Content marketing is the centerpiece of an Inbound marketing strategy. It is the information that keeps customers and prospects engaging with you. Properly executed, Inbound marketing can provide a steady stream of leads and customers. But, how you create and demonstrate your knowledge has changed with time. Understanding the latest trends in content marketing is essential to sharing advice that excites and drives action.

Outbound v Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is all about sending messaging at scale to prospects. While targeting is used, the volume necessary for success insures there will be a lot of waste. Inbound marketing is the process of providing knowledge that draws prospects to you. Good Inbound content is more targeted. Because it is more precise it is more successful. 59% of marketers receive higher quality leads from inbound tactics vs. 16% from outbound.

Questions for Content Development

One of the biggest trends in content creation is creating high quality information. How does your content “make someone’s day”? First you educate. Second it must be personalized content, so that it really resonates. Personalization is more than having an individual’s name and business, it is content that’s directly relevant to a particular audience. Advice for IT professionals might sound different if the company has 500 employees v 10. This is where having a client avatar is of particular value. If you know the age, gender, education level, interests and behaviors of your target audience you will do a better job creating content for them.

When creating content ask yourself some questions. Start with what your customers want. Put their needs first. What are their challenges and pain points? Can you create material that provides more value than what is already available online?

Create Quality over Quantity

While quality is hugely important you still need to maintain consistency. Today’s audience can easily be side-tracked. Being in front of your target audience on a regular basis keeps you top of mind. This is true if you are running an outbound advertising campaign or pulling people in through content. Develop messaging that can be repurposed. A webinar can become a series of videos. And it can be written into a blog post. By repurposing you can increase consistency. And not burn out you and your team.

Be Consistent

Of course, being consistent can be aided with AI. The trend towards using artificial intelligence will only increase in the near future. That’s not bad if done correctly. AI is a great tool for research and topic ideas. But fact-check. Ask your AI platform of choice for citations and investigate them. AI will not replace humans. Nothing can beat human empathy, judgment, and creativity. People used to want business communications to be “professional”. That is no longer the case. Folks want learnings that are relatable and authentic. If humans and machines work together, it will not replace content marketers’ jobs,  but it will assist with productivity.

Video Shorts

You may have heard that people love to consume video. That is not changing, Video is still king. However, more marketers are testing out short form video. And they are experimenting with different platforms such as YouTube Shorts, Reels, Instagram Shorts and TikTok. These platforms offer fun effects and editing tools to make videos entertaining.

Visuals in general are pulling in more viewers. Because of shorter attention spans consumers like data in bite-sized portions. Infographics are hugely popular. Not only do they provide a lot of knowledge in a small space, but they are visually appealing. Similarly, images that help tell the story resonate with viewers.

Podcasts Growing

Podcasts have been growing in popularity and continue to do so. There are now over 60 million listeners on Apple and Spotify alone.  This is another content form that can be repurposed. You can film your podcasts and cut them up into short videos. Or, you can transcribe them into a blog or email. With a little planning you can get a lot of mileage out of a single podcast.

SEO and Content

Content creation is a key part of an SEO strategy. However, you can no longer stuff your blog with keywords you hope to rank for. Search engines will identify and penalize you for that quickly. Instead, think about content marketing from a Strategic SEO perspective. Write for people. Become a resource. Your first goal is to provide quality to your audience. Give them the best you can offer. Keep them engaged and coming back.  If you do that, you will increase traffic to your site and your SEO ranking will grow.

Another trend in content marketing is real time engagement. Consumers enjoy seeing or hearing content live. Hence, the growth of live broadcasts on LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram etc. We value authenticity and nothing is more authentic than a live event. Hiccups and mistakes happen. People forgive them if they are genuine.

Trends In Content Marketing

Understanding the trends in content marketing makes inbound marketing more effective. And smart use of what is in vogue helps establish you as an authority. Become a resource for others in your industry. Always put the customer or prospect first. Learn what they want and provide it. When people believe you can help them, they will return for your content. As those numbers increase the success of your inbound marketing will increase as well. As the old saying goes “Help enough people get what they want, and you will get what you want”.