If you’re into content creation, you’ve probably learned by now that the rules of the game are constantly changing.
What was once a norm has become a hindrance, and winning the game is in the hands of those who can quickly adapt.
So, for your content to successfully beat your competitors’ efforts and survive in 2020, here are the rules you’d better accept and stick to.
1- Be Authentic
With more than a hundred million posts on social media every day, competing for your audience’s attention and engagement is hard. There is a high demand for authentic content, so If you want to be successful with your content every piece you create needs to be fresh and genuine.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and something that has never been seen before.
For example, Red Bull catapulted their brand into the marketing stratosphere by sponsoring and running a live stream of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space.
The brand pulled off a bold and breathtaking marketing stunt in every sense of the word and grabbed their audience by the eyeballs, thus generating huge buzz and cementing their name in the extreme sports world. The fact that this was the real McCoy and not just one more commercial helped them build trust.
And that’s something to strive for as 86% of consumers find authenticity to be a key differentiator when putting their trust in a brand.
Personalization of content has a high impact on your consumer’s engagement.
Research shows that 74% of consumers get frustrated when the website doesn’t offer them content which fits their interests, so if you haven’t already, the time has come to start monitoring your audience’s online behavior and targeting them with specific content, either based on the interest their current interests or their past touchpoints with you, such as the content they have already consumed or their purchase history.
Luckily, social media allows you to get in touch with your audience directly, ask them questions, and use Live features to interact with them. Personalization of your content is possible only if you use your followers’ feedback, so make sure to let them have their say.
For example, you can send custom email newsletters based on their previous preferences or personal thank-you notes and videos.
3- Make Sticky Content
Most content has a brief shelf life, so make sure to build your content to last and be useful in your niche.
Your content needs to resonate with your audience so that they can relate to it in their everyday life, learn something valuable from it and share it with their friends and families.
Leave out the jargon, and use simple, easy-to-understand language but still make your content credible by using credible sources.
Use stories and anecdotes to spice things up and present a problem and a solution in an interesting manner, by integrating different types of content into a single piece.
Create useful how-to guides and pieces packed with advice, and revisit them on a regular basis to get evergreen content, which will surely bring you consistent traffic and make your audience stick around.
4- Optimize for Different Types of Searches
The way people search online is constantly changing and evolving, as well as the algorithms used for ranking the content which best fits our queries.
Understanding how these new channels of search work is essential, as that’s the only way to integrate this fresh knowledge into your strategy.
Just remember that nowadays people sometimes start their search on social media.
And bear in mind that Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and other voice-activated chatbots are becoming more and more popular when it comes to browsing the internet and finding all kinds of information.
The earlier these trends are integrated, the greater the chances are that different emerging search platforms, such as Amazon or Instagram, will positively impact your traffic and engagement, so consider optimizing your content for voice, visual and vertical search.
5- Focus on Micro-Moments
If you want to win your consumer’s engagement, you need to capture the micro-moments in their buyer’s journey.
According to Google, these micro-moments are:
- I-want-to-know moment. Your consumers need information, so provide it for them.
- I-want-to-go moment. Tell your consumer where to go to get what they need.
- I-want-to-do moments. Help your consumers do something, or teach them how to.
- I-want-to-buy moment. Help your consumers make a purchasing decision.
You need to be there for your consumer throughout each stage of their journey, provide them with highly-personalized content, as well as be useful and accountable in every interaction.
6- Deliver Multimedia Content With Omnichannel Distribution
Multimedia content has become a necessity – by 2022 online videos will make up more than 82% of all internet traffic.
With 700,000 active podcasts, audio content is growing as a trend too, and if don’t tap into this format, you’re about to become history.
Learn how to best repurpose your content and turn your evergreen post into a fascinating video presentation, and then, later on, a podcast too. A practical tip for content creators – videos lasting 90 seconds on average have a 59% retention rate, compared to 14% retention of to videos lasting more than 30 minutes. Keep it brief and useful.
Besides focusing on multimedia your followers would love, provide them with omnichannel consistency too. 98% of consumers use more than one device during the course of the day, and surveys show that companies offering omnichannel experience have far better customer retention rates.
As enriching your business and content strategy can be pretty challenging, it’s a good idea to consult a reliable business coach who can help you develop your ideas and ensure that you’re taking the right path on while you’re innovating your approach.
Be sure to track your KPIs in order to measure your goals, and be able to determine what kind of content performs best, and on what channel.
When measuring your success, don’t focus on volume metrics alone, such as visits and traffic, but pay attention to those metrics that measure value, such as time spent on a web page, engagement and shares.
To boost the results of your value metrics, you should always make sure your content is always top-notch, perfectly tailored, useful and relevant.
Even though ads are usually avoided and rarely considered worthwhile by consumers, the budget for them is still 30% higher than for search spendings, as they’ve found new ways to reach their target audience, by using remarketing.
But, the truth is that ads can be really effective if they’re used to target people who have shown a certain interest in your offer.
So, make sure to jump on the remarketing wagon and stay on your audience’s radar even after they leave your web page.
Remarketing happens when you target your site viewers with your ads, by displaying them on any site which accepts Google Display Network.
This practice has become a very popular and cost-effective way to promote content, and constantly be in front of your audience’s eyes.
If you want your content to succeed, make sure to create some personalized content for remarketing purposes.
9- Create Content for Communities
People are using every opportunity to make subject-specific communities, and you can find all sorts of communities on social media channels, such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Your consumers join different groups relevant to their interests and needs, in order to get unbiased suggestions and reviews, so your content needs to be community-based so that it can find a way to be featured in these communities.
People talk about the products and services they use, and it’s essential to make sure that you provide superb customer experience to your audience, as that’s a surefire way of being rewarded with positive online reviews.
Needless to say, your audience are members of these communities and they’ll be more than happy to put in a good word for you if they’re satisfied with how you treat them.
10- Be Mobile
Last but not least, don’t forget that an increasing number of people browse the internet and even consume different kinds of content on their mobile devices.
This means that you should optimize your videos, live streams, and other types of content for mobile. So, for example, always add text to your videos so that people can watch them with the sound off – remember that many commuters want to kill time on their way to work, and sometimes they forget to bring their headsets.
Also, it’s important that your website or blog displays properly on different screen sizes so that your visitors don’t have to zoom in and out when they want to read a post or explore.
The time is right to start following these guidelines and stay ahead of the curve in 2020.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.