35 Tactics To Improve Your 2015 Content Marketing

10 Big 2015 Content Marketing Predictions

2015 Content Marketing Predictions As we enter 2015, content marketing moves beyond a strategy to supplement your marketing to an integral part of your business plans and operation.

10 Big 2015 content marketing predictions

Here are the 10 big 2015 content marketing predictions and related tactics you need to get your business on track to succeed. (BTW—Here’s what we’re predicting for social media in 2015.)

1. Increased focus on the content marketing basics.

While not sexy and a key point in 2014, an emphasis on content marketing basics will continue into 2015 since companies have to move from talking about content marketing to incorporating it into their overall business plans.

This translates to having a documented content marketing strategy that includes well-defined target audience, core content marketing offering, and effective content distribution.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Document your content marketing plan. This means a plan that’s aligned with your corporate plans and target audience.
  • Develop distinct marketing persona. Understand your target customers by product as well as type of content they seek across the entire buying process.
  • Appoint a head of content. Regardless of title, your company needs a senior person who is responsible for all content across the organization.
  • Maintain a corporate editorial calendar. While there may be a need for multiple, targeted calendars, to reduce redundancies, you need them integrated into a top-level plan.
  • Maximize content distribution. Make sure that you’re utilizing every opportunity to promote and distribute your content across owned, social and paid platforms.

2015 Content Marketing Predictions 2. Content marketing principles extend to all corporate information.

Content marketing is no longer limited to marketing.

To increase the effectiveness of other company information, all information should use a content marketing approach to break down silos. This applies to areas such as product (manuals and labeling), customer service, sales, human resources, and investor relations. 

Done well this approach will reduce costs by eliminating duplicate and ineffective content. Otherwise, siloed content will be re-created multiple times for related uses.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Audit all corporate information. Track all information that’s created.
  • Apply metadata to each piece of content. Make sure that all content is findable. This is the key to internal content curation.
  • Integrate non-marketing content into the content marketing plans. Eliminate one-off content activities.
  • Collect potential content centrally. Reduce the number of times questions and content need to be created by getting sales and customer service to blind copy a content resource.
  • Curate your older content. Continue to re-promote existing content when relevant. (BTW–Here’s how curated content beats original content.)

3. Social media and content marketing are integrated into one function.

Because content fuels social media interaction and social media distributes content, the two functions are integrated in more advanced social businesses. This reduces redundancies and improves customer responsiveness.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Integrate your social media and content marketing plans. The objective is to ensure that you’ve got the content you need and eliminate redundant activities and additional project management overhead.
  • Have channel plans for each major social media network where your business is active. To this end, develop unique content and tailor major projects for each one. Also, don’t forget the need to engage. (Remember social media interactions are content too!)
  • Get your employees active. Have a set of social media guidelines. Help employees create attractive social media presences, and train them regarding how to engage when representing your firm. Also make sure that you document how you’ll let them know about each new piece of content.

4. Mobile first content.

With the increasing use of mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and ereaders as the primary means of content consumption, businesses must deliver information that’s developed for mobile devices. (Here are 55 mobile marketing charts to help you.)

Your content must be device agnostic. Depending on the type of information, you may need to consider the Internet of Things including televisions, cars and other connected devices.

Remember—if your content isn’t readable on these devices you may loose your potential audience before they ever see your content!!!

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Understand your target audiences. Include device use and content consumption in your marketing persona to ensure that they can consume your content when and where they want.
  • Incorporate mobile content creation in your content plans. Bear in mind that trying to modify content later is difficult and expensive.

5. Video explodes.

With increased ability to take and share professional looking videos at low or no cost, companies and consumers will increasingly create and share them. As a result, marketers will need a specific video strategy within their content plans.

The video landscape will change in 2015 as Amazon and Netflix (and possibly Apple) extend their television and movie platforms into the DIY video space to grab market share from Facebook and YouTube. Both companies have the video distribution platforms and installed user bases.

This will create opportunities for agencies specializing in video and television to serve companies. It will also make Los Angeles a destination for startups to take advantage of the existing business infrastructure.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Create a regular video strategy. The objective is to create video content on a regular basis. It can be as simple as a talking head.
  • Include video as a part of every major content effort. Provide explanations, behind the scenes looks, interviews and/or out takes. (Here’s how to become a video director in 10 easy steps.)
  • Incorporate video in your text content. Think in terms of show and tell.

6. LinkedIn Publishing grows its imprint.

LinkedIn Publishing is a key element of business thought leadership. Your top executives and influencers should have an editorial calendar prompting them to contribute on a regular basis.

LinkedIn Publishing will extend beyond articles to include a wide range of content formats such as videos, podcasts, PDFs and ebooks. (It already owns SlideShare, B2B marketing gold.) To solidify its business position, LinkedIn Publishing will extend its paid products to add the type of lead generation and tracking that SlideShare has.

In the next 3 years expect LinkedIn Publishing to take a page from Bloomberg to become a full-fledged imprint including traditional formats like books and magazines. (Note: Content Marketing Institute has done this with its CCO magazine and book publishing but LinkedIn has bigger potential.)

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Develop a LinkedIn content strategy around each of your core business categories. This requires an understanding of your target audience on LinkedIn as well as the industry thought leaders you want to influence.
  • Distribute your LinkedIn content via your owned content distribution channels. This includes your email and social media. Don’t overlook your employee network!

7. Live events increase in importance for all types of businesses.

Conferences have long been a marketing staple for B2B organizations. They’re marketplaces for buyers and sellers.

As a form of content, live events will gain salience in 2015 for B2C and small businesses. It’s a way to get potential customers into your store or at another location. Some retailers have been doing this for years. Think about cooking demonstrations in William Sonoma or food tasting in Trader Joe’s.

The advantage of live events is that it encourages people to meet your employees face-to-face and to build relationships.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Create quarterly events to involve your customers and community. It can be demonstrations or readers.
  • Develop a plan for each event to create related content. Beyond the content of the event, use it as a focal point for other content.
  • Build your housefile. Get names and email addresses of participants. Have a strategy for providing them with useful information.
  • Attend other related events. Use other people’s events to meet influencers and create content.

8. Content presentation increases in value.

Marketers, content creators and consumers begin to appreciate the value of content presentation.

Extending beyond branding, content presentation can make or break your content’s effectiveness. Readers want to be pulled into your content and to be able to scan it quickly. This includes your grammar so copy editing counts.

It’s no longer just what content you create but more importantly how it looks and engages. This is an extension of 2014’s focus on images. This is most obvious in self-published content such as ebooks that lack a professionalism consumers have come to expect.

This will provide opportunities for type-oriented creatives and copyeditors.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Use attention-getting headlines. As BuzzFeed and Upworthy have proven, headlines make a significant difference in your potential audience. Write your 25 headlines before publishing.
  • Incorporate visuals in your content. Use eye-candy to attract readers.
  • Format your content to be snackable. Think bolding, outlining, short sentences and paragraphs and easy reading level.
  • Edit your text. At a minimum, have someone read your content for readability and grammar before you publish.

9. Use of testing and conversion techniques increases.

Maximizing your content marketing results requires on-going testing and conversion on your own site. You can have the best content in the world but if your website doesn’t convert prospects, then it’s useless.

As content marketing becomes more sophisticated, the competition to break through increases. Therefore, you must focus on improving the conversion of each visitor.

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Start testing different aspects of your purchase process. Begin with the quick hits to gain experience. Also don’t test everything at the same time.
  • Include a test plan in every major piece of content. Make sure that you plan for future improvement.
  • Read about what others have tested that works. Which Test Won and MarketingSherpa are good resources.

10. Content marketing metrics increase in use and show sales and ROI.

To support their extended budget and resources, marketers must show results from their content marketing.

Fortunately, Hubspot’s Inbound research revealed that just the act of measuring results improved ROI as much as 17 fold. Hubspot Inbound 2014-ROI

Actionable Content Marketing Tactics:

  • Determine the appropriate content marketing metrics. Associate content metrics with business goals.
  • Link content to appropriate product. Cross link your product pages.
  • Integrate tracking into each piece of content. Where possible, associate each piece of content with unique markers.
  • Use calls-to-action. Don’t assume that your prospects will necessarily take the next step.

 

To reap the maximum results from your 2015 content marketing, you’ll need to continue to work on the core elements of your content marketing strategy while opportunistically leveraging new trends.

What do you see as important for content marketing in 2015 and why?

Want to get your marketing on track for 2015? Download the Ultimate 2015 Marketing Checklist.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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2 Responses to 35 Tactics To Improve Your 2015 Content Marketing

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