Our Take on the recent November Luncheon from AMA West Michigan

Content marketing is a huge part of what we do for our clients, and it has been for years! It’s tied to lead generation, SEO, SEM, email marketing, customer retention and much more. We attended the November Luncheon of AMA WM, titled The Evolution of Content Marketing. If you weren’t able to make it, it pretty much goes without saying that you missed out. But since we’re your friends here at RED66, we pulled together a blog with some of the key takeaways. To get the scoop on what’s new and fresh in the realm of content marketing, keep reading! Get to know the presenter: Jason Schemmel Jason Schemmel | Content Marketing Consultant | Podcast: Get shit done chat jason schemmel Jason is a Content Marketing Consultant who’s been in the content & social marketing space for the better part of 8 years. He has shared his knowledge at the Content Marketing World conference the past 3 years covering topics such as SEO, building online communities, and influencer marketing.

Evolution Stage #1: What’s Worked in the Past

In order to understand where content marketing will take us, we need to first understand where it comes from. We’re going to assume that you know about the different content marketing tools to use. Sometimes the struggle is in creating content for these channels – and making sure they’re connected to your bottom line business goals.  Many of these are still common today, but some more traditional content channels aren’t as popular as they once were: 
  • Print Marketing
  • Billboards
  • Radio
  • Commercials
  • Website and Email
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • PPC

Evolution Stage #2: What Marketers Are Doing Now

Informed by our past, marketers can now utilize more comprehensive strategies and specialized channels to bolster their content marketing:
  • Social Media Stories 
  • Facebook Groups
  • Video & Live-Streaming
  • Chatbots
  • Best Practices
  • Gated Content
  • Podcasts
  • Tik Tok
Let’s break those down a little further, shall we?

Stories & Facebook Groups

In two years from now, there will probably be five new features that are more engaging that the current social media avenues, but for now, using stories to get attention and stay top of mind on social is a plus. Facebook groups are also a great way to connect with your customers or users and engage them with questions, answering their questions, getting product development insights and more.

Video & Live Streaming

Visuals continue to see more engagement on social media than text-only posts. Of course, videos see more engagement than photos. Your business could benefit from live streaming by showing such transparency with your audience and engaging with them in real time. This includes Facebook live, YouTube and now even Tik Tok – if you like chasing bright shiny new things. (Anyone remember Vine?)

Chatbots

These are growing in use and adoption. Chatbots are a good way to drive conversions on your website. They’re great ways to answer simple questions, link visitors directly to other pages, and ultimately generate contact with a staff member, which is the goal. These will continue to grow!

Gated Content

This is offering a white paper or article if visitors provide their email address. This used to be a great way to secure email newsletter signups, or some other benefit. Now with the internet continuing to expand and offer more and more information, unless this piece of content can truly only be accessed from you or your brand, most users will prefer to look on another site than signing up to grant them access. More than 90% of users will look elsewhere in order to keep the integrity of their email inbox. Word to the wise – set your content free.

Podcast

Trendy as trendy can be, everyone and their mother runs a podcast it seems like. Well, we don’t, but we’ve helped with the AMA West Michigan Podcast – Marketers in Motion. (Give it a listen). Almost 80% of people will listen to a podcast episode through to the end, which gives your brand a great opportunity to build thought leadership.

Evolution Stage #3: Successful Content Marketing in 2020

This is what it’s really about, and something we’re working with for all of our clients in their content marketing efforts for 2020 and beyond. Moving past lead generation and blog articles just to create content. The content marketing shift in 2020 is all about: relationships.

Flip the Sales Funnel

Old marketing strategies would have us focus on the sales funnel as one process that leads to purchase. Marketing that focused only on the top of a funnel to drive more leads and more awareness. However, in the future, marketers and sales teams will need to recognize 2 phases of the sales and marketing funnel: pre-purchase and post-purchase behavior. The above graphic paints a great picture of what this switch will look like, it’s all about relationships. It would be foolish to treat the sales and buying process as an end after the customer purchases. You wouldn’t abandon a friend after hanging out with them only one time, right? Yes, this means focusing on fostering adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy after their first purchase – creating a loyal base of repeat customers who refer, review and advocate for your company, products and services.

Rented versus Owned Content

Social media is a rented space.  It’s imperative that your brand focuses on the owned section of content marketing. Your website, SEO, email and even your blog should make up the bulk of your content marketing toolkit. Owned spaces allow you to control the frequency of communication as well as the amount of touchpoints. Relationship marketing is all about keeping communications focused and tailored to your audience and audience segments, and owned content is truly the only way you can control this process entirely.

The Evolution of Blogging

Blogs, and how they’re structured, has drastically changed in the world of relationship marketing. Jason, this speaker, shared, “No longer are short, snackable blogs the best way to write to your audience; blogs with over 10 images, 2,000 words, and enriched with SEO keywords is the best way to go.” We believe and we see with our clients, that not every blog or brand would benefit from this practice. Our clients see significant success with a variety of forms of content on the blog. The most important aspect of your website content is that you have pages, articles and content geared for visitors at every level of the inverted funnel – some for new visitors, some for interested prospects to get them deeper into the funnel by reaching out to someone or making a purchase, and even current or past customers to give them a new use or reason to buy again. We could go on about this, but we’ll save that for another article.

Hi, Google BERT.

Google has modified their search algorithm… again – that’s nothing new. But with BERT, Google can read your search query bidirectionally, which basically means they can do a better job of searching for specific questions instead of just pulling sources that include the keywords. Let’s take a look: It’s important to know how your target audiences might search for what you offer, and understand the questions they ask. If you’re looking for some help to optimize your website with this is mind, we’d love to chat.

Let’s Build Our Relationship

At RED66 Marketing, we’re always investigating new ways of marketing and identifying which would work best for our clients. Relationship building is nothing new in the grand scheme of things, but we can look forward to honing in more on relationships more than ever before. Are you curious about search engine marketing, creating great owned content over rented, or why the heck Google’s new algorithm sounds like a muppet? We’ll be happy to discuss these with you further. Drop us a line, (and sign up for our newsletter!) and we’ll be in touch soon.