How to Update Your Content for Changing Trends

Every content marketer knows that the digital landscape changes quickly, but that maximum impact is always achieved by staying on top of industry trends.

Investing in quality content is paying off.

According to the 2017 benchmarks and trends report, courtesy of Content Marketing Institute, more than 60 percent of B2B content marketers are reporting more success with their content marketing than in the year before.

When it comes to content, the industry is shape-shifting yet again. Content creators need to pivot if they want to maintain their momentum moving forward.

Traditional Blog Content is Shape Shifting

Traditional blog content is shape-shifting in more ways than one. For one, video is quickly on the rise, representing an opportunity for written-form content to also include video. It is estimated that by 2021, 82% of all Internet traffic will be in video form. YouTube already has 1.5 billion users logged in every month. But those users also spend an hour watching videos. If content creators can incorporate the engaging qualities of video into their blog content, they will encourage people to stay on their page longer and appeal to visitors who prefer to consume content in these more engaging forms.

At the moment, live video is particularly trendy, signaled best by the fact that Facebook itself has updated its own algorithm to push both live video and longer videos, to the top of its feed. Again, what’s noteworthy about live video is its ability to humanize brands and give a behind-the-scenes peek. Regardless of the budget you’re working with, every business can incorporate video into their blog posts. Live video, in particular, is predicated on less edited content. All you need is a smartphone. But, for those with more funds behind them, content teams will be shifting in the future. Teams will be expanding to include those with skills in video editing and production and this is only the tip of the iceberg. As video becomes the way of the future, content teams will grow alongside these trends.

In other ways, content is also moving off the screen altogether. Content is now being made for various voice services like Amazon’s Alexa. People are consuming content not just visually, but also audibly. In the marketing space, Neil Patel has created a Skill for Alexa, Marketing School, that offers quick “actionable marketing advice” daily – evidence of this very trend.

Highly Focused, Niche Content That Targets Customers At All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

High-quality content has always been the benchmark for content creators. Sure, the old rules of high-quality content still apply, but there is another metric to add into the mix: highly focused niche content that targets customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey. 47% of B2B marketers who experienced less success in the past year found this was due to challenges with content creation, so needless to say, there is a lot on the line.

Broadly speaking, content is becoming more highly focused and niche-driven. Content creators are spending less time creating content that covers a variety of topics. KissMetrics, for example, has started creating content that is geared more toward data. At the same time, content of the future will be focused on propelling customers forward. Content is not only becoming more highly-focused, but it’s also targeting people at various stages of the buyer’s journey.

All of this means that content creators should diversify their content.

Not only should they create educational content and eBooks to target those at the awareness stage, but they should also use case studies and live demos targeted at those further down the buyer’s journey (again, this is a great opportunity for creators to incorporate video into their content).

The benefit of creating this type of content is in its high user intent and engagement levels, giving creators all the more reason to move in this direction.

Longer Content

Just because content is shape-shifting, doesn’t mean that the written word is, or should be, less of a priority. That is not the case. It’s just that content is being enhanced by other mediums. In order for businesses to create purposeful content that targets those as various stages of the buyer’s journey, content needs to be longer. Short form content comes up short in this respect, not to mention the fact that longer blogs generate nine times as many leads as shorter blogs anyway.

Research has also suggested that longer blog posts rank higher. Backlinko analyzed 1 million websites and found that the average length of article on the first page of Google was 1,890 words. Of course, that isn’t to say that businesses shouldn’t produce shorter content, but rather, longer content should be the priority. For those without much of a budget, an entryway into creating longer form content is to compile several different blogs you’ve written on a single topic into one longer-form blog. For those with more financial resources, businesses should allocate more funds to their writers to spend more time writing longer-form content.

SEO: Mobile Optimization and Page Speed

Just like content and the digital landscape at large, new SEO updates are constantly rolled out and content creators need to respond accordingly. Now that more people are searching on their mobile phones than their desktops, Google has responded with their mobile-first indexing update. Google will now be prioritizing the mobile version of websites and not the desktop version. This means that content needs to look the same on both the desktop and the mobile version of your website.

If you have more content on the desktop version of your website then it could affect your rankings.

Content creators can see where their website stacks up with Google’s mobile-friendly test. Content creators also need to think about page speed, especially in light of Google’s recent announcement that the page speed of mobile pages will also be a ranking factor. Of course, not only is this important from a ranking perspective but also for conversions in general. Google showed that 53% of mobile users will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can give businesses an idea of how fast their website is performing.

The Takeaway

Above all, content marketers need to be mindful of industry trends and react accordingly. As far as content creation is concerned, that means that creators should incorporate video into their blog posts; they should also think about creating more auditory content. Longer, niche content that targets customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey also needs to be a priority along with prioritizing all things mobile. These are trends, at the moment, but stand to become much more than trends with time.

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