We’re inching closer to the midpoint of 2014, and that means it’s time to reassess some content marketing practices. While there will certainly be changes – and likely some unexpected twists – on the horizon, there are also a few trends that may have staying power.
Here are five digital trends that may continue reaping rewards through 2014:
1. Google Authors
Content marketing is taking over many aspects of the Internet, but consumers still want quality information, regardless of the keywords and links we deem to be so important. As a result, the focus should always be on providing content that offers some kind of value and builds authority for the site. A great way to do this is through authorship. Forbes reported that Google is emphasizing the quality of authorship pieces to increase click-through rate, especially for in-depth articles, so it is a valuable tool for businesses to use.
Google takes article authors seriously, and so should you. Consider setting up profiles of some of the experts affiliated with your company to boost their posts. Not only will they gain more exposure in the field, thus building more clout for your company, but it could boost your content marketing efforts as well.
2. Real-time analytics
Analytics has gone a long way toward helping Internet marketers improve their efforts. Immediate feedback gives you a clear of idea of which marketing efforts are making a difference in your user engagement or on the bottom line. Content Standard noted that many websites and content distributors are coming up with new ways of tracking progress, and while there may be some glitches at first, there are also many opportunities to cash in on valuable data.
3. Guests blogs – sort of
Guest blogging is a trend that has been around for some time, but it should only continue to grow throughout the rest of the year. However, there is a catch: guest blogging as a cheap way to get links is done in content marketing. Google has said as much in the past, so it’s up to you to find new and innovative ways of using the strategy to your advantage.
Instead of focusing on pure link building, consider using guest blogging as a means of reaching new audiences. Increasing visibility to your brand can be a very good thing, and you’re also improving community outreach and exposure while you’re at it.
4. Interest targeting
Being able to hone in on interested parties is a huge boon for companies. Whenever possible, you should be promoting your content to niche groups, making it more personal – and therefore more sharable – than generic fluff. This may be difficult, but it also increases the odds of exposure to the right people. Be sure you’re taking your efforts to the next level through social media. Twitter gives you plenty of access to communicate with the specialized groups you’re aiming for, you just have to go after them.
5. Big investments in SEO
All of these trends require a significant investment of time on the part of Internet marketers. But companies need to go all in, budgeting to allow these professionals the time and resources they require to produce great content. This isn’t just about providing an online platform – marketers will need to turn their attention to social media pages, video content, impressive graphics, website redesigns and more for a unique content marketing strategy. They also need to have the freedom to attend networking events, trade shows and the like, learning all about the latest innovations in the online world and making connections to other industry leaders.