19 Nov Five Content Marketing Trends We Have Our Eye On
As a marketer and business owner, I keep my eye on content marketing trends. This year, many of the trends I’m most intrigued by come courtesy of the pandemic. These trends were already brewing in the background; the pandemic thrust them into the spotlight.
Five content marketing trends we have our eye on
You’ll notice some themes as you go: trust, connection and creativity. Let me know if you find any others!
The rise of synthetic content
I just listened to a podcast on synthetic content, and my god, it was eye-opening.
Synthetic content uses artificial intelligence (AI) to produce Hollywood-level, fool-proof, digital media. I use the word media, because we’re not just talking about written content. Media includes any form of communication, from movies to SMS texts to fake (but realistic looking) human influencers, journalists, etc.
Yes, synthetic content has the potential to be used for a lot of nefarious purposes. When it comes to content marketing, though, you have a tremendous opportunity staring you in the face.
People will turn to trusted sources for information. You can be that trusted source. (We can help by creating and implementing a content marketing strategy that will build your personal and/or company brand.)
Empathy takes a front seat
Earlier this year, I wrote about how weaving vulnerability into your content marketing can forge stronger connections with your audience. Empathy can do the same. The big difference is the focus: vulnerability is about you, and empathy is about the other person.
I love how my client Joan Fletcher, an executive coach, explains empathy: “Empathy involves four things: taking someone’s perspective, reserving judgement, recognizing emotion and communicating that emotion.”
You can see how empathy can positively impact your marketing. It reminds you to put yourself in your clients’ shoes, understand what they’re feeling and communicate in a way that respects both their situation and their emotions.
Inclusion as a content marketing north star
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in the workplace have been a growing trend for years. The pandemic and resulting social and racial justice movements have accelerated the movement into the mainstream.
So, what does inclusion have to do with content marketing? A lot. As I read in this article, it’s time to really pay attention to the diversity of your audience when crafting messages and campaigns. This quote from Deanna Ransom, global head of marketing and marketing services, Televerde, really stood out:
Think about not just the needs of one particular audience but of all of your audiences. Think of stories – and representation in those stories – that connect on that emotional level with them, which is where you’re going to get a connection.
Here’s your homework: Create highly detailed personas for every segment of your audience, including your ideal clients or top prospects.
I am actually doing this right now as part of a business development accountability group. A fellow member said that she did this exercise for her top prospect a year ago. That prospect is now her client.
People crave community
I didn’t realize how much my various communities contributed to my well-being – until the pandemic took those connections away from me. At this point in 2020 (to be hereby known as the Groundhog Day-Year), many of us have found a way to safely hang out with friends in person.
What about your work community – your clients, prospects, staff, partners, vendors, business network, etc.? How can you nurture and maintain that community?
I’m a member of MAG Impact Collective, a group of creators and thought leaders, and our founder Zach has done a really amazing job of keeping us connected and engaged. MAG hosts lunch-and-learns every month (via Zoom). Our Slack workspace is very active. That business development accountability group I mentioned above? That’s through MAG.
My point is, you don’t need to do anything crazy to create a community. You just need to be consistent and make it easy for people to connect.
Companies across sectors and of every shape and size imaginable had to move quickly when the pandemic began. Zoom suddenly became a household name. A new industry of washable masks was born. Fine-dining restaurants started offering comfort food takeout.
Like me, I am guessing you were shoved out of your comfort zone and forced to become more flexible and agile. Even though it gave you whiplash back in March, this is a good thing. It’ll ensure you quickly respond to trends, new technologies and new customer needs in the future.
Moving quickly is also important for your marketing. A message about gathering with family to celebrate Thanksgiving is tone-deaf in a year when we can’t safely travel or gather in-person. A Black Friday campaign may be irrelevant if it’s focused entirely on an in-person experience.
What trends are you seeing in your industry or business, and what are most relevant to your audience? Time to write a blog post and share your insights with the world!