Most business owners know that quality content marketing influences how well their business does overall, especially in its first few years.
However, content marketing trends change frequently.
Quantity is privileged over quality and vice versa depending on whose advice you take.
Some types of content becomes trendy while others fall out of favor.
Knowing what good content marketing looks like now can ensure that both your quality and quantity are excellent, which will ensure that more clients depend on your business for the specific services and products you provide.
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Less Keyword Stuffing
When most people think of SEO, they automatically think of keywords. It can be tempting to stuff your content full of keywords, especially if you use many long-tailed phrases or highly specific terms.
Unfortunately, new trends in SEO and algorithms mean that Google will more readily penalize sites that stuff keywords.
Instead of keyword stuffing, try to plan your content’s word count ahead of time.
Then use a keyword density calculator to determine exactly how much a word or phrase should occur in a post.
If your average post is only 350 to 400 words, mentioning a keyword more than two to three times could constitute stuffing.
If you tend to write longer posts (1000 words or more), you obviously have more leeway, but try not to use keywords or phrases within a few sentences of each other.
One or two mentions per paragraph may be plenty depending on what the density calculation reveals.
Additionally, be aware that keyword stuffing could come across to Google crawlers as spam.
Reduced Reliance on Gimmicks
Speaking of spam, content marketing experts are now more vigilant about avoiding spam-ridden gimmicks to hook website users.
Spammy tactics, as they are called, can be anything from constant ads popping up to excessive back-linking throughout a page or site.
Even if your links are authoritative and useful, don’t use too many, and don’t place several closely related links near each other.
For example, you might be a creative writing coach who gets many of your sources from a particular author.
Linking to that author’s page is fine. It gives both of you positive publicity and leads to better SEO rankings.
However, mentioning that author in every other link, or loading pages full of his or her information, constitutes spam. It’s also highly intrusive and annoying to users.
No one likes his or her Internet search to be interrupted because there are suddenly popups everywhere. That being said, even well-placed, unobtrusive ads are falling out of favor in content marketing.
When a business or website relies too much on ads and sponsored content, users feel bought or bribed.
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Worse, they feel as if they didn’t get valuable information.
What they got instead was a directive to investigate and buy yet another product or service, when all they really wanted was to know more about yours.
Algorithm updates are challenging content teams to lean less on sponsored ads.
If your content team relies on ads, start directing them toward creative ideas for writing high-quality content that doesn’t use as many links.
More Structured Content Teams
Trends in content marketing reflect more than the content itself. Many of the changes arising in 2016 have to do with content writers and the people who assist them.
More and more, experts are realizing that a good content team isn’t wholly dependent on writers.
They recognize that the best teams have editors, content strategists, and researchers in addition to writers.
These team members are crucial because they free up writers to focus on content rather than grammatical errors or trying to reach one niche area of the market.
Yet, they are also indispensable because of their own skill sets and the perspectives they bring to the table at meetings.
Meetings are in fact a part of new team structure. The new trend seems to be for content teams to meet at least once per week, via Skype or similar services if not in person.
This boosts morale since it keeps team members from feeling isolated. It also increases confidence because team members have people with which to share ideas in real time.
Overall, this meeting of the minds improves both the quality of content and the volume at which it can be produced.
Cutting Edge Technology
Proprietary technology is another content marketing trend to watch in 2016.
Since the Internet gives businesses so many content creation options, more owners are creating their own software and applications to inject ease, enjoyment, and success into the process.
These technologies let businesses stream content on their own terms, to whatever audience members they feel need the most attention.
Additionally, custom software helps businesses analyze and improve their own content rather than relying on Google Analytics or similar outside sources.
In the long run, this saves time, money, and labor that can be better spent on new concept ideas, improving working conditions, and other necessary business aspects.
Emotionally Appealing Services
Sometimes, content marketing trends come down to how well you can relate to a client or customer, and certain companies have done a wonderful job of that in the past year.
For example, Meathead Movers is now known for its free moving services aimed at victims of domestic abuse. This sends the message that the company is generous, warm, and protective of its customers.
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It also boosts the company’s content image and makes clients eager to use their paid services.
Once you know what your audience wants or needs, ask yourself how they feel about those things. Then, allow a balanced dose of emotion to drive your content and generate interest.
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