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    Top Content Marketing Strategies, Trends, and Challenges

    By Shawn Jordan

    Content marketing has come a long way since John Deere launched its lifestyle magazine, The Furrow, in 1895. By no means was this a product catalog. However, it worked rather well in increasing brand loyalty. By providing valuable content to its customers, the company also managed to drive sales. While this goes to show that content marketing conversion is not new, you need to understand that the means have changed in more ways than one. So, where do content strategies stand as of now?


    content strategies

    Some Things Will Never Change

    There is no dearth of marketing strategy articles and guides on the internet. Why do many of these write-ups rehash the same information? This is because some highly effective marketing strategies have been in place for long, having withstood the test of time and changing consumer mindsets.


    The AIDA model is a classic example in this case. Devised in the late 1890s by E. St. Elmo Lewis, an American advertising and sales pioneer, it proposed that sellers should follow a six-step process. These include:

    • Securing buyers’ attention
    • Holding their attention by generating interest
    • Arousing their desire
    • Creating confidence
    • Securing their decision through desired actions
    • Creating satisfaction


    What’s great about the AIDA model is that it remains relevant even in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace. It works in generating interest among consumers, highlighting aspects that are important to them, and then getting them to take action. The eventual action could be making a purchase or signing up for a service.


    Where Does Content Marketing Stand?

    Way back in 2011, Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study made clear the fact that word of mouth played a significant role during the discovery/awareness stage of a buying cycle. This aspect remains the same even today.


    The study highlighted the importance of focusing on content marketing at the beginning of the last decade. It also pointed out that consumers were driving brand stories online, and it was in the best interest of businesses to try and shape those conversations. Just about any list of top 5 online marketing strategies you look at now, you will find mention of building conversations with existing and probable customers.


    Businesses that wish to make the most of their internet marketing efforts need to provide content in one or more of the following ways.

    • Website
    • Blog posts
    • Social media posts
    • Press releases
    • Emails
    • Videos
    • Podcasts
    • Infographics
    • Webinars
    • eBooks

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    Top 5 Online Marketing Strategies

    There is no quick-fix marketing strategy that can help build an online presence overnight. On the other hand, consistency is the most important factor when it comes to increasing conversions. Besides, the types of content marketing strategies that work well for you vary based on the content you wish to provide. So, what are the top 5 marketing strategies in the digital world?


    1. Website Marketing

    Providing great content through websites gives online marketers an easy means to foster relationships, generate leads, and influence probable customers. Right from creating awareness to acquiring a sale, web copy should educate consumers about a business’s products or services, while also influencing their purchasing decisions.


    Your website content should:

    • Define your customers’ pain points and provide the solution they’re after, while speaking their language.
    • Provide relevant information in a concise and well-laid-out manner.
    • Deliver your value proposition in a simple yet effective way.
    • Build a unique brand personality by using consistency in tone and voice.


    2. Blog Marketing

    Blogging can be an effective marketing tool, provided you deliver content in the right way. The primary objective of a business blog is to educate existing and potential customers who have come in contact with a business in the recent past.


    When done right, maintaining a blog helps with a website’s search engine optimization (SEO), generates more organic leads, builds trust, leads to consumers making well-informed decisions, and distinguishes your brand from its competition.


    Aspects that need your attention when formulating a blog strategy include:

    • Search engine optimization. Blog posts need to account for SEO so they rank higher in organic searches and attract more potential customers. Optimizing a blog’s content includes using the right keywords, adding suitably named images with alt text, as well as using effective headings.
    • Long-form content. When you provide well-researched and in-depth content, you establish yourself as an industry expert. Your blog’s content should address the problems your target audience faces, while also providing timely and effective solutions.
    • Using data. Information backed by factual data from studies, tests, and surveys works well in adding value to the content you provide. It also helps build credibility.
    • The skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique, created by Brian Dean, gives bloggers a way to turn their content into high-quality backlinks. It involves finding popular content across your business’ core areas, and then presenting it in a more effective manner. This can be through additional research as well as the use of images, infographics, charts, graphs, and videos.


    content trends digital marketing strategies

    3. Email Marketing

    According to data collated by HubSpot, a $1 investment in email marketing generates an average return of $36. Further data released by Mailchimp suggests that the average open rate for marketing emails across industries is slightly over 34%.


    Email marketing strategies include having a comprehensive and up-to-date email list of existing and potential customers who interact with your brand through your website, social media, or any other medium. In addition:

    • Use an emphatic call-to-action (CTA) in each email, driving your target audience to take the desired action.
    • The copy of your email should be brief, informative, and engaging.
    • Divide your target audience into segments based on factors such as habits, traits, and age groups; and then customize your emails accordingly.
    • Strive to offer high levels of personalization through your email marketing


    4. Building Press Relations

    The online world has given press relations (PR) teams the ability to reach out to much larger audiences than before. However, this field has become wide-ranging and encompasses the use of various strategies.

    • Using press releases that link to the website of a business.
    • Increasing coverage by building relationships with bloggers and journalists.
    • Fostering relationships with influencers to increase mentions on blogs and social media platforms.
    • Keeping track of and managing reviews.


    Using a multipronged strategy works best when it comes to making the most of press relations in the digital world.

    • Create strategic ads to target highly engaged users through pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, with the aim of increasing the return on investment (ROI) of your PR campaigns.
    • Formulate SEO-based goals such as increasing rankings for specific keywords, while building links to different pages of your website.
    • Repurpose existing content through the use of guest blog posts, videos, infographics, and newsletters.


    If a business manages to get its PR efforts right, it may look forward to an increase in web traffic, an enhanced brand image, as well as a greater number of leads and sales.


    5. Video Marketing

    Data collated by Promo.com suggests that video-based landing pages can get conversion rates to increase by more than 80%. It adds that simply including the word “video” in your email’s subject line can increase open rates by 19% and click-through rates (CTR) by a staggering 65%. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a significant number of digital marketers use videos in their overall strategies.

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    By addressing video marketing challenges in the right way, you can build credibility and drive conversions. Videos are great for increasing social shares. You may also use them as effective tools that complement your email marketing strategies.


    The top web marketing strategies for video-based content include:

    • Establishing a clear goal and measuring results.
    • Optimizing videos for search engines by making them crawlable, including meta titles and tags, and creating video sitemaps.
    • Using a CTA button with every video.


    The 3 Biggest Content Marketing Challenges

    While keeping abreast of the latest content trends and digital marketing strategies will hold you in good stead, you also need to look at the roadblocks you might face. Here are the top content marketing challenges and solutions.


    Being Customer-Centric

    Content marketing should focus on the needs of your customers and provide solutions to their problems. Putting customers first is the obvious way to go if businesses hope to achieve success in their content marketing campaigns. This, in no way, means flooding them with information about your company.


    Zero-Click Searches

    These happen when users find the information they need on search engine result pages (SERPs), through snippets or Local Packs. While optimizing content for featured snippets is possible, you also need to take into account that zero-click searches are the result of people who are looking for easy answers, and probably won’t convert to being customers.


    Matching User Intent

    Marketers need to match user intent by determining how people look for solutions, how they carry out comparisons, and what motivates them to make purchases. Then, they need to provide content based on the intent behind searches carried out by their target audience.



    The face of content marketing has changed considerably over the last couple of decades, and it’s no longer just about using the right keywords. For example, videos have become a very important digital marketing tool, and technologies such as AR and VR are changing the online marketplace even more. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses adapt to these changes, failing which, they might be left grappling in the dark.


    If you’re unsure about which content marketing strategies to use or face content creation challenges, partnering with a digital marketing agency might work well for you. This way, you get to put your best foot forward and measure the results of your efforts.

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