How to create selling content today if it is oversupplied. The future of content marketing is about engaging stories that deliver value and reach audiences in a timely manner. It sounds simple, but it is difficult to achieve this result, especially in conditions of information overload: more than half of the content produced by brands seems unnecessary and meaningless to users. Victoria Odintsova, Marketing Director of Calltouch, has discussed three relevant techniques that will help marketers create a valuable product and attract an audience.
Average person spends about 8 hours a day on content consumption, and this figure is steadily growing. For example, consumption of digital content doubled from 2008 to 2018.
Today, on average, about 2.5 hours are spent only on social networks., the rest of the time we spend on games, watching TV, reading books and newspapers. These statistics do not take into account the multitasking inherent in users: the majority simultaneously consume content through two channels – for example, watching TV shows and flipping through social networks.
The market is oversaturatedbut brands continue to produce more and more text, audio and video in the hopes of grabbing audience attention. According to HubSpot, at least a quarter of companies plan to increase their budget for content marketing in the near future, and 70% of enterprises are already investing in this direction. Mattress manufacturers are recording podcasts, food delivery services are launching recipe magazines, even security camera manufacturers are posting crime news bulletins.
Excessive content: shock and burnout
Shock content – this is how experts call the phenomenon in which the volume of materials on the network grows, but the demand remains the same. The term “content burnout” has even appeared – the tiredness of the endless stream of information that more and more people are experiencing.
Unsurprisingly, the concentration of users deteriorates and their attention is scattered. SimilarWeb analysts have found that the duration of sessions on the Internet has been decreasing over the past three years. Although users are spending more and more time online, their visits are becoming shorter.
Regardless, content marketing still remains an effective promotion tool. ProfitWell estimates that companies that rely on inbound marketing and produce their own content are growing 30% faster than competitors.
However, only those businesses that make truly relevant and useful content succeed. Such, according to the Content Marketing Institute, only 66% (in the b2b segment). They prioritize the needs of the audience, not mindless advertising promotion. Interestingly, 88% of the top companies focus on customer preferences. It turns out that the quality of the content strategy directly affects the financial performance.
Let’s look at three actual tricksthat will help create relevant materials and attract the attention of the audience even in conditions of information redundancy.
Put storytelling first
ABOUT storytelling marketing has been talking for a long time, but few use it correctly. So what’s the problem? Most assess this method too superficially, but the image of the company, its history and character are made up not only of advertising messages, blog posts and identity.
A brand story is written when you send out emails during a pandemic, when you talk about the work of a remote team, when you publish statements from top managers, when you reply to a message from a disgruntled user or react to a corporate scandal.
Storytelling triggers must be embedded in every product of the company – this also applies to content. If you keep in touch with your audience, use emojis in communication, create accessible and friendly content, and then launch a chatbot that speaks with boilerplate phrases, the narrative collapses. If you adhere to the policy of transparency, but use “shadow templates” on the site, the picture also does not add up.
At Calltouch, we use storytelling techniques when working with different formats – from writing company history to creating client cases. Even material about moving to a new office can be turned into engaging narrative that reveals the essence of the brand.
Ideally, the company’s strategy should initially proceed from a solid story that every employee knows and understands. This wholeness and consistency of the brand is appealing to a new generation of users – especially millennials and buzzers.
That being said, it’s important to avoid storytelling cliches. This problem is well reflected in the satirical video Hey, We’re a Brand, which came out in the midst of the pandemic. The authors show how brands use standard narratives to create the appearance of customer care. It makes no sense to multiply this kind of content – the audience easily recognizes fake.
Work at the micro level
Working with abstract target audience has long been a thing of the past. Today, content marketing experts are creating unique microscripts, focusing on each client individually.
They collect and analyze big data, adapt materials depending on the interests of the user and set up omnichannel promotion. Obsessive ads and monotonous content across platforms and channels are used less and less.
Now in trend – detailed client path mapsthat take into account different “forks” and “turns”, and optimize the content at each stage.
A relatively new trend that helps to better understand user needs is empathy maps… They allow you to understand what the client is feeling, what he is talking about, what he sees, hears and does. The technique itself has appeared a long time ago, but recently, thanks to the growing access to data, insights have become deeper and maps more detailed.
After drawing up a detailed portrait of the audience and subsequent clustering, you can start creating micro-content – point triggers that help attract customers and increase brand loyalty.
Memes, flashcards, TikTok videos – create short stories that take no more than 10-30 seconds to consume. It is microformats that help reach new audiences. At the same time, it is not necessary to create such a product from scratch.
One of the trends of 2020 is repackaging existing content… For example, turning a long video into short snippets for social media or converting text into information cards.
In our social networks, we often use infographics in posts, and have recently started creating short video tutorials – in 5 minutes you can find out the features of the product and get answers to common questions. Creating videos is a laborious process, but our example proves that microformats are suitable even for complex technological products.
There are special tools for this.… One of them is the AI service Content Assistant, which analyzes the entire array of the company’s content and offers new microformats. Another example is the Kajabi platform, which allows you to turn blog posts and website posts into ready-made online courses.
When working with micro-content, competent optimization plays an important role. For example, an analysis of the audience showed that customers are increasingly using voice assistants. Consider how to optimize your materials for this trend.
How to make sure that when contacting the virtual assistant, the user receives a link to your product and your company. Or how to predict at what point he will turn to the conditional Siri. This is again where microscripting comes in handy.
Experiment with distribution
In conditions when there is too much content, more and more resources are spent not on the production of materials, but on their distribution. Many companies devote only 20% of their time to preparing content, 80% is spent on distributing it through various channels.
Creative strategies come to the forethat are focused on native promotion. For example, attracting top managers of companies to participate in podcasts, which are often not directly related to the industry, or publishing interviews in lifestyle media. The strategy can also include turning employees into brand ambassadors and working on their personal image.
It is also important to react quickly to emerging trends and experiment with new platforms. Based on this principle, we created our own blog, the traffic of which a couple of months ago exceeded 100,000 sessions per month. Also, quite early, they began to post publications on thematic resources that support UGC – for example, on VC.ru. Although Calltouch is an IT company, we researched other thematic sites where we published useful content for marketers, copywriters and advertising professionals.
Such techniques help to reach a new audience and increase brand awareness not due to annoying advertising, but due to an unobtrusive presence in the information field. Collaborations are also gaining popularity: for example, placing guest posts on blogs of other companies to exchange traffic.
Many companies are investing more and more in creating information products: checklists, e-books, and tutorials that help generate leads. At the same time, there is a growing interest in point distribution not through millionaire bloggers, as before, but through microinfluencers, for example, in Telegram and Youtube channels.
Of course, short-term trends also play an important role in content marketing – for example, in recent years, live streams and other video formats have become popular, the migration of posts from the main Instagram feed to stories, the development of dialogue marketing using chatbots and instant messengers, and the creation of a community around the product.
It is obvious that in 5 years the situation will change radically. But the trends described above will probably continue – there will simply be more tools, and their effectiveness will increase.