Content Marketing is a popular tool for effective public relations professionals and marketers that has taken many forms over the years of the modern Internet. Traditionally, it has played a supporting role for SEO and lead-generating written content such as blogs, eBooks, social media posts and infographics. The messages within that content is not inherently advertorial but rather presents thought leadership, acts as a resource to customers, provides a company point of view (POV) on a trending topic or issue or strengthens brand credibility in the industry.
As multimedia strategies become more accessible, customers expect and appreciate a more diverse approach to content strategy. This can include other media, such as podcasting or videos, or more interactive approaches such as longform storytelling and contributed content.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that customers are as inundated with content as you may feel. The quality of your content now reigns supreme as the most important engagement tool, not how often you post it. As you consider adopting content marketing trends into your tech PR agency’s strategy, think about how that post or visual will add value to your audience. That value proposition may be separate from your product or service’s value proposition, but should complement one another to ultimately drive sales through brand reputation.
With that in mind, here are four content marketing trends worth following for your startup this year.
Use Content as a Niche Search Engine Optimization Tool
Traditional content marketing, when done well, has a strong connection to SEO strategy for your startup. Especially in startups, your tech PR agency should be well versed in the keywords and messages which your organization is looking to pull off to optimize your position in a search engine results page (SERP). This is especially important for industry-specific keywords to establish you firmly within your market.
However, what differentiates your startup from a competitor, perhaps one with a larger marketing budget? Creating content that captures niche and long-tail keywords can make you stand out and establish yourself among the market’s niches and your most loyal customers with content that is hyper-targeted to them and valuable for them. According to Hubspot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report, 71% of marketers agree, reporting that their business’ 2021 tactic for SEO is “capturing strategic keywords.” This can be incorporated on your social media, as well, establishing a voice on your channels which captures these segments of your audience or providing content like LinkedIn polls or Clubhouse panels which speak to them.
Try New Mediums
Written content production has long been a standard for many startups, mostly because it is relatively cheap to produce and easy to publish. Incorporate strong SEO and the right marketing messages and you’re good to go! However, as content expands and technology simplifies other methods of communication, utilizing video or podcasting in your marketing strategy can be a great way to reach new audiences and provide meaningful, valuable content across many platforms.
Podcasts are wildly popular and don’t show signs of slowing down, with a reported 72,000 new episodes airing each day. Podcasting is a perfect example of quality over quantity, as a well-produced show airing every other week can present thought leadership and industry reputation more intimately than a weekly blog or daily social media insight.
The same is true for video. In 2020, people watched 12.2 billion minutes of video (or 23,211 years worth of content), according to Wistia. Long-form videos, especially 30-60 minutes, are also gaining popularity as a means to share more in-depth information and insights for the hyper-engaged, or to showcase brand credibility to prospective clients.
Content with interactive components provides your customers with an opportunity to engage with you more meaningfully, draw attention to your new product or upcoming event, and extend time spent on your site or social channel. Interactive content can include videos, but is especially impactful in small doses, like a countdown timer or unique digital tool to illustrate a point.
Email marketing like newsletters are a great way to implement interactive marketing into brand strategy. If your newsletter content always showcases valuable content from your other channels (see repurposing, below), then a GIF showcasing how your new product works or quiz asking for reader input on a hot issue in your industry can add attention or gain insight from your audience in the areas you need it most. And, it’s something the average consumer is receptive to. A Litmus study showed a 200% improvement in click-through rates for emails with interactive content.
Amplify Valuable Content
If valuable content is the one trend to rule them all, repurposing that content is the way to make it all happen. Increasingly, brands are taking the time to produce meaningful pieces in the best medium for the job, and then pulling out good clips for their other channels to showcase that content in other formats or to different audiences.
For example, your tech startup may host a video webinar about the state of privacy in the digital age for mid-level executives mostly amongst your current customers and industry peers. One of your startup’s subject matter experts, such as the Chief Security Officer, makes a great quote about the importance of utilizing VPNs. This video clip can be shared to your LinkedIn audience, which may include non-customers and higher-level executives interested in the information. Then, the transcript from the webinar is repurposed for the company blog to feature key takeaways about emerging privacy policies and regulations.
This strategy is made even better when data analytics of your content informs which pieces are shared when, such as translating a top-performing blog into a podcast topic or developing an infographic for social media to help explain a niche topic covered recently in a long-form video posted to your website.
When trying out new content strategies, make sure to seek out a tech PR agency to assist you so your startup is influenced by industry best practices as well as fresh tactics to get its content messages to land.