12 Content Marketing Trends You Should Follow

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We have reached a tipping point in content marketing where there is so much content being published daily that no one can consume even a small percentage of it precisely when marketers want to. Content fatigue has set in and is creating a very real problem for businesses that understand the importance of content marketing but can’t get out of the clutter.

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How do you create enough high-quality content and ensure the right audience sees it to drive your business forward? To stay ahead of the game and be one of the companies that can successfully leverage content marketing to increase brand awareness, sales, and loyalty, you need to understand the content marketing trends you should to follow.

Here are 12 content marketing trends that I believe are the most important to track in the coming year to ensure that your content investments are generating adequate returns for your business over the long term.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

1. Embrace machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. It involves the use of computer algorithms to gain knowledge from entered data and information. As more data and information is collected, machines learn and produce different outputs based on various factors such as patterns and trends.

Over time, the machine collects more and more data, and as a result, its outputs become more accurate, relevant, and personalized. One of the best examples of machine learning in action is a search engine algorithm like Google. As more and more people search using Google, the search algorithm gets better and better to provide the best results.

For content marketing, tools are being developed to help publishers create the most appropriate content for specific target audiences. When a business can publish perfect content and make it available to the right audience at the right time, conversions will naturally increase.

2. Take advantage of automation

We live in the age of automation where savvy business owners are looking for ways to automate every task imaginable, including tasks related to creating, publishing, and promoting content. This trend won’t stop, so it’s best to get on board and start automating parts of your content marketing process as soon as possible.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by automation. Instead, start by making small changes to your content marketing workflows. For example, start by automating certain aspects of your lead generation, email marketing, and social media marketing initiatives.

3. Publish co-authored content

Why rely on your own ability to create content and promote it when you can partner with someone else to do it? Publishing content in partnership with another person or business that can help you expand your reach is a trend that any entrepreneur can benefit from.

Reach out to other businesses that have the eyes and ears of your target audience and ask if they’d like to partner with you to create and promote helpful content. You will share the workload and double the benefits for both of you.

4. Track data, but target people and needs

Data is essential, but don’t let it distract you from the wants and needs of your target audience. Remember that the vast majority of purchasing decisions are at least partially influenced by emotions. Data can’t accurately track emotions, so it’s important that your content evokes emotions based on people’s wants and needs or you miss a big part of the picture.

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5. Be adaptive, not just calendar-driven

Flexibility is becoming increasingly important in content marketing. Marketplace winners will be able to quickly adapt their content to meet market changes and consumer demands. In fact, market leaders will leverage machine learning and automation to stay ahead of market changes and consumer demands. Yes, you should create a content calendar, but don’t make it so rigid that you can’t adapt and exploit opportunities (or thwart threats) as they arise.

6. Invest for the long term

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. You can back it up with short-term tactics to get immediate results, but its power in growing a brand and a business comes from its ability to drive sustainable, long-term organic growth for your business. This means committing to posting quality content consistently. Do not abandon. Persistence wins when it comes to content marketing.

7. Pay to play

Successful content marketing often requires leveraging Facebook advertising as well as media and influencer outreach. Be prepared to pay to promote your best content, which means you’ll need to invest in advertising as well as the tools and manpower to reach key influencers and members of the media.

8. Create dynamic content

Dynamic content is content that you create once, but it includes variable elements that change based on the audience viewing it. For example, you can run an email marketing promotion that displays a 10% discount offer to one segment of your audience and a 20% discount to another segment.

When you post dynamic content, images, text and offers may change depending on who is consuming that content, but you save time and money because you only have to create the content once. times. Dynamic content has become commonplace in most business marketing departments, and it’s simple and affordable enough for small businesses to use as well.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

9. Update and Refresh Old Content

You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Many online businesses and publishers are successful in updating and refreshing old content. Not only does updating old content positively affect search engine rankings for that content, but it also ensures that more people see it.

It takes you less time to update an old piece of content than it does to create a new one, so review your old content and look for great pieces that you can revive with a simple refresh.

10. Align content with the buyer’s journey

It’s essential that you consider where your audience is in the buyer’s journey before creating content, because people who are just starting to think they want to buy something need to see completely different content than people who are about to make a purchase. This is especially true for products and services that require lengthy purchasing decision processes, such as big ticket items.

Therefore, identify where your audience is in the buyer’s journey and align those stages with their positions in the marketing funnel to create the most relevant and targeted content possible. Your results will improve when you take the time to ensure your content and the buyer’s journey are aligned.

11. Future-proof your content

Every business will publish time-sensitive content, but most of your content should be evergreen, which means it can stand the test of time. To do this, make sure your content is clear, complete and factual. Ask yourself, “If someone views this content in a year, will it still make sense? What will it be in five years?”

Don’t worry if you can’t future proof a piece of content. This piece could be a perfect candidate for an update and refresh in the future (see above).

12. Go further

Content that provides basic information is everywhere today. If you want your content marketing to succeed and work for your business, you have to go further than everyone else. Think about the next step once someone has learned or completed the basic steps. Be specific and give the audience more than they can find elsewhere.

Your next steps

By focusing your marketing plan on these 12 content marketing trends, you will be ahead of your competition in terms of delivering the best content to your target audience. Then promote that content as much as possible, track your results, and identify where you can make improvements. As you learned above, you need to be adaptive if you want your content marketing investments to really work for your business.