Oh wow…I have really missed blogging! I have been doing lots of other bits and pieces behind the scenes…including setting up a You Tube channel (…eek! will let you know when all is ready to be seen!)..but I have really missed my regular writing!
However, I am back and raring to go for 2019. I am really passionate about sharing hints and tips to improve your business blog and to help all of your content work hard for your business this year. I read a great quote in a Social Media Today article which said: “Content is at the center of the connection between your brand and your customer” – and that is exactly what 2019 is all about for me…About building connections and true engagement to supply your business with a loyal customer base.
So, what better place to start than to discuss some tips and trends for 2019 to ensure your content is ready to make those powerful connections. I have been reading a lot about what to expect and I have picked out some of the highlights for you below…enjoy!
Five 2019 trends – according to those in the know (see Bibliography below)
Content creation is so much more than just marketing – it is about using words and pictures to convert sales, to build a relationship and to truly communicate the assets of your business.
Here are five trends that will help you do that in 2019:
Our customers are savvy. Never underestimate that. Today’s customers and clients live in a world where they are constantly exposed to some form of content marketing and therefore they can see through what is fake or contrived. This means you need to make sure you are creating authentic content in order to make a connection with your audience – to make then notice and listen.
You need to be original and relevant. I’d even say less is more! It is much better to offer quality and authentic, but fewer content items, than loads of ‘stock and standard’ material.
Your aim is to be useful, entertaining and informative, but in the context of your business and what you have to offer.
For example, I believe a genuine photo from your own office/home/latest event is worth 50 stock images. Sometimes there is a need to use stock imagery but it shouldn’t be the majority. In my experience, social media posts containing my own photos (dodgy focus and bad lighting included!) gets more engagement every time over a perfectly posed model downloaded via Canva!
Also, authentic content often becomes evergreen content – you can refer back to it and you can reuse it, because it is relevant and original to you. It’s win-win!
2) Interaction and engagement over reach
One of your goals for 2019 has to be to switch from being obsessed with statistics related to ‘likes’ and ‘reach’ and start focussing on interaction and engagement. Whether it is social media posts, blog posts or email open rates…forget the ‘who saw it?’ attitude and focus on the ‘who engaged with it?’
Good content is about nurturing your customer base, building your brand, engaging your clients, building trust and creating genuine relations with people who want to work with you.
Don’t forget to also consider how best to reach your target audience to ensure the opportunity for interaction and engagement – consider the distribution of your content. Where are you customers? Which social media platforms do they use most? When will they have time to read blogs? How often do they check their email? You mustn’t work hard on content only for it to be missed. ‘Plant it’ in the perfect location which allows for your target audience to have the best chance to not only see it, but engage and react to it.
3) Influencers and collaborators
I slightly cringe when I hear the word ‘influencer’ – I can’t help but think of celebrities who are being paid millions and probably don’t care all that much about the business they appear to be endorsing! More importantly the idea of an influencer is a completely alien concept to small businesses who just don’t have the budget to pay people regularly or in large amounts.
However, let’s expand the idea of ‘influencer’ and perhaps insert the word collaborator instead – it doesn’t have to be celebrity, instead it can simply be your biggest fan or your regular supplier, for example. Build relationships with clients but also fellow business owners, perhaps just in your local area, and collaborate on your content – mutually sharing and endorsing products and services.
4) Multi-media content, especially video …but less than 2 minutes
As much as I am passionate about written content, there is no denying as we head swiftly in to mid January in 2019, video is a vital piece of content that you have to include; whether it is Facebook Lives, Instagram stories, photo slideshows or full promotional videos. The evidence still suggests that for business shorter videos work best, both across social media and on websites.
I know the thought of being in front of the camera speaking terrifies a lot of people, but like publishing a blog post, like sending your first newsletter or launching your website, it is all about planning what you are going to say and why you are going to say it. You don’t necessarily have to write a script, but have a plan, some notes, and, importantly, a purpose for the video’s content.
If you don’t embrace video sooner rather than later, you really will start to see a ‘hole’ in your content strategy.
5) Goals and strategy
It may seem that a lot of posts on social media are reactive or even adhoc, but businesses who use effective content marketing and, in return, see measurable results, are those that have a clear plan and a strategy for reaching the marketing goals (and sales goals) that they have set.
Spontaneity is good if you are reacting and interacting via blogging or through your social media channels, but this needs to be part of a bigger plan of scheduled posts and whole campaigns. You need to lead as as well as follow!
I have written before about the importance of a strategy and if you need help, please just get in touch.
Content is King
As it states on Prodo.com: “Content marketing is vital for your business – it helps you gain trust, build your brand, generate site traffic and gain new customers.” Do you need further convincing? How many more reasons do you need?
Do it well this year and you will reap the rewards.
If you need help, support or advice, then get in touch. My editing services start from as little as £25 per hour. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bibliography (what I’ve been reading!)
Convince and Convert