Get Ready: Where Site Content Development is Headed in 2018

Posted by Nancy M Ruff

shutterstock_648958390.jpgThanks to the popularity of social media platforms, and the rapid shift from desktop to mobile, consumers are now in the driver’s seat for making purchasing decisions. No longer are they dependent on traditional online advertising that made the rules. They’re demanding the good information they need, and they want it fast.

Site Content Development is Still a Challenge

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise: the 2017 HubSpot State of Inbound reports that developing content is still a key marketing challenge. Though it may seem like content marketing ought to be second nature by now, some common hurdles remain thorny issues for many marketers:

  • Consistently producing a variety of engaging content
  • Measuring content effectiveness.
  • Measuring the ROI of a content strategy.

In the “age of the buyer,” brands must continually strive to meet customer demands. One of the best ways to do that is by staying on top of the current state of site content development, as well as where it’s headed in the coming year. Here’s what some of the experts are saying.

  • Think of website content as the starting point for all marketing efforts. As you develop your content strategy, keep in mind that everything you create for a site can also be used for other channels, such as social media and paid advertising. To consistently produce engaging content, study your buyer personas to learn what topics are relevant to your audience and what will emotionally resonate with them.
  • What is relevant to your audience? Ask them! Conduct customer engagement surveys to find out what value they are looking to get from your content. What are their favorite topics? Where do they most frequently hang out on social media? Always create content with the audience’s needs in mind, not your brand’s. You can also check out sites like BuzzSumo and Grapevine6 to learn what people are talking about, what they’re sharing, how and where they’re getting their information, and which influencers matter the most to them.
  • With 82% of all internet traffic projected to be video by 2021, visual content is increasing in importance, and your site content development should reflect this growing trend. YouTube, Facebook video, Instagram, Snapchat, podcasts, and other messaging apps are all becoming top priorities for marketers. Watch, too, for AI and other contextual content experiences to gather more steam.

Taking Measure

Measuring content performance is part and parcel of any site content development. Need a sure sign that your content is hitting its mark? Analyze the data to see which content is regularly consumed, commented on, and shared by your target audience. Start with two key pieces of information: KPIs, or key performance indicators, and your overall marketing goals. There’s no way of knowing if your content is effective if you don’t know what its goal is. In other words, why are you creating content in the first place?

While page views, blog comments, or social shares are important for content-centric metrics, measuring ROI of a content marketing program requires a broader view. Important indicators to focus on include:

  • Number of leads that convert. Engagement, education, and entertainment are all vital, but great content is meant to bring in the customers! Measuring how many leads your content brings in and how that equates to business value is of utmost importance.
  • Decrease in costs. Your content development is on the right track if you see your cost-per lead or cost-per-acquisition going down.
  • Customer retention. Are the numbers indicating an unreasonable rate of lost customers? You may need to adjust your strategy to place a greater emphasis on content that focuses on retention as opposed to acquisition.

The Bottom Line

Brands that make consistent and sound investments in their site content development will see the strategy pay off in 2018 and beyond. As you move forward, keep in mind that not every trend will work for every brand. Do your research and factor in historical data. Think about where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. Content success is sure to follow.

Tags: Site Content Development