Content has become one of the most important ways to reach and build a relationship with your audience in recent years, but developing an effective content strategy isn’t easy, even for multinational brands with huge marketing budgets. With Google constantly updating its algorithm, and the emergence of new social platforms almost every month, businesses have had to be ready to adapt their efforts at any given moment. So where does that leave content marketing in 2014? The latest collection of industry data on the field helps shed some light…
According to Top Rank Blog, there are currently as many as 30 different content marketing tactics in popular use. Research from the Content Marketing Institute has shown that out of these, the most widely used is (unsurprisingly) social media marketing with 87% of businesses relying on this tactic to reach and engage with their audience online. Blogging, email newsletters and videos follow quickly in social media’s wake as the most popular tactics, while infographic use is up 13% since last year.
When it comes to the biggest challenges facing marketers in 2014, 69% pinpoint a lack of time as their biggest bugbear. Increasingly pushed for time, more and more businesses are relying on automated scheduling tools to pre-plan and release social media posts and blogs at regular intervals, while 55% say they now outsource these writing tasks.
Driving consumer trust and engagement
With so many brands vying for your guests’ attention online, how do you make sure you stand out and get noticed? Statistics show that 90% of consumers prefer custom content, that is; content produced specifically with their buyer persona in mind. This kind of content has been shown to inspire trust in online consumers with 78% saying they believe a brand is truly interested in investing in a relationship if it produces custom content that addresses their specific needs and pain points.
If you already have a solid understanding of your audience demographic, creating this sought-after custom content is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, if you have a great grasp of your guest personas and how your property’s services meet their specific needs, you should find your content almost writes itself.
The ongoing importance of blogging
In 2014, no-one can deny the importance of a business blog, with brands reporting 97% more inbound links because of their blogging campaign. Still not convinced? Companies with a blog benefit from up to 55% more website traffic, thanks to the way Google indexes sites which contain a wealth of regularly updated content.
Just finished crafting an engaging blog that speaks directly to your guests’ needs? Only 1 in 5 of them will read beyond your headline. The only way to improve these slightly depressing stats is to make sure your blog titles are as compelling as possible.
The best headlines are unique, original, inspire urgency and promise value if the reader only keeps on reading. Eye-catching words and phrases such as “you”, “discover”, “check out” and “how to” tend to pique readers’ interest and get them clicking through to find out more.
This data serves as another reminder of the importance of committing to a regular blogging campaign in 2014. For many marketers, automation tools, used in conjunction with outsourcing, are providing the easiest way to achieve this.
Did any of these statistics surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!