Now more than ever, content marketing is a vital part of any effective SEO strategy. Not only are search engines zeroing in on contextual relevance as the primary factor in ranking, but your customers expect a stream of engaging, high quality content. In the ever-changing digital landscape, content marketing in its many forms remains the most effective method for increasing visibility, generating more traffic and boosting your bottom line.
But like all marketing strategies, content marketing is continually evolving. Here are some of the hottest content marketing trends your business should consider for 2015.
1. More Content Created By Employees and Customers
Content creation is becoming decentralized as more companies discover that the best sources of content are already at their fingertips — their employees and customers. Involving all of your employees (not just the marketing team) in creating and releasing content across multiple channels is an excellent way to increase visibility and content volume. It can also help you improve employee engagement and satisfaction, as employees who contribute content feel more valued and involved in the overall company direction.
Customer generated content has a similar dual effect. In addition to increased visibility and volume, user-generated content initiatives engage your audience and help customers feel that they’re able to contribute to your company and your brand.
2. An Increase in Hyperlocal Content
Plenty of companies rely on local business — so it makes sense to engage in content marketing with a local focus. “Hyperlocal” content, which is content produced by an author who lives in the specific geographical area the business is targeting, has seen recently increasing use as a strategy. This rising trend will continue in 2015.
There are a few reasons hyperlocal content can be highly effective, and they’re related. One is that more customers than ever are finding local businesses using mobile search, so the more locally you can optimize your SEO, the better you’ll perform on mobile searches. The other is that Google’s algorithms favor original, hyperlocal content — and the search engine giant controls the vast majority of mobile search market share.
3. Content Saying More With Less
It’s not just the often-mentioned decreasing attention span of consumers — today’s customer is simply pressed for time. More people are turning to resources that deliver shorter content with high value, and content marketers must balance providing valuable information with respecting their audiences’ equally valuable time.
In 2015, successful content will be both engaging and easy to consume. This includes quick videos, at-a-glance images and infographics, and longer text content broken up by easy-to-scan subheadings, bullet lists — or even installments or series, rather than a single, long piece.
4. The Multimedia Expansion Continues With Content
The online space is a crowded one, and companies using content marketing need a way to stand out. In today’s digital landscape, varying the format of your content is one of the most effective ways to grab the attention of your audience.
Rich media is rapidly gaining favor among marketers and their audiences. Content formats like video, audio, slideshows, and infographics offer engaging and interactive ways to reach out—and with LinkedIn and Facebook placing an increasing emphasis on video, more companies are responding by folding video into their content marketing mix.
The coming year may also see even more enhancements to multimedia content presentations—such as 3D, animation, or parallax scrolling for infographics.
What’s in your content marketing strategy for 2015? We'd love to hear your answer in the comments.