Content Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

Content Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

Today, content marketing has become the most effective way to grow a brand online. The impact of traditional marketing methods like outdoor advertising is decreasing as we speak. Apart from lower costs, content marketing also has an increased conversion rate as opposed to traditional advertising methods. This is happening because today’s consumers want to see stories with real substance and not just advertisements. For instance, in the last few years, Kraft Foods has driven 4x ROI through content marketing than through traditional advertising.

Given its ever changing nature, content marketing practices keep evolving. However, brands that can hack their way through the changes aren’t caught by surprise and can gain a huge advantage. Here are 5 content marketing trends every successful brand will need to follow to gain the most out of 2019.

Niche content will rule the day

Today, brands are creating more content than ever before. With so much content on the internet, brands need to ensure that they stand out or they face the risk of getting lost at sea. But creating niche content is easier said than done. Big brands need to focus on creating an identity and separate audiences for their sub-brands in 2019. While doing so, these brands must keep in mind that the tone and style of content for their sub-brands needs to be different from that of the parent company. They can do this by creating content that is in-depth and creative. For instance, Nerd Fitness focuses on a niche in the fitness industry i.e. “nerds who are looking to get fit”. 2019 will see a shift towards niche content that will find its own relevant audience.

Long-form content is here to stay

As readers are increasingly looking for trustworthy sources on the internet, long-form content will gain even more importance in 2019. Also, search engines are rewarding lengthier posts in results rankings. Search engines prefer long-form content as opposed to short-form content. However, long-form content needs to be a quality resource that is worth the readers’ time. Bite-sized content might be easier to create, but long-form content will help you establish your brand as an authority in its space. For instance, Red Bull’s magazine that goes by the name ‘The Red Bulletin’ has adopted a traditional journalistic approach of creating long-form features about sports, culture, and lifestyle that are both relevant and interesting to the brand’s target demographic. Most of the content pieces found in this magazine are well over 2000 words. The magazine’s editorial team is dedicated to telling unique, real-life stories that provide value and entertainment.

Video content will steal the show

In the past 5 years, consumption of video content has increased tremendously, and its growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Talk to any digital marketer and he will tell you that video content is most saleable. Hence, brands need to make it a point to invest in making and distributing videos in 2019. While creating production-grade videos is great, don’t let it be your main focus. Instead, create videos that are highly relatable and of decent quality. For instance, Taco Bell is conquering the video marketing world with its creative campaigns. Their strategy involves posting short videos that will make viewers chuckle. While you’re at it, try to customize your videos for different social media platforms. Taco Bell once posted a six-minute mini-movie on SnapChat to introduce their ‘Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos’ on the red carpet of the MTV Movie Awards.

Content marketing will be preferred over traditional marketing

Over the last decade, online presence has become mandatory for all brands, no matter their size or the industry they belong to. While social media helps generate brand awareness and revenue, it is content marketing that is going to steal the show in 2019. Brands are increasingly adopting content marketing after looking at examples around them. Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reported that 91% of B2B brands and 86% of B2C brands use content marketing and are seeing results. Moreover, the brands that don’t use it also plan to start soon. Among businesses that use digital marketing, nearly 80 percent plan to increase their investment in content marketing in 2019.

DemandBase, a marketing technology provider that specializes in serving B2B brands, used infographics, white papers, SlideShare, and webinars to source new leads for one of their campaigns. According to Top Rank Blog, the company generated 1,700 new leads and connected with 125 webinar viewers. This helped them generate over $1 million in new revenue through content marketing.

Personalized content will take center stage

The easiest way to deliver delightful customer experiences is through one-to-one marketing. In 2019, more and more marketers will strive to provide highly personalized experiences to their consumers. This is because personalization of content is imperative to the current and future success of brands across all industries. Did you know that personalized content marketing converts 4 times more than generic marketing?Northeast Nursery understood this and so they used Core DNA’s personalization functionality to allow contractors to view and receive a special price on selected products. According to a research by Invesp, 57% of shoppers are willing to give away their personal information in order to reap the benefits of personalization.

While the trends are indicating an increasing adoption of content marketing strategies, it still remains to be seen how businesses use it to their advantage. Brands that have got it right are reaping the benefits of their efforts. The biggest takeaway is that a lukewarm approach to your content will no longer suffice in 2019.






6 Ways to Improve Your ROI from Content

6 Ways to Improve Your ROI from Content

Every brand that spends marketing dollars on online marketing invests in creating great content. While every statistic is looked at minutely and improvised upon, have you considered the ROI from content? Are there any ways in which you can improve these returns?

Many brand managers ask these questions constantly. The answers lie in how effective and efficient your brand’s content marketing game is. The bottom line is: the higher the value your content is providing to your followers, the higher the ROI from content.

What kind of content fetches the highest ROI?

  1. Cost-effective content

It is not always a given that the most expensive content will give you the best returns. Content marketing is considerably cheaper than other modes of marketing. The idea is to find high-quality, cost-effective content that can make the biggest possible impact. A well-crafted article or an impactful, yet short video will show you results without being too costly.

  1. Evergreen content

Content that has a long shelf-life on the internet is hard to come by. But it is this kind of content that has the best results and ROI. Unlike advertising campaigns, it will have a far longer life online and will constantly be generating returns. This kind of content will stay on the internet for as long as you want it, provided it has enough repeat value.

  1. Targeted content

It is a no-brainer that the more you invest in your content the more it will work for you. The investment, however, needs to be strategically planned. Content that is targeted towards a specific set of audiences usually is the best bet. A good strategy coupled with great content and intelligent investment will build up over time and give compounded returns.

Here are 6 ways in which you can boost your ROI from content:

  • Create multi-faceted content

The best kind of content is the kind that serves multiple goals for the client. Copy that increases traffic to your website, while also pushing a certain product and also works to improve the brand’s relationship with the audience is far better than simple informative copy. Optimize your content to serve a number of purposes without compromising on any one of them.

  • Focus your content efforts

Having a ton of content online is not always the best solution. While it may feel like increasing the content on your website, social media handles or your Wikipedia page will increase engagement, it may not always be the case. Instead, focus on specific content entries that serve a designed purpose. Work on a strategy based on what the audience wants instead of simply focussing on volume.

  • Create content with the help of specialists

When you want to give unique information to your audience, it is best if you have someone who is extremely familiar with the subject writing for you. Specialists are uniquely placed to produce content that is not only long lasting but also explores subjects in greater depth with a better perspective. They make sure that your content stands out in the crowd and maximizes the ROI from content.

  • Re-use your content from time to time

Content should never be left stagnant. Try and reinvent it as and when possible and keep it in the mix of things. Experts recommend revisiting old content and adding follow-up pieces to them on an ongoing basis. The key here is to identify trends before or when they happen to make sure that you are capitalizing on your content.

  • Encourage user-generated content

It is the age of user-generated content. Brands that are engaging their audience are finding it easier to create more user-generated content. It is not only highly engaging for your audience but also incredibly cost-effective when done right. Well-orchestrated campaigns driven by user-generated content have a history of working brilliantly.

  • Update old content

Google’s algorithm loves updated content. A few added paragraphs can make an old article relevant for today. It is also a good idea to change the headline and introductory paragraphs for it to relate to what is trending. If you want to improve your ranking on SERPs, it is important that you add new relevant content based on current trends.

There are a number of ways in which you can drastically improve the ROI from content. The key here is to ensure that you are constantly on the lookout for creating engaging, original and relevant content for your target audience. With the right strategy and partners on hand, your content will be working for you for a very long time.

Never a Start-Up, Always a Business.

Never a Start-Up, Always a Business.

I recently started following Mahesh Murthy on LinkedIn (who doesn’t). In the semi-serious world of LinkedIn, it is perhaps the only genuine entertainment you will come across. He recently criticized a Facebook post where Bookmyshow highlighted itself as the only major start-up that is in the green. The post highlighted the losses all the bigwigs made. From Flipkart (2000 crores), Snapdeal (800 crores) to PayTM (1000 crores) – every major tech startups losses were chronologically arranged and the companies were even categorized into sub-sectors for us commoners to analyze the ones who have drowned the most money. Personally, I found nothing wrong with the post. If you are the only big league start-up in the green (3.1 crores to be precise), use every inch of your social platforms to flaunt it.

Importantly, it got me thinking about what kind of companies qualify as startups. Is it Mahesh, is it a VC or should it be ME? Not one for boring technicalities, for me it was always a matter of perception. For a millennial (which unfortunately I am not) or a new entrepreneur (which I am) – Bookmyshow, Zomato, Flipkart and the likes have become gold standards. Funded repeatedly. Co-founders from IIM or IIT. More press coverage than even a Reliance and a solid tech platform to backup their ideas. With the continuous losses these companies make, are the new gold Standards of entrepreneurs misdirected?
My own company, a content marketing firm called Facilius Inc, doesn’t qualify if any of these benchmarks were real.
We are not repeatedly funded (only once till now). None of the co-founders belong to the IIM-IIT breed. Perhaps most importantly, we have not been in the red EVER. This company was started with an investment of 12,000 rupees! We haven’t made our 120 crores yet but that 12,000 rupees has got it’s fair share of returns.
I grew up in a modern but Sindhi business household. It was not a start-up friendly atmosphere. The one rule of business was profit (well, two rules – profit and goodwill). The question of taking someone else’s money and making a loss in continuity would have been an idea that would have got me disbarred from all business talks. So when we see the Bahls and the Bansals as celebrated entrepreneurs, there are days I wonder if we are celebrating their insane ability to change the landscape of business in India (which they have) or their ability to run a business (which I, in my humble capacity don’t agree with).
Following the rules I grew up with, when I started my company, I was very clear that it needed to be my source of income. No decision was made for cosmetic reasons. It had to make sense to the bottom line. Clients were taken if the pricing made sense. We did do work at rock bottom prices to build a portfolio but the volume justified the pricing then. Admittedly, I don’t have a tech company. The rules for a service based business are different but the employees working with you must grow and my partners and investor MUST not lose any money.
Everyday, we take risks that we hope will pay off but never have we taken a decision to ‘look bigger’. In September 2016, we got funded. I wanted to increase the pace of my growth and an external infusion was needed. During the very painful negotiations, I very clearly told my investor, we will not make you 15x in 2 years on your investment but I will make you 3-4x in that time. Following the investment and subsequent expansion, I am VERY proud to say that I will pay my investor his first dividend in April.
It was at the dinner table with my investor (at the closing) that my father (who by the way completely disapproved of me bringing in an equity partner) asked me “When do you stop being a start-up?”. Almost immediate was my reply “Papa – we were never a start-up. We were and always will be a business.”