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The Art of Storytelling – Narrative in Content Writing

Creating content that readers can engage with is a challenging process, even for experienced digital marketers. A major part of formulating a digital marketing strategy is being able to think of a compelling story for the reader to follow. Today, we will focus on the narrative in content writing and the best practices, techniques and frameworks for doing so.

The internet has given rise to many groundbreaking mediums of communication which can be used for storytelling and marketing, including video, streaming, podcasts, and many more. Increasingly, readers and viewers want content that speaks to them in an informative yet concise, down-to-earth manner.

While studying for my degree, I found a niche in creative writing. Now, as a qualified graduate working in the marketing sector, I like to explore how the principles of good storytelling can be applied to the field of writing digital marketing copy.

Basic Narrative Techniques in Digital Marketing

Don’t Be Afraid of Conflict

Most narratives, fictional or otherwise, hinge on a basic three-act structure: a beginning, a middle and an end. Experimental avant-garde stuff notwithstanding, these rules are so universal that we take them for granted.

Some writers like to rigidly stick to tried-and-true formulas – some may even take inspiration from Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, or other theoretical frameworks. Personally, I do not consciously think about all that when writing for webpages or campaigns. As many marketing experts will happily tell you, nobody innovates by completely playing by the rules.

Establishing key ideas, concepts and conflicts early in a text before delivering a satisfying payoff is critical for both conventional stories and marketing copy. Conflict in particular is often called the heart of drama.

How Do I Work Conflict Into My Webpage Copy?

When we talk about conflict, we do not necessarily mean it in the violent sense of someone to defeat – but any kind of problem or obstacle that needs to be overcome. This includes internal conflict within characters. Trying to write a whole coherent novel without any trace of conflict would be near impossible.

Many examples of marketing copy begin by presenting a problem that needs to be resolved – one that cannot be amended without help from the service being offered. This initial conflict sets the stage for the eventual resolution that will be provided by the service you are marketing for. Sometimes, conflicts can appear without any conscious intention.

Sources of conflict that can appear in your copy:

Narrative in Content Writing: Conflict in Action

Internal GLO Case Study: B. A. Boyle & Son — Electrician Service Page

In this electrician service page I wrote for B. A. Boyle & Son, an “enemy” is constructed out of the electrical problems that the customers may be facing – faulty installations, degraded wiring, and so on. In the first headers, these issues are characterised as an annoying nuisance, making the reader think that they need to be dealt with quickly. Then, we transition into positive, eye-catching headings presenting the solutions to these problems offered by the company.

BA BOYLE

InterExternal Case Study: Hovis — “Go on Lad”

For a full marketing campaign that contains a strong balance of positivity and negativity, look no further than Hovis’s highly successful and influential 2007 ‘Go On Lad’, which shows a boy travelling through British history, from the origins of Hovis Bakery to the present day, to deliver a loaf of bread to his family.

What stands out about this campaign is its unflinching depiction of both the prosperous and troubled periods of our recent past. We see the Suffragettes’ march for votes in the early 1900s, the aftermath of the Blitz in World War II, and even a clash between riot police and flying pickets during the 1980s Miners Strikes, yet there’s always a bright optimism that the next corner he turns will be a better future.

Can I Write Marketing Copy Without Conflict?

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to write short narratives without any real conflict, though to do so would go against many core conventions and can be difficult to pull off well. For example, the Japanese genre iyashikei, which translates to “healing”, is all about fluffy slice-of-life tales where the main characters have nothing significant to overcome.

Some marketing campaigns exist in a similar conflict-free garden of paradise, but while that may sound nice, it’s not always the best route to take.

External Case Study: The Downfall of Corporate Memphis

In the late 2010s, many Big Tech corporations began using the “Corporate Memphis” style, which would be instantly recognisable for any regular internet user across Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Hinge, and many more. The style is defined by flat, garish colours and a geometric, minimalist aesthetic. Any text that appears has a bland, neutral tone.

The oddly-proportioned characters in these adverts are always depicted as living in utopian harmony with their surroundings. Since this doesn’t reflect reality at all, the style has been widely mocked and criticised within the industry. There’s no authentic human element to get attached to. I see it as a good case study for how hyper-positivity and aversion to depicting conflict can damage brand image.

Tailoring the Story for Your Audience

To reach the widest audience possible, it is recommended that copywriters produce content for webpages at a 12th grade reading level. As much as we may try to make the text simple, helpful and digestible, it can be hard to strike a tonal balance between accessibility and condescension. When you’re trying to sell a product or service, nailing a compelling tone of voice is especially important, as is writing something substantive that people will actually want to read.

Conducting research into target audiences, search intent and high-ranking keywords can be extremely valuable in helping you understand the kind of person who is most likely to read your content, giving you the chance to tailor the story to them.

Tone as a Differentiator

Internal GLO Case Study: RJ Insulation/Top up Loft Insulation

Recently, I worked on two very similar projects for the same insulation installation client – RJ Insulation and Top Up Loft Insulation. The only tangible difference between them was the exact products they sold (the latter sold cheap, conventional fibreglass insulation while the former offered more expensive, eco-friendly materials).

However, the real difference between them lies in their disparate tones. The client wanted RJ, the environmentally-oriented company to have a professional, “premium” tone, whereas the “cheap n’ cheerful” company Top Up was to have a more informal vibe catered to people working on tighter budgets. Separating the tone of these two companies was a fun and rewarding writing challenge.

The Top Up Storyline

For Top Up Loft Insulation, the client and I worked together to brainstorm a rough storyline that would be reflected in the webpage content. The idea would be to convey the sense that a potential customer has randomly bumped into the owner of Top Up in a bar, and the owner is pitching them all the benefits of cheap fibreglass insulation in very simple, informal terms, constantly emphasising the low cost of the material and no-frills service that they provide. The content flows from an attention-grabbing intro to a nicely flowing series of USPs, processes and contact options.

To some extent, the site is meant to appeal to people who may not have the time to research the ins-and-outs of eco-friendly loft insulation – they just need some easily understandable explanations before getting it installed at low costs.

Tone as a Vessel for Accessibility

External Case Study: NHS Website

A classic example of universal accessibility in webpage copy can be found in the NHS website, which keeps flowery language and medical jargon to an absolute minimum. There is no creative flair to be found there, but writing in such a restricted way is a challenge in itself! Anyone who is concerned about symptoms or diseases will be able to understand the pages. In this case, plainly conveying information to the widest audience in the simplest, most straightforward way possible is the goal, so it can easily be forgiven.

Nevertheless, these NHS advice pages all follow a concise narrative structure that flows from point A to B – they introduce the disease or ailment in question, the symptoms of it, and explanations for why it happens, before providing a resolution in the form of treatment options that the NHS recommend.

Final Takeaways on Narrative in Content Writing

So, in this blog post, we have taken a look at some very interesting case studies on narrative techniques used in various areas of digital marketing, from advertising to webpage copy. We have covered issues of conflict and resolution, which should hopefully give you some inspiration on how to structure your content in the future!

Narrative Techniques Blog Post

Let Us Quickly Recap Some Top Tips for Applying Narrative in Content Writing

  • Present problems first before providing solutions
  • Keep the content flowing organically, in such a way that would be most pleasing to the reader
  • Tackling challenging topics is good!
  • Maintain an appropriate tone for your target audience
  • Always take notes from other websites, marketing campaigns and alternative media to get the most valuable inspiration

For a content marketing strategy, using a solid structure and narrative in content writing while taking your target audience into account can be one of the main tickets to success. Stories unite people across all nations, cultures and age groups – tap into the power of storytelling to bring customers to your business!

Book a Consultation

We hope you enjoyed our blog focusing on using clear narrative in content writing to boost your copy’s overall performance and engagement.

Want a hand with writing your own content? GLO are here to help local businesses understand how they can improve their online presence and generate leads online. We’re a young but informed, results-driven agency who practice what we preach. So for free advice and support, including monthly website analytics reporting on the house, schedule a free consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!

SEO Copywriting Checklist

Beth Craig Presents ‘SEO Copywriting 101’

We had the pleasure of attending The Bridge Marketing and County Wire’s very first ‘Wired for Success’ event at Trinity Park – with our very own Head of Content, Beth Craig, delivering her SEO Copywriting Checklist workshop amongst a whole host of expert speakers including Martin Shave (Global Sales Director at Microsoft), Hana Dickinson (Director of The Bridge Marketing), and business coach Jann Richardson. The event was a roaring success – and we couldn’t stand the thought of anyone unable to attend the event missing out on some of the brilliant content delivered throughout the day.

That’s why we’ve put together this blog post – including our very own basic SEO copywriting checklist for business owners. Whether you couldn’t make it to our workshop, want to add to your notes, or are simply in need of a refresher, we’ve got you covered.

Watch Our SEO Copywriting Checklist on Demand

We’d hate for anyone to have missed out on Beth’s immersive, hour-long workshop in optimised copywriting. Though things aren’t quite the same through a screen, she’s done her very best to recreate an interactive workshop atmosphere in this recreational recording – taking viewers through the seven simple steps needed to take a webpage from the bottom of the pile to the very top of SERPs. You may even get a chance to practice your own copywriting skills throughout – so get your pens and paper (or keyboards) out!

SEO Copywriting Checklist

1. Establishing Your Intended Audience and Brand Voice

The first step in taking a page from the bottom of the pile to first in search involves conducting the research necessary to ensure your final content stays on brand and appeals to the correct audience.

Start your process by completing a generic user persona questionnaire. By filling in this form with the details of your most desired or most common customer, you’ll get to glean some definite information on who you’re targeting with content and why.

To further this, dive into your brand guidelines and any documentation you have surrounding them – particularly where tone is concerned. Consider your brand and its values.

Using the knowledge extracted from the above, you should be able to create a brilliant tone to match your ideal client and keep them engaged – getting all the right points across, whilst staying on-brand and in character.

2. General Research

To get to the top of the SERP, your page needs to be the expert source in the eyes of Google, so research thoroughly. Consolidate and expand your own knowledge on your business, product, or service by reading through your own website and document – but don’t neglect competitor research.

I recommend reading the web pages ranking at the top of the search results pages for similar search terms to what you’d like to achieve.

You should also search general terms related to your industry, product, or service – bolstering your knowledge in every relevant manner.

3. Open Keyword Research Tools

I’m going to introduce you to two key tools for keyword research that will make your life just that little bit easier- Google Search Console and Mangools.

Google Search Console or ‘GSC’ is an online tool that allows users to discover and export data relating to organic search queries tied to a website/page. In simple terms, it helps people with existing websites discover keywords that they’re already ranking for – making it a good place to start. When re-writing content for an existing site, GSC should be your primary source of information. It’s completely free.

Mangools KWFinder is a keyword research tool in which you can find hundreds of keywords with low SEO difficulty. It’s one of the best ways to discover lists of new keywords related to those you’re already aware of. This tool isn’t free – but has a handy 10-day free trial – which provides more than enough time to get your keyword research done!

4. Find and Note Keywords You’re Already Ranking for With GSC

Begin your keyword research process by opening your GSC tab. Search for your website by clicking the three bars in the top left corner of the homepage, followed by search properties. Locate and click on it.

Once you’ve gained access to your site’s overview, click the performance button in the left-hand column. This is where you’ll be able to view all the data you’ll need. As you’ll be completing keyword research and site content on a page-by-page basis, you’ll want to narrow your results down to your chosen page. Do this by clicking ‘new’ and ‘page’ then paste the website page URL within the pop-up field. Ensure the date is set to ‘past 16 months’ to view the most data available.

This process will narrow down the data to show everything collected specifically for that page. Scroll down to ‘queries’ and sort by highest clicks first (if not clicks then search by highest impressions first) – this will reveal the strongest potential keywords.

4.Find and note keywords youre already ranking for with GSC

Note down the most relevant keywords with the highest number of clicks in a notepad or online document. You’ll use them as the foundation of your research.

5. Discover New Keywords With Mangools

You’re now going to take the initial keywords you’ve found through GSC and discover new, related, and potentially higher-performing keywords using Mangools or any other keyword research tool.

Open up the Mangools KW Finder website and ensure you’re on the ‘search by keyword’ tab of the search tool. Here, you’ll be able to insert the keywords you shortlisted in the GSC step, or, if you don’t have any, choose a keyword related to your page that you think would suit it best, for example, if your page is about coffee machines, so you can start with the keyword: coffee machine.

Simply type your keyword into the search form, select the location, and click on the green button “Find keywords”. If you’re a local business or targeting a specific geo region, make sure to specify the location and language. Different locations lead to different results.

Your search will bring up a list of related keywords ranked by relevancy – some of which could trump those on your existing list. Add them to the notes document you started with your GSC results, writing down impression numbers in order to give you a reminder of how each keyword performs.

6. Choose Primary Keyword

You’ll now want to select a primary keyword from your shortlist of Mangools/KW research tool and GSC options – one which best describes your business, product, or service whilst being relevant, and ideally, having a high number of clicks/impressions. Some in your list should jump out to you immediately.

Keep in mind that although the short, impactful keywords here may be appealing with their high impression numbers – that you may be able to combine keywords/terms to create a long-tail keyword.

A long-tail keyword is a phrase typically made from three to five words. Since these keywords are more specific than generic terms, they allow you to target niche demographics. These keywords are also less competitive than generic keywords because they are designed to better reflect how people make queries. With long-tail keywords, you are able to attract more high-quality traffic to your website which is more likely to lead to conversions. Creating a long tail keyword may be as simple as transforming ‘Wedding Flowers’ to ‘Wedding Flowers Suffolk’, or taking ‘Healthcare Recruitment’ to ‘Participant Recruitment for Healthcare Research’. In creating the right long-tail keyword, you’re much more likely to put your website in front of all the right people.

Note down your primary keyword, and perhaps two two three secondary keywords to be sprinkled throughout your content.

7. Heading Hierarchy Research

Headings help users and search engines to read and understand text. They act as signposts for the readers and make it easier for them to figure out what a post or page is about. Headings also define which parts of your content are important, and show how they’re interconnected.

You’re limited to using one H1 heading on each page. This heading should be the name/title of the page or post and include the focus keyword/phrase. After writing your H1 header/title, you can go on to use H2 and H3 subheadings to introduce different sections.

Think of H2 subheadings like the chapters of a book. Within these chapters, you may want to list more specific subsets of information using lesser headers (H3 tags, then H4 tags, etc.) descending in chronological order. It’s rare for most content to get ‘deep’ enough to need to use H4 tags and beyond unless you’re writing really long, or really technical content.

Before writing your heading hierarchy, you’re going to do some competitor research in order to get to grips with what you’re up against and inspire your own heading order. Input the primary keyword you chose in the last step into Mangools SERP checker (with the correct location field selected).

By searching, you’ll discover a list of the top sites ranking for your chosen term – aka your best competitors. We’re going to uncover their strategies – but first, you’ll need to download the Mangools plugin. After you’ve got that sorted, you’re going to select the 3-5 top ranking, relevant URLs and make sure that they align with the end user’s search intent by opening them and skim reading (irrelevant results including eBay, Amazon etc should typically be ignored).

With one of the competitor URLs open and a notepad or google document ready, open the Mangools Chrome extension tool – click ‘on-page SEO’ – ‘Headings’. Copy/paste the site’s headings into your document or write them down. Repeat this process 3-5 times for various competitor websites.

You may also take note of any particularly valuable, informative, or well-written copy found under each of these headings – all of which can be copied into your template doc and used as content inspiration during the body content writing phase if relevant.

8. Writing a Heading Hierarchy

Look through your list of competitor sites and heading hierarchies. Do you notice similarities between headings? What headings are repeated? What ones provide value?

Use the above information to pick and choose the best individual headings for your new page.

And if you’re in doubt, don’t worry. A generic formula along these lines customised to match your business and keyword should work:
H1 – Service/Product (including the focus keyphrase)
H2 – Include more detail of the H1 heading (specialists/locations)
H2 – What is the service//product?
H2 – Benefits of the service/product
H2 – Who may require this product/service
H2 – Process (If applicable)
H2 – Why choose the company
H2 – Customer reviews/
H2 – Contact Form (If applicable)
H2 – FAQs

Look over the headings you’ve selected and continue to work on building and refining a chronological, effective order that will be easy for users to navigate, and allow for good web design where relevant. For example, in most circumstances, it would make no sense to add additional info before discussing the product/service/business itself. Refer to the competitor research for guidance/inspiration.

9. Writing Your Page Content

You’re finally ready to start writing your body content! Use your knowledge from research and competitor sites to put together the best, most informative and action-inspiring webpage possible in line with any brand guidelines received.

Word Count

Aim for at least 600 words excluding FAQs – but keep your audience at the forefront of your mind. If your reader would appreciate or be reassured by a significant amount of information, create a page in this format. On the other hand, if your reader is likely to want to make an immediate decision, keep your copy more concise with plenty of CTAs inserted nearer the top of the page.

Keyword Density

Help search engines recognize the main theme of your content by using the primary keyword throughout the copy. As a best practice, use the term two to three times per 100 words to create a 2-3% keyword density. Try to avoid going over this limit to avoid keyword stuffing issues.

Show search engines that the page is closely related to the topic by bookending your copy with a mention of the primary keyword. Try to use the target keyword near the beginning of your first paragraph and within your final paragraph to reinforce what your content is about. This will help make it clear to search engines why your content is relevant.

Phrasing

Writing high-quality content doesn’t always mean producing a super complex webpage.
In fact, it means the opposite. Write your content for an eighth-grade reading level on the Flesch Reading Scale. That means using common terminology (not complex industry jargon) and writing short sentences and paragraphs. Use active voice primarily, and make sure writing is structured with appropriate paragraph breaks (every time the focus of discussion changes within the context of the heading you are working underneath), syntax and punctuation.

Linking Opportunities

Links help search engines connect and understand online content. Add relevant internal links to other pages on your site, and when possible, use the linked page’s target keyword as the anchor text for the link.

Originality

Craft original, valuable content. Don’t copy content that is already published on your site or published on any other sites. Search engines may penalize your site or not rank your page if it has content that is copied or duplicated from other sites.

10. Boost Rankings With Optimised FAQs

Time to round off your document with a set of between 5 and 10 FAQs. FAQs are a great SEO tool – giving you an opportunity to add a huge amount of highly relevant content to your page. They’re a great way to draw in users highly interested in your product or service who aren’t necessarily aware of your business. For example, imagine your car is making a strange rattling noise. Your first port of call is to google ‘Why is my car making a rattling sound?’. The first result is a google snippet explaining that it might be your air conditioning. You click on the link and are taken through to a comprehensive answer from a local garage with a CTA to book an air-con check-up at the end. Sold!

To find commonly searched questions and answers for your page, you can:

(If applicable) open Google Search Console and select the domain you’re working on. Click performance. Ensure your date is set to ‘16 months’ to gain as much data and insight as possible. Click new – query – and add a question word such as ‘why’ ‘how’ ‘what’ and ‘when’ to bring up potential FAQs.

Search some of your keywords on Answer the Public to view FAQs in a mindmap format.

Search your keywords within KWFinder and sort by ‘questions’ in the results section.

Search any of the questions you’ve sourced above in Google, and note any relevant ones appearing in the ‘people also ask’ section in the SERP

Use the knowledge you’ve built during this process to answer these FAQs with between 100 and 200 words of valuable, informative, and original content. Remember, FAQs are SEO tools and should appear in featured snippets – meaning they shouldn’t be blatantly biased towards your business. They should instead aim to effectively answer the user’s query.

Your FAQs will always be placed under an FAQ H2 Header at the very bottom of the page and should be included wherever possible – e.g. service pages and homepages. They’re not typically included on the content not set to rank – e.g. contact us, case studies or meet the team pages.

11. Review

What webpage would be complete without a review? A fantastic way to self-reflect on the work you’ve produced is to read it back to yourself out loud. Do you run out of breath before a sentence finishes? Does what you’ve written really make sense grammatically? Does the tone sound appropriate for webpage, brand, and industry? Would you want to read it?

After you’re happy with the page, you’re ready to upload, sit back, and benefit from the brilliant effects of SEO copywriting! Enjoy!

Book a Consulation

GLO are here to help local businesses understand how they can improve their online presence and generate leads online. We’re a young but informed, results-driven agency who practice what we preach. If you loved our SEO Copywriting Checklist and want more free advice and support, including monthly website analytics reporting on the house, schedule a free consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!

How to Generate Leads With Content Marketing?

If you were to ask a few different marketers, what are some of the best ways to generate business leads in 2021, no doubt the majority of them would mention content marketing.

Online content plays a much bigger role in the consumer journey now, than it did a few years ago. The internet has become an authoritative source of information for buyers and an avenue for marketers to advertise their products. A 2019 study demonstrated that 81% of consumers do online research before heading to the shop to purchase a product. With coronavirus forcing businesses to go digital, and consumers having less opportunity to shop in physical stores, there is a greater reliance on content marketing to satisfy the customer at several different touchpoints.

Similarly, Ofcom 2020 stats show that adults in the UK are spending a record 4 hours a day online, which demonstrates an increase of one hour since 2018. Marketers can use this data to their advantage by moving their target audience down the sales funnel with the use of high-quality, value-adding content that triggers the desired action and is then distributed via channels that offer a high return on investment.

There is no doubt that content marketing is paramount if you’re looking to reach your target audience and build trust relationships with them while adapting to the increasingly more digital “new normal”. Those relationships cultivated through the process of building up your online authority with interactive content, as well as having a carefully planned content strategy that supports your business’s goals are going to help you generate leads with content marketing. In this article, we will guide you through our 7-step guide on how to do this. To apply what you learn in this article, download our Content Marketing Strategy template and follow along!

What Is Lead-Generating Content Marketing?

Developing and maintaining a competitive advantage that helps the business generate leads and convert them into sales and loyal customers is the main concern of digital marketers. By applying different processes they create a brand image and develop online authority that helps to attract and convert web visitors into leads.

Lead-generating content marketing often refers specifically to digital content and is a strategic marketing approach dedicated to the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent online content that attracts and retains a specific type of audience. Some lead-generating content, such as coupons, can drive profitable customer action when delivered to the customer at the right time.

At GLO, our content marketing specialists can attest to the fact that generating leads with digital content marketing can be a very successful online marketing strategy when supported by intelligent use and analysis of data. You can easily support your content marketing decisions with data gathered with Google Search Console and Google Analytics, which are both easy to add to your website.

One thing that’s undeniable when you want to successfully generate leads with content marketing is that you need a strategy. As the founder of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Jay Baer says, “A content marketing strategy is not a nice-to-have, it’s a requirement.”

In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing your content marketing strategy for lead generation so that you can take your customers from the top of the funnel through to conversion. We’ve created a handy Content Marketing Strategy booklet with templates and an interactive Content Calendar to make it easy for you to develop your complete content strategy.

Reasons to Add Content Marketing to Your Lead Generation Strategy

Apart from the customers demanding more online content in order to complete their research prior to making their final purchase, and people generally spending more time online, there are other reasons why you may consider adding content marketing to your lead generation strategy.

Content marketing is a form of ‘softer’ selling where you aim to provide a load of value to your web visitors before asking them to subscribe or pushing for a sale more aggressively. It adheres to the ‘Jab Jab Jab Right Hook’ idea, famously coined by Gary Vaynerchuk. This slower approach to marketing to your potential customers works well in the online space as a jab’s content aims to engage and trigger an emotional response while a right hook’s content aims to sell and self-promote. This 3:1 ratio strikes the perfect balance between the two and helps you to avoid a counterproductive result that too many right hooks could easily lead to – let’s be honest, no one likes to be constantly sold to!
Data collected by HubSpot further validates this, showing that 96% of first-time website visitors are not ready to purchase and prefer to carry out their research to compare against the competition. You want to be able to provide them enough ‘jabbing’ content to build up their trust in your business before going in for the right hook.

Promoting products or services to your target audience with the use of interactive content, not only meets their research needs but also has shown to be 3 times more efficient in generating leads, as compared to outbound marketing. Furthermore, 72% of companies surveyed confirm that content marketing increases the number of leads in their business.

Smart allocation of resources with a focus on avenues that generate the best ROI is what most businesses look for. Content marketing can provide this long-term. According to HubSpot, 1 out of 10 blog posts demonstrates a “compounding” quality, meaning that organic search steadily increases traffic to these posts over time. Even big brands, such as Coca-Cola have in recent years recognised the power of creating digital content and are now shifting the majority of their resources towards content marketing and away from TV advertising.

We are not suggesting you follow the big dogs and do what the likes of Coca-Cola are doing – your budget might not stretch that far. But even for those businesses with smaller budgets content marketing doesn’t have to be something that they get to do someday in the future.
A lot of the time when something is successful we assume it’s also pricey. Here’s the surprise! Demand Metric estimated that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing techniques. Learning how to generate leads with content marketing is something that even small businesses can invest in right now.

A lot of the time, those trying to generate leads with content marketing for the first time, find that it’s a time-consuming activity. For those short on time, outsourcing to content marketing agencies can be a better solution and one that may potentially result in much better results. Take one of our clients as an example – after our content marketing team took over Eagle Training’s blog management, we were able to achieve top first page rankings in Google for some of the topics that their target audience was interested in.

Whether you’re going to try to generate leads with content marketing yourself or hand it over to a specialist team, below we dive deep into the steps we believe should be taken to start generating leads through content marketing.

GLO’s 7 Step Process to Generate Leads With Content Marketing

1. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

If you recall Jay Baer’s quote from earlier – content marketing strategy is a requirement if you’re serious about generating leads via this particular channel. In fact, writing out a strategy for any marketing efforts you are investing in is an important part of the process. Creating amazing pieces of content without a strategy that will synergise your content and lead your web visitors down the sales funnel is frankly a waste of your time.

So how exactly do you write your content marketing strategy? There are a few steps that come into it and involve you putting your thinking cap on. Traditionally, you’ll get your pen & paper out and start jotting your ideas down, but since we are a 100% paperless digital marketing agency, we prepared a downloadable PDF with Content Marketing Strategy templates for you to fill in.

Let’s get started!

A content marketing strategy is not a nice-to-have, it’s a requirement.

Download Your Content Marketing Strategy Template!

1.1 Segment Your Audience and Create Buyer Personas

Remember how we said that the ‘jab’ was the type of content that aims to engage and trigger an emotional response?

Your content marketing strategy will revolve around a lot of jabbing and a few strategically placed, and not so obvious, right hooks. But how can you evoke that emotional response in every single one of your web visitors with the same piece of content?

The answer is, you cannot.

Your audience needs to be segmented into smaller groups of people based on common characteristics and needs they have. From this activity, you can identify your ‘ideal customer’ or in other words your buyer persona. Having a more defined image of who you’re talking to, what they like and don’t like, what keeps them up at night and what their aspirations are, allows you to create content that directly speaks to their specific needs and triggers the emotional response you are looking for.

Most businesses with multiple products or services will find they have more than one buyer persona that when combined represent their entire audience pool. However, if you’re new to content marketing you can focus on just one that you think represents the buyer who is most interested.

So how do you put your buyer persona together? Well, you need data. This may be data you’ve collected in the past or data that you can derive from tools such as, Facebook Audience Insights or Google Keyword Planner. Both are great tools to build a picture of your ideal customer.

Once you have the data, you can put it into a buyer persona template and keep safe to guide any other marketing strategies you and your team are deploying. We’ve got a blank buyer persona template for you in our Content Marketing Strategy booklet.

1.2 Map the Customer Journey

Stepping into the shoes of your potential customers is important in order to understand what you’re doing well to meet your customer’s goals and where perhaps you’re not delivering enough value or making it too difficult to do business with you.

By understanding your consumers and their needs on a human level you can gain better insights into what it is they might need or expect from you once they’ve interacted with your content at the different stages of their journey. This way you can target their entire experience rather than just do the bare essentials of targeting the right keywords, which we’ll discuss later on. Discovering their unique journeys helps you to strategically choose the right content upgrades and lead magnets.

The easiest way to map your consumers’ journey is to go through it yourself and note down all the different touchpoints that happen on the way. These could include steps such as them landing on one of your blogs, seeing a pop-up about your new lead magnet, subscribing, receiving an email with the freebie etc.
To make it an interactive and flexible process for you and your team, use sticky notes to mould the journey of your ideal consumer.

When you’re clear on the steps your consumer takes and points at which they come into contact with your business, you can put it all into a consumer journey map like the one below.

Content Marketing Strategy Generate Leads Online

1.3 Match Content to the Different Stages of Your Sales Funnel

Many businesses and entrepreneurs are already creating content – according to 2019 statistics, YouTube alone gets roughly 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute worldwide. But one of the biggest mistakes content creators make is they fail to move their potential customers down their sales funnel. We don’t want you to be one of those content marketers. Once you’ve mapped your consumer’s journey, use the online sales funnel to decide which content fits your consumers’ needs best at the different stages.

Online Sales Funnel Generate Leads With Content Marketing

Pushing for purchase when marketing to someone who just became aware of your products or services is unlikely to result in a sale. At the awareness stage users are interacting with your content while gathering knowledge on solutions available to the problem they’re currently facing. By adding an emotional appeal to your content, which can be done with social proof, some of those users might express further interest in your products or services and will be willing to exchange their email address for a free resource that helps them with their problem.

The awareness stage is a great opportunity to find out which of your content benefits your web visitors the most. Another name given to this stage is Top of Funnel (TOF) as it’s where the process of sifting through your web visitors begins so that you can move the interested ones to the next stage – consideration, where you get to turn them into leads. For this to happen, it’s not only the content that needs to resonate with them. You also need to remove any barriers they may face when attempting to sign up.

Having successfully moved the consumer down to the point where they begin to consider your business more seriously by comparing your solution to other solutions, your job is to offer them whatever they need to choose you over your competitors. At this stage, your content marketing strategy may turn to inviting them to a free webinar or sharing an in-depth case study where you demonstrate your expertise. If they bite, they enter the decision stage and may look to you for reinforcement of their decision. If you’re a service provider, you could offer them a free consultation and follow up afterwards by sharing a testimonial someone else left you.

1.4 Identify What Lead Magnets You Need to Create

Lead magnets help you gather contact details in exchange for a free resource, such as a free trail or eBook. By growing your email list you get to interact with your target audience and create marketing material that is more personalised, which increases the interaction.

As consumers are becoming more demanding and discerning, it is no longer enough to write a good article and expect those readers to instantly become fans that keep coming back to consume other pieces of your content. Web users are looking for added value in the form of free resources. Being able to download freebies helps them to make up their mind on whether they believe the source is a credible and authoritative one.

But before you go ahead and create your first free resource, let’s consider what makes an irresistible lead magnet.

First and foremost, your lead magnet needs to solve a problem and offer your reader a quick win. Great lead magnets are easily digestible and can be accessed instantly. To help you build trust with your audience, your lead magnets should have a high perceived value and demonstrate your expertise well. To generate leads with content marketing you want your lead magnets to satisfy all of the above.

Recently, marketers have had a lot of luck with interactive lead magnets, such as quizzes, but there are many other freebies that have been working well for years, including checklists and eBooks. The type of lead magnet you decided to create depends on the needs of your target audience. Our Content Marketing Strategy booklet gives you many suggestions of different lead magnets you could produce for your content.

1.5 Put Your Ideas Into a Content Calendar

If you’ve followed the previous steps, by now you’d know what pieces of content you need to be creating to move consumers down your sales funnel, including the freebies. But one of the factors that helps websites rank high in Google is publishing high-quality content on a consistent basis.

Content creators with many great ideas, and some understanding of how these pieces come together to encourage the consumer to choose their business, may feel confident about their content marketing strategy. But without accountability and a schedule that outlines when these pieces of content are supposed to be published, their good momentum will eventually stop.

Without a content calendar, you risk your sales funnel becoming leaky, with potential leads dropping out before they covert. Creating a content calendar may take you a few hours on the day that you decided to do it, but will save you many hours and headaches in the future. Not only will you know exactly what content needs to be created and published when, but everyone on your team will know too, and will be able to step in if needed. Furthermore, CMI 2021 statistics show that four out of five top performers use an editorial calendar while only half of the least successful do.

In your content calendar, for each piece of content you should make notes on some of the following details:

  • The title for the piece of content.
  • Who is it aimed at?
  • What is your Call To Action?
  • What content upgrades or lead magnets will be associated with this piece of content?
  • What other pieces of your content will you be linking to?
  • When the content is going to be published?
  • Who is going to create the content?

There isn’t one unified formula to follow when filling out your content calendar. We would advise you to try and create journeys for your web visitors.

So let’s say your buyer persona is interested in one specific topic that you’ve decided to write about.

First, you’ll title it using the types of words this particular type of customer is likely to type into Google to search for the topic you’re writing about. You will learn this from your keyword research.

The next step is to think about the reasons why this person might have been searching for this type of content. Are they just researching or are they desperate for a solution now? What exactly was their search intent?

Based on those findings and assumptions, think about what sort of free resources you could provide them with in exchange for their email so that soon you can interact with them again, using another piece of content. Similarly, think about what other topics could they be interested in and see if you can make content to answer those questions. Then plug it all into your calendar in a way that maps their journey through the sales funnel.

Remember that different pieces of content suit the different stages of the sales funnel. You want to have a mixture of traffic-generating content, such as blog posts, social media posts, videos or infographics, and lead-generating content, which would include your free resources, eBooks, mini-courses, coupons, webinars or free challenges.

Within our Content Marketing Strategy booklet, you’ll find a link to an editorial calendar template we created on Airtable. We’ve filled out the first few fields to show you how to build journeys for your consumers with your content and move them down the sales funnel simultaneously. All you have to do is follow the pattern!

2. Apply SEO to Your Content

With the content marketing strategy out of our way, we finally arrive at step 2 of our guide on how to generate leads with content marketing.

This step is all about making sure that whatever content you create, you make sure to optimise it for search engines. After all, you are generating content for web users who are most likely searching for solutions in Google.

The type of keywords that will be relevant to your pieces of content will differ depending on the stage of the sales funnel you are associating the content to.
Long-tail keywords, along the lines of “how to generate leads with content marketing” or “what is the best way to generate leads online” might be something you include more in pieces of content that aim at attracting those consumers in the awareness stage.

Someone searching for commercial terms, such as “content marketing agency” or “content marketing expert” is likely to already be in the consideration stage.
Understanding the search intent behind the different search queries will help you stay focused on the most optimal keywords for each piece of content you produce.

To further indicate to search engines, which keywords you’re hoping to rank for you’d need to apply on-page SEO tactics, such as formatting your primary keyword with the use of H1 tag.
We go into a lot more detail on how to produce SEO-friendly content and the various on-page SEO techniques you should apply in our guide on How to generate leads online through SEO?

3. Make Your Content Interactive

Capturing your audience’s attention is key to generating leads with your content. Our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. A study conducted by Microsoft all the way back in 2000 showed that the attention span of an average person equalled 12 seconds back then. Around 2015, this dropped to 8 seconds and since then it has been ever decreasing due to the abundance of information presented to us.

Statistics show that interactive content gains two times more engagement than static content. When your audience interacts with your content, it is more likely to be shared and so may have a lot higher reach than content that is static and doesn’t get entice the reader to pass it forward. Similarly, 77% of marketers say that interactive content has a “reusable” value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.

Creating a variety of content, whether that is video, podcast, infographics, eBooks or quizzes is the best approach. Equally, within one content piece, such as a blog post, you can use several different types of content to keep the user engaged.

4. Distribute Your Content via High ROI Platforms

Creating valuable, authoritative and interactive pieces of content is one step of the process. The next step is to promote that content.

Distributing your content should be a part of your content marketing strategy. Even if you haven’t been producing long-format content in the past, you may know which one of your social media accounts gets the most engagement and perhaps has generated some leads in the past. That’s the one that is most likely going to see a higher click-through rate when you start sharing links to your content.

If you don’t have any insights into the performance of your social media accounts, it’s something that you’ll have to test and adjust as you go along. However, to start off with, think about where your target audience is most likely to hang out. As a B2B digital marketing agency, more of our content gets seen by relevant users when we post on LinkedIn and Facebook, as opposed to Instagram. Depending on your business and what audience it appeals to, you can predict the social media platform that may work best for you. Pinterest is also a great place to share your work as it can generate a sustainable flow of traffic.

5. Promote Your Lead Magnets With Facebook Ads

When you’ve created your irresistible lead magnets for your content, it’ll be a shame not to promote them to a wider audience. One great way is via Facebook Ads.

For years, Facebook has been collecting data on its members, which you can utilise to target your chosen target audience. Their AI is able to predict the buying habits of their users and knows about their preferences and interests.

With the wealth of knowledge Facebook holds over users all around the world, it makes a great tool for marketers who are looking to advertise to their target audience and generate qualified leads.

Advertising lead magnets via Facebook can work with audiences at different stages of the marketing funnel. Whether you’re trying to increase awareness or hoping to move someone from consideration to the decision stage of your marketing funnel, the audience selection tools within Facebook Ads Manager allows you to do that. You can build audiences based on your buyer personas and further suggestions from Facebook, or simply upload your email subscriber list and retarget to them.

Facebook users tend to like advertising that is more passive and so when coming up with creatives for your Facebook Ads campaigns, be sure to produce something that doesn’t disturb them while scrolling through their news feed, but equally grabs their attention so that they go ahead and subscribe to your email list in order to receive your freebie.

6. Look for Guest Blogging Opportunities & Other Forms of Collaboration

Writing blogs for other platforms that already managed to capture the attention of an audience that is similar to yours is a great way to generate leads with your content. It’s also a great way to secure a backlink that boosts your SEO.

Once again, it’s good to be strategic about your collaborations. First, research different blogs, podcasts, vlogs that your audience might be attracted to, and before pitching to those platforms, think about what evergreen content you could produce to benefit your audience.

Once you decide on the content, create a lead magnet that you can promote within your blog or while on the podcast. This will be the thing that determines how many leads you’ll get from your guest blog. Refer back to the qualities of an irresistible lead magnet and see if you can tick all those boxes. Additionally, make sure your lead magnet is highly relevant to the topic that you’re covering.

When writing your piece of content, you should create opportunities for yourself to talk about the freebie you have. Make your writing sound natural whilst at the same time mentioning something about your lead magnet throughout the body of the blog post. Another great place to mention your lead magnet is ‘Author’s Bio’.
By exposing you to a new audience, and giving you the opportunity to add value to those users with your expertise and the freebie, guest blogging enables you to generate leads with content marketing.

Guets blogging has been around for years. As a content marketing agency, we look for guest blogging opportunities for our clients. Having many Suffolk based clients, we produce guest blogs on their behalf on local directories, such as Suffolk Business Directory and Suffolk Business.

Other forms of collaboration could include being a co-host on a webinar. In recent years, webinars have been extremely popular with online users. In this way, you get exposed to a huge amount of people and connect with them on a more personal and interactive level.

7. Track Analytics and Insert Content Upgrades

Just as you need a strategy for any of your marketing campaigns, you need to track the analytics of those campaigns to gain insights on what’s working and what isn’t. Monitoring a few of the different datasets in your Google Analytics will help you make more informed strategic decisions.

By analysing the sources that your content viewers come from, you can determine which platform is generating you the highest return on investment and choose to focus more of your efforts on that particular platform. This goes back to step 4 in our process where we were trying to identify the highest ROI platform to distribute our content on.

Checking how many people viewed your content, and how long they spent on the page gives a good indication as to how interesting and engaging your content is. If, for example, you notice a trend of “How to…” guides performing better than other pieces of content, you can add more of those into your editorial calendar. High-traffic content pieces can easily be made into lead-generating powerhouses by simply adding content upgrades to them. Content upgrades work best as two-step opt-ins as you can hyperlink words within a short sentence in which you present the value of the freebie to then, once they click, send them to a contact form or a pop up where they can sign up. The two-step opt-in process has proven to increase the number of conversions.

Lastly, you want to monitor how many people sign up to get your freebies, which lead magnets are the most popular and bring in the most traffic, as well as where those people come from.

Data shows that out of those practising content marketing almost all (94%) top performers measure their content performance whereas only 60% of the least successful do.

Tracking your analytics gives you a view of the bigger picture and guides your entire strategic marketing process. In 2021, it is not enough for content marketers to know how to produce SEO-friendly content or interactive infographics. They also need to understand how content works across the board. Knowing how it can be leveraged and reused let’s you generate more leads with content marketing.
At GLO, we believe that tracking data and analysing it, allows marketers to derive insights that give them a superpower of marketing agility. This helps them to be more responsive to the ever-changing digital landscape.

Congrats! You made it through all of those 7 steps – we know it’s quite a lot to take in. We can imagine that by now, you either:

A) have your content marketing strategy written up and your editorial calendar filled with many ideas on content pieces that will help you to generate leads

B) have already given up on attempting to do this yourself and would much rather get a content marketing specialist to do it for you!

If the answer is B, get in touch with the GLO team and let us generate leads for you with content marketing.

Top 10 Content Marketing Trends

This is a deep-dive about the current content marketing trends. Learn about long-form content, video marketing trends & more in our thorough review.

Content Marketing Trends 2021

Content marketing will become increasingly more crucial in 2021. The setting to get good content marketing campaigns and content strategies are shifting and also the way content is generated has become a business concern. Understanding current content marketing trends today is vital. Users desire interactive articles and brands using a genuine and likeable content foster a better user experience.

With more and more people spending time at home, and/or working from home in the COVID-19 world, people’s exposure to the internet, and consequently your content, is only increasing. This means that people are exposed to an increasing number of webpages that are all looking to grab their attention and their business.

Podcasts and videos may enable users to experience brands in a different manner in 2021, as well as in a number of organizations chat-bots will soon take over the vast majority of consumer care. It will likely be a thrilling year for content. Within the following article, we list the most important 10 content marketing trends for 2021.

1.) Long-Form Content

One of the key content marketing trends is that both search engines and readers like to possess long content. 2021 is going to soon be the year of so-called long-form content – i.e. articles with greater than 2000 words. Longer texts tend to be somewhat more inclined to give your users well-structured, comprehensive, and well-researched texts in a subject, including added value from trusted sources. They have been more inclined to obtain these in long-form content, which could only be created using much more time and research.

Structure, paragraphs, headings not to mention the actual text itself must always be created together along with your audience in mind: what potential questions would an individual have about a topic? You ought to have the ability to answer all these questions within the writing prior to the consumer has to inquire.

As a content marketer or article creator, your goal must be ”How do I help an individual in the most useful way?” If you have this question in your mind, you may automatically create perfect search engine optimization content. Search engines are getting better at understanding the search intent of an individual and are therefore very likely to position longer articles highly. Studies also demonstrate that longer articles are shared with greater regularity on social networking websites.

In 2020, the internet was bombarded with blog articles, social networking articles and short articles which can possibly be discovered in a comparable form on several pages. In 2021, a content plan should concentrate on fewer, however regular and longer articles with well-researched details.

Most importantly, in 2021, we’ll observe content marketing moving away from texts, and much more towards podcasts, video and chat-bots.

2.) Video Marketing

Video marketing is another one of the vital content marketing trends of 2021. A 2017 report from Animoto indicates that 64% of clients made a buy after seeing branded videos on Facebook. According to the poll, three out of four users have been influenced by videos on social networking when making a purchase choice. Videos are also the most convenient means to get acquainted with an organization online.

Why are branded videos, webinars and influencer channels so popular on YouTube? Basically, users appreciate transparency and credibility in a brand. Videos tend to be more tangible than text, and also their participation is significantly higher. Individuals who speak straight with their own audiences facing the camera sets a relationship and appears more real compared to advertisements messages in pictures and words.

Cisco predicts that by 2022, videos are predicted to account for 82% of worldwide IP traffic.

In video advertisements, short informative videos are able to deal with an entirely new target audience on YouTube and Google Search. Needless to say, it is vital that you guarantee the very best video quality, and demonstration before the camera needs to be accurate, sizable and sympathetic!

3.) Podcasts

2021 could also be the year of podcasts. Together with approximately ten million young, wealthy listeners using purchasing power and also an affinity for the brand, there’s definite potential for podcast advertising. Brands may attract more users with audio content, so bringing the brand name clearly into the awareness of their prospective audience via advertisements in popular podcast series.

Podcast marketing isn’t entirely plain sailing – hearing a podcast demands time, whereas anybody can quickly look at a video and see the subtitles. Most Podcasts are parallel to some other activity – often driving a vehicle, therefore can’t be classified as readily comprehensible, easy to digest information. The Podcast-Hype will probably get off to a slow start, however, shouldn’t be underestimated.

4.) Social Media Marketing

Social networking is one of the quickest moving, and continually growing channels. In 2021 will need to pay close attention to where users really are. There’s a powerful trend away from Facebook towards short-lived audiovisual media such as Snapchat and TikTok. This is particularly valid for the younger viewers (16 to 30-year-olds), as well as for influencers.

For content to do well on Instagram, it needs to become private and authentic. Interacting and communicating together with different accounts is equally as essential as personal contact with your users – quite simply, active devotion. Stories need to be told with fast, routine posts. Continuity, playfulness and credibility are the essential elements.

5.) Mobile Responsiveness

Mobility is “the” trend of our time. Many users use a mobile device to see videos online, shop, inform themselves and also stay in touch with other people. According to studies, in 3 years, the smartphone will probably substitute the PC as the most important means of accessing the web. Consequently, all content ought to really be implemented on the basis of their ”mobile-first” idea. Notably, in video marketing, all signs indicate mobility, because nearly all people today see videos on a tablet or smartphone.

Mobile content needs to be streamlined, original and funny, in addition to being authentic enough to immediately convince users. Just then will an individual desire to have a close look at the small display. The 2nd step is the best way to spread the mobile content to additional channels.

6.) User Experience (UX) Is King

2021 is all about fulfilling the requirements of users with various formats, winning their trust and giving the brand a good image. Most importantly, content marketing needs to make one thing: a fantastic user-experience. In the future, tangible content will certainly catch up with quality and price as essential aspects of a product.

Google, Instagram and also Facebook optimize their search engine along with news feed algorithms every minute to react to the further evolution of an individual experience and draw users. The benefit: each time a user interacts with the material, it automatically remains visible and present on social media marketing for longer. How people make use of the web is shifting. An increasing number of people are utilizing voice search rather than text input. As content marketing managers, you’ve got to adjust to the trend and devote more to suitable audio content as a way to satisfy the corresponding user requirements. That is particularly true for both search engine optimisation and web search.

7.) Micro-Moments

  • People spend an average of just under 4 hours on their smartphones every day.
  • People generally make instant decisions on what to eat, which restaurant to choose, what to purchase, or where to go. This is changing the way brands must work to capture buyers’ attention.
  • To take advantage of micro-moments in 2021, be where consumers search for information in the moment – such as Google, Google Maps, Amazon, YouTube, and anywhere else people search for information at a moment’s notice.

Consumers in the Age of Assistance

A new breed of consumers has arrived. Empowered by mobile, today’s consumers can get exactly what they want, instantly and effortlessly. As a result, they are more curious, demanding, and impatient than ever before. Explore these three emerging consumer behaviours and dig into data and insights that will help you rethink your content marketing strategies.

The Curious Consumer

People have become research-obsessed, even about the small stuff. Today, people are researching more than ever, preparing for every aspect of any experience, so each decision — be it big or small — is an informed one. We’re increasingly turning to search for ideas and inspiration. If you can play to the research-obsessed person’s needs, you can be assistive in a way that gets them excited, relieves their anxiety, and pulls them into your experience so they don’t choose another.

Why people need to know before they go

  • Spark excitement about an upcoming experience
    • 55% growth in “menus” mobile searches in the past 2 years.
  • Build confidence before purchasing
    • 150% growth in “___ to avoid” searches in the past 2 years.
  • Make the most of a budget
    • Over 80% growth in “is ___ worth it” in the past 2 years

How shoppers find ideas and inspiration:

  • Looking for ideas – Kickstart their shopping journey by searching for ideas.
    • 55% growth in “___ ideas” searches in the past 2 years.
  • Making a list – Tapping into others’ ideas provides pre-vetted inspiration.
    • 150% growth in “___ shopping list” searches in the past 2 years
  • Finding a brand – Ideas on what brand to buy.
    • 80% growth in “best” mobile searches in the past 2 years
  • Consulting reviews – We look to those who have used the product for answers.
    • 35% growth in “product reviews” searches in the past 2 years.

The era of video – People are drawn to the richness of video to help them experience a product in ways that words can’t convey.

  • In the past year, 40% of Youtube users turned to the platform to learn more
    about a product before they bought it.
  • If you added up the time people have spent watching “First Ride” car videos on
    YouTube, it’s equivalent to driving from New York to San Francisco over 45,000
    times.
  • 1,000% growth in “shop with me” videos on YouTube in 2 years.

Tips:

  • Understanding search behaviour – By understanding how people are searching for ideas, brands have an opportunity to get into their consideration set. Brands can think of all the open-ended discovery moments where someone is totally open to what is out there and make themselves visible and differentiated. At this ideas and inspiration stage of discovery, people are looking for help—and savvy marketers can put their brands at the centre of this opportunity.
  • Honesty is the best policy – If you’re making videos, do a gut check to make sure you’re using everyday language and everyday people. People want to see something they can relate to. Also, show what your product is really like. Show it in real-world conditions. For social, brands have realized that they shouldn’t make things too polished or too produced. The same applies here. To get a full view of a product, people are actively seeking out frank reviews.
  • Monitor search reviews – Monitoring search behavior reviews can give you another window into the mind of your customers. Don’t be afraid of exploring what comes up if you monitor your brand and the phrase “to avoid.” How people are searching for your brand or category can help catch potential issues, identify areas for improvement, and uncover new ways to talk to your consumers and address their concerns. And if you see that people are questioning whether your brand or category is worth it, consider creating and promoting content that tells people why it is. There’s a whole community of creators testing and evaluating products, including yours. That means users will be validating any claims you make, so make sure your product can live up to them.
  • Understand intent signals – Whether it’s to get excited, build confidence, or manage their money, people are using search to shape and validate the decisions they make. To ensure you’re part of their consideration set, pay attention to the intent behind people’s searches and adapt your messaging accordingly.
  • Build useful tools – People rely on the web to plan the best experience possible. Provide assistance with tools that cater to these experiences. Offer up ways to easily organize their experiences so people feel confident—and not overwhelmed—by the decisions they make. For example, offering a trip-planner tool or pre-built suggested packing lists can help put people at ease.
  • Do your research – Understanding the different moments and mindsets of your customers as they’re planning an experience presents a great opportunity to become a part of their consideration set early on in their decision-making process.
  • Make it easy – Make it simple and fast to plan their days, save time, or plan on a budget. Find ways to let people tell you what’s important to them e.g beach vs. island view, classic or modern, budget or luxury—and then suggest matches that fit those needs.
  • Get creative – Since many users aren’t going to be able to physically touch a product before they buy it, brands need to come up with creative ways to help people “experience” it online. Think of ways to bring your product to life online so it stands out—like using virtual reality or augmented reality—such as L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius app that lets users virtually try on makeup

The Demanding Consumer

Today, people expect every digital experience to be personalized just for them, even when they include few details and don’t explicitly spell out their request. For marketers, this means meeting these demanding consumers with the right information at the right moment.

Search Can Be a Personal Advisor

As technology becomes more intuitive, people are changing the way they interact with it. In search, we are seeing that people are beginning to use more conversational search queries, which allow them to ask more pointed, specific, and personally relevant questions about the products and services they’re interested in. This not only enables people to cut through the clutter, getting them answers quickly and efficiently, but it also gives them the confidence that they’re getting exactly what they need.

Personal – Expectations have never been higher. We’ve seen that people increasingly use personal language — such as “me” and “I” — in their searches. Whether they are problem-solving or learning about the world around them, people want the most relevant and personal results in any situation. Google is seeing this search data across categories. People are looking for advice about a range of things from personal hygiene (“How often should I wash my hair”) to fairly substantial health and financial decisions like “should I go vegan” and “what kind of credit card should I get.”

  • 85% growth in mobile searches starting with “can I” in 2 years.
  • 65% growth in mobile searches for “___ for me” in 2 years

Location – “Near me” is no longer just about finding a specific place. It’s now about finding a specific thing, in a specific area, and in a specific period of time.

  • 3 times increase in mobile searches for “near me” over the past 2 years
  • 500% growth in “near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “or buy” over the past 2 years

Relevant – People have realized that by being more specific in how they search, they can more quickly get to the relevant information they’re looking for.

  • Mobile searches relating to “___ shoes for ___” have grown 120% in the past 2 years (e.g., “comfortable shoes for travelling”).

Tips:

  • Be Savvy – Consumers want answers as well as ideas and inspiration. And they want these things fast. Those who can deliver answers to people’s personal needs will have an advantage. This goes for searches like “best shampoo for me” and “what kind of dog should I get?” Redken offers a hair diagnostic tool. The American Kennel Club and Pedigree are among those suggesting quizzes to help people select the right dog breed.
  • Consider Conversational – In search, after locking down the keywords and phrases typically associated with your business, think beyond those to consider more conversational phrases that customers might be using to find you. Because consumers are growing more and more at ease with technology, consider using more natural language and creating intuitive experiences across all of your digital touchpoints.
  • Be useful. People respond to brands that understand their needs. So, it’s important to optimize your media for both the relevance to the consumer and lifetime value for the brand. Some customers spend more — a lot more — and many customers spend less. Understanding that can mean the difference between paying to acquire profitable customers and paying to acquire the customers your competition didn’t want.

The Impatient Consumer

Customers today are impatient, and their standards are unforgiving. People are making decisions faster than ever—and they expect to act on those decisions in the moment. The always-there nature of mobile enables us to act right in the moment that an idea pops into our heads. People want help in these decision-making moments. For marketers, this means shifting their strategies to keep pace with these impatient consumers and make it even easier for people to get things done.

Why Expectations for “Right Now” Are on the Rise

We have all been empowered and emboldened by information, with our phones acting as supercomputers in our pockets, we can find, learn, do, and buy whenever the need arises—or the whim strikes. This ability to get things done in the moment—paired with the fact that brands are getting better at delivering speedy, frictionless mobile experiences—is driving expectations higher than ever.

  • People are making on-the-spot decisions – In other words, when making these on-the-spot decisions, they are more loyal to their need than to any particular place.
    • 150% growth in mobile searches for “___near me now”
    • 300% growth in search interest for “___open now” in 3 years
  • People expect to get products and services immediately – In some ways, we have all come to expect instant information. But expecting the actual product or service right away? That’s the new normal. Smartphone users are 50% more likely to expect to purchase something immediately while using their smartphone compared to a year ago
    • 120% growth in “wait times” searches in the past 2 years.
    • Mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% since 2015. Google trends show that searches for “same-day shipping” peak first thing in the morning.
    • Our planning behaviour is changing, increasingly making last-minute plans, 150% growth in mobile search for “tonight” and “today” in 2 years

Your consumers are going to be everyone from Plan-Ahead Pete to Impromptu Ilana and Last-Minute Larry. But regardless of their personal organizational habits, their expectations are all the same—they want to get what they want when they want it. Consumers have higher expectations than ever for right here, right now experiences.

In fact, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.… We’ve actually seen that for every one-second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%.

Tips:

  • Be there. People now expect to be assisted everywhere. And that means it’s critical that you’re measuring and understanding the impact of your media touchpoints on the consumer journey.
  • Be quick. To succeed, brands must commit to the creation of incredible mobile experiences that are fast and frictionless. Fast and frictionless is now table stakes, and the basics—like load time—can make or break you. But we aren’t there yet—the average mobile site takes 22 seconds to fully load. To test your own mobile site speed, give Test My Site a spin. It even provides instant recommendations to make your mobile site more instant.
  • It’s time to invest in mobile experiences as well as a machine learning and automation strategy. Machine learning can help you understand and predict intent in ways that simply aren’t possible manually. It can also help you find missed or unexpected connections between business goals and the habits of your key customer segments.

8.) Cross Team Content Marketing

In 2019, content production should no longer function as the pure job of a business’s marketing department. From the CEO for the intern, every employee ought to at the very least allow some input to stream into the content production procedure. Why?

Each department and each employee needs to take care of the customer in various ways and in different parts of the buyer journey. Various departments, therefore, know the clients’ requirements and needs best at this specific moment. A possible way for content generation for a cross-team could look like this:

The advertising team receives a brand new purpose of the content moderator and handles the input it receives from the rest of the departments in the corporation.

In collaboration with HR, IT, Sales, Account Management, relevant content could be created from those who handle the prospective audience within their field on a daily basis.

Potential ideas: “Meet with the team” – Blog articles, videos or even regular company podcasts make the people behind a brand tangible, promote direct interaction with clients and also make a substantial contribution to a business’s trust and transparency.

9.) Content Collaboration With Other Brands and Influencers

Brands like Uber and Spotify, who’ve teamed up to offer clients a playlist of their favourite tunes while on the move, are showing the way. The cooperation of two brands or even the collaboration with one particular influencer creates new articles that can be played out on several channels to both target groups, leading to a far wider audience. Focus: accomplish it’s important that you pick businesses which suit you without having to be in direct competition with one another. Ideally, both parties complement one another within their marketing expertise.

Best-case example: RedBull, a genuine {marketing| and |advertising} giant, and GoPro, who provided the suitable technical equipment for its combined “Stratos” Project.

Possible types of collaboration:

  • Podcast interviews with experts
  • Collaborative Case Studies
  • Social media ”Take Overs”, by which celebrities take control of the social networking channel of a business. A fantastic case in point is Emma Watson, who became the very first guest editor of National Geographics Instagram Channels as a women’s and human rights activist on International Women’s World Day.

10.) Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

They share advice, answer questions and also are getting to be increasingly more intelligent as virtual assistants. They’re particularly useful in the areas of customer support and content marketing.

They truly are cost-effective, never annoyed or impatient in contact with clients, plus they feature service round the clock. A fantastic chatbot will answer open questions at which ”yes” or ”no more” is inadequate, and also uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to obtain the most useful answers to frequently asked questions. Some organizations already use it in customer communication on social networking channels, like Facebook. Even a chatbot could be incorporated into all common messengers such as Facebook, Whatsapp or Skype. Implementing it on your own website can be a fantastic means for clients to quickly get in contact with a corporation.

Using chatbots isn’t brand new – but is also gaining popularity as a result of accelerated development within the area of AI. In regular customer care, chatbots will provide customer service more time to get more elaborate questions and pressing problems. Furthermore, chatbots can gather and analyze customer data dependent on user input. This way, questions, wishes or trends can be recognized and evaluated.

A poll has proven that clients prefer chat to other means of communicating. They have been extremely positive about chatbots in order to discover the capability to communicate using an ”employee” via chat to be especially convenient and quick.

Conclusion

Content Marketing will be taking a major step forward concerning technology and UX from 2019. Businesses must adjust to the expectations of these clients, be it customer communication, content creation or supply on all channels. Video and sound formats are all on the increase and so they have to be real, fresh and consumable in the ideal format, whether on the tablet computer in your home or on the smartphone.

For text articles, the more the writing, the more probable it’s to become shared. And content marketing is a team game. Employees individual departments understand precisely what moves their clients and what expectations they will have. Bring them on board! Cooperation with other businesses or influencers usually leads to innovative advertising and marketing ideas, a wider audience and additional channels for user communication.