Let’s dive into the way companies perceive content by considering its effectiveness, investments, channels, and content intelligence advanced scenarios.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the first Content Marketing project. Content has certainly come of age and companies trust it completely.
Nevertheless, its potential is far from running out. Companies can see their wide margins of expansion and development due to hybridization with new technologies.
In this post, we will look at the present and future of Content Marketing, relying on some valuable data that emerged from the 2019 State of Content Marketing by Zazzle Media. If, on one hand, we want to take a picture of the current panorama, on the other, we want to understand what the next Content Marketing assets will be.
The first findings refer to nothing but the results or, better, the perceived effectiveness of Content Marketing. The 2018 main companies’ issue dealt with the fact that almost everyone was aware of the need to produce Content Marketing, yet the goals were unclear. Such uncertainty caused a justified sense of frustration.
Things have changed as 96% of marketers perceive content as effective for the brand in 2019.
Not only that. In fact, the perception of content as an integral and integrated part of the company’s objectives bloomed as well: 89% of marketers agree that the content is linked with other business areas (such an opinion was shared by 45% only in 2018).
Just like efficacy and integration in business objectives, strategy awareness is also constantly growing: one-third of marketers interviewed claim to see “very clearly” how to conduct a Content Marketing campaign at its best. About 50% claim to understand it “quite clearly”.
This demonstrates greater awareness and a fuller skill maturity, even though there is still a slice (12.5%) in which best practices “are not so clear”.
The excellent result in “knowledge” is important because it has a direct impact on investments. In fact, we discover that investments increased very much year by year: while the percentage of budget invested in content was on average 23% in 2018, today it is 41%.
The Zazzle Media study reveals that over three-quarters of companies see brand awareness as the main goal of their Content Marketing strategies. What about second place? Lead generation.
Looking at the “goals” from another point of view, we find that most companies (89%) take as a reference the metric of site traffic, followed by SEO indexing performance (65%).
Format and transmission channels
A reflection on the format is also necessary because content can be expressed in many ways. Writing still stands out: it remains the most chosen format (97% of companies).
Yet, we know there is a channel that is fast-growing year after year: video, to which 72% of companies rely upon.
The format (or perhaps it is better to call it a strategy) involving the influencers is also constantly spreading. Nowadays, 23% of marketers rely on it, while 100% say that they will place Influencer Marketing in their Content Marketing plan.
Now, how is this mass of content produced by companies conveyed? The most effective transmission channels are two:
It is not simply a matter of creating a newsletter to be filled each time with new content. In fact, a new feature allows for automating the composition of emails with the latest content, e.g. from your blog.
It is about Custom rows, which allow for saying goodbye to copy-paste texts, link manual image upload, and obsessive checks to ensure the accuracy of the content. Custom rows allow for:
- Importing content via RSS/Atom feed or CSV, JSON, or Zip files into the sending platform;
- Finding them in the editor as ready–made rows– with optimized titles, texts, links, images, and call-to-action;
- Easily filtering the different content sources and choosing the most suitable content for each message in one click.
In addition to email, there is another key channel for conveying the fruits of the Content Marketing strategy to others. This involves the Messaging Apps through which new blog posts and any other informative material are automatically sent to contacts on Facebook Messenger or Telegram.
For this, it is enough to develop an automatic campaign that recovers the latest content from your blog and turns it into notifications sent via Facebook Messenger.
This type of campaign is based on RSS feeds or files (CSV, JSON, and Zip). Such automation sends messages every time your content is updated, whether or not it is in the form of blog posts, ebook, webinar, or video.
At MailUp, we have developed an automatic campaign based on RSS feeds to deliver the latest blog posts to contacts. Here’s an example:
A possible advanced development could include the integration of a chatbot to move from a push to a pull logic where the user “pulls” the content towards him/her: companies like Whole Foods Market, Food Network, and TechCrunch already have chatbot with which help contacts find relevant content.
Content Marketing and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is becoming an ever-important ally for companies. Forrester’s report Intelligent Content Management – 2019 Survey depicts this scenario, which will increasingly represent the future. The report compares the performance of early adopter companies (already managing content via AI) with companies that are planning the adoption of artificial intelligence.
Companies that apply artificial intelligence to photos, videos, and other digital content reach +23% new customers. Advantages overcome expectations by 15% on average with peaks of up to 20% among companies that use Content Intelligence. Among the main benefits we find:
- The improvement of the customer experience, confirmed by 63% of early adopter companies, against an expectation of 44% of the others;
- A better ability to plan activities on assets such as photos, newsletters, and videos (63% vs. 47%);
- An increase in content production speed (42% vs. 29%);
- Improving creative team efficiency (49% vs. 30%);
- A better return on investment in content (56% vs. 38%).
With regard to marketing priorities, companies identify as pressing:
- Greater consistency between customer experience and brand promise (40%);
- Greater use of data and analytics (39%);
- The increase in customer centrality (39%).
Content Intelligence can play a decisive role in addressing these challenges. Artificial intelligence helps in understanding the nature of the content, such as topic, level of involvement, style, and tone. This allows for tagging and thus searching and reusing content over time with the possibility of extracting data on the interests of users who consult them. Such a wealth of information will be useful for companies to personalize the message and improve the experience.
To sum up
In a universe dominated by advertising, companies should aim at valuable content that can solve problems and answer needs.
This is why Content Marketing is so important: in a world overloaded with news and stimuli, the challenge of brands lies in engaging, communicating, and being useful.