Oh, goodness. It’s January again, the start of another new year. And who among us can resist the urge to use the fresh start feeling that a new year brings, and create the list of things we are going to do, not do, try, or adopt as part of a “New Year, New You” attitude? It’s healthy to take stock and seek out areas for improvement or opportunity and motivate yourself to be a better version of you.
As marketers and professionals, we should embrace this attitude in our working lives as well as our personal ones. Now, I’m not a motivational speaker or a life coach, but I do talk to a LOT of content marketers every year, and I hear their stories of wild success, as well as their struggles. I’m fortunate in that the software company I work for is a content marketing platform, specifically interactive content at that, so a lot of what I see and hear tends to skew ahead of the curve in terms of what the overall content marketing industry is doing.
After some reflection on the previous year, and thinking about where I’ve seen ion’s content marketer customers totally nail it (and not), I have one critical 2018 resolution for content marketers looking to make improvements and see bigger, better, and more measurable results from their content marketing this year.
Stop doing “more of the same” and expecting a different result.
We’ve all heard the (accurate) expression that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result. And yet, when presented with the question “How do we create more impactful, more effective content?” the marketer response tends to be “Let’s create another piece of content! But THIS time let’s use a shiny, new (often untested) tactic to get the results we want!”
At the rate content production is increasing however, an impartial observer can see that this approach is what marketers are doing over and over, year after year as the solution to the “How do we create better content?” question.
That may be the go-to response, but when you get down to it, only 30% of marketers think their content marketing is effective. *
It’s time in 2018 to kick this go-to response to the curb. More content is not the answer!
Look at these numbers: **
- 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced daily.
- 83,000 blog posts published every hour.
- 571 new websites are created every minute of the day.
- YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video every minute of the day.
With this volume of content production, odds are that whatever piece of new content you create, is going to get lost in a sea of content. And your audience is fatigued. Check it out: ***
- 46% of consumers find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of content available.
- 34% have less time to devote to reading/researching purchases.
- 91% prefer more interactive/visual content that they can access on demand.
This saturation of the market and content overload is driving one of the most important trends we’ll see in 2018, which is the movement towards content marketing that is more than just “there” but is created with a goal of being helpful, and delivering utility and value to the consumer.
Useful, interesting content is the answer. Not more content for the sake of it.
Brands who embrace the strategy of content that can be selfless and created with a primary mission to truly help the consumer, and not to push a brand agenda or a marketing goal, will see the impact this can have.
Interactive content fits perfectly into this strategy as a way to empower marketers to embrace this way of thinking, by creating interesting content that people actually want to engage with and consume.
How does interactive content help marketers create helpful, useful content?
Interactive content is designed to capture individual user action and engagement within that content experience. This can be entering number inputs into a calculator, answering quiz questions to get a score, or navigating through chapters in an interactive eBook or white paper.
When you embrace the idea that the content should first and foremost be useful, it doesn’t take long to see the connection and need for it to also be interactive and tailored to a user’s experience.
So stop the insanity, embrace a content marketing mindset of “useful first”, and look at 2018 as the year where you break the pattern and get interactive with your content!
A week from today, I will be chatting more about creating useful content, along with other 2018 trends, with some of my fellow ionians in first webinar of 2018. Want to join in on the discussion? Register for the webinar and join us on January 24th at 1pm. And if you can’t make it, register to receive the recording after the live webinar. Hope to see you then!
*Source: B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America Report
***Sources: 2017 and 2015 Demand Gen Content Preferences Survey reports