5 content marketing trends to make your agency stand out
It’s easy to get lost trying to keep up with the surprise new developments and overnight trends of the unpredictable world of web and social.
Social media and digital publishing have reshaped the way organisations understand marketing.
The effectiveness of traditional channels for citizen engagement has waned relative to the range of new tactics and approaches now available.
Today, in the public sector, more and more departments and agencies are applying these same digital marketing techniques to their communication strategies.
I recently attended an event in Canberra which featured Todd Wheatland, the Head of Strategy at King Content, speaking on this topic.
It got me thinking.
The challenges facing public sector agencies are similar – people are listening less, we are battling oversaturation of messaging and content, and keeping up with new technology seems impossible.
Here are my five key takeaways from the day, and how the public sector can implement them to tackle these challenges.
More isn’t better
One of the major changes in the past ten years is the quality and quantity of content being pushed out. In 2012, there was actually still a hangover from the days of producing hundreds of pages of content each week so Google could pick you up and rank you well.
Instead of publishing five mediocre posts on your blog each week, focus on vetting three or four complex topics offering relevant solutions for your target market.
Find the minimum quantity of content your website needs to achieve maximum results without affecting quality, then work from there.
More isn’t better – better is better.
Google recommends creating “unique, specific and high-quality” content to offer a higher value than other websites. Be sure to avoid publishing misinformation or broken links to other web pages. Your content should always use proper grammar without typos or mistakes in spelling. An overabundance of ads and comment spam can also negatively impact the perceived quality of your content.
Remember, your agency is competing with other websites on quality. By creating text that is useful and informative, credible and engaging, you can develop a competitive advantage.
Use data to drive communication
Setting clear goals and using analytics as your guide ensures that you are developing the right type of content, getting in front of the right audiences, and understanding its impact in a way that lets you continually optimise your strategy.
Through data gathering, you can develop a pretty solid understanding of what your target audience wants, when they want it, how they want it, and where they want it.
What this means is that there will be no excuse not to back up statements with data. Great content in the future will be almost entirely data-backed.
Visual content is the new black
Just a few years ago, you could get away with text-only social media posts and content marketing. But today? You don’t stand a chance unless your content is packed with visuals.
In fact, agencies who leverage visual content such as photos, videos, illustrations and infographics are effectively able to drive traffic, enhance social media engagement, boost visitor-to-lead conversion rates and increase inbound customer acquisition results.
Let’s take social media content for starters. According to Quickspout, a whopping 66% of all social media posts are or includes images. More than half of all Internet users have posted original video content or reposted visual content.
Image source: Quicksprout
Content in general – your blog, your website, your articles – demands images, too.
Content with images gets 94% more views than content without images. It doesn’t matter what industry, topic, niche, or specialty – images matter.
This is why we’re sure to see more of visual content in the year ahead. In a blog published at Forbes, writer Daniel Newman reveals that static, text content is already a passé and has been replaced by visual content.
With more options to creatively present content, the public sector should be placed to offer vital information in the way and format users want and essentially demand.
Content is bleeding into parts of paid marketing
Social media was free. That is what attracted many marketers seven years ago. But things have changed. Facebook has wound its organic reach for pages back to almost zero. Want to reach your Facebook fans? It’s pay to play.
All social networks are now in this game and as social media has become just another media channel that reality is not going away. You are going to need to adapt.
Facebook makes big money from this. But if you are paying you need to make sure you are measuring the results. You don’t want to be spending $100 in advertising every day and only making $50 in profit. Don’t pay for traffic until you know what it produces.
That is why advertising on the web and a data scientist are a match made in heaven.
Personalise your content
Personalised content has the potential to change lives. The more you know about your audience, the better your chances of influencing people’s behaviour.
- Learn as much as you can about your audience. Go beyond assumptions about audience demographics to understand individuals. New technologies can help bridge the knowledge gap. For example, consider building a survey into your content delivery platform. Other technologies, such as social media and big data analysis, show promise in providing insights to help you shape your content in powerful ways.
- Enable your audience to customise the content in fun and engaging ways.
- Think like a researcher. Test your content, measure the results, and modify your strategies based on what you learn.
- Build a team of experts. Creating effective, personalised content requires a broad range of skills. Get to know your technical staff and find out how they can contribute to communicating key messages.
Is your agency or division implementing any or all of these? Let me know how in the comments below.
28 November, 2017