According to Scribe, in their ebook (more like a big pamphlet on why you should be using their software): The Business Case for Agile Content Marketing, “the job of any smart marketer is to enter a conversation that’s already taking place, and channel existing desire for solutions and benefits onto a specific solution.” I actually like this metaphor as it accurately describes the role of a content marketer.
In this case, the conversation is the want or need that a potential customer has. This conversation is “already taking place” because at this point the customer has expressed their want with an Internet search. The role of the content marketer then is to optimize their content in a way that not only reaches their customers and fulfills that need, but also does so in the most efficient way possible. This is done by creating content that speaks the same language as your audience while also resulting in a strong ranking among search engine results.
However, strong search engine results are not enough to succeed in today’s online business environment, the content of your website and how you handle it play an equal, if not larger role in getting customers to your desired resolution. Content marketers who do no pick up on current or upcoming trends will fail to strive. Content Harmony listed several trends to take advantage of in the upcoming year, and compared them to the old trends that drive away customers.
The first is to have a mixed content strategy, with plenty of info, visuals and graphics to present more visually appealing content to your audience. The second trend is to choose your battles on the social media front, instead of having an all-you-can-eat, use every social-site strategy. Another trend is to have structured microdata on only the metrics that are important to your business and not marking up everything on your site as it can lead to wasted time and resources.
One trend that I found interesting was the use of print content marketing. I previously thought that this form of marketing would be dying out but Content Harmony makes a strong case for using printed marketing. Handing out a magazine at a tradeshow might seem to old school for today’s marketing climate but if that magazine is well organized and grabs the audience’s attention, it can give your potential customers something that is physical and lasts, and helps your business in segments it might be struggling in.