We occasionally feature marketing insights from top community and thought leaders in the industry. Here, Shama Hyder from Forbes shares key content marketing strategies to keep in mind for 2020.
When you’re searching for content, what’s your preferred method of search? Are you typing phrases into Google’s search bar? Asking Alexa or Siri? Maybe you’re prompting queries on voice-enable devices?
If you’re like 42% of US adults, you’re using some combination. But I’m willing to bet that even though you use voice search yourself, your brand’s content isn’t optimized for voice. And when you’re trying to reach the connected consumer, that’s a problem.
Content marketing is just as critical to earning and keeping customers in 2020, but it’s also becoming more expensive. As content continues to proliferate, organic search traffic continues to plummet, and technological trends put more brands at risk for falling behind, the space is increasingly competitive and brands can’t afford to miss their mark.
With that in mind, here are three successful strategies your brand should use to increase reach and relevance in 2020 and beyond.
Optimize for voice search
Voice search — in other words, speaking directly to a smart device rather than typing into a search bar — is becoming a bigger percentage of all Google searches, and it’s happening quickly. By 2020, it’s predicted that more than 50% of all searches will be voice-activated, according to ComScore.
So how do you bring your content into the era of voice search? Here are just a few pointers to get started:
- Remember that voice search relies on natural language, so focus on long-tail keywords, phrases, and full sentences. In other words, something like “Where can I get pizza after seeing a movie?” will replace “pizza movie theater close” as a common search phrase.
- Voice search is 3x more likely to be local in nature, according to Meeker's Internet Trends Report, so optimize your SEO for local searches.
- Focus on answering conversational questions that customers would likely ask by creating FAQ pages and/or highly-targeted content.
Connected consumers value transparency and authenticity very highly — more so than previous generations. They want to see that your brand is being authentic, transparent, and living its values before they hit “purchase”, and content marketing is one of the most effective ways to convey that.
A few tips:
- Create blog posts that pull back the curtain on your corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. What are the ethical standards you use to select vendors? Are there communities you’re particularly committed to? How do you focus on diversity in your hiring and leadership?
- Participate in relevant trending conversations that match your values. However, make sure your brand has something meaningful to contribute. If you’re having trouble coming up with anything other than a marketing pitch, you’re much better staying out of the conversation.
- Encourage and share user-generated content (UGC) through contests, calls-to-action, and giveaways.
Add personalization and interactivity
Connected consumers also expect a level of personalization that was unheard of even two or three years ago. We’ve moved far beyond the “Hi, [Name]” marketing emails — now, customers want to know their preferences are being taken into account anytime they’re being served content.
That means using the capabilities of AI and machine learning in content marketing can be exceptionally powerful. AI can digest massive amounts of data and offer actionable insights into what your customers want more of, where they’re spending their time online, and more.
If tapping into the power of AI isn’t an option, you can still offer greater personalization by creating highly-targeted content to answer detailed questions.
A couple more ideas:
- Create and send marketing emails to customers asking for reviews after a desired purchase or engagement.
- Get specific with tagging and categories on your blog.
- Engage with customers through live video platforms, answering questions as they come in.
Content marketing isn’t going anywhere — in fact, it’s taking on a whole new life in the era of the connected consumer. Now's the time to increase your investment in your brand’s content marketing strategy to ensure that you’re giving customers not only what they need to convert, but what they want — otherwise, they’ll have no trouble finding another brand that does.
This article was written by Shama Hyder from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.