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The State of Content Marketing in 2022 [Stats & Trends to Watch]

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The State of Content Marketing in 2022 [Stats & Trends to Watch]

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Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, and sharing content with your target audience. It helps you generate brand awareness, convince customers to take action, and drive revenue.

There are various types of content marketing, like social media and blogs, but new trends and techniques emerge every year that change the ways businesses reach their audiences.

As a marketer, it’s essential to know what your competitors are focusing on, so you can create a strategy and stand out from the crowd. In this post, discover important stats to know about the state of content marketing in 2022 and trends to look out for throughout the year.

Content Marketing Stats to Know

  • 90% of marketers using content marketing plan to continue investing the same amount in the channel in 2022.
  • 66% of marketers expect their 2022 content marketing budget to increase more than their 2021 budget. 
  • Over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales.
  • Marketers’ primary goals for running marketing campaigns are brand awareness, increasing sales, and increasing engagement.
  • The top three goals marketers achieve through successful content marketing are generating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and educating audiences. 
  • The top challenges marketers face with content marketing are creating content that generates leads, finding ideas for new content, and creating content that receives high levels of online engagement.
  • Google’s search algorithms are trying to transcend text to images, voice/podcasts, and videos.
  • Video is the number one format marketers used in their content strategy in 2021. 
  • The top four formats marketers leverage in their content strategy are videos, blogs, images, and infographics.
  • The top technologies B2B organizations use to supplement content marketing are analytics tools, social media publishing, and email marketing software.
  • The top three owned mediacontent distribution channels for B2B marketers are a personal website, blog, and email newsletter..

Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2022

1. Short-form video takes center stage.

The amount of online video watched per person per week has almost doubled since 2018, according to Wistia. As of 2021, it’s at 18 hours per week

graph displaying that the average hours of video watched online per week is 18 hours

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This consumer behavior has made video, short-form specifically, the primary form of media used within any content strategy for the third year in a row. As such, 89% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount in the channel or increase their investments in 2022.

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The videos you decide to create and the places you choose to share them depends entirely on your individual business needs, but your efforts will be worthwhile, as Wistia found that shorter videos have the highest engagement rates. 

Engagement rate by video length copyImage Source

2. Strategic SEO tactics.

In 2020, HubSpot VP of Marketing Matthew Howells-Barby said he wanted to see the number of marketers actively investing in SEO go up. His wish came true — 69% of marketers reported investing in SEO in 2021, a 5% increase from 2020. Marketers are continuing to make SEO investments in 2022 to create tailored experiences for website users. 

However, content marketers are moving away from SEO optimization in general, as 83% of marketers say that their main area of focus is the use of strategic keywords in their content. Businesses are looking for a way to simply appear in SERPs and create in-depth content that is unique, valuable, and different from what competitors offer on those same result pages. 

Marketers also report that their SEO content marketing efforts will involve optimizing for mobile (64%), and backlinking and link building (64%). 

3. Podcasting upholds its reign.

Podcasts continue to hold court in content marketing strategies in 2022. This is not surprising, considering that U.S. consumers alone listened to 15 billion hours of podcasts in 2021

As a result, 

  • 51% of content marketers who already leverage podcasts or other audio content will invest more in 2022, and 43% plan to continue investing the same amount.
  • 53% of content marketers who do leverage podcasts and other audio content say it’s the most effective format they use, despite low ROI.

So, why are podcasts so popular? On the consumer side, there is something for everyone. With 72,000 new episodes per day (as shown in the graph below), the likelihood of finding a show that appeals to their interests is incredibly high, whether it’s a mystery tale or a real-life story about how their favorite business was built.

Businesses are investing in podcasts because they bring significant benefits: “Podcasts have the ability to drive real results and pay off in terms of leads and revenue,” says Zachary Bellinger, CRO at Casted. 60% of podcast listeners searched for a product after hearing about it in a podcast. 

It’s also worth noting that 44% of content marketers are branching out into a new form of audio in their content marketing strategies in 2022 — audio chat rooms. 

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While a newer concept, the investment in audio chat rooms makes sense, as they create a space for businesses to connect with audiences for genuine conversation and engagement. You can read this article about Clubhouse and this one about Twitter Spaces to learn more about the emerging channel and how other brands are using them in 2022. 

4. Championing social responsibility.

Social responsibility will become a critical priority for content marketers in 2022, as customers care now, more than ever, about brands sharing their same values and speaking authentically and empathetically about things like social justice issues or the fair treatment of their employees. 

Marketers are recognizing how much customers care, and 82% are investing the same or increasing their investment in social responsibility in 2022. 

It’s important to be aware, though, that if you leverage social responsibility in your content marketing efforts, your entire business must champion social responsibility as well, and be genuine about it. 

Take Glossier, for example. In June of 2020, the company regularly shared content on its Instagram page that centered people from different communities. However, in August of 2020, an Instagram account called Outta The Gloss posted an open letter to Glossier from former employees that made light of instances of unfair treatment while working at Glossier’s flagship store. 

glossier

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The former employees weren’t hoping to drag Glossier through the mud, but more so call attention to the fact that, if it champions social responsibility in its content, it must also uphold similar values in its business practices. 

It boils down to this: consumers want businesses to be socially responsible, but they want the social responsibility reflected in all areas of business, from the content you post on social media to the ways you support and uplift your employees.

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5. Virtual and hybrid events.

A webinar is a video presentation, seminar, lecture, or workshop delivered to an audience digitally. Despite once being declared outdated, webinars and virtual events have become extremely popular over the last three years, and, as COVID-19 restrictions cease, they welcome hybrid models into the mix. 

Attending events digitally allows consumers to continue to interact with their favorite businesses and derive value from presents and industry leaders. Hybrid offers the same benefit, as consumers can pick what works best for their needs, and businesses can ensure that all of their audiences can participate in what they offer. 30% of Content Marketing Institute survey respondents say that their investment in hybrid events is expected to increase, and 40% of marketers plan to increase their investment in virtual events, webinars, and conferences in general in 2022. 

HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference is a great example of a hybrid-modeled event, offering the option for attendees to attend in-person, or online. 

inbound 2022

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6. Infographics.

Infographics are graphics that explain a concept or provide a visual for a piece of data. Marketers typically use them to quickly communicate important, stand-out information, and 45% of marketers who leverage content marketing use it. The image below is an example of an infographic used within a blog post. 

infographic-1

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Here are some additional stats from recent HubSpot Blog Research:

  • 56% of content marketers who use it say that it is their most effective marketing content type
  • 52% of marketers plan to invest the same amount in infographics throughout the next year
  • 38% of marketers plan to increase their infographic investments within the next year. 

Its popularity is because infographics are shareable, are visually appealing, informative, and provide beneficial information to the reader. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so it makes sense that infographics are significant for content marketing. 

Stay Up-to-date On Your Industry

It’s always important to stay up-to-date on what is happening in your industry, and being aware of these trends is a way to do so. Should you choose to leverage one of these trends in your marketing strategy, ensure that it’s relevant to your business needs and will help you achieve your goals.

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How We Increased a Client’s Leads by 384% in Six Months by Focusing on One Topic Cluster [Case Study]

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How We Increased a Client’s Leads by 384% in Six Months by Focusing on One Topic Cluster [Case Study]

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Content marketing is an essential part of any SEO strategy. Without it, how are you going to attract customers looking for answers to their questions, and who are potentially in the market for your products or services?

At Tao Digital Marketing, we’ve recently generated some great results for one of our clients operating in the business financial space, The Insolvency Experts, mainly by focusing on just one “cluster topic” that was a huge money maker for them.

When looking at six month comparison stats (August 2021-January 2022 to February-July 2022), we’ve achieved the following:

  • Leads: 95 to 460 (384%)

  • Clicks: 4,503 to 23,013 (411%)

  • Impressions: 856,683 to 2,033,355 (137%)

  • Average position: 33.4 to 23.6 (increased almost 10 spots)

This was mostly achieved by absolutely hammering one topic area: company liquidation. In this case study, we’re going to explain how we did this step by step, so that hopefully you can generate similar results for your own business!

Objectives

If you really break it down, the objective of all SEO consultancy work is essentially the same: increase the number of leads for a business. This was our ultimate goal.

It’s not just as simple as that, though. We all know you can’t get to number one on Google overnight. So, like other SEO geeks out there, we tracked our successes through additional factors such as clicks, impressions, and average position, to show our efforts were worthwhile.

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In January this year (2022) our goals for the next six months were as follows:

  • Leads: Just over double from 95 to 200 (110%)

  • Clicks: 4,503 to 13,500 (around 200%)

  • Impressions: 856,683 to 1,700,000 (around 100%)

  • Average position: 33.4 to 25 (around eight spots)

Insolvency Experts’ audience is primarily directors of UK businesses that are going insolvent, closely followed by business owners looking for financial advice. The majority of Insolvency Expert’s cash flow comes from formal insolvency processes, such as liquidation, administration, and CVAs (Company Voluntary Agreements), so it was really important for us to push these areas.

Our strategy

1. Research “company liquidation” search volume and related queries

We first picked this client up in November 2020. Initially, our focus was on the basics: updating all the top level pages (such as service pages and guides) to make sure they fit the intention of the user and clearly explained the services that Insolvency Experts offer.

Researching what works well at present

One of the pages that our content team updated was their company liquidation guide. After updating, the page started to perform very well in the SERP, and ranked at position #4 for “company liquidation”. Clearly, this sort of content was working, and we wanted to hit it even more.

After pulling some research together, one of our strategists proposed the idea of a “Company Liquidation Content Hub”, as the company liquidation guide was ranking for a lot of long tail questions:

Screenshot showing ‘what’ queries in Google Search Console, such as ‘what is voluntary liquidation’ and ‘what happens to a director of a company in liquidation’

After cross referencing with the monthly search volume for these questions, she added some of these as H3s within the guide to see how they would perform. They resulted in so much more traffic that she decided they warranted their own individual guides, hence the idea for the hub. This would mean we weren’t putting all of our eggs into one basket, and that we could also internally link all of them together for users wanting to read more.

Users that are further down the marketing funnel don’t want to scroll down a huge guide to find the answer to their specific question, and we were certain that this would positively affect bounce rate. We therefore made sure that nine times out of 10, the H1 contained the question that was being answered.

Infographic explaining the sales funnel, starting with reach followed by act, convert and finally, engage

In order to further target those at the bottom of the marketing funnel who want to speak to someone quickly, we placed regular “Contact Us” CTAs throughout the content so that they don’t have to scroll right to the bottom of the page to get in touch with Insolvency Experts.

An example of a piece of content with a ‘Get Free Liquidation Advice’ CTA in the middle

Undertaking a competitor analysis

We also conducted a competitor analysis on this topic, focusing on three key players in the industry that were all ranking well for the phrase “company liquidation”. We found that the key competitors had the following:

Competitor A – 38 indexed articles on liquidation

Competitor B – 23 indexed articles on liquidation

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Competitor C – 47 indexed articles on liquidation

Insolvency Experts only had six indexed articles on liquidation at the time, so it was clear we needed to be on their level – this was an obvious content gap.

Pitching the content hub to the client

We suggested this idea to the client alongside a forecasting spreadsheet created by our founder, in order to justify the resource that was needed to push the client as high as possible in the rankings for company liquidation.

This spreadsheet broke down a huge list of keywords alongside monthly search volume, average click through rate for positions 1-10 on the SERP, domain authority of competitors who are currently ranking for these keywords, and average conversion rate on the site at the moment.

Table demonstrating projected revenue for Insolvency Experts depending on where they ranked on the SERP

This unique formula would then allow us to explain to the client that for X amount of work, we predict we can get you to position X in X timeframe, and this would result in approximately X annual revenue. After pitching this to the client alongside infographics and current performance statistics, they told us they loved our ideas and agreed to let us go ahead.

2. Plan the content after client approval

After the client gave us the go-ahead, the next step was to plan all of this work based on search volume, and therefore priority order.

It’s easy to get lost in all the data within SEO, so it was incredibly important for us to have a solid plan and timeline for these changes. Topics were going to range from How to Liquidate a Company with No Money through to Administration vs Liquidation.

How we communicate planned works to our clients

In order to orchestrate clear communication between ourselves and our clients, we create a Traffic Light Report, which is a live Google Sheets document detailing all work to be undertaken for the current and next quarter. This is split into sections for technical SEO, content, and digital PR/link building (the three pillars of SEO).

This includes justification for each change we make, as well as a link to any live changes or documents. It also details when this will be done and if the action is with us or the client. The tasks are coloured in green for live changes, yellow for action needed, orange for in progress, red for anything on hold and clear for not started.

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Here’s an example of what the content section of Insolvency Expert’s traffic light report looks like for their current quarter (July-September 2022):

Screenshot detailing content to be undertaken between July-September 2022, and justifications for each action

Scheduling the tasks

We then scheduled these topics for our various content writers to work on using our project management software, ClickUp. Within each task we placed a link to a skeleton document consisting of H1s, H2s, and H3s, as well as a title, meta description and keywords to include.

3. Write the content while implementing technical SEO

By this time it was around April 2022, and it was time for us to fully attack the content portion of our task list. Since then, we’ve written 18 pieces of content around company liquidation, and still have quite a few left to go before we consider this area of focus complete.

As part of our uploads, our technical SEO adds FAQ schema, which has helped Insolvency Experts showing up for several featured snippets (more details in results section).

Analyzing as we go along

Once we covered the big topics in the first couple of months of writing, we started to use Low Fruits to find smaller queries which are estimated at around 10 or fewer monthly searches. We’ve had a lot of success targeting lower search volume phrases, as these users seem to be more focused and lower down the sales funnel, so are more likely to be better engaged and convert better. A lot of the time they are pleased that you have answered their very niche question!

The below is a screenshot from a keyword analysis. We trawled through hundreds of keywords to pull out the ones relevant to the client.

A screenshot of queries from LowFruits.io featuring questions such as ‘can you still trade while in liquidation?’ and ‘can you trade out of insolvency?’

We then used Low Fruit’s Keyword Extraction and SERP Analysis tool to give us further details on a select few key terms.

These terms are shown as having a search volume of either 10, less than 10 or 0. Of course, we know that this is still hugely important to cover, and targeting these will bring in a very niche reader who is much more likely to convert due to the nature of the long-tail queries.

Finalizing the hub

Our plan is to finalize the hub this fall, and ensure that everything is internally linked. There will also be a menu change to make the addition of the hub very clear. See screenshots below for the current hub vs. how it will be presented once all content is ready (screenshot taken from their staging site in Kinsta, our hosting platform where we make design changes so that the client can approve them before they go live).

Current ‘hub’ in the menu:

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Screenshot of the current ‘liquidation’ drop down menu, featuring four pieces of content

How the hub will look once all content is complete:

Screenshot sharing newer version of liquidation hub menu from Kinsta staging site

As part of our content process within ClickUp, we have a recurring task to check a new URL in Google Search Console two weeks after upload. This allows us to see if we have the “Google Spike of Acceptance”, which is a sharp incline of impressions/traffic indicating that the content will do well, before it falls then slowly rises again.

A screenshot showing the ‘Google Spike of Acceptance’ in Google Search Console - a sharp spike of clicks and impressions after upload

If we don’t see this spike, we carry out multiple checks, including: Is it an orphan page? Are there any technical errors? Is it indexed? If it is not indexed, we push the URL through Index Me Now.

If the issue is just that the piece isn’t getting picked up, we will take another look at the content to see if there is something else we can do to improve it, e.g. tweak the H1 or expand the content.

4. Build links to the relevant pages and homepage

Once we’d uploaded the content, it was time to build links to the priority pages and homepage in order to build the domain authority.

We wanted to really hone in on generating links for our company liquidation page. The page has 36 backlinks, many of which were built through link building efforts. This was largely done by working with business site publications and creating natural anchor text that would help with certain keyword rankings.

Example of a guest blog titled ‘The Advantages of Business Liquidation’

As well as building links specifically to the company liquidation page, we also built links to the main URL in order to boost overall domain authority. This was done through answering queries through platforms such as HARO and Response Source, as well as working with the client to create relevant, time-specific thought leadership pieces. Here’s an example of a HARO request we responded to, the topic being “Recession-proofing tips for small businesses”:

Although the site’s domain authority tends to fluctuate between 30-33 depending on links lost and general algorithm updates, the links to specific pages have still resulted in an increase in rankings, detailed further below.

Results compared to objectives

Although we knew that our strategy was going to work well based on our experience with our other clients, we were very pleasantly surprised by the huge positive effect our work has made, which enabled us to smash the targets we set!

Leads

Goal: Increase from 95 to 200 (110%)

Result: Increased from 95 to 460 (384%)

As a result of creating incredibly useful, lengthy content and placing regular CTAs throughout the content, we managed to almost quadruple the amount of leads coming through to the client in the space of just six months.

In the six months before our liquidation project began, our Leads Dashboard within WhatConverts shows that Insolvency Experts had five liquidation leads via phone call and 10 leads via their contact form on a liquidation-focused page.

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In the six-month period since we’ve been working on the content hub, they have had 38 liquidation leads via phone call and 52 leads via contact form on a liquidation-focused page.

Result: 660% increase in phone call leads and 420% increase in contact form leads.

Previous six months:

Screenshot of the leads dashboard within What Converts showing that five leads were generated before work on the content hub began

Current:

Screenshot of the leads dashboard within What Converts showing that 38 leads were generated after work on the content hub began

Clicks

Goal: Increase from 4,503 to 13,500 (around 200%)

Result: Increased from 4,503 to 23,013 (411%)

By creating highly relevant content that matched the user’s search intent, we managed to almost quadruple the clicks over the space of six months, doubling our original 200% goal.

The site has received 29,400 clicks overall across the past 12 months. Below, you can see the huge spike in clicks and impressions from January onwards when we really started to focus on the liquidation content.

Screenshot showing spike in clicks and impressions once focus on ‘company liquidation’ began

Impressions

Goal: Increase from 856,683 to 1,700,000 (around 100%)

Result: Increased from 856,683 to 2,033,355 (137%)

Again, by creating highly relevant blogs, Google started to understand the relevancy of our content, so the number of impressions hugely increased. Along with the 137% increase above, over the past 12 months (August 2021-August 2022) the site has received 485,000 impressions for the query ‘liquidation’ alone.

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Google Search Console Graph detailing huge spike in impressions between August 2021-August 2022

The main company liquidation guide that we updated had a total of 732K impressions over the past 12 months, too, with a huge spike from February onwards, when we updated the guide.

Google Search Console Graph detailing huge spike in impressions in February for the updated company liquidation guide

Average position

Goal: Increase from 33.4 to 25 (around 8 spots)

Result: Increased from 33.4 to 23.6 (increased 10 spots)

This increase is due to the relevancy of our content and the amount of keywords each piece ranked for. As mentioned, the main company liquidation guide has worked incredibly well, ranking for 181 keywords, 67 of which are page one (37%). It now has the number one spot for the term “company liquidation”. See below for an example of queries the page is showing up for.

Google Search Console Screenshot sharing queries the company liquidation guide is appearing for, such as ‘members voluntary liquidation’, ‘liquidation of company’, ‘how long does liquidation take’ and more

The page also shows up for six featured snippets as a result of us implementing FAQ schema.

Screenshot showing the company liquidation guide appearing in a featured snippet query for ‘process of liquidation’

335 clicks and 93,663 impressions have come from the FAQ rich results alone.

Screenshot of Google Search Console showing ‘FAQ Rich Results’ within the search appearance column

In the six months before we updated the guide, it pulled in around 650 clicks and 227K impressions. In the six months following, it brought in around 1,180 clicks and 382K impressions. We’ve practically doubled clicks on one single guide.

As mentioned, this particular piece of content has 36 backlinks, and actually ranks ABOVE the official UK government company liquidation guide, which has a domain authority of 93 (about 60 higher than ours). Clearly, we’re meeting the searcher’s intent and giving them what they are looking for.

Screenshot of the SERP showing that Insolvency Experts’ company liquidation guide appears above official UK government advice.

In the six month period before we started work on liquidation, Insolvency Experts had an average click through rate of 0.5%. Over a six month period of us working with them, this more than doubled to 1.2%.

Another success worth noting is that 3 out of 6 of our latest articles have an average page view duration of between 9 and 10 minutes! The other half are averaging around 5 to 6 minutes, which is still very good. Clearly, users are wanting in-depth information on this topic.

The “What happens to a director of a company in liquidation?” guide, which went live in May, is now the fifth most clicked page on the site. when filtered on GSC by the term “liquidation”.

Overall, we’re extremely pleased with the results we generated, and so are Insolvency Experts — the company liquidation department is now inundated with queries and they are rushed off their feet!

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