Effective Content Marketing Strategies In 2023
Google has become so much a part of modern life (let's be honest - it is the Gorilla in the Search Sandpit) that we tend to forget that it has only been around since 1997. But today consumers all across the world use Google (or its competition) to search for an incredible variety of products and services. In fact, the latest statistics reveal that Google alone sees 8.5 billion searches per day - with the average Google user turning to the world's largest search engine on average three times a day. That's a lot of people (around 2.4 billion per day who are using a search engine) regularly searching for answers.
And they are spoiled for choice when those search engine results pages are displayed. There are between 2 million – 24 million eCommerce sites active on the Internet at any one time - and the number of eCommerce sites is growing rapidly.
These statistics give some idea of the importance of an integrated digital marketing strategy that includes a focus on the promotion of brands, products, or services through the development of exceptional online content. However, what are the latest content trends that should be factored into any planning? A strategically aligned plan will ensure that the content marketing strategy provides exceptional return on investment by actively building brand loyalty and feeding the sales funnel.
Here are some of the core principles and trends that will influence the effectiveness of an organisation's online marketing efforts.
1. Repurposing remains an Important Strategy
Time is money - and it certainly is the most finite asset that any business (or human being) can have. We live in a just-in-time world and the content strategy of any business must reflect the reality that modern business activity relies on the speed of response. When a business is developing content the creator of that content should always keep in mind that the content could (and should) be repurposed.
Repurposing content saves time, effort, and money (if one is using an external content consultant or provider).
For instance, a blog post can be used to meet the SEO targets of the business, but that same post can then form the foundation for a series of short videos to be used on channels such as YouTube and TikTok. Of course, it would also require fine tuning to be used as copy on other social media that links to this powerful video content.
2. Real World Engagement
If you want to help a company executive or spokesperson take those first steps toward being an Influencer then 2023 might provide ample opportunity. One of the trends that is shaping content is the concept of live interaction with brand stakeholders - including consumers. One of the best ways for any company to enjoy growth in brand loyalty is through the use of livestreaming. Platforms can include heavy hitters such as Instagram Lives, LinkedIn Lives, Facebook Lives, TikTok Lives, YouTube Lives, and also Pinterest Live.
The positive effects on brand loyalty and engagement with potential brand ambassadors by being engaged in real-time should not be underestimated. Companies that choose to leverage the undeniable power of live engagement should take extra care when developing key messaging. not only does this messaging have to sound unforced - but those messages cannot simply echo those of competitors - another reason the articulation of the company's USP is of the utmost importance.
Companies can either host their own livestreams and engage in activities such as competition giveaways, or question-and-answer sessions. Alternatively, hosts of popular livestreaming channels can be approached with an offer of a guest. Remember - pitching a special guest will rely on the appeal of that guest to the demographic that makes up the streamer's audience - pitch with care.
3. Short Form Video
Many communication experts have expressed the opinion that society has been transformed into a complex conglomerate of individuals with short attention spans. Whether this is true or not the fact of the matter is that there is a lot of competition for the attention of the consumer.
Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages from an increasing number of sources - and for many, the sheer intensity of that messaging can be overwhelming. As a protection mechanism, many consumers simply filter out the 'noise'.
However, a short-form video is perfect content. It does not take up that much time to view, it can be incredibly informative and it can be pitched at precise demographics using a variety of channels. The success of TikTok across a startlingly diverse demographic (never forget about Instagram Stories, YouTube Shorts, Reels, or Pinterest.
Short-form video does not require timeous analysis by the consumer, not does it require wading through reams of information that may be surplus to the needs of the individual consumer. It gets to the point quickly. Short-form videos can use humour, emotion, or information to add value to the life of the consumer - and if one takes a leaf from the Google Playbook, content that enriches a consumer's life is effective content.
4. Consumers are Human
During the months when families had to endure the lockdown regulations associated with COVID-19, it soon became readily apparent that human beings need people. We trust those who seem trustworthy, we enjoy sharing information and we enjoy the company of those who share our beliefs and dreams. In other words, people like people.
Those businesses that are in the process of developing an effective and strategically integrated content strategy need to take heed of the growing trend towards businesses telling human stories as a way to promote both brand values and products/services.
This sort of content is incredibly powerful, especially when it makes use of messaging that is developed to key specific emotions. However, in order to tell the stories that resonate with the intended target audience it is essential that the business is intimately familiar with their audience demographic - if the business does not have a very clear idea of what makes its current and potential customers tick - then that business simply cannot develop key messages that will promote certain behaviour - such as making an online purchase.
5. AI-Generated Content
No trend analysis of the factors that will be shaping content creation during 2023 would be complete without a mention of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence engines have come a long way - and if the headlines are to be believed are very close to replacing human content providers.
The truth is a little bit more nuanced. AI content creation software can do an acceptable job when it comes to research - and it can even draw up exceptional list-based content. However, the output today simply cannot rival that of an experienced content creator, especially when it comes to copy generation. The result is riddled with inaccuracies (AI is only as good as the information it can gather - in many cases from the Internet), it lacks a spark that can be expressed sometimes by drawing connections between information that is seemingly unrelated - and the result is often humourless.
It's the content version of 'The Uncanny Valley', where artificially generated humans have all the right parts - but lack that certain something that would make them human.
So AI holds enormous promise, but it's not there yet. If your company is going to be exploring the promise of AI-generated content then it is absolutely essential that it is vetted by a professional content provider.
2023 Is going to be a year that sees both the continued refining of existing approaches to the generation of effective content - and some new trends that will shape how marketing on the Internet evolves.
Businesses that can perform the alchemy required to transform current best practice and emerging trends into a new strategic approach to content creation and placement will be the ones that will end 2023 at the top of the competitive heap.
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