May 7, 2019
Content marketing trends for 2019
By now, you would have seen thousands of articles and guides on how to execute content marketing strategies and 99% have given you the same advice:
- Use data to drive your content strategy
- Write content that focuses on product pain-points
- Be intentional about your long-tail targeting
Well, this article will be nothing like those articles you’ve read in the past. The content strategies outlined in this article may not sound familiar to many of you, but they’re worth trying if you want to avoid doing the same thing as your competitors.
Prioritize problem-solving over pure SEO
Organic traffic is the holy grail. It converts better, it’s evergreen, and once a post is ranking on Google, it doesn’t take much maintenance from you. Everyone agrees that organic traffic is essential, but the area in which marketers disagree with conventional SEO wisdom, however, is how businesses should go about getting organic traffic. Traditional SEO advice makes it into a numbers game; we are often advised to target specific long-tail keywords in headlines, make sure posts are long-form, and focus on link building once the post is live.
The problem? Your competitors are likely to be doing the same thing. We suggest doing the following: map out all of the issues your ideal customer might face and formulate articles that solve them. Once those articles are locked in, you can then look at keywords around each specific article to optimize them for SEO. So instead of making SEO the primary driver behind your content strategy, ensure your articles are solving actual problems your ideal customers are searching for. As a result, your posts are more likely to naturally rank with Google because people are using search engines to find answers to their problems. Anticipate these problems, create content that solves them better than anyone else, and watch your organic traffic grow, well, organically.
Also, consider tackling pain-points unrelated to your product
As we’ve discussed above, a good content strategy involves creating content that addresses your customer’s pain-points. Most of the time, these pain-points are going to be problems that directly relate to your product — and that makes a lot of sense.
However, many marketers ignore a different kind of pain-point, one that’s fantastic for reaching new people within your target segment. These pain-points are not related to your product but still affect your target buyer in some way — and they are perfect topics for content. For example, Autopilot has no service that helps marketers become better copywriters, yet we’ve written several articles on this topic.
Why? Because a lot of our customers are marketers and copywriting is a topic that they’re very likely to be interested in. If you’re confident enough in your buyer personas to say that everyone within your target segment would benefit from using your product, then you should get that target segment reading your blog — and engaging with your content — in any way possible. That means creating content that solves their problems — and not all of those problems will be directly related to your product.
Worry about video and podcast marketing later
Experts say that video content is the future and that podcasts are changing the marketing landscape. Both are true, but none of them should be your first choice with content. Virtually all small businesses face one central problem when it comes to content: a lack of resources. Therefore, we recommend starting with written content for the following reasons:
- The cost of entry is much lower
- Scaling is cheaper and easier
- Production times are faster
Until you have real traction, a very narrow buyer persona, and know for sure what content will drive leads within your target segment, gambling your resources on a more expensive medium is a bad investment. Start by creating written content that solves your target customer’s needs, scale your production, and when you have 35,000 unique visitors each month, then think about branching out into other mediums.
Put customers before content
Most small businesses or startups who have sustained some traction through their content ask themselves the same question after several months: “What content is performing best, and how can we double down on that?”
When you have traction, it’s easy to think in simple terms. If 1,000 unique visitors netted you 30 customers last month, increasing your content reach to 10,000 unique visitors should get you 300 customers, right? Well, no. In fact, this kind of thinking gives you tunnel vision.
You focus on increasing traffic, instead of increasing revenue. And this leads to linear growth, where increasing your traffic by x increases your conversions by a proportional amount. If you want exponential growth, where an increase in traffic coincides with an increase in your conversion rate and lead quality, you need to focus on creating content that is better targeted to your highest value customers. These are people who will generate more revenue for you, require fewer resources from you, and are more likely to evangelize your product — which means even more traffic.
So instead of focusing on what content has been shared the most or getting the highest click-throughs, however, try focusing on who your best customers are by asking questions such as “which customers were brought in at the highest value?”, “which customers have been retained the longest?” and “who are your most satisfied customers?”
A CRM such as Pipedrive or Salesforce can help you answer the first 2 questions. You can then use the following Autopilot journey to help you find out how satisfied your customers are with your product or service by sending an NPS survey using Delighted:
The more you dive deeper into your buyers’ personas, the more you’re able to narrow your target audience. You’ll then be in a better position to formulate new content that serves those specific personas.