As each year comes to a close, the internet fills with a new batch of predictions and declarations for the coming year. It can be a fun, seasonal exercise that helps us to think our way through the yearly transition. I am decidedly neither fun nor trendy, but I do work in content marketing day in and day out. As a result, here are three trends I view as well worth considering as we move into 2019 (or anytime, really).
1. Post-Sale Nurturing
Oftentimes, content marketing is heavily-focused on the early stages of the marketing funnel and finishes its intended purpose either at the point of sale or some time before. And while the Inbound Marketing Methodology includes post-sale nurturing, affectionately named the Delight Stage, a focus on delighting customers isn’t as common as it could be in content marketing.
An inability to delight customers post-sale can be the result of misalignment between a company’s sales and marketing departments. If this rings true to you, take a moment to revisit smarketing. Even if you’re sick of hearing the word, the intent behind it still stands.
With an aligned sales and marketing team – which yes, includes closed-loop reporting – you’re providing content marketers with the ability to not only speak to customers post-sale but also to strengthen each customer’s connection to your brand. As an added benefit, when you delight customers via content marketing and do it through a public forum with social media posts, blog articles, and website content, those efforts also function as brand awareness for future prospects. And the first thing these prospects learn about your company is how well you treat your existing customers. Image the impact that could have on your funnel.
2. Optimizing for Voice Search
For those of you out there still believing that optimizing content for voice search is the future, I have news: that “future” officially started months ago. Google has defined its voice search quality metrics, and they are set up to track the quality of its voice search system:
“We strive to find metrics that illuminate the end-user experience, to make sure that we optimize the most important aspects and make effective trade offs. We also design metrics which can bring to light specific issues with the underlying technology.” – GOOGLE
Google uses these metrics to drive the directions in which they research as well as to provide insight and guidance for solving specific problems and running system performance. If you’re still approaching search engine optimization the same way you have been, take notice because the algorithms have changed, and the rankings are sure to follow.
3. Public Pricing
In 2019, we’re going to see more and more businesses making their pricing available on their websites. The should we/shouldn’t we of the pricing page is an issue that has plagued and continues to plague today’s businesses. But, those who are focused on customer experience and customer success (or those with SEO expertise) already know what customers want to see on a business’ website: pricing.
You see, the majority of prospective customers don’t mind paying for the products and/or services they want or need. They’re well aware that these things cost money, but they want to know what those costs are before taking the next step. I mean, don’t you want the same thing from the websites you visit?
Having an open, honest, and fair pricing page on your website increases your credibility in the eyes of website visitors. And as a result, it also builds their trust in your brand. While it might not be realistic or possible for all businesses or certain industries to do this, those that can and do will reap the rewards.
So, there you have it. Three content marketing trends that might not be dipped in glitter but nevertheless have the capabilities to transform your company’s relationship with customers while bringing your overall digital presence into the "future" ... What, too soon?
Wishing you had even more tips on trends and access to industry information? Check out One Squared. It's a one-day event specifically designed to feed your marketing mind.
I love language and all the power it wields. Perfectly placed punctuation and artfully used alliteration brighten my eyes and bring joy to my heart. As Lead Writer, I ensure the ideas, visions, and goals of our clients are able to reach their intended audience. Articulating complex ideas and representing them honestly, ethically, and artistically is something I consistently strive toward. When I’m not solving the world’s tiniest problems with concise word choice, you can find me enjoying nature, practicing yoga, and expanding my knowledge of human nature – sometimes all three at once.