December is a month filled with good cheer, overeating, excessive spending on gifts, and reflecting on the year. In the world of content marketing, taking your sweet time or prolonging a strategy is a sure way to get yourself weeded out of the consumer’s choice garden. While you are in the midst of your peppermint candy coma, your competitors are getting the upper hand in drawing in business.
The new wave of content marketing tactics this upcoming year means you have to be on your game. It’s time to stop smelling the turkey and start getting busy. So as you down the fruitcake and hot chocolate, let’s take a look at what 2016 holds for the world of content marketing.
If Content is King, Quality is Queen
The quality of content is going to be key in 2016. Keeping things fresh and funky will attract the perfect crowd to your business website. Google has taken notice of quality and is more likely to move a site with an attractive look and quality content higher in the SERPs.
Developing quality work means researching and applying new and innovative ways to attract clientele. It’s going to be more important than ever to identify what separates you from your competition and exercise it in your work.
Short, Sweet, and to the Point
Have you ever walked into a restaurant you’ve never been to and asked the waiter what he recommended? Most waiters will ask what you like and point you in the right direction. However, there are some who will tell you the salmon is their favorite because it reminded them of their first date with their significant other. While they tell you their life story, you sit at the table wishing that you would have just gone to the burger joint down the street.
Think of content in the same fashion. With the progression of mobile search, B2B, and a new wave of marketing strategists, getting to the point is valuable. According to Social Media Today, the longer and more complex the content, the less interested current and potential clients become. While long-form copy still has its place, presenting clear value is key.
Mobile is the New Black
It’s sleek, slender, and it can go with you everywhere. The mobile device will be the hot ticket item for content marketing next year. The rapid rise in searches on mobile devices means that companies and business have to start manipulating their websites to be user-friendly, and you should be no different.
Google has already issued a warning to companies and content strategists alike about their sites not being mobile friendly. If you want to be on the first or even second page of the search results, then you have to be accessible. The end goal should be bringing traffic to your site.
Don’t Forget Voice Search
Voice technology has reached new heights and far surpassed its expectation. It is no longer only for smartphone devices. Search engine sites like Google and Bing have integrated voice technology services and have, in some way, become the new written word.
How does this change content marketing strategies? Here’s the thing: it really doesn’t. However, what it does mean is that you have to be a little more imaginative and accurate when it comes to compiling keywords.
People are using smartphones and tablets to search for everything from weather patterns to the best hair salons. Being specific to your market is helpful for users who prefer to be hands-free all of the time.
Things to Know About SEO
SEO is practically married to content. Therefore, just as you keep up with its spouse, you have to keep up with SEO practices and changes. Here are two important things to note with SEO:
- Google is not saying anything or changing anything. This is good news for content strategists, marketers, and copywriters alike. It means that you can stick to what you know, at least for 2016.
- The seasoned version of SEO is over. Search engines are doing things a little less complex by making sure that searches are geared to what the customer needs and wants. This means that all of the content presented has to be specifically geared towards a target audience.
The Social Media Platform
There is a reason why Facebook is the top social media contender. Recently, the popular social media site has announced its plans to become an online publishing powerhouse. Facebook has introduced instant articles, which allow publishers to run ads directly on the website.
What that means is that you as a marketers and strategists can meet a whole new audience. It’s also a win for Facebook, as it will most likely continue to strengthen its user base.
Don’t Forget the New Arrivals
There are new guests coming to the land of content marketing. Various brands are letting their hair down and joining the content marketing party. They understand that they can’t afford to be the kid who was invited and missed out on a great time because they chose to stay behind.
The rapid growth and accessibility of the Internet forced different marketers to examine their World Wide Web footprint. This means that there will be competition in various areas, allowing strategists and copywriters to think outside of the box. You have to be alert and on top of new markets. In short: embracing the importance of content marketing.
The Most Important Person is The Audience
Search engines, particularly Google, are honing in on customer specific sites. Companies and marketers have to stay focused on their target audience. This is where creativity plays a major role. Isolating customers or being clumsy with content will cost customer attention and search engine visibility.
Avoid isolating your audience by spending the time needed to research. Focus on honestly answering the following questions:
- Who is the target audience?
- What do they need and want?
- What is there too much of?
- What is there not enough of?
- What kind of content will the target audience be drawn to?
- Will Google or other search engines be drawn to the same content?
The Buggles Were Right
Remember the 80s? When MTV came across the airwaves, it made The Buggles tell everyone “Video Killed the Radio Star.” It was a great ploy for MTV in the 1980s; however, it started a revolution.
Video content is becoming a hot ticket item and with help from sites such as YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, companies are cashing in. Streaming online videos and social media are offering flexibility within the creative platform.
What does that mean for you as a strategist? You have to be one step ahead. “The box” is now in the shape of a camera, and you need to be able to develop clear and concise content that will catch someone’s attention. Videos don’t lie, and their expressionism is what will create the biggest draw.
A Picture is Worth More Than Words
When you buy a new house or car, you don’t purchase it without looking at it. When writing new content, consider your potential clients. Visuals are key when it comes to attracting new clientele or keeping current ones.
Words can give a description or explanation, but the initial hook is starting to inhabit visual impact over written text. A good image will make the words pop off the page and grab the attention of your target audience.
Don’t Be Boring
Creativity is going to be your best friend in 2016. Imagine searching for a great vacation destination. The last thing you want is an awful vacation experience because of poor search results. Apply this to your audience. If your content isn’t on point, you can be assured someone else’s will be. And they’ll steal visibility and clientele right out from under you.
The most important thing to remember for 2016 is to be clear, concise, and intentional in your copy. Do what you know and be willing to learn what you don’t. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and get ready for the content marketing game changers coming your way.