The Future of Content Marketing

5 Content Marketing Tips To Get On Track To Succeed

The Future of Content Marketing -Old Typewriter - Heidi Cohen“What is content marketing’s future?” is the question on the mind of marketers, especially those gathered in Cleveland for Content Marketing World. 2013.

While the view that content marketing has peaked, the reality is that content marketing is evolving from being the “hot new thing” to an established combination of business art and science.

As such, content marketing will continue to evolve. In the process, it will become more targeted based on the convergence of social media, content and mobile. Content marketing is maturing as shown by IMN‘s 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report; the research showed a correlation between goals and metrics. Therefore, marketers will need to integrate their content marketing efforts into their overall marketing plans and align them with their business goals to yield sales and profit. Social Media-Content Marketing -Mobile - Heidi Cohen

  1. Segment customer base. Marketers will focus their content efforts around specific target segments. Actionable Marketing Tip: This requires the creation of well-formed marketing persona and social media buyer persona.
  2. Consider context. Due to the evolution and use of connected devices, the where and when of prospects, influencers, customers and fans will determine content type and form. Marketers need to provide content that responds to information needs throughout the buying cycle rendered across an array of devices and sizes. Actionable Marketing Tip: Take into consideration where the prospect is in the buying cycle and how they’re consuming content. Think focused use, dual input, content snacking and/or time shifting.
  3. Target content offerings based on customer needs. People seek different forms and types of information based on where they are physically (home, office, on-the-go and/or store) and what type of device (TV, computer, smartphone or tablet) they’re using at the time. When creating content, plan to offer a variety of different formats and lengths to meet different situations and devices. INFOGRAPHIC - Content Marketing Fulfills Customer Needs - Heidi Cohen BlogActionable Marketing Tip: Think beyond basic text. Use visuals, audio and video. People take in visual information over 60,000 times faster than text according to Annalect.com.
  4. Provide multiple content entryways. One size doesn’t fit all in today’s multi-platform world. Research by Forrester found that more prospects started their purchase related search on Amazon than on Google. Further don’t underestimate the potential that a piece of content may be used by different prospect or customer segments for different purposes in the purchase process. For example, a potential customer may seek a recipe to help decide what to buy while another may seek the same recipe post-purchase to use ingredients she’s already got in her home. Forrester Blog - AmazonActionable Marketing Tip: Distribute content across a variety of platforms to ensure it fulfills these diverse needs.
  5. Test every element of the marketing offering. As content marketing matures, improved results will come in smaller increments. Over time your prospects, customers and the public become more accustomed to your marketing and its effectiveness declines. Therefore, you must continually test every element of your content presentation, across all platforms. This requires the use of A/B or multivariate testing. Actionable Marketing Tip: Start with the elements of your marketing that have the biggest impact across all interactions, namely your purchase process and landing pages.

As content marketing moves beyond the early adopter stage, marketers must ensure that every element of content supports their core business objectives in light of their core audience, diverse devices, ease of consumption, findability beyond search, and presentation effectiveness.

What do you foresee as the future of content marketing and what is your rationale for your views?

BTW—If you’re attending Content Marketing World, please come to my presentation, “21 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Content Marketing Effectiveness” during Wednesday’s Lunch and Learn sessions.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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4 Responses to The Future of Content Marketing

  1. Sarah Bauer says:

    I see the future of content marketing relying on much more intensive processes and strategies for understanding target audiences. I’m talking anthropological! To continue to produce original, compelling material for the masses, marketers will need to go a couple layers deeper, to the point where they can anticipate what their target wants or needs before they even recognize it themselves.

  2. Agree with your points, Heidi.

    I especially like the last point on experimenting with each factor (I am an experiment, I like to experiment with my blog and the techniques I use, so this is definitely my favorite tip :D).

    Thanks for the other tips too. I am planning to expand into Amazon, write Kindle Books, do that’s covered.

    As for using other media, I love testing other types of media – podcasts, slideshare docs, ccreencasts or even Prezi (everything except for face videos – Not quite comfortable yet; I have to work on that).

    Anyways, thank you for the tips, Heidi 🙂

  3. I think #1 will be the most important. There is already so much content be pushed that to cut above the noise you need to promote it in a way that targets thinly-sliced groups. To drive clicks the content needs to solve very specific problems that a group is having and target it just towards them.

    We’re trying this on our blog by writing industry-specific posts, such as “Social Media for Non-Profits: 17 TIps” (Here it is if you’d like to take a look at how we’re doing it: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/59703680294/social-media-for-non-profits-17-tips)

    I think that with Facebook’s recent move to allow targeting on all Facebook Posts, and more stress on creating “quality” content to boost Edgerank, we’ll see more marketers doing this type of targeting.

    I know Walmart is doing this a lot now on their Facebook Page. Have you tried this?

  4. Neil Ferree says:

    I can see why Amazon was used more than Google to make an online purchase (but) for the typical SMB (personal injury attorney or cosmetic dentist) I suspect Google would be used in 99% of the cases.