Are you struggling for fresh ideas in the hopes of upping your content marketing game? You’re not alone. One of the best ways to consistently produce content that’s fresh and also on-trend is to look at leaders in the space and quickly adapt.
Research shows that marketers dedicate 88% of their content marketing strategy to blogs. And 77% of internet users read blogs regularly. So it’s no joke that blogging is a big deal in a content strategy. But how do you do it? Let’s take a look at these blogging heroes.
It’s no surprise that the man behind Kissmetrics has gone on to become one of the biggest marketing influencers of our time. He frequently incorporates statistics, graphs, charts, and personal experiences in many of his posts, and also makes it a point to reply to reader’s comments.
Ask any marketer where they get their inspiration from, Hubspot is surely one source. With in-depth blog posts, Hubspot caters to issues that matter close to home. Hubspot employs a great content strategy to move people ‘strategically’ down the funnel, with topics ranging from very broad keywords to topics that are very niche and very suitable for conversion.
Ever wondered why marketers believe that their social media marketing efforts have “somewhat” or “very effectively” paid off? Because 54% of consumers agree to browse through social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex, 2018).
Generally speaking, Starbucks’ Instagram page is a happy place to be. But with their #ExtraShotofPride campaign, Starbucks really turned the spotlight on being a brand ‘for the people’ with its feature of staff and baristas sharing their journeys as LGBTQ+ individuals. Inspirational!
If there’s one brand that gets social messaging right, it’s Dove. Just look at their #ShowUs campaign which was about breaking beauty stereotypes and celebrating the under represented. With #ShowUs, Dove gave Instagram users the option to share their own photos tagging #ShowUs, for a chance to appear in the campaign.
1. 54% consumers demand to see more videos from brands before they engage. (Hubspot 2018)
2. 87% of marketing professionals use video as a marketing tool. (Wyzowl, 2019)
3. 8 of 10 consumers make a purchase after watching a brand’s video. (Wyzowl, 2018)
In the wake of #MeToo, Gillette challenged the notion of whether or not brands could be too political through their short film to take down toxic masculinity. Guess what? It earned over 31 million YouTube views! Takeaway – if you’re caught between taking a political stand and not, take it, but do your research right and align it with your brand’s voice.
Any GOT fans here? Then you surely wouldn’t have missed Hootsuite’s ‘Game of Social Thrones’. The video makes use of GOT, a popular theme, to bring fans closer to the brand. And guess what? It worked – this strategy gained the brand over 1 million views!
Recruiting world class leaders is a challenge, but somehow TEDx manages to nail it every single time. Their videos cross tens of millions of views, excluding their TEDx, TED Fellows, TED-ed, and other channels.
VISUAL CONTENT/ GRAPHICS
1. 65% of tweets WITH images stand a better chance of being retweeted. (Stone Temple Consulting)
2. And blog posts WITH images results in 94% more views. (Jeff Bullas)
3. In other words, visual content gets viewed 94% times more than content without visuals. (PR Daily)
Heavily visual in their marketing, LinkedIn uses a combination of featured images for their blogs, quotes, customer testimonials, illustrations, videos, and infographics to promote and distribute their content. And now they’ve amassed almost 65K followers on Twitter.
Humor is Zomato’s way of marketing. From pop culture, to simply out of the box, take the ‘Shape of Samosa’ campaign for example, which is a spoof of the Oscar-nominated film, ‘Shape of Water’. The reason behind their 1.3 million twitter following and hundreds of thousands of app downloads?
The advent of smartphones, digital content, social media, and storytelling has led to video being one of the most influential mediums of marketing today. Videos continue to drive desired traffic, leads, sales, and audience understanding, and according to research, video marketing will only gain momentum in the next decade.
Marketers have been leveraging videos to stay ahead of competition. They are confident that informative, relevant and engaging videos can boost sales and drive positive ROI.
According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey
1. 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
2. 92% of marketers who use video say it’s an important part of their marketing strategy.
3. 88% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI.
4. 99% of current video marketers say they’ll continue using video in 2020.
5. 95% plan to increase or maintain their budget for videos.
On the other hand, customers seek meaningful, interactive and entertaining content and this makes video a popular tool for marketing – compared to text-based articles, infographics, presentations, and eBooks.
According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey
A. 50% of consumers engage with brands that use video content for advertising their offerings.
B. 55% of shoppers use online video while actually shopping in a store.
C. 68% of consumers prefer watching videos to learn more about new products or services.
So what video formats will dominate all of 2020? Let’s take a look.
When Twitter and YouTube first introduced 6-second long video ads, many brands bought in to the trend. It was thought that shorter ads are less interrupting, lead to better completion rates and have increased reach. However, results from Digital Content Next’s survey proved different.
1. 40% of all online ads launched from 2018 to 2019 were an average 15 seconds long.
2. 24% of all online ads launched from 2018 to 2019 were an average 30 seconds long.
3. Only 3% of online ads launched from 2018 to 2019 were an average 0-5 seconds long.
Brands create long videos on different platforms perhaps because of the amount of audience engagement and interaction it gets. However short ads will still continue to be relevant as younger generations find them more interactive.
There is immense gratification when viewers experience raw and unfiltered emotions. Individuals can share topics ranging from day-to-day life activities, special skills or talents, and simple expressions of thoughts and ideas.
Vlogs humanise brands to an extent by making them more intimate, approachable and trustworthy. They help celebrities and entrepreneurs build personal brands with insights from their lives, and by sharing and offering advice and opinions outside of their industry.
Influencer marketing by leveraging a vlogger’s trust and relationship with his/ her customers is on the rise as 92% customers trust word-of-mouth recommendations.
Brands can partner with beauty vloggers, fashion vloggers, lifestyle vloggers, product reviewers, and other influencers who can share personalised recommendations depending on their niche.
Similar to vlogging, brands can use live videos to directly engage with audiences over recorded content. The popularity of live videos on social media has increased so much in the past 1 year that daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts increased 4X and 1 in 5 Facebook videos are now broadcast live.
According to a study by Go-Globe, following are some benefits of live videos
A. Live videos can hook the viewers 3X more than pre-recorded videos.
B. Live videos produce 6X more interactions.
C. 79% customers feel live videos offer a more authentic experience.
D. 63% feel live videos add a human touch to digital marketing campaigns.
E. 61% feel content can be repurposed later.
F. 60% feel they can achieve real-time audience feedback.
Live video events are often prioritised by social media algorithms because they’re happening in real-time. Brands can conduct live events – such as the launch of a new product, behind-the-scenes tour or by hosting webinars where viewers can interact in real-time through Q&As.
Another incentive to live videos is the low production cost – thye can be shot with minimum equipment like a smartphone, and there is no need for video editing softwares.
Social media optimisation
Did you know, 73% of people who check product review videos tend to purchase one of the items on it? And 64% business owners claim they saw an increase in sales by using product demos on social media?
A. YouTube is the most widely used platform among video marketers – 85%
B. Facebook is the second most widely used platform among video marketers – 79%
C. LinkedIn is an effective channel for video marketing – 87%
According to Wyzowl, social media video marketing will continue to rise in 2020
A. 88% of marketers said they planned to use YouTube in 2020.
B. 76% of marketers are planning to include Facebook video in 2020.
C. 65% of brands stated that they plan to use Instagram video in 2020.
D. 38% of businesses noted they would use Twitter video in 2020.
Brands can incorporate variety of social media videos in their marketing campaigns – ranging from ‘About Us’ and ‘How-To’ to product demos, customer testimonials and promotional videos.
It is also important to note that different social media sites have different layouts and hence the specifications of videos would also need to be different. Most videos on Instagram for example are displayed in square format while on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they are in landscape or portrait.
39% of video marketers opt for vertical or square videos over horizontal videos, which is now the standard for most platforms.
Soundless social video
Captions create compelling social videos as many viewers watch videos without sound.
According to Verizon Media
A. 92% of people watch videos with the sound off when they’re using their mobile devices.
B. 55% consumers want to find captions on videos about tips.
C. 53% consumers want to find captions on videos about food.
D. 52% consumers want to find captions on videos about news.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have already started autoplaying advertisement videos without sound, and so it is advisable for brands to create silent, subtitled videos with excellent graphics and animations for browsing.
The popularity of shoppable videos is mainly attributed to the fast paced lifestyles of modern customers. Instantaneous videos directly linked to products cut a shopping journey short. Shoppers click on products directly from videos and get redirected to the company website; alternately they can straight away navigate to the checkout page.
The seamless and interactive shopping experience where content meets ecommerce has improved conversion rates in majority of brands who employ shoppable videos.
1. Storytelling through videos reigns supreme in content strategy, overtaking blogs and infographics (HubSpot, 2020).
2. 72% of people prefer video content over text when learning about a service or product (Smart Insights).
3. 56% of people in the age group of 25 to 34 years prefer video content from companies they support.
4. Though promotional and brand storytelling videos are common video types created by marketers, live videos are becoming the need of the hour. Live videos are script-agnostic and real-time in their interaction. Live video is also the third most-used social media marketing tactic (HubSpot, 2020).
5. Versatile, convenient, on-the-go, and informative, podcasts suit the hustle-bustle modern lifestyle. People are informed while taking walks, driving, or working out. According to PWC the podcast listener base in India grew to 40 million in 2018, a 58% rise from 2017. It is also interesting to note that Indian language internet users are set to reach 536 million people by 2021 according to KPMG.
6. Presently the third largest market for spoken-word audio, most Indians listen to podcasts on their phone, and a vernacular podcast might just have a bigger chance for success than English podcasts.
7. 43% of people admit that they skim through blog posts. (HubSpot, 2018) This means they seek snippets of information. Data and facts in easy-to search and understand formats improve customer trust which drive total sales.
8. Listicles are found to be the most popular blog post formats among business blogs (Responsive Inbound Marketing, 2019).
Reviews and Recommendations
9. We tend to remember the negative, more than the positive. Or so Esteban Kolsky found. 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. But 13% of them will share a negative experience with 15 or more people.
10. 70% consumers also trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy.
11. Statista (2019) found that 90% of mobile users find content personalisation very effective and email is the number 1 channel used for personilisation by marketers.
12. Infact, 49% of buyers made impulsive purchases after receiving a more personalised experience.
13. Marketing to 3 audiences at a time is said to be the standard best practice (Hubspot, 2020).
Website design and content
14. Statistics show that 38% of people stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is poor.
Social Media for customer service
15. 78% of customers have a firm belief that social media is the future of customer service.