content marketing

Content Marketing Trends to Track in 2018

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. As such, you need to make sure that you track your content’s performance and regularly adjust your strategy. This is especially true as new content marketing trends emerge every year that could be beneficial to your brand’s marketing efforts. The following are nine content marketing trends that you should seriously consider adopting:

  1. Live video content is becoming more popular– Streaming live content provides audiences with a feeling of exclusivity since they have to tune in during the live stream or miss out. This can be a very powerful draw. Additionally, live content gives you the opportunity to show your authenticity and to build stronger connections with your audience.
  2. Content is going beyond social – While social media remains one of the most effective ways to engage with consumers, you should find ways to interact and build relationships beyond social, such as via in-person events, email marketing, membership sites, and more.
  3. Original content is becoming more important – Traditional advertisements, branded emails and sponsored posts have their place, but they are no longer as effective as they once were. This is because consumers have caught on and are in search of content that is unique and relevant to them. Producing original content will give you a competitive advantage.
  4. Content is becoming more interactive– Engagement is extremely important when it comes to content, which is why more brands are creating content that is interactive through the use of augmented reality and virtual reality. For example, both can be leveraged to demonstrate services and products in stores or at trade booths.
  5. Vertical content– When creating video content, the natural impulse is to shoot horizontally. However, because more consumers are using their smartphones to browse the Internet (more than 50 percent of Internet users are browsing on their smartphones), creating vertical content allows them to view your videos more conveniently.
  6. Formats for consumption are changing– Simply posting content to your blog on a weekly basis will no longer cut it. You need a comprehensive content marketing strategy that implements everything from copywriting to graphic design to video production across all platforms.
  7. Content is expanding beyond the screen– The Internet has already expanded beyond the screen in the form of the IoT (Internet of Things). Content creation for IoT platforms, such as Alexa, Siri and the like, isn’t far behind.
  8. Content is shifting to converged media – Content is shifting away from being solely owned media to becoming a combination of owned, paid and earned media, to the point where you can no longer tell the difference between the three. This is a result of social media’s role in content consumption.
  9. Content will become important at every stage of the buyer’s journey– Instead of focusing on content for the first stage of the buyer’s journey, you should be creating content for every stage, especially the middle-end. For example, the first stage (the awareness stage) should have content identifying the needs and problems of the customer and information on the causes behind them. The second stage (the consideration stage) should have content that addresses how the problem can be solved or how the need can be fulfilled. The last stage is the decision stage, in which your content should present your product or service as the solution. Having content that addresses each stage will make it easier to nurture your customers through the buyer’s journey.

Looking for more trends? Click here.

It’s important that you stay up to date with the latest content marketing trends so that you can adopt new strategies and adjust old ones to ensure that your content marketing is successful over the long term.

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competitive advantage

4 Competitive Advantage Examples That Could Improve Your Marketing Efforts

One of the goals of any good marketing campaign is to set yourself apart from the competition. This is done by showcasing a unique selling proposition, which tells consumers exactly what makes the product or service that you’re offering unique. However, you can’t just stop there. At this point, every competently run business is going to have their own unique selling proposition.

To truly stand out, you’re going to have to figure out what your competitive advantages are as a brand and leverage them in order to enhance your marketing efforts and boost your brand reputation. The following are a few competitive advantage examples:

1. Pricing

If you’re able to provide value at a lower price than your competitors, then that is a big advantage in itself. Many businesses will find ways to cut down on their operational costs so that they can lower the price of their products or services to the point where their competitors can’t afford to match. This kind of cost leadership is advertised by many businesses whenever they have it. Think of McDonald’s dollar menu or the “every day low prices” that Walmart advertises. These are companies that have successfully leveraged their cost leadership in their advertising.

2. Product Or Service Differentiation

Product or service differentiation refers to the ability to provide better benefits than your competitors. For example, being able to deliver a product to consumers faster than anyone else via same day shipping is a form of differentiation. Differentiation is typically achieved through product or service innovation, the quality of customer service that’s provided, or by the quality of their products or services. Another example would be a roofing contractor offering a longer warranty on their repair work than any of their competitors.

3. Processes

The processes employed by your business can be a huge competitive advantage. For example, if you have sole access to technology and partnerships that allow you to manufacture your product and get it shipped out quickly in a cost-efficient manner, then you may not only have a competitive advantage, you may have on that is sustainable as well. Other processes may work as competitive advantages as well, such as the ability to provide 24/7 customer service.

4. Authority

Authority is something that can only be built over time and which is often done by providing consumers with valuable content that helps to establish your authority and by extending your reach by regularly engaging with your audience. As an authority, you’ll become an influencer of sorts within your industry. When you lay out the benefits of your products or services, people will be more willing to take you at your word as a result.


These are just a few competitive advantage examples; however, these competitive advantage examples may not be your brand’s advantages. To identify your competitive advantages, you need to do a thorough evaluation of your company’s strengths. Once you’ve identified these advantages, you can begin to leverage them in your marketing efforts.

30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips

visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling Techniques That Will Take You To The Next Level

Not only has video content become incredibly easy to consume due to the quality of smartphones and tablets, but it’s become much easier — and affordable — to produce as well. Considering the fact that 72 percent of consumers would prefer to learn about products or services via video and that the average consumer watches around 1.5 hours of video a day, your marketing campaign needs to have a video content marketing strategy.

However, your video content will only be effective if it’s of high quality. The following are ten visual storytelling techniques and promotion tips that you should keep in mind:

For more Storytelling techniques, read more here.

  1. Maintain a single POV– Make sure that your video focuses on a single idea or message and that you don’t stray off topic or else you’ll lose the attention of your viewers.
  2. Be human– Use emotion to connect with your audience. A video full of dry facts with no personal point of view isn’t going to be very engaging. Additionally, showcase actual people in your videos so that your viewers have someone to relate to.
  3. Be memorable– If there’s nothing memorable about your video, then it will fail to impress. Viewers are less likely to share video content that hasn’t made much of an impact on them as well, so strive to make content that is memorable in some way.
  4. Be more visual than verbal– Video is a visual medium, so instead of just showing a talking head explaining your message, tell your message in a visual manner. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Start with what’s real – It can be easy to get wrapped up in the visual style of your content, but substance will always trump style. Begin with what’s real and use that as the foundation for your video. The video’s style should be the unique way in which you convey that message to your viewers.
  6. Make it compelling– Remember who your target audience is in order to create video content that they will find relevant and interesting. If you aren’t targeting the right audience, your video content won’t end up being compelling, no matter how well produced it is.
  7. Optimize your videos– Don’t forget to optimize your videos by using strong keywords and links in your titles and descriptions.
  8. Use strong CTAs – Just like written content, video content should have calls-to-action at the end to encourage your viewers to do what you want them to do.
  9. Use YouTube– YouTube has over 1.8 billion monthly users. You can’t ignore an audience that big, so be sure to post your videos on YouTube.
  10. Share your videos – Promote your videos by sharing them on all of your social channels to help attract more viewers.

Using visual storytelling techniques will help audiences connect with your video content and make them more likely to engage. Just remember that all the visual storytelling techniques in the world won’t work if your videos aren’t being watched, which is why promoting your video content is important as well.

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marketing trends

What’s Trending In Marketing For July 2018

This week in inbound marketing we look at the new AdWords tools Google introduced that will transform how YouTube advertisers use the platform. Read more on the changes and trends happening in marketing today.

Noteworthy Marketing News

Instagram’s New Shopping Bag Icon Adds E-Commerce Element To Advertisers’ Stories

With hundreds of millions of users watching Instagram Stories daily, it would be crazy for brands not to take advantage of this popular platform. Luckily, Instagram has made it easier for brands to do so by recently introducing its new shopping bag icon that will appear on select advertiser’s Instagram Stories according to a recent write up on Marketing Land. Tapping the icon will allows users to view more details like images and pricing information on products from their favorite brands, transforming the way customers engage with brands.

Learn more about advertising approaches on 4 social media platforms

Advertisers Will Soon Have AdWords Tools To Test & Measure Creative Elements Of YouTube Video Ads

Google recently introduced new AdWords tools for YouTube advertisers that measure and test creative elements in their video ads. The YouTube creative suite will feature four new tool sets—Video Creative Analytics, YouTube Director Mix, Video Experiments, and Video Ad Sequencing. A recent post on Marketing Land goes into detail about how these tools will allow advertisers to do a variety of things that will transform their experience using AdWords. Advertisers will also be able to analyze and keep track of how the creative elements they choose to implement influence campaign performance.

Instagram Moves On YouTube With IGTV Launch, Opening Platform To Hour-Long Videos

According to an article by Amy Gesenhues on Marketing Land, Instagram is now making way for long-form video by introducing its new IGTV platform and IGTV standalone app. Both platforms will allow users to upload hour-long videos. Instagram has reached a remarkable 1 billion users and with more of them watching videos compared to other types of content, CEO Kevin Systrom believed it was time to open up a platform where videos are the focus. As for advertisers, Systrom recognized that the new platform would be a great place to offer more affordable advertising options in light of Facebook’s rising ad costs.

Improving Your Marketing Program

What Are The Benefits Of Using HubSpot Marketing Automation Tools?

If you want your long-term inbound marketing strategy to be effective, you must be able to tackle various tactics that range from creating high-quality content for your site to engaging with followers on your social media—managing all these task often requires a balancing act. Our own Nicole Wagner published an article that explains how HubSpot marketing automation tools can simplify your workload.

Tips To Consider When Developing Strong Email Subject Lines

Having an attractive email subject line can make all the difference when it comes to increasing your open email rate and overall exposure with your target audience. Debbie Szwast offers insightful tips on how to develop strong email subject lines that you’ll want to keep in mind the next time you send an email.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Facebook’s Removing Third-Party Targeting Data: What Marketers Need To Know

In a recent post about Facebook published on Marketing Land, Ginny Marvin highlights the changes Facebook is making to combat the scrutiny and regulatory pressure its facing, and informs marketers on how to navigate these changes. Facebook announced that they are removing access to third-party data brokers within their advertising system, both pubic and private. Several factors such as the GDRP that aims to protect people by ensuring they have control over their personal data have sparked the drastic changes. The phasing out of third-party data brokers will start in the EU.

The Future Of TV Advertising In Today’s Digital World

Despite what some critics might say about advertising being ineffective on TV, in a blog post published in MarTech, Chuck Moran explains why TV is still an important part of the media ecosystem and how it has evolved to become advanced TV. Advanced TV combines old-style linear TV with streaming video provided through OTT platforms or connected TVs. This transformed version of TV changes the way marketers target their audience as they can now optimize their reach by creating campaigns that sync with local events, receive real-time analytics of viewing habits, and determine which ads to deliver based on first-party data.

Tokenized Loyalty Platform Sweet Offers Sugar Tokens To Energize Fans

Life is sweeter with… sugar tokens? According to a recent post on MarTech, a startup called Sweet has become the first tokenized loyalty platform of its kind to hit the market. The company gives brands the opportunity to promote themselves by rewarding the fans that engage with their brand online with reward tokens called ‘Sugar.’ Fans can redeem their sugar tokens for amazing experiences and rewards in the Sweet Marketplace.

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