It’s really no secret by this stage in time that content marketing is set to be the biggest thing for the year ahead, if not the decade as a whole. The idea of ‘marketing without marketing’ is one of unique appeal and longevity for the simple reason that it is timeless, effective and largely immune to shifts in consumer behaviour. If you appeal to an audience, you get them on-side and they eventually convert – it’s really about as simple a principle as it gets.
Of course, actually hitting the nail on the head and getting content marketing right is by contrast a wholly less simple endeavour. There are literally thousands of ways of going about it and an infinite array of strategies to come up with – all of which must be monitored, honed and tweaked along the way for maximum effectiveness.
So as far as the opening months of 2015 are concerned at least, what are some of the most effective approaches of marketing consultants to content marketing already making waves with those using them?
1 – Infographics
Well, for one thing it’s important to acknowledge the fact that the world is right now living in something of a ‘visual’ age. Roughly translated, if a person can learn something with a quick glance rather than having to read ream after ream of text, they’re inherently going to go for the former of the two. This is precisely why infographics are becoming such enormously powerful, compelling and sharable assets for use in content marketing strategies these days – they present what could be a vast archive of information in a simple, digestible and enjoyable manner. It’s a bit like a modern take on the old bullet-point list, where attractive visuals and a clean layout deliver a serious punch of information that’s not only engaging, but wholly sharable too.
2 – Entertaining Videos
Streaming media has ceased to be something of a niche web concept and has already become the norm. As such, it’s no longer unusual for websites to use solid-quality video content as a means by which to engage their users and capture their attention – even the most modest of Internet connections by today’s standards can handle decent streaming of video content. What’s great about video clips…assuming of course they’re entertaining of course…is the way in which they allow the users to literally sit back, stare at the screen and have the information injected directly into them. Good video content no only help win favour, but is also stupendously sharable – the Holy Grail combo once again.
3 – Stats and Figures
Did you know that 65% of web users who come across stats and figures tell at least 55% of their friends the same stats within 72 hours? That’s of course not true and completely made up, but nonetheless illustrates how interesting pretty much any stats and figures are in terms of creating engaging content. Ensuring they’re accurate is of course important for the sake of your brand’s reputation, but in all cases a statistic or figure serves as something of an information ‘bullet’ that goes in, stays with the reader and will probably be shared too. If they feel like they’re learning something from you, they’ll be back.
4 – Take a Look Back
The further we roll into the 21stcentury, the more nostalgic the world becomes for how things used to be. That’s why right now especially, it can be hugely effective to take a look back to a different time and produce a little content accordingly. The great stuff about “Today in 1957” type pieces forexample is that it’s pretty easy to make sure they’re 100% unique, incredibly relevant, brilliantly engaging and amazingly shareable all at the same time while only having to carry out the tiniest bit of research.
5 – Polls and Surveys
And finally, in terms of both content marketing and driving engagement once again, it’s no secret that nothing works quite as well as nurturing interaction. Giving readers the right to respond is one thing, but it’s another entirely to actually ask them for their thoughts and opinions by way of polls and surveys. But what’s even better about this approach is the way in which they’ll also stay tuned to find out the results of the poll too, which means that once you’ve hooked them, chances are they’ll hang around for some time to come. Polls and surveys are uniquely interesting to most audiences and can be made entirely irresistible with a little deal-sweetener.