Our expert content strategists share the latest trends and opportunities for your content marketing strategy, and how to leverage them to drive organic growth with your target audience.
The content marketing funnel has been a north star for many marketers in the last decade, giving us a clean, simple view of our audience, objectives, and content strategy.
However, as audience behaviour changes, the market saturates, and touchpoints get more complex, is this traditional view of ‘organic content growth’ letting us down?
In this week’s virtual marketing strategy workshop, ‘The New Funnel - Building an Effective Organic Content Strategy in 2022’, our experts shared the latest changes to how we reach our audiences with organic content - and what you need to know to craft and deliver an up-to-date strategy.
GO! Marketing+ workshops are free, strategy-focused workshops for marketing leaders looking to invest in or uplift their campaigns and channels. To join an upcoming event, take a look here.
After a burst of online activity from brands in the last 2 years, it’s safe to say that the way audiences consume content and media has changed in more ways than one.
“During the pandemic, the way we interacted online changed massively - because that's all we could really do.
People started to expect a quicker path to commit to purchases, and that expectation has shifted other areas of our behaviour.
TikTok, for example, has changed people's views of what video should be, everything needs to be shorter, social feeds have become more of a passive scroll.”
“Traditional searches are now supplemented by social search and voice search, so the standard ‘keyword-heavy’ content isn't really enough to attract that same level of attention anymore.
The algorithms have changed - even within social platforms, we’re seeing that the focus is on prioritising video content and suggested content.”
“There is so much content out there.
Particularly looking at B2B organic content strategies, it’s really about finding a unique proposition that is tailored to the community you're targeting.
Do your research, figure out how your product is going to make someone's life easier - and then tell them that in a variety of different ways on different platforms.
It’s about creating less content but increasing the velocity of the same kind of content that’s more niche to your target audience.”
According to Emma, shifting behaviours, algorithm changes, and content saturation have led to another key trend - and not a positive one.
“These changes are leading to people creating reams and reams of content to try and gain that same traction that they used to see.
It’s creating content just for the sake of it - which is kind of really the exact opposite of what consumers are telling us they want.
Audiences, now more than ever, are valuing authenticity - it’s that Gen Z view that brands should have a purpose.
People are at risk of trying to connect with everyone and ended up resonating with no-one.”
So, what do these changes mean for your organic content strategy?
Here are 6 key considerations before you dive back into your renewed content strategy, to help shape an effective plan of action.
Before jumping into a new content strategy, Jack flags how important it is to assess if an organic content strategy is even the right focus for your business.
“I'll be a bit controversial - not every business needs SEO content.
If you’re a resource-light eCommerce business for example, and your budget is small, perhaps the best use of your budget will be to go down the paid advertising route.
A strong Organic Search strategy isn’t a quick win. If you don’t have them already, you need to invest in good quality writers, research, all things that take a lot of resource.
If you’ve got a shorter sales cycle, and your objectives can be achieved elsewhere, you might benefit from putting that resource elsewhere.”
‘Measure your performance’ might seem like basic advice - but as our experts share, it’s all too common for marketers to get caught up in data that doesn’t necessarily matter.
As Seeta shares, “I think it gets problematic when people are judging their content based on just one metric.
Say you're looking at analytics for a particular site - if you’re focusing on nothing but the number of page views or dwell time on particular pages, it can be really misleading if you're not looking at what the content is on that page.
A high bounce rate is normally considered ‘bad’, but there’s a chance that people just found the information that they needed. It doesn't mean that the content isn't quality.”
The solution? Emma suggests measuring the knock-on effect of your content, as well as the individual pieces of content.
“Tracking a single content piece alone is pointless, but tracking it alongside the ‘meatier’ conversion KPIs you’ll have on the lead generation piece, or sales, side-by-side? It’ll really help to paint that whole picture.”
Alongside this, Seeta warns that even then, this data isn’t the be-all-and-end-all.
“If somebody is only looking at one particular page, it’s important to remember that they might just in a very specific part of the funnel.
They might still be in the research phase, in which case, they're not looking to make a purchase!
There's going to be different types of people landing on your site expecting different kinds of content, and it's just really important for everyone to think about what content you have on your site to support those different journeys.”
According to Emma, “the one thing that all great strategies have is consistency.
Every single piece of content in the customer journey, regardless of how kind of seemingly insignificant it is, has to be considered - and it must authentically represent your brand.
Say you're a hotel, and you've got the you've got this great like quirky tone of voice on social, your content is engaging, you're ranking for a ton of keywords, you're attracting loads of relevant audiences.
All of a sudden, they received this generic booking confirmation email? The whole bubble is burst.
Just check every single touch point and make sure it's working for your audience. It doesn't matter then how a customer moves through the funnel, because they're seeing the best of your brand at every single point.”
Are you exhausting your team pumping out new content? As Jack shares, you’re most likely missing a trick.
“One of the largest missed opportunities that we see is in teams not focusing on up-cycling old content.
Whenever we onboard a new client, we build a short report in Google that looks at which content pieces have the highest number of impressions, but lowest number of clicks.
Companies will have 1000’s of blogs, but a few gems hidden away to improve.
Instead of pumping out new content, sort out what’s already working first - it's a great first thing to do to get some early traction.”
Finally, Seeta reminds us that content should always have a purpose - no matter how ‘small’.
“A lot of people, when they do organic content strategies, will think that they should push out the same content on the same channels in the same way.}
Your audiences are different. The people who are on LinkedIn are different from the people who are on Instagram, and you’ll get different results.
So always think - whatever content you're putting out there, do not create content without purpose. If your content's purpose is brand awareness, or if it is pushing people to learn more, or if it's actually going straight into a conversion, there needs to be a reason, there needs to be a purpose for everything.”
Finally, whilst you might be using in-house support for the delivery of your content, remember that there are a huge number of areas of expertise that can help deepen the value of what you create.
Areas like audience research, SEO strategy, and more can be heavily time-consuming for teams trying to upskill in-house, so short-term investments into these areas can quickly return value for your efforts.
As Emma says, ‘You should invest in external support if you don't have time and resource to give your whole customer journey the care and attention that it needs.”
For Seeta, it can also be beneficial to use external agencies or teams to provide an ‘outside’ perspective on your content.
“When people work within a business, especially if it's like an in-house company, you can be a little bit blind to the opportunities out there, because you're so invested in the messaging or requirements internally.
Even if it's just a case of working with your internal writers on a consultancy basis to help supply ideas, or the creative design, or a steer in terms of insights and SEO research, that 'outsider perspective' from some kind of external specialist can be so important.”
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