2019 is the year to get serious about content marketing. After all, content is king.
Content is (and has been) the focal meeting point between your brand and your customers. If you can connect with your audience in an authentic, meaningful, and relevant way, this will not only deepen your relationships, but your business will exponentially increase. And as content marketing technologies like editorial calendars and software platforms increase business capabilities, small business owners are increasingly becoming more efficient in leveraging them to connect with targeted customers.
Ready to get serious? Here are 5 content marketing trends to pay attention to in 2019:
1. Content Marketing Plan—It’s a Must
By 2019, it is paramount that small businesses have a content marketing plan. Why? You need one to help you align all content you disseminate to your overarching business goals.
Not only does it have to help you achieve your business goals (think short term and long-term), but the content you publish must serve your audience value in both a personal and meaningful way. For instance, is your content targeted at resolving a common business problem (like optimizing SEO to increase potential leads)? Or is it only regurgitating vague and broad problems?
If it encourages you in any way, smarter marketers are already working on their plans, and likely already have a content calendar to better serve their audiences in the new year.
2. Original and Relevant Content
By original and relevant content, we don’t mean click bait. According to the 2018 survey by Clutch, 82 percent of people have purchased a product or service from a business as a result of consuming content published by a business online.
Not only that, producing good content is about building trust. Nowadays, consumers and decision makers are getting increasingly smarter at avoiding clickbait and it’s real content they’re looking for—ones that solve their problems easily and quickly.
3. Micro-Influencers & Brand Storytelling
Although influencer marketing is not new, it’s commonly misunderstood by marketers and business leaders—especially when it comes to brand storytelling.
As small businesses owners, you should focus your storytelling efforts on local and national thought leaders in your specific industry or niche. For instance, if your small business revolves around creating handcrafted decor and gift items (think Pinterest), you might want to focus in on micro-influencers in the crafts and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) industry like Jenni Radosevich (@ispydiy) or Kristine (The Painted Hive), instead of someone with a tremendous following (think macro-influencers like the Kardashians).
Another opportunity is to look inside your own company. After all, your own employees and current loyal customers could potentially be the best brand advocates for your products and services. Plus, it’s likely done at no cost.
4. Video, Audio and Short Stories
2019 is the year to test new content formats like video, audio, and short stories to incorporate into your content marketing strategy. Things like testing a chatbot to provide better customer service, starting a podcast, or even something as simple as using “live videos” to stream important and relevant information to your audiences on social media—the time is now to be bold and try new communication methods.
5. Voice Control and Search
Most small businesses focus their SEO strategies by optimizing keywords ads in Google or Facebook. It is important to think strategically around SEO, but it’s also important to consider, “how will my audience ask questions with their voice into a smartphone or Amazon’s Echo?”
Big changes are coming in 2019 with search, and marketers can no longer ignore the power of voice search. As more people invest in voice controlled devices, these trends will only increase—making this trend an area that marketers and small business owners should watch closely in the new year.
Ready to Get Ahead?
Being a lazy marketer or business owner won’t get you ahead of the curve in the 2019, in fact, it’ll put you way behind. Pay close attention to these five content marketing trends, and you’ll reap the benefits for your small business in the new year, and beyond.