7 actionable content marketing tips to improve your strategy in 2019
Actionable content marketing advice could not come at a better time than just before businesses kick off the new year.
This is the moment to look back on the previous year and take our learnings from it. When it comes to content marketing, one year can make a massive difference: the audience’s needs and behaviour have changed, as have the platforms that marketers use to promote their content. New tools and technologies have emerged, and old strategies are becoming obsolete.
However, that doesn’t mean that content marketing has become a thing of 2018. The beauty of content marketing is that it’s a dynamic, constantly evolving field that you can never let yourself get comfortable in – and we’re not about to get snug.
As part of our efforts to keep learning and get better at what we do at Hubbub Labs, we scoured the internet in search of the tips that will help us and our readers step up their content marketing game in 2019. Here are the 7 best, most actionable ideas we’ve found.
Keep visitors engaged with the help of consistent programming
In this interview with Wordable, content marketing strategist and editor Tommy Walker delivers a flood of invaluable advice that we should all take to heart in 2019 – but there’s one particular point that stands out.
Walker believes that people view the computer screen similarly to how they used to see the television screen in the past. You need to keep people engaged the same way that a TV show would, so you can “create an ongoing narrative that people will want to tune into time and time again.” Programming is key: develop a consistent schedule so that your readers can “get into a habit of tuning in”.
Beyond his point about keeping readers engaged with the help of consistent programming, Walker also gives us a few actionable writing tips, such as writing sweater knit copy where one line cannot exist without the other, and always cutting the first word you write, so as not to bore your readers with your “warm-up”, when you’re basically just practicing.
For more advice on blogging and storytelling, check out Tommy Walker of Intuit on Editorial Processes & Storytelling by Jim Berg on Wordable.
Turn your marketing funnel into a cycle
Forbes contributor John Hall hit the nail on the head in his article about 5 Content Marketing Trends To Watch In 2019 when he highlighted the importance of a change in your content marketing mindset that “prioritizes continuous engagement over transactional relationships.”
Instead of ignoring your customers once you’ve got what you wanted (i.e. once they’ve converted), Hall advises to adopt a more sustainable and effective strategy, which is keeping your customers engaged not only before, but after they’ve converted.
“This increased focus on nurturing, especially post-sale, makes customers more likely to stay with you or buy again — and more likely to give recommendations to friends and colleagues,” he writes. There are many different ways to keep in touch with your audience: you can engage with them through social media, email marketing campaigns, etc.
To discover the four other content marketing trends that will prevail in 2019, head to 5 Content Marketing Trends To Watch In 2019.
Reward reader engagement with appreciation
“What’s the point of a blog if it doesn’t entice any interaction?” asks Sam Hurley, writer of a super informative blog post on 3 Smart Blogging Hacks to Boost Revenue & Customer Retention in 2019.
He lists 5 blog engagement metrics that you should always be analyzing: comments, social media shares, time on page, clickthroughs to sales pages and inbound links. However, in 2019 it won’t be enough to monitor and try to optimize these: you will need to reward your engaged fans with appreciation to keep them engaged and loyal to your brand. (This is closely related to our previous tip, turning your marketing funnel into a cycle and focusing on nurturing your audience.)
According to Hurley, rewards can be as simple as replying to comments that readers leave under your blog posts, sending them goodies or asking them for feedback. He’s got some great ideas on how you can do this manually or in a semi-automatized way (in case you’ve got thousand of readers) in his post 3 Smart Blogging Hacks to Boost Revenue & Customer Retention in 2019 on PostFunnel.
Test new ways of content promotion
Benji Hyam recently published a post on Grow & Convert where he talks about how traditional ways of content promotion are no longer serving marketers and what you can do to come up with new strategies to get your content in front of your target audience.
He sums up the three typical tactics most companies use to promote their content: trying to rank for certain keywords and wait for SEO to kick in, sharing blog posts on personal and business social media accounts, and distributing content in online communities (such as Facebook groups, Reddit, Quora, etc).
Lately, Hyam’s team has been experiencing the same struggle that many other content marketers are dealing with. Due to the limits that platforms like Facebook have recently imposed on link sharing, leveraging online communities is not nearly as effective as it used to be.
Hyam suggests that instead of relying solely on SEO (which is a long-term strategy) and your own social media followers (where you also have a limited reach), in 2019 you should experiment with new ways of content promotion. He proposes testing paid advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Reddit), buying or building industry-specific newsletters, and creating your own community outside the commonly used social media platforms.
To find out more about how he’s trying out some of his ideas, read the post Content Promotion Is Changing. My Thoughts on Where We Go from Here.
Take SEO beyond Google
According to Kevin Indig, author of The Time to Take SEO Beyond Google Is Now, there are several reasons why in 2019, you should be thinking outside the box when it comes to SEO.
The Google search engine has gone through significant changes. The amount of competition in search results is getting out of hand. Google has started displaying answers to queries directly in the SERPs (which discourages users from clicking on links). They’ve also added featured snippets to accommodate voice search, again resulting in fewer clicks.
Luckily, there are many ways to free yourself from Google and diversify your SEO. You can try extending your SEO strategy to video and taking advantage of the second largest search engine in the world (Youtube), you can direct the traffic that you do get from organic search to a medium that you can control (for example an email list), and you can repurpose your content in different formats on different platforms (Medium articles, Pinterest pins, infographics, podcasts, etc).
Check out Indig’s post on adopting new SEO strategies that sidestep Google to find out more about what you can do to diversify your SEO game.
Produce personalized video content
In her article Personalized Video Content Can Be The Marketing Breakthrough Brands Need, Forbes contributor Jia Wertz rightly points out that businesses can no longer ignore the increasing popularity of video content. According to her, “video is how the smartest marketers overcome the challenge of increasing reach and engagement in our current environment of constant media overload”.
And there is one surefire way to make your audience respond to your videos: by creating truly engaging, personalized experiences.
In 2019, your video content has to be personally relevant and useful to the user. It has to differentiate you from other brands using similar video marketing tactics. Your videos should mimic a personal, one-to-one conversation to create an intimate relationship with your audience. And to achieve all of this, you should be utilizing “all the big data you’ve been collecting on leads and customers,” says Wertz.
To get a better idea of what she means by that, check out her post on the pivot to personalized video content on Forbes.
Use content marketing technology
One of Joao Romao’s 7 Tips To Be Successful With Content Marketing In 2019 is not to shy away from content marketing technology.
“About 67% of the most successful content marketers describe their organisation as expert/advanced users of content marketing technology,” he cites. These statistics prove that using social media tools, email marketing software and/or analytics platforms can make or break the success of a content marketing strategy.
Technologies that allow you to automate certain processes – like scheduling posts on social media – can help you save time, which you can use to explore new ways of promoting your content (and maybe test a couple of the new promotion tactics we mentioned above), or keep your audience engaged through appreciation (also one of the above tips).
For more insights from Joao, visit his post outlining his tips for content marketing success in 2019.