If there were a single trend in the content marketing realm this week, it would be higher quality. A recent study by content marketing firm INM this week revealed a shocking truth: not only is creating content more common than you think, having a distinct strategy for content marketing has become the norm.
While the news is entirely positive for content specialists, it means one thing for companies: the time is now to improve your content. In the future where virtually every company is creating blogs, eBooks, and white papers, it’s critical to ensure your efforts have the potential to stand out. If you needed any more motivation to focus on quality, Google announced this week that websites which offer an in-depth approach to answering search queries will be rewarded. We’ve curated the top news stories of the week, which will help you win in the weeks and years to come.
For companies doing blogging, eBooks, and social media right, scaling is inevitable. As content marketing continues to explode, companies worldwide are directing more marketing spend towards custom content, which means teams are growing incredibly quickly.
HubSpot’s current content team manager, Google alum Jay Acunzo, knows a thing or two about scaling fast growth, and he shares all of his rich insights in a powerfully moving article on Content Marketing Institute. Our favorite insight has to be his recommendation to hire based on traits, including an optimization-specialist, the “machine,” and an in-house creative force. Whether you’re in the midst of accelerated growth or looking to expand in the future, you probably shouldn’t put off diving into this expert piece.
Without a doubt, the biggest news to hit the content marketing realm this week was a hint by search king Google that there were more changes in store. In a recent blog post, the world’s largest search engine revealed that around 10% of queries required in-depth answers, which can’t easily be answered by a news article or short blog post.
Mashable dove deep into looking at the details surrounding this change, the primary of which is a new block that will display recommended results. While it remains to be seen how quickly this new feature will be rolled out or whether it will affect branded content, one thing is clear. It’s in your company’s best interest to get the context right, but to focus your energy primarily toward creating content that’s going to remain relevant for years to come.
Some small studies have found that blog articles consisting of 2,000 words or more tend to rank much better in search. Strive for thoroughness, rather than length, but ensure you’re providing the most depth possible.
Content marketers worldwide are primarily blogging and creating offers with the intention of lead generation, according to the findings of a fascinating state-of-the-industry study by INM that was released this week.
While we recommend delving into the entire document, eMarketer’s overview hits all the salient points, including one that shocked many insiders: nearly half of all companies have a formal content marketing strategy in place. While in 2012, only 28% had a planned approach, that number has jumped to 49% this year. An additional 33% are working on a formal strategy currently.
The primary takeaway from this research is clear: if you haven’t created a larger plan, you risk being left behind.
If you step outside your content marketing role to think about your habits as a consumer, you’ll realize you don’t always want to read an eBook or white paper. Sometimes, a short blog post, infographic, or tutorial is all you’ve got time for. There’s definitely a demand for short-form content, and many experts including Jeff Bullas, believe that “snack-sized” pieces will only grow in popularity in the years to come.
Curata’s Pawan Deshpande delivers an appropriately brief blog post that offers plenty of applicable suggestions on types of content that’s easy to produce, and even easier to consume. Regardless of whether you’re already creating podcasts or curating, there’s something to be learned from this manifesto on bite-sized content marketing.
No content marketer worth their salt wants to follow the trends. Everyone wants to create something new, and profound that inspires discussion, praise, and thousands of social shares.
Brand storytelling is getting a great deal of press lately, and the best breakdown we’ve seen of the process comes from Ragan’s Russell Working. There’s plenty of examples of compelling storytelling that inspires emotion, as well as a clever formula for the process:
Translated? Have one message, be relevant, and be engaging and emotional. Perhaps most importantly? Go against the grain. “When everyone zigs, zag.”
If you needed social proof that every company can tell a tale that wins fans, or more specific ideas, this is the read of the week that has the potential to revolutionize your content marketing strategy.
Are you utilizing short-form content marketing? How do you plan to create more in-depth content in light of Google’s new changes? We’re excited to hear what you think – please share your thoughts in the comments!