What’s trending in content marketing and SEO these days?
Let’s say this: Content is more important than ever.
More specifically, quality, media type, authenticity, and audience targeting all come into play if you want to win with readers and Google.
Ready to learn more?
These are the five content marketing and SEO trends you need to know.
1. Go Beyond (WAY Beyond) Superficial Content
We’re seeing brands leave superficial content behind in favor of blogs and articles that plumb the depths of a topic.
That means more and more blogs are comprehensive, thoroughly researched and – you guessed it – long.
For instance, look at the SERP for the query [content marketing examples]. The top 4 results have an average length of 2,207 words.
Furthermore, all these results are chock-full of real-world examples, studies, statistics, and facts.
This research had to be accurately and carefully compiled, referenced, and cited.
This Optinmonster blog (result #2 and a featured snippet) is well-researched, meaning it includes lots of examples, links to sources, and screenshots. It also clocks in at over 3,000 words:
This is what is necessary to rank well with readers and search engines these days.
Still publishing unplanned, unresearched, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants content?
Not going to work anymore. In fact, I could argue this method never worked in the first place.
Superficial content will get you superficial results, at best. There is rarely any value in content that skims the surface of a topic.
No value = no audience interest. No audience interest = no results.
2. Invest in Content Creation Processes
To create best-of-the-best content, more brands than ever are investing in content creation processes.
According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2C research, 56% of content marketers increased spending within the last 12 months on content creation.
That might involve:
- Researching keywords and topics.
- Planning what the content will cover (and why).
- Writing the content.
- Creating graphics, pulling screenshots, or leveraging the written content into multimedia.
- Posting and promoting the content across multiple channels.
The interest in creating content is a matter of course.
Content marketing has reached peak popularity over the last few years, according to Google Trends.
Most marketers want a piece of the promised land.
Investing more dollars in content creation processes makes sense:
How else can you create the type of value-packed, high-quality content that readers love and search engines rank?
If you don’t invest, you won’t have the resources to do it right.
End of story.
3. Use Content Personalization for Ultra-Targeted Content
Another widely-adopted content marketing trend is content personalization.
According to a survey from Evergage, 93% of marketers use personalization for at least one channel in their digital marketing strategy.
This practice focuses on tailoring the content your site serves to different users based on readily available personal data like demographics, preferences, and search/browsing history.
According to the Evergage survey, most marketers agree that this tactic:
- Helps deliver better customer experiences.
- Increases customer loyalty.
- Generates measurable ROI.
The point is, the content that speaks to one type of user won’t speak to another. A first-time visitor to your page has different needs than a visitor on their 20th session, for example.
Content personalization gives each of them slightly different pages filled with content that will appeal to their personal needs.
This chart from ConversionXL shows how two different versions of content are served to two different users.
4. Double-Down on Building Customer Loyalty with Authenticity & Transparency
According to a 2019 Stackla survey, 90% of consumers agree that authenticity matters for the brands they like and support. Most marketers are aware of this trend and want to be that authentic voice people crave.
The problem? 92% of marketers think the content they create oozes authenticity, but 51% of consumers think less than half of all brands accomplish this.
However, when brands get authenticity right, the rewards are huge. A Cohn & Wolfe survey found almost 90% of consumers are willing to reward a brand’s authenticity by taking action:
- 52% said they would recommend the brand to other people
- 49% would give the brand their loyalty
If marketers are often mistaken about the authenticity in their content, how can they get past their overconfidence and reach what works?
Brands that understand what authenticity actually means will come out on top. Michael Fertik for Forbes defines it like this:
“Being authentic means being accountable and upholding your brand promise. It requires transparency and a dash of vulnerability. When a brand is authentic, consumers know it, appreciate it and prioritize their spending accordingly.”
For examples of authenticity in big-name brands, look at Amazon, Apple, Lego, and Intel – all of these appear in Cohn & Wolfe’s list of the 100 Most Authentic Brands ranked by consumers.
5. Expand Your Horizons Past Just Blogging
Blogging is a big deal in content marketing, but it’s not the end-all, be-all.
Blogging is awesome, don’t get me wrong.
My agency has seen 99% of our leads and sales come through our organic content rankings.
That said, we are living in a dynamic, multi-channel, multi-experience digital world.
If you only target people who read blogs and articles, you’re missing out on all the people who prefer only video, only audio, or a mix of two or three in their browsing adventures.
According to Nielsen, U.S. adults over age 18 now spend nearly half of their days – over 11 hours total – consuming content. (Over 6 of those hours are devoted to video content!)
They get their content everywhere: On live TV, time-shifted TV, the internet, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, radio, DVD/Blu-ray devices, and other internet-connected devices.
Most marketers are wise to this trend and are diving into the uncharted waters of YouTube, podcasts, webinars, and live streaming along with their blogging strategies.
If you’re still only blogging, it’s time to start thinking about adding on a YouTube channel, a podcast, or some other form of dynamic media to your content strategy.
For best results, go where your audience lives.
Trending Content & SEO Tactics Are Just the Beginning
As content marketing evolves, these trends are just the start of new shifts in the industry.
Over the last year alone, we have seen brands reprioritizing their audiences, refocusing on telling authentic stories, and shifting to include more channels in their content strategy.
Going forward, brands that invest in the right trends will see more growth overall. Are you ready?
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She’s earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.
7 Social Commerce Tips & Who’s Doing It Right
Selling products on social media platforms (also known as social commerce) has emerged as a viable digital advertising strategy for ecommerce brands worldwide.
With social commerce, you can leverage social media to engage with your target customers and encourage them to complete the sale on their favorite apps without ever needing to visit your website.
It’s incredibly convenient, especially considering 54% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
Check out the following social commerce best practices and examples of which brands are getting it right.
1. Get To Know Your Audience Profile
If you want the best engagement rates, you must align your social commerce strategy with the recipients of your brand’s message (your target audience).
Getting to know your target social audience does take time and effort, but it makes a difference in conversions and sales.
It’s no secret that you can expect better results when you convey the right message using the right platform to the right people.
Instead of just using the same messages on your website, be more intentional in choosing products and wordings that align with your specific social media customer subset.
Use analytics to stay informed on demographic and performance data to help you identify which products to include in the listing and how to position them.
For example, Target created a fantastic browsing experience for their Instagram users by using smart listing based on hashtags and content engagement and constantly upgrading their product offerings.
Customers who click on a product on Instagram no longer leave the app to complete the sale.
2. Stay Creative With Your Social Storefront
People have already changed their shopping habits thanks to the pandemic.
Since most shoppers now learn about brands via social media, you must rethink your social profiles as they serve as your brand’s digital storefront.
Keep in mind that you only have one shot at creating a good impression.
Create a fantastic buying experience because your social media profile’s ambiance is just as important as the products you sell.
You can attract repeat business by making a winning customer experience backed by quality products.
For example, The Tiny Tassel retail shop has a digital storefront via their Facebook Shop.
They created product pages specifically for Facebook with information like style, material, and shipping details.
All their listings provide value and build trust, which is essential to attract new customers to make their first purchase.
3. Schedule Consistent Promotional Posts
Creating promotional posts is an excellent way to share more product details, such as close-up product shots, short demos, and walk-throughs.
You can even add links to your posts which helps you:
- Create better brand awareness.
- Meet more customer demands.
- Streamline the purchase process.
Take this example from Ralph Lauren.
Notice how they use a combination of products to showcase their seasonal collection.
This strategy gives the shopper a better idea of how the different products look when worn together (or layered).
4. Humanize Your Social Media Replies
One of the primary reasons people reach out to brands on social media is the immediate response. Social media makes it easy to connect if customers want more information on products, order inquiries, or general questions. Instead of just giving a simple answer, you can:
- Recommend a product.
- Share a direct link to purchase.
- Offer a promo code to secure the sale.
This interaction is also an opportunity to show your brand’s personality and build trust with the shopper.
Overall, it’s a winning scenario because you deliver outstanding customer service while potentially increasing your bottom line.
Here is an example of Vicidolls doing just that via their Instagram page.
5. Use Analytics To Guide Your Strategy
Working in the dynamic world of social commerce requires trackable metrics.
So rely on your social media analytics to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
Diving deeper into analytics will uncover new opportunities and assess which social commerce posts drive sales.
From there, you can adjust your strategy and make your future posts more compelling to potential customers.
You can also use data to guide the design and functionality of your social media assets.
For instance, you can customize Pinterest boards to act as your product navigation tool for your audience.
Patagonia’s Pinterest board does a great job because its product pinboards mimic its website navigation.
Thus, they create a similar feel for loyal customers while attracting potential new customers.
Similarly, you must create a consistent brand experience to pave the way for instant recognition for your audience.
6. Streamline The Checkout Process
Studies show that mobile users have a higher cart abandonment rate than desktop users, at a whopping 85.65%.
Therefore, when buyers move to smaller screens for daily purchases, it’s vital to gain full support with a streamlined checkout process.
Social commerce helps because it removes the drop-off points that result in abandoned transactions.
Now, customers don’t have to make personal accounts to shop on your site.
Instead, they can use their social media profiles for a seamless transaction.
Instagram business accounts like Spearmint Baby make shoppable posts that provide relevant information and pricing.
You can upload up to 30 of your best-selling products into a catalog (or link to corresponding product pages on your site if the items are not in the catalog).
In addition, brands can now host a Live Shopping event on almost all social platforms.
Live Shopping allows the company to discuss the product, answer questions, and even pin a product from the catalog on-screen during the stream.
Make the broadcast interactive and inform viewers why this product is indispensable in their lives.
When they click on the product picture, it will show a keyword-rich description, making it detailed, catchy, and concise.
From there, the customers can readily purchase the item using a credit card or e-wallet without leaving the app.
Here is an example of Hollister utilizing IG Live Shopping.
First, the left photo shows the video in your list of Live Shopping videos.
(Hint: To see all of the Live IG Shopping, visit the shopping tab on your Instagram, and at the top, scroll over until you see the Live category.)
Then you can click into the video, and finally, you have the option to “view products.”
7. Collaborate With Social Influencers
Finally, consider influencer marketing.
It is not a new concept, but you can optimize it to expand your reach and improve social sales.
For example, when influencers use shoppable tags on IG, they push potential buyers directly to your shop.
This approach curates an engaging experience for your customers because they can see a Live Story from an influencer promoting your product.
Then, when they click on a link, they can make an Insta-purchase.
With so many people following what influencers recommend, this is an ideal opportunity to expand your audience.
Here is the influencer Alexa Anglin doing just this for Walmart.
Take note of the brands mentioned above who are winning the social commerce game – there’s no reason your business can’t do the same!
Follow the tips to stand out on social media and make it easy for customers to purchase via your brand’s social profiles.
Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock
Squarespace Announces Video Hosting And Monetization
Squarespace announced an expansion of their Member Areas monetization platform that now allows publishers to host and monetize video content. The new capabilities makes it easy for publishers to sell access to video content and build a new revenue stream.
Screenshot of Squarespace Video Hosting Admin Panel
Squarespace Video Monetization Platform
Squarespace is a website building platform that helps publishers build online stores, an online presence for a local store or to simply create a blog.
In response to rapidly changing trends Squarespace rolled out a program called Member Areas that allowed publishers to earn money selling instructional and other kinds of content online through private members-only sections of their Squarespace website.
The goals of the Member Areas are:
“Engage your audience with exclusive content.
From virtual classes and workshops to newsletters, podcasts, and video series, Member Areas help you build, harness, and monetize the power of your online community”
Squarespace announced today that they are now fully video capable and that publishers can now fully host videos on Squarespace and sell access to them via the platform.
Squarespace handles all of the infrastructure for hosting the videos and for collecting the fees. Publishers can choose to charge a one-time fee or a recurring fee.
According to Squarespace:
“Sell access to video content: With Member Areas, customers can choose to charge a one-time or recurring fee to access their video content.
Host video directly on Squarespace: Squarespace is now supporting native video hosting on our platform, in addition to externally hosted videos on YouTube and Vimeo.
Video hosting storage: All customers will be able to upload up to 30 minutes of high-resolution video content to their website for free.
Leverage our new video player: All Squarespace hosted videos will be played on our new video player with slick playback, speed controls, resolution controls, and a deep integration into the Squarespace platform.
Customize video details: Titles, descriptions, URLs, custom thumbnails, metadata, and more can be fully customized.
Merchandise video content: Videos can easily be categorized, arranged, and styled to best represent a customer’s brand.”
Squarespace Makes it Easier to Earn Income
The new video platform allows publishers to sell access to recorded member-only video content. This provides local businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to provide services like online classes to a wider audience, giving businesses and individuals a new way to earn income.
The new video platform is available as part of the Member Areas add-on service with plans that start as low as $9/month.
Video Hosting and Monetization Announcement
Read About Squarespace Member Areas
Instagram Rolls Out Updates To Live Videos & Remixes
Instagram is rolling out updates that will give users a new way to promote their live videos, and more options when it comes to remixing videos.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced these updates while reiterating the company’s focus this year is building on video and messaging.
“We’re focused on building for teens and creators, and in the spaces of video and messaging. And these are within those themes.”
Mosseri first hinted at the new direction Instagram is headed in when he proclaimed last summer: “We’re no longer a photo sharing app.”
Instagram is bringing that vision to life this year starting with two updates that are focused on video — both live video and recorded video.
The updates include:
- Promoting scheduled lives streams with a new banner
- The ability to remix any video
Let’s take a look at these enhancements and what they can do for you as a creator.
Highlight Scheduled Live Videos On Your Profile
When you schedule a live video on Instagram, you can now highlight it on your main profile page with a new banner.
“Creators have been able to schedule lives for a while now, but now, you can separate scheduling a live from creating a feed post, or even now a story post, about that live. You also get a little badge on your profile that’s lets followers know, or anybody know that goes to your profile, that there’s a Live coming up and they can subscribe to be reminded.”
You can create as many scheduled live videos as you’d like. This gives you the option to promote a livestream that runs every day at the same time, for example.
See an example of what the new banner looks like in the screenshot below:
People visiting your profile can tap on the banner to create a reminder for your upcoming live video.
Remix Any Video On Instagram
Users now have the ability to remix any video on Instagram.
A “remix” on Instagram means taking videos published by others and responding to or reinventing them with your own video. It’s similar to TikTok’s video reactions.
In fact, when Instagram first rolled out the remix feature, it was basically a copycat of the reaction videos made popular on TikTok.
Previously, users could only remix the TikTok-inspired Instagram Reels.
Now, users can remix any public video on Instagram whether it’s a Reel or a feed post.
Simply tap the three-dot icon that appears in the top right corner and select “Remix this video.”
Remixing is an opt-in feature, so users can pick and choose which videos they want to allow others to remix.
Source: Adam Mosseri on Twitter
Featured Image: Mehaniq/Shutterstock
3 ways marketers can prepare for a cookieless future
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Artificial Intelligence
7 Social Commerce Tips & Who’s Doing It Right
Op-Ed: Education tipline launched by Virginia governor is a slap in the face to teachers
Unlock Free Creator-Inspired Items in F1 2021’s Podium Pass Series 4
How to Build a Successful Remote Freelance Team for Your Business
Google Drops FLoC For Topics API
Squarespace Announces Video Hosting And Monetization
Taboola automates personalized homepages
Instagram Adds Scheduled Live Display on User Profiles to Improve Discovery of Upcoming Streams
Here’s How Meta Is Changing Facebook Ads Targeting For 2022
14 Top Reasons Why Google Isn’t Indexing Your Site
20 Tips and Best Practices
Pages That Look Like Error Pages Can Be Considered Soft 404s By Google
Are Nofollow Links a Google Ranking Factor?
17 Actionable Content Marketing Tips for 2022
How To Help Google Rank Products With Duplicate Descriptions
10 Things You Need To Know To Be Successful
Google On How To Improve SEO Audits
Google AdSense Guide: increase earnings and escape low CPC
SEARCHENGINES7 days ago
Google Search Ranking Update On January 19th & 20th
SEARCHENGINES5 days ago
Bug With Google Ads Discovery & Performance Max Campaigns & New Placement Reports
SEO4 days ago
What Is a Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?
SEARCHENGINES5 days ago
Google Looking To Make Crawling More Efficient & Environmental Friendly
SEARCHENGINES2 days ago
67% Of Google Searches Have Duplicate Top Stories & Web Results URLs
MARKETING5 days ago
How to Create Functional SOPs (That Your Employees Actually Use)
SEARCHENGINES5 days ago
Google New York City Conference Room View
SEO6 days ago
The Only Shopify SEO Checklist You Need To Rank Your Site