NOTE: Like many of you, we’re staying home and working from there, too. We’re offering our regularly scheduled blogging (plus a few special entries) to help you refine and re-evaluate your marketing efforts for whatever comes next.
When we sat down to write this blog, we had a lot of thoughts. We had a lot of ideas. And in analyzing the world of content marketing as we’re one quarter into a new decade, we found that there are a lot of concepts considered to be “hot” or “on the rise.”
While that may be true, we’re also extremely cognizant of the current situation facing us. As we covered last week, it’s important for marketers to be nimble and proactive right now—and there are ways to do that while still efficiently deploying your budget. Life as we know it has been turned upside down, but for many companies, business must continue (albeit differently).
So, let’s talk about content marketing.
How do we at Kreber define the proper application of content marketing? Content marketing is foundational to a best-in-class approach to educate and nurture prospects until they’re ready to purchase, as well as support selling with inbound tactics and outbound outreach, including account-based and organic loyalty-based marketing.
As Q2 rolls on and we confront uncertainty in our personal and business lives, here are a few tactics that will improve your brand’s content marketing efforts—and hopefully, drive positive results.
The customer experience is Priority No. 1, 2, 3 (the list goes on, but you get the idea) right now.
We know from research that modern shoppers want the most convenient and comprehensive shopping experience. In marketing terms, we’re talking about giving them everything they need to make an informed (and swift) buying decision—but also reminding them in other ways beyond your on-site content.
Things like personalized deals via email and shareable coupon codes are great, and they make customers feel like you’re always thinking of them. In an ever-changing world, that goes a long way.
The Rules of Engagement
Your customers also want to feel like they’re being heard. They want to know you’re available to help when they need it. One trend we’re keeping a close eye on in 2020 (and especially now) is 1:1 marketing (also sometimes called conversation marketing).
Think of it like community management, but taking it up a notch.
As a brand, it’s important to leverage assets like live chat, email support, and Facebook Messenger to reinforce your “always on” mentality. It’s one thing to push out content and try to drive a sale, but it’s more genuine and trustworthy (from a customer’s perspective) if you’re willing to have conversations along the way.
And while results vary a bit, research tells us that customers are somewhere between 80%–90% more likely to buy from a brand that they trust. Being available to answer questions, provide guidance, and support your customers is critical to building that relationship.
Search Influences Content Creation
Search marketing is now so much more than just SEO and Google rankings. It’s significantly influencing how marketers create content, and how they find ways to serve customers based on what those customers are searching for.
The drilled-down version of this is: you should create content that caters to each of a customer’s search intents or queries. These can be transactional (buy something, order something, etc.), investigative (the best product, the top-rated product), informative (how to, why, tips, or ideas), or navigational (searching for a brand name or a specific type of product).
Something to remember: the type of search that a customer conducts is typically reflective of where he or she is in the buying process. An informative search might mean she’s early in the process, while transactional search queries are typical of a shopper who’s further down the funnel.
The rise of TikTok and Instagram Live is impossible to ignore.
Brands are increasingly leveraging Instagram Live, especially during the current pandemic, to share relevant and timely updates about sales and product offerings. There are other creative ways to use this platform as well: local breweries, coffee shops, and bars are using live video to show customers how to make their favorite food and drinks from home.
According to a HubSpot survey, more than half (54%–57%) of customers aged 18–54 want to see more video content from the brands and retailers they follow.
You might ask, “Why would we want to give away our trade secrets?” We hear you, but there’s more to it. First, the odds that your audience can replicate a drink or dish to perfection (and to the point it causes them to forego a visit to the restaurant once normal life resumes) are low. Second, it’s primarily about engagement and reaching out, creating a touchpoint for customers during a difficult time.
TL;DR...your secrets are probably safe.
In summary, these four trends are hot in content marketing right now, and some of them may not be right for your brand at this moment. However, time is of the essence, and taking a good look at each of these can help you and your team make an informed decision about how to proceed. Got questions, or need advice? Drop us a line. We’d love to talk through the options with you.