, you need to keep track of what's worked in the past and what's working now so that you can project an effective strategy into the future.
Content marketing analytics tools let you listen to what your audience is saying about your content. They tell you which sort of content people engage with the most, and what content is converting at the highest rate. Paying attention to your analytics gives you the foresight to know where you should be spending your time so that your content brings better returns in the future. Data analytics is a growing trend, as more advanced tools featuring AI technology continue to emerge. The sooner you start collecting data, the more data you'll be able to benefit from as analytics tools advance and provide even more benefit in the future.
Moving Forward with Confidence
It's not possible to know what lies ahead, but you can prepare for whatever's to come in your industry and in the marketing world at large. A content marketing strategy that builds brand credibility, hones in on what's converted well in the past and generates leads with content-based ads is one that's sure to raise your ROI for years to come.