It’s that time of year again. We’re approaching the end of 2018 and businesses are looking ahead to the New Year.
Many of you are already in the throes of planning. Keep these three important trends in mind while you work on how to improve your results next year.
The Need for a Documented Content Strategy
Only 37 percent of US companies have a documented content strategy. Why is this important? Isn’t it enough to discuss goals and have an unwritten strategy? Not according to the 65 percent of brands who say that their success with content marketing is a direct result of a documented strategy.
A complete content marketing strategy starts with research, not setting goals. Without data, you’re making decisions in a vacuum. It’s a crap shoot – and no CFO likes to gamble with the budget.
You need to know everything you can about your audience: likes, dislikes, intent, desires, and engagement rates. You also need to know what content you have now, what’s working and what’s not.
Armed with that information you can set goals that support the business objectives.
Quality is More Important than Quantity
2019 will be about the quality of content, not quantity. To rise above the flood of content being published every day you need to produce remarkable content that provides value and commands attention. More research is needed here.
Find out what content is currently available. Talk to your SEO and Web team. Find out what people are searching for in Google and on your site. Then look at the content they find. How could it be improved? Are there gaps you could fill?
Rand Fishkin, who coined the term 10X content, says content needs to have at least three or four of these traits to be remarkable. Use this list as a yardstick when creating content next year.
- Provides a uniquely positive user experience through the user interface, visuals, layout, fonts, patterns, etc.
- Delivers content that is some substantive combination of high-quality, trustworthy, useful, interesting, and remarkable
- Is considerably different in scope and detail from other works on similar topics
- Loads quickly and is usable on any device or browser
- Creates an emotional response of awe, surprise, joy, anticipation, and/or admiration
- Solves a problem or answers a question by providing comprehensive, accurate, exceptional information or resources.
- Has achieved an impressive quantity of amplification (through shares on social networks and/or links)
A New Content Creation Model
These two trends will lead to the need for a new content creation model Text alone is not enough. There is a mountain of evidence that visual content gets higher engagement and retention rates. It’s impossible to make a remarkable piece of content without really good visuals.
Your content team must include someone with an eye for good design who can use the slew of new tools available to make interesting graphics, social posts, videos, and Instagram Stories. You need a bright, talented team that leverages every possible format to reach your audience and provide them with content they will love and share.
Either train your existing staff or hire freelancers who know how to do this.
Include these trends in your 2019 planning to give your results a boost. And learn how to measure those results, so you can show clients or the C-suite how you’re contributing to the business goals and the bottom line.