With Google BERT, voice search and omnichannel marketing becoming necessary for relevance, brands need to evaluate the long-term resilience of their content strategy as they enter 2020.
Research from Content Marketing Institute finds that nearly half of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2020, so it’s even more critical to have a sound strategy in place for when those budget concerns are eased.
Industry leaders share three content marketing trends you should evaluate in 2020.
1. Content Repurposing
Repurposing content is crucial for getting the greatest ROI for content creation efforts. “Use data and input from sales, staff, customers and focus groups to inform customer needs before creating content, then create a single foundational piece of content that can be repurposed,” said Linda Emma, director of digital content at ESM Digital. It’s a good idea to consider how you will repurpose content before you create it by gathering input from all stakeholders.
And repurposing content doesn’t just mean republishing content. “Repurpose your content not just by posting it across different channels and platforms, but by creating new ways for your audience to digest the information,” said Angie Quigley, social media & creative content specialist at Red Egg Marketing. That means consumers that missed your content the first time around can see it after it’s evolved into a fresh piece of content. You can turn blog posts into an ebook or how-to guide with less additional effort than creating this content from scratch. Ideally, your content marketing strategy should have several repurposed versions of any foundational piece of content in the pipeline.
Related Article: 8 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Strategy May Suck
2. Aligning Sales and Content Teams
Communication between sales and content marketing teams has become critical. “Only your sales team really understands what motivates that person who clicked on an ad, filled out a form or downloaded your eBook and then turned from a lead to a sale,” explained Emma. Sales knows the needs and pain points of prospects, and can share this information with the content marketing team if there’s a collaboration company culture. With insights from sales, the content that you produce is more relevant to your target audience and will likely have a better conversion rate. “Moreover,” Emma continued, “you can build a repository of relevant content from which the sales team can pull, increasing efficiencies as they nurture leads and turn them into customers.
Quigley agreed, “A quick and easy way to align sales and content teams is to create a seamless way to communicate client needs and wants between the two — something that can often cause information to get lost in the shuffle.” She recommends creating shared documents where both teams can input or access information about leads and existing customers. That way, there is an open form of communication and a repository that contains a wealth of information about your target audience. “This is something we are trying to achieve right now with automation, and is almost all about how content can support sales," explained Quincy Smith, head of content & SEO at Ampjar. It’s useful for sales teams to know what content a user is interested in, when they’re accessing it, and how frequently. That’s because this information can help sales teams qualify leads and improve conversions.
Related Article: The 3 Flavors of Content: ToFu, MoFu and BoFu
3. Getting the Basics Right
Along with the two previous trends, there are a number of basic content marketing tasks that shouldn’t be forgotten. These content marketing basics include reviewing old content and leveraging analytics tools to optimize your content marketing efforts.
Reviewing Old Content
“Often content marketers forget to audit and update their own past work,” said Quigley. Outdated information and bad links in past blog posts can negatively impact SEO, or even the customer experience. “By spending 15-30 minutes on this you can avoid common SEO blunders that could prove to be costly for your rankings,” she said.
You also should frequently review analytics and optimize your content based on the insights you gain. Emma suggests a number of questions to ask on a regular basis:
- Who’s coming to your site?
- What content is driving them there?
- What pages engage them most?
- What CTAs work; which miss the mark?
Once you’ve considered these questions, Emma suggested, “Keep the good and make it better. Fix errors. Trash what doesn’t work.” With these findings, optimize your old content and put together stronger content marketing campaigns in the future as well. This is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your content marketing efforts in the long run.
“Yes, content can be successful if you ignore the basics,” concluded Smith, “but for the longevity of your business and ROI of your content it’s better to create a process driven approach that gets results.”