by Hendrik Baird

Since content has become a way to market a business, it has not stayed static. Every year it adapts to the realities of the time and to the changing way in which users consume their content.

Some changes are subtle, while others are more dramatic. Sometimes there are new ways which must be incorporated into the content marketing mix that will capitalize on user trends to yield successful results. The ways in which very specific audiences are targeted therefore has to be continuously updated.

The pandemic has brought with it fresh challenges. Face to face meetings have practically stopped and online meetings have become de rigeur. While people are clamouring to get back to the “old ways”, some of the changes are most like here to stay. 

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to content marketing. How it is approached depends on the industry and what goals the business has. The type of product or service also has an influence on content type.

Consider the following 6 content marketing trends when designing a content marketing plan.

1. Use the power of video

2. Content must have value

3. Empathy is becoming more important

4. Words still have power

5. Infographics are rising in importance

6. The rise of Ai

  1. 1. Use the Power of Video

Video has grown in importance over the past two years. It is both an effective and popular way of providing online content. It will become even more important in the years to come and must be leveraged more effectively to reach intended audiences.

Many marketers already count video as one of their most effective content marketing formats. More and more are using it because of it’s high ROI yields.

Video works well because it creates a connection and starts the process of building rapport. It has the ability to capture attention and create a relationship with a potential customer.

Gone are the days when you needed expensive equipment and professional studios to produce video. Today it can be done with almost any mobile phone, making it more cost effective to produce and much less intimidating.

The the rise of video podcasting, it offers content that can easily be repurposed in a purposefully way. As long as you have a topic and some bullet points, you can easily record a video podcast almost anywhere.

Short videos are extremely popular and platforms such as Tik Tok have young audiences ready to consume your content. By keeping the videos short yet filled to the brim with informative content, you can capitalize on people’s short attention spans while respecting the viewer’s time. Short and snappy are the keywords here, which can lead to quick decisions being made when it comes to making decisions.

Starting your content stream with video means you can easily repurpose it into a podcast, have it transcribed, convert it into blog articles and material for social media posts, as well as cereating graphics to give your content visual appeal.

Videos have the advantage of being interactive, as you can place a call to action on the screen which can lead to higher lead generation. Getting a viewer to respond quickly without needing to open other times saves everyone time and adds to engagement.

  1. 2. Content must have value

Gone are the days when you could push your product hard and it would automatically lead to sales. Today, people are looking for value. They are no longer interested in having something puched at them, instead they are exploring on their own and searching for content that will benefit them.

This means that the experience a customer has when consuming content has to be elevated. Any content creator worth their salt has to understand what their audience needs and prefersd, as well as what their pain points are. 

The solution is creating a narrative that is unique that can be used across all platforms and content types to engage the consumer of that content fully. This implies having a cohesive structure with each individual aspect tying into the whole.

One cannot provide solutions unless you have done your research first. This should be followed by detailed planning so that the cohesive structure can be implemented to cover all aspects of the content marketing campaign.

It is only when you immerse yourself in your customer’s world that you can create a better content experience and provide value. If you can crack this, your customers will become loyal and your overall brand image will get a significant boost.

  1. 3. Empathy is becoming more important

Content marketers often make the mistake in thinking that they are talking to millions of people. Ultimately, content is consumed by an individual. Whether it is the person reading the article or watching the video, content is not consumed by groups, but by a single person in search of answers.

The individual customer therefore has to be placed at the centre of any content marketing strategy and everything will flow from there. To achieve this, a more empathetic marketing attitude must be adopted. 

When you have empathy, it means you have the ability to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and see life from their perspective. To qualify as empathetic marketing, it has to be taken a step further.

This approach entails you first seeing life through the eyes of a customer and using what you see as the basis for your content marketing. This means approaching the audience you target first of all a human beings and not as consumers or potential buyers.

To to this, you must be able to convincingly answer three questions.

  • Exactly who is your customer?
  • What is the pain point this person faces and what challenges do they experience?
  • What is their motivation for taking action?

Good content evokes emotions and you will only be able to know which emotions you need to to build into your content once you understand which emotions your audience will be able to relate to.

If you are able to do that, it will lead to trust. When you have some levcel of trust with your audience, you will be able to develop that trust by giving them better experiences, more value, and soon authentic relationships will follow.

  1. 4. Words still have power

A content marketer has to be able to break through the noise and capture attention. Every minute sees the creation of 500,000 tweets, 12,000 blog articles, and 188 million emails. We are drowing in information and to keep up, people are barely skimming the surface, pausing only when a word or a phrase sticks out.

People want information presented in a plain and simple, mistrusting copy that’s  complex or vague, as they suspect that is deliberately created that way to hide information.

The right word of phrase can carry immense power. Finding the right words that will grab the attention of your audience necessitates that you understand exactly who it is that you are trying to reach. 

When you find your ideal customer on social media, for instance, you have to mirror them, using the words they use, speaking like them, and so showing that your company is like them.

Your words have to convey the fact that you are providing exclusive access. Nobody wants to be part of a crowd, everyone is special and needs to be treated as such. When you start to get personal, you address individual pain points and provide valuable insights that they are unable to find anywhere else.

It is through words that you evoke emotions and emotional bonds have immense power. Using the right language that stirs an emotion in your customers is a tactic you must use.

When you write articles, remember that you will need your content in various formats, from long- and short-form blogs to tweets and social media posts.

Words can still captivate and enthral, so choose your words carefully and leverage their power.

  1. 5. Infographics are rising in importance

If you want to win at content marketing, you have to ensure that you have different content types to use across all the marketing channels.

Visual content is a key aspect with which to optimize a customer’s experience.

While it takes time to watch a video or read an article, visual content can be processed very quickly by the human brain. A graphic that is well-designed and provides information in a concise manner can increase interaction and has the ability to quickly move a customer along the buyer’s journey.

Infographics are packed with information and can convey valuable information, knoledge, or date in a fraction of the time compared to video, audio, or the written word.

Messages are enhanced and communication strengthened when an infographic is used to engage with the customer. Use it often and see the results for yourself.

  1. 6. The rise of Ai

Artificial intelligence (AI) is steadily making its way into content marketing and will become even more important going forward. AI can add a number of benefits without being overwhelming or intimidating.

At the moment, using AI in conjunction with human effort has the potential of delivering a better marketing strategy. It can save time and reduce the number of resources that has to be used in the content creation phase.

Any content creator will be wise to start experimenting with AI to see what is possible and to benefit from the data that it can provide. 

AI is still in many respects in its infancy, so those who get on the bandwagon early will help to shape how it develops in the future. 

  1. Incorporate These Trends in a Content Marketing Strategy

How we use content to market a product or service will continue to evolve as time goes by. As long as we stay aware of the latest trends and we are able to adapt to them, us content creators will be able to stay ahead of the pack and serve our clients well. 

The danger exists that we are unable to adapt to the latest trends because of that poor excuse, “but we have always done it this way.” We should be able to look at content in a fresh way, adapting old techniques and implementing new ones.

Book a discovery call to discuss your content needs with us.