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Just when you thought you’d cracked all the marketing strategies and trends, along comes another to test you and your business. Content marketing has been around for a long time in one form or another, but more recently it has become recognised in its own right as a separate and specialist form of marketing, similar in a way to how PR is a stand-alone branch of marketing, or how digital marketing agencies specialise in this one area.

Content discovery company and leading marketing blog Outbrain released its report into Top Content Marketing Trends of 2016 at the start of the year.

It’s well worth a read here. If you’re not sure whether your marketing strategy involves content marketing, or you’re wondering what it really is and how to leverage it, you need to pay close attention! Content marketing is not a flash in the pan, it’s the direction in which marketing is moving as a whole. It ties up social media, websites, blogs, email marketing and more all into one neat (and more practical) package.
This month we’ll be looking at the different content marketing trends and translating that into what it means for your business or organisation, as well as suggesting tips for how to improve (or begin) your content marketing strategy. First let’s look at a few of the key points and notes of interest…


The report


The rise of the Content Marketing Agency:
What we found interesting was the trend in new and emerging Content Marketing Agencies, specialising in this profession alone – it just goes to show how wide reaching this is as a marketing tactic and how important it has become for businesses.
What it also shows it that content marketing is a specialism that deserves the correct expertise. It’s not just about creating a bit of content, posting some blog articles and tweeting. It is a skill, it should have a strategy, it should align with your business and marketing goals, and it should be done professionally and with expertise.

How best to measure content marketing:
Traditionally it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of content marketing, those specialising in the field knew it was the right tactic to use, but couldn’t quite find the best way of demonstrating this to clients. There has been the use of stats such as Click Through Rates, people were charged either on cost per thousand impressions or pay per click.
However, now we have moved to the phase of Cost Per Engagement (CPE). This is important as it takes into account the ways in which people are using, reading or interacting with the content, which ultimately leads to sales, clients or enquiries.

Tailoring content for different platforms:
Again, we’ve moved beyond creating a tweet and linking it to every social media platform. Consumers are not stupid. They can see through this. They are bombarded with content every day. If you want your content to stand out, or simply to be read, it needs to be great and it needs to be targeted. Not only do different platforms (like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Linkedin) have different word counts, photo sizes and styles, they also have completely different audiences, and the way in which people use them is very different. Content marketing means tailoring content to your different platforms to get the best from each one.

Stay tuned this month for more on Content Marketing Trends in 2016 and content marketing tips for your business and organisation. For regular content and marketing support delivered straight to your inbox sign up for our e-shot via the panel on the right.