Staying Ahead of the Game: The Importance of Content in Your 2023 Consumer Marketing Strategy
Content marketing has come a long way since the early days of cranking out dozens of poorly written blog posts stuffed with keywords, links to irrelevant websites, and reaching out to anyone and everyone for backlinks as part of a consumer marketing strategy. Today, content marketing is one of the best ways to help your brand gain consumer interest by telling your story rather than letting it be told by someone else.
And though the days of keyword stuffing are gone, creating high-quality, keyword-rich content will improve your visibility on search engine results pages and attract more organic traffic to your brand.
The Evolution of Content
While writing content that makes Google happy is important, it’s also essential to create content that customers and potential customers want to read. Storytelling is a powerful tool for building brand loyalty. Creating stories that align with your brand’s mission and values can make an emotional connection with your audience, encouraging them to act.
When creating content for your brand, look to add value to your buyers and prospects. Google likes and rewards helpful content that considers the buyer’s needs. Long-form information, such as blogs, eBooks, and white papers, is crucial to your SEO efforts and necessary for providing the education buyers need to make purchasing decisions.
In addition, quick, snackable content bites that are entertaining, informative, and shareable can nicely round out a content strategy. Create brief and entertaining content—make them laugh, make them think, and then make them want to share with others. And throw in some helpful hints. How-to guides and tutorials are always a great idea. Don’t just demonstrate how your product works. Be sure to provide additional functions or little-known tips in your content to delight your audience.
The Importance of Authenticity
For years brands existed separately from buyers, simply releasing commercials and ads to draw customers. The information was one-way, with customer service departments handling any communication with the buyer. Those days are gone, with new generations of shoppers looking for brands willing to interact with them in real-time.
Creating relationships is about providing personalized experiences for your buyers, with websites that greet them by name, relevant shopping recommendations, responding to social media comments and questions, seeking suggestions for future products or services, offering customization options wherever possible, and, when it fits, sharing the company’s stance on social issues.
Connect through your content with an authentic voice to ensure you don’t miss out on new customers from the Millennial, Z, and Alpha generations, who have a combined spending power of more than $3 trillion.
Younger generations are savvy, and while Gen Z may feel a stronger affinity for brands that speak their language, you don’t have to attempt a personality change to reach these younger buyers. Instead, use your authentic brand voice and they’ll respect your position much more.
Involve Your Audience
For an authentic, interactive experience, involve your audience with content creation. User-generated content works hard for your brand on many levels, the most powerful of which is word-of-mouth marketing. The simple truth is that humans are more likely to trust other humans over a brand, which is why influencer marketing is so powerful.
With user-generated content as part of your consumer marketing strategy, you don’t have to consistently create fresh content. Content conception, development, and creation take time, talent, and money. When you can save some of that time and money by featuring user-generated content, you can pack a bigger punch with the content your brand creates.
The Rise of Video Content
Today’s content comes in many forms, including blog posts, white papers, case studies, eBooks, newsletters, and other written collateral. But it is also photos, illustrations, infographics, graphs and tables, captions, and—the most powerful of all—video.
There are a lot of reasons video marketing is effective in any consumer marketing strategy. 95% of marketers who use video say video has increased brand awareness, and 91% say it has helped increase traffic. The result? Increased revenue. 90% of marketers say they’ve expanded their leads, and 87% say video has been instrumental in growing sales — an excellent return on their investment.
A powerful video can grab a viewer’s attention quicker than written content. And although it can be costly, you don’t need a massive budget to use video in your content marketing strategy. With tools like TikTok offering free distribution, it’s possible to reach thousands of prospective buyers without spending more than the time it takes to create and upload a video.
Combined with the robust algorithm that learns viewers’ preferences, the ability to connect with influencers, and the sheer potential for virality that TikTok offers, it’s easy to see why video is proliferating among content creators and brands. Instagram and Facebook offer similar formats with stronger branding and search capabilities. YouTube has the power of Google behind it. A strong video marketing strategy considers how to use all these together if you determine that your target audience spends enough time on each of them to be included in your efforts.
The Use of AI
The internet is abuzz right now with talk of the new AI solutions coming onto the market, and many content creators may be tempted to use AI to create their content. But beware! While ChatGPT (a seemingly overnight sensation that has gone viral) or others can provide a jump start on ideas, titles, captions, or outlines, it is still critical for a human to provide the elements that make the content interesting to read. AI can get your creative juices flowing or help break through writer’s block, but it has its limitations, including accuracy, original insights, and engaging prose. In addition, it can’t think critically about a topic or form an argument like a human mind. Although we don’t know what’s coming in the future, AI can’t pass as a human writer, or at least a good human writer, at this point.
With all the noise on the internet today, marketers need to create relevant, engaging, and informative content for their audiences that adds value and drives brand awareness, loyalty, and sales. A solid consumer marketing strategy will be a mix of several types of content—some for satisfying buyers and some for search engines—but the best content will do both.