I think we can all agree the content marketing competition really did heat up this year. More businesses and marketers discovered the power of content and decided to come out to play. But as Doug Kessler pointed out, the rush to content marketing will lead to a giant deluge of crap, if it hasn’t already.
The competition for people’s attention has heated up immensely—91 percent of B2B marketers and 86 percent of B2C marketers already use content marketing. Therefore, the question becomes, how can content marketers create “Great Content Brands” and come up with a sustainable content marketing strategy that will make their content stand out from the rest?
Every content marketer should strive to answer this question in 2014. At Kuno, we focus on creating meaningful buyer personas so we can build core content marketing and messaging strategies. This process helps us create content that appeals, educates and resonates with buyers. Every year we strive to make that content even better.
Combined with meaningful personas, meeting the following content resolutions will help content marketers rise above the crap and create great content brands in 2014.
Go where no content marketer has ever gone before, take creative risks with your content and try new things! There’s going to be a lot more content cluttering up the Internet next year—73 percent of content marketers are creating more content this year and 58 percent plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next year, according to the B2B Content Marketing annual report. Your blog posts, eBooks and videos are going to be buried unless you push the boundaries and change the way audiences should engage with your content.
Neil Patel, for example, writes about how infographics are “yesterday’s news. Everyone has already beaten them to death, and topics are now being regurgitated.” Designers who have taken the infographic concept and layered it with 3D elements and animation are already pushing content boundaries by giving viewers new ways to absorb the data and engage with the infographic. This cheetah infographic is a great of example:
And while branded content tools aren’t a new concept, the boundaries could stand to be pushed in this realm, as well. If branded content tools are going to deliver more value, backlinks and brand awareness in 2014, content marketers better be ready to dig deep and deliver something even more useful, relevant and compelling than what’s already out there.
Instead of blabbing about your product or service, give your audience a reason to care about your product or service. You can do this by creating content that helps readers identify with their problems and then provides a means to solve them. You’ve done all the interviews and research to establish yourself as the content expert for your company or client, and you know what keeps your personas up at night. Give them a reason to identify with your product and seek you out for advice or resolution.
You’re human, just like your persona. And the conversations you spark with your audience online should feel like real conversations about buyers' problems. Sprinkle in stories that evoke emotion, which will drive decisions, lead to loyalty and create a personal connection with a given brand, writes Debbie Wiliams.
One of my favorite advertisements from this past Christmas reminds us why the holidays can be so great, even when they are filled with big, bustling family members. Apple’s holiday TV ad features an angsty-looking teenager who is completely enamored with his iPhone during all the family Christmas activities. Then, on Christmas morning, he surprises his family with a thoughtful holiday video he made with his iPhone. Once again, Apple made audiences smile and possibly shed a tear with this quick but relatable video:
I think we’re all ready to rise above the crap and find new ways to make our content different, more engaging and easier to share next year. We look forward to seeing how you push the boundaries, solve problems, get emotional and more with your content in 2014!
What are your content resolutions for 2014? Share in the comments below!
Jennifer King is a Brand Journalist with Kuno Creative, where she applies her unique skills as a journalist to develop engaging content for B2B clients. Her work has appeared in authoritative online publications such as Lifehacker, Forbes and Great Place to Work. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.sachman75