How to Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2020




Update as of March 22, 2020- The Corona Virus And Content Marketing


Look at your budgets. Spending on conferences and trade shows may have been up to 40% of your marketing costs. It's now more important than ever to stay in touch with your customers keeping them informed to what's happening within your organization. Now is the time to keep your brand alive more than ever. Don't loose that connection with your audience.


The most important thing you can do to fail in your business is not create trust. Once you have consistently become trustworthy, you gain loyalty, and your customers will spend more.

Selling trust with content marketing isn't as easy as you may have experienced. You wonder how some companies just seem to get it right all the time- but yours is just not there yet.

Understanding the behavioral data of your audience helps increase traffic to your content. Multi-channel marketing is a key driver in customer acquisition, Businesses producing content relevant to the customers search intent will win.

"Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results,"- Albert Einstein

When the data presents weaknesses within your campaigns, improvements can be made to convince customers you are the solution they are looking for. Let’s dive in.

How Do I Bring Authenticity and Trust to My Brand?

Potential customers and current ones don’t have much insight into the C- Suite leadership of a company other than what may be heard in the news. Producing content that involves a heart-felt story coming from corporate leadership helps make your company more genuine. An idea would be to tell a story how the company helped a charity, or how an employee was recognized.

On the B2C side, the newly produced commercials for Honda are about "Random Acts of Helpfulness" go beyond just selling cars. The RAC approach is a powerful marketing strategy. It's a sure-fire winner to gain consumer confidence. B2B brands should take notice.

Have you ever watched the TV Show Undercover Boss? It is enlightening to see the CEO actively become involved with employee's, and the decisions he makes to implement changes for the company from employees concerns.

Your customers may also view things about your company that employers are experiencing. Look to your social media interactions to address concerns to pivot positive changes with your marketing.

Case Studies- Customers Love Them

Case studies are an excellent way to bring authenticity to your marketing. They take potential customers down the road about how you solved a problem and offered a solution.

Storytelling


Content marketing teams should be driven to produce content for niche audiences Stories that drill down to a specific audience is key. For example, cat owners are usually different that dog owners. Head over to Facebook groups and Quora to see what members are talking about. Check out what's popular and start creating content based on your findings to grab your audience. Make sure it's relative for your products and services.


Instead of just publishing facts, spin your copy to bring enlightening stories around some facts.

Be Clear With Influencer Marketing

Did you know the FTC has regulations about influencer marketing? Campaigns have to be sincere, and the relationship between the brand and the influencer must be clear to consumers. Credibility can also come from your current customers. B2B marketers can use LinkedIn and industry groups for exposure.

People who are proactive in engaging with groups are more likely to be searching for solutions. Conversing with groups is a phenomenal way to find new customers. The sales teams should be proactive on those boards. Community mentorship brings people together authentically.

Why Sales and Marketing Teams Should Work Together-Defining Leads

Bring on the synergy. When cross communication exists between departments in your organization, you learn more about your customers.

Planning meetings between sales and marketing teams allow you to produce better content strategies when embarking on a new campaign.The quality of the marketing materials within various stages of the sales funnel will become more effective.

The sales team is the strongest link to recognizing pain points for existing customers, and objections of potential ones.

Business intelligence allows you to process clear defined goals early on. The data collected is used to formulate the best content marketing strategy at various stages of the buyer's process. Sales teams are able to prioritize and pursue prospects accordingly.

ABM Marketing attracts high-value customers. It lets you target specific accounts with the highest level of personalization. The result is the highest return on your investment.

Let‘s say your company sells legal software billing for multi-national large law firms with thousands of lawyers across the country. You write a guide to include the name of the firm you are targeting in the title.“Latham & Watkins Guide To Easier Billing.”

The guide would target a specific audience such as the managing CPA’s on staff. The in-depth guide discusses the most cost effective solution with time billing. From your pre-sales data, you can target the candidates who are most likely to take an interest in what you have to offer. A response is received and an in-person meeting is arranged.

Not Using Mobile and Podcasting Will Leave You in The Dust.

Preparing content for each platform will increase your audience's reach.Audiences have numerous choices for which platforms they prefer to receive information. It could be on mobile, desktop, radio or TV. Podcasts are on the rise.

With Cross-device marketing you gain increased visibility. You can see where your brand messaging has the greatest impact, allowing you to focus your budget where you see the greatest results. The advantage is increased CPM’s, and audience subscriptions.

When content is placed different networks, this enhances the user experience, leading to better conversions. Google loves brands that grow.

Repurposing your white paper into a podcast makes sense. Imagine the CFO listening to a version of your white paper on a podcast in the car for their morning commute.The listener has your full attention and will appreciate that your marketing efforts are making it convenient for them.

If you’re not ready to invest in a podcast channel, appearing as a guest speaker is an excellent way to increase brand exposure, credibility, and obtain leads.

When your content is placed different networks, this enhances the user experience, leading to better conversions. Google loves brands that grow.

How Can Data Tools Work to Help Target Audiences More Efficiently?

Want to learn about the buyer’s procurement process to produce content that attracts, convinces and converts? Get comfortable with the capabilities of data science.Data science research gives you the knowledge that helps predict a buyer’s behavior.

Two companies that are helping other business accomplish insights into buyers behaviors on a deeper level are Watson Finds and Aberdeen.

Watsons Finds- IBM: What can Watson do? The program is able to analyze customer's emotional reactions with your content. It unlocks the current data to monitor trends and patterns in the content.

You can take advantage of the data findings to formulate content marketing strategies going forward. It can analyze all sorts of data like your chat data in a live help conversation with a customer. Problems can be are identified to help you produce content that best relates to customers' needs. That just one of the tasks that Watson can do for your business.

Aberbeen: Aberdeen works with companies like Lexis Nexus and Dun and Bradstreet. When B2B companies look for the highest CTR’s, Aberdeen offers the solutions. They conduct audits to see the holes in your data. Aberbeen looks at your ABM data and builds bridges between the sales and marketing teams to accelerate growth.

When tapping into buyer’s emotional data, such as linking behaviors and emotions, the marketing becomes more personable Predictive analysis gives clues into the buyer’s purchasing habits. The use of generalization and broad statistics are not very effective for capturing data to close sales.

Digital marketing helps lead the journey to close sales. If inbound marketing is showing a weak response at certain stages of the sales funnel, outbound marketing can step in. When you are armed with the right data, the phone conversation becomes more relevant to the client.

Phone conversations let you hear the emotions and reactions in a person’s voice. This can help recognize important buying touch points important to the person you are speaking with. Establishing a personal connection helps land an in person meeting, which is critical to closing sales in a B2B environment.

Vanessa K. Bohns an associate professor of Organizational Behavior at the ILR School at Cornell University agrees that In-person meetings are critical to closing sales in a B2B environment.

Machine Learning

Machine learning lets computer programs make choices that would otherwise involve humans.

Voice search with Google is machine learning. Is your web content voice optimized? Content marketers and copywriters will learn new ways to use keywords. Long-tail keywords are the winners.They reflect how people speak in natural language. When someone wants to find something, they ask a question.

Add your company to Google News Publisher Center to have your website appear in voice searches.

Chatbots can be inserted into any web page. They make customer service easier and for sales and marketing, chatbots help make lead conversions happen much faster. Hubspot has been converting at 90% using chatbots, and Neil Patel says he converts at about 75% so far.

Chatbots not only act as customer service representatives, they can help manage sales and marketing. Chatbots are often used in re-direct marketing, offering suggestions to up-sell products. This improves the UI- (User Experience). Consumers love fast responses to inquiries.

Gartner Research says, "25 Percent of Customer Service Operations Will Use Virtual Customer Assistants by 2020."

Learning user context helps plan the correct approach.People use chatbots because they believe problems can be solved more quickly.

Imagine if a gaming company characterized one of its alien or hero characters in the form of a BitMoji for customers communicating with online tech support. Chatbots can have visual characters to let people relate to your brand. It helps the experience be less stressful and more relatable.

Chatbots can be interfaced into payment systems. To get an idea of how this technology works, PayPal implemented modern machine learning to combat fraud.

Its risk management algorithm queries are used to detect behaviors, then analyzes these behaviors to detect potential fraudulent risks. PayPal is able to duplicate the thought process of fraud. It can proactively proceed with preventive measures.

If you are a company that utilizes this technology, it's an interesting marketing topic to share with your audience.Your content marketing strategy does not always have to talk about a product, but what you do behind the scenes to help your engine run.

Don't you think your customers would be fascinated about some cool technologies your company uses? Perhaps one of the decision makers has an interest in AI topics, even though he is not in the technology department.

E-commerce checkout isn’t just for B2C companies anymore.

B2B enterprises can offer client’s ways to pay and manage their accounts online with ERP software that integrates payment processing and accounting. Full-scale modules allow customers to manage, order, and pay for services online.

The ability to create seamless cross functionality enhances the customer experience across all channels. Internal accounting auditing and expense reports are accessed by the user’s dashboard. All of these processes insure faster payments for your organization and less errors on reports.

Many companies market security features when prospecting for new clients to get people to do business with them. Always think of what your audience may be concerned about beyond your product line. It's not just about your front facing products, but the security features you offer behind the scenes.

Producing Smarter Content

To increase search engine rankings, go longer and consistently produce 1600 + word content material. This will be far greater relevant to an audience then five hundred word posts. Experiment with both long and shorter form content, then look at your analytics and engagement responses.

Personalization and segmentation customizes the user experience. Your audience is saturated with content. Communicate with best answer content.

The types of content to produce best answer content are:

  • Power Pages boost your content creation and promotion to get links and social media signals. They are a necessary to create SEO campaigns that deliver results.

  • Power Pages incorporate all the secondary keywords and key-phrases.The content will answer questions to convert the reader to sign up for a guide about your topic.

  • Smart content should lead with awareness topics such as How To, When Should You, Do's and Don'ts , and Discover How.

  • Meaningful Calls to Action-Invite the audience to a story that talks about solutions.

Quora may be your new best friend. Type in any question in Google and chances are that on the first page you will see an answer that leads to Quora. When you contribute to Quora you're finding new customers who may value your expertise by answering a question. Your company profile is displayed, which gives you free advertising for your business.

Secrets for Video Marketing

Talking to your customers through social media is one of the best ways to interact with your audience directly. Think You Tube, LinkedIn videos, Twitter videos, and Instagram. Emotionally appealing videos are far more successful. Craft content around a story. Make sure your message is front and center at the beginning so the viewer sees the relevancy.

Most important, all the videos you create should also be hosted on your website. Here you can mark up your videos content for Google search - https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/video

Video can be used for product demos, how to videos, vlogs, live streams, and whiteboard videos. They are a great tool to land more traffic and are proven to help making buying decisions for 90% of consumers.

Thriving in the 2019 content landscape will require organizations to build community relationships. Video plays a big role in grabbing an audience. Producing video is affordable and helps you appeal to those dismissive buyers

The ROI coming from video is about 65% higher than traditional digital print marketing to the consumer according to Aberdeen research. You can look forward to landing pages becoming or incorporating video. The best part of video is that it can be easily shared to help double your digital presence.

Video scripting will become more important than ever. Captivating your audience visually and verbally at the same time lands a powerful punch for your audience.

Email- Personalization Wins

Email is not dead. In fact, email is more alive than ever. Emails work exceptionally well helping customers convert to a sale. It’s one of the best forms of marketing because customers have invited you into their home- their email box.

Make sure the content is relevant, colorful and engaging. Colorful means well-crafted copy. Not dizzying colors unless that happens to be your brands image. Preparing emails so the reader is always looking out for the next one is the key to a great marketing campaign. Using email drip campaigns and subscriptions have been proven successful to get people to buy.

Successful email marketers have to produce content that shows a tremendous amount of value. Spend time to write a compelling headline. Asking questions in the email and addressing insights to solutions piques the reader's interest. Always lead with persuasive content to get someone to subscribe. The customer experience is just as important for email marketing as other content strategies.

Segmenting campaigns based on triggers, behaviors, demographics, and sales cycles help to grow your customer base.

Emphasize content that's personal to the audience, relative and to the point. Don’t give too much information because you want to point the reader to click on the call to action (CTA) resulting in some type of conversion.

Customer experiences are just as important for email marketing as other content strategies. People buy from those they like. If the email is genuine, you will get a better response rate.

Focus on these LinkedIn strategies for 2020


  • Publish your content on LinkedIn Groups. Don't only concentrate within your vertical. Venture out to groups where your decision makers are interacting.

  • Liking posts is not going to get business. Making meaningful comments relevant to the subject of the post can give you noticeable credibility. Your link and credentials will be displayed.

  • Create your own group. Become the authority.

Link Tips:

Forrester research released a report called The US Customer Experience Index, 2018. The report lets you learn about how brands gain loyalty and the customers experience with it.

If you don't have a large budget for data software and you want to see what your customers demographics are- Check out LinkedIn's marketing solutions.


User Generated Content


Your customers are looking for authenticity. One of the best ways to achieve this is to have your customers interact with you right along side your marketing. If relative personas are achieving success with your products and services, use that to your advantage by giving them a chance to interact with you on social media.


You'll learn how to inspire your customers from your own audience.


Augmented Reality


What is augmented reality? Think Snapchat Lenses. It is technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. The visual send will heighten the message across to the viewer. Visuals always heighten our sense of emotion, sensory projections,and perceptions.


Think about using on-site 3D visual modeling to demonstrate your products. AR app developers will continue to be bright spot for those looking to expand their careers.

Conclusion

Following the suggestions above is only part of the process, You must optimize it for the audience by preparing your written content in the most compelling way so it leads to conversions.

Get creative. Don't be afraid to spin something new. If one thing is not working, it can be re-purposed on another channel.

The key takeaway is letting the customer something to feel confident about with engaging and authoritative content.

Is your competition making more of an impact than you?

Schedule an appointment to discuss how you can squeeze out the competition by producing what customers really want.

Contact AZ Publishers for a free evaluation of your content marketing strategy.

About the Author-Leslie Cohen: With over ten years of experience at consumer startups, media companies, and an agency, Leslie brings new perspectives for content writing using her creativity along with being knowledgeable about data analytics SEO, and sales copy. She is recognized for a full- hearted approach with colorful ideas that help you succeed with your marketing plans. She specializes in copywriting and content marketing strategies to create the magic that attracts new clients, and up-sells existing. If you have not yet reached your goals, I can help you figure out a way to accomplish them.


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