What are people saying about content marketing in forecast for 2013?
The year is already well and truly underway, and people are climbing over one another in the race to predict how content marketing is set to shape up in 2013. We’ve sourced some of the best overviews that forecast the outlook for the year ahead on how different organisations are going to use content marketing, as well as the ways of dealing with any expected trends or issues that may arise.
Why quality content marketing will be king in 2013
The first piece concerned is by Julia Hutchison (@JulesShoes). The very boldly titled article begins by offering us an explanation into why quality content marketing will be the king of 2013, without even offering up for debate that something else may have stronger qualities. Hutchison is very entitled to do so however, as she explains that 2012 was a “big hitting” year for quality content marketing thanks to the likes of Coca-Cola and Red Bull. The only thing that we queried in Hutchison’s brilliant article was her statement that “content marketing is no longer a fad”. We’re not suggesting that content marketing is still a fad; instead, we’d be so bold as to say that content marketing was never a fad. For hundreds of years, content marketing has been a very specific and worthwhile tool for many businesses. Further back in time, without the use of the internet and other marketing mediums, content marketing and creating positive relationships with your customers was the only way to do it. We love it that Hutchison acknowledges that content marketing has at least been around since the beginning of magazines (and at least further back than the start of the internet) and her explanation that content marketing is not just “stuff”, rather that it needs to be very carefully tailored to engage your target audience. This could not be more true. The idea of content marketing is to create content that will build a relationship with potential and existing clients, and an inappropriate discussion or an article with little relevance will simply just be overlooked by both people and search engines. If you choose to be a content marketer, it pays to do it right.
Content Marketing: What it is and how to master it in 2013
Moving on to the next piece of literature from Kathi Kruse (@KathiKruse), the focus is now more about learning about content marketing and how to take the reigns in 2013. Kruse starts out by detailing one of the problems a current client of hers was facing, which is a story that a lot of businesses are still hearing. “I don’t like the internet”, “Facebook is evil” and “Twi…what?” are some of the common themes that many businesses are experiencing. In the current economic climate, many people have left their full times jobs of 20 to 30 years and there has been a significant increase in the number of new businesses being established. For many, this has been a root cause for the confusion surrounding effective use of the internet and all forms of social media, content marketing (or any kind of marketing), and strategy. As these ambitious entrepreneurs seek to grow their businesses online where more and more of the market share is headed, many are left bewildered when faced with not-even-decade-old marketing platforms and find themselves frozen in the headlights. Kruse goes on to highlight that no matter what you, or a potential client thinks about any of these forms of medium, your own personal prejudice should not warp the fact that these are very popular and worthwhile means of communication; rather than shunning them, for your business’ sake, it is essential to embrace them for as wide as your arms will stretch with as much know-how as you can learn.
Kruse’s four points are very comprehensive basis to kick off your content marketing. What could have been added would be some advice on what to avoid doing as part of your strategy, or where those starting out might trip up. Considerations on how to deal with unhappy clients on publicly visible social networks, or how to maintain your content marketing strategy to ensure you keep on creating fresh content are both important issues to bear in mind when setting out.
5 Trends Shaping SEO and Content Marketing in 2013
Our final insight is from Christina Zila (@Cirena) with regard to forecasting and analysing trends that may help to describe what SEO and content marketing will be like in the future. Again, this is another admission that predicts how quality content is becoming one of the most effective means of online marketing. This time however, Zila explains that demand for quality writers who know what they are talking about will increase in 2013 due to clients wanting more specific content written for them.
Another extremely relevant point made by Zila is that photos are boosting the amount of interaction on posts. This is great news for those of us with visually strong businesses and acts as a sound word of advice for the rest of us to find a means of finding relevant pictures to support our content marketing efforts. According to Zila, a recent study has shown that multimedia content gains a lot more interaction that simple text articles. This means that it may be worthwhile to start developing more multimedia texts and articles in order to engage with your users on different levels.
One thing that Zila doesn’t mention is what sort of impact SEO will have on content marketing – looking at the reverse of her article. The impact that content marketing has on SEO is obvious and well documented. However, if you start to think about the sort of impact SEO has on content marketing then we realise that sometimes writing an article with a view to optimisation can warp the original message and muddy the water. Do not let your desire to obtain a higher search engine rank have an impact upon the quality of the content you produce. Whilst your words must be chosen with care, never shoehorn in keywords unnaturally for the sake of SEO.
So after reviewing the articles, it is important to note that you shouldn’t be too complacent about content marketing and try not to take it for granted. Change your methods to suit your audience, not your SEO. Content marketing is about promoting your content and creating something of value to your clients and customers, rather than aiming first and foremost to sell your products, so remember to place their needs at the forefront of your marketing activities.