Trending doesn’t exactly work the way that it used to. As I will explain, several aspects of today’s content marketing have shaped the way consumers view new content. As such, if you want to get eyes on your content, it’s imperative that you think about how to relate to your audience, what you have to offer them, and why you’re different from the competition, ultimately relaying that message through meaningful content.
Let’s take a closer look at how to differentiate yourself from the competition, how to properly use hashtags and tagging, what kind of content you should be creating, and what tactics you should definitely stay away from.
First and foremost, if you want to be a thought leader in your given niche, it’s incredibly crucial that you take some time and conduct market research. That could mean that you already exist within a particular niche, but you want to break outside of that and bring clients something completely new — maybe even something they didn’t know they needed.
In order to accomplish this goal, you should study your customer demographics. Then, you can move on to primary and secondary research about your customer’s opinions and habits.
Try to reach out to your customers (or potential customers) yourself so that you can survey them about what might pique their interest. There are also likely a few studies done that you can educate yourself with in order to become more familiar with your audience.
Next, you must become familiar with your competitors. Understand their methods and strategies. Compare that to your ideas; ask yourself why customers should be buying from you instead or what you are doing to differentiate yourself from competitors.
It’s important to fill in those gaps.
Hashtags & Tagging
Now that you understand what it is you’re selling, it’s important to think about how you’re reaching your ideal demographic. Hashtags and tagging are often overlooked by marketers, but they are wonderful ways to not only reach your audience but to see what other businesses and information has already caught their attention.
In a way, this is another form of market research. Write down some hashtags you’ve thought about using in your own material and search the web, using as many media platforms as possible. You’ll likely get an idea of what’s already trending and what people are paying attention to.
From there, you can devise your own hashtag and tagging campaigns alongside using basic keywords that others in the industry might be breaking out with.
Actionable & Original Advice
On to the next step, which has to do with using your experience to your advantage.
Once you’ve identified an area in which you are an expert, use that knowledge to educate your customers. Give them information via your content that will bring some use to their lives and explain why your product can be beneficial to them. 72% of customers check out brand’s websites in order to be informed and/or find reviews about a product.
In a perfect piece of content marketing, your thoughts will speak to the audience and give them some useful advice that they can practically employ in their daily lives. You should cover a wide range of potential customers, from the brand new and uneducated customer to your brand advocates. At the same time, it should also give them a call to action and explain why your product will make their experience better or will quite plainly revolutionize their entire experience.
Creating Connectivity Through Content
Something else you should be aware of has to do with the fact that overall sharing is plummeting. Just since 2015, social sharing has dropped almost 50 percent. This is largely related to the amount of content floating around the web.
Customers are overwhelmed with the amount of marketing they see and are more choosy about the content they decide to share.
What’s more, in combination with this drop, algorithms via Facebook and Google are controlling the type of content that is likely to see a lot of sharing. Clickbait article titles aren’t getting nearly the same response as they once were. Relevant and educational posts are getting more attention than sensational posts.
In order to get the shares you want, you’ll likely have to work harder than before. However, if you can create content that is actually valuable to your audience, you’re much more likely to get the shares you want.
Fake News Is Actually Affecting Trends
You’ve probably seen those commercials that advertise, “these are real people, not actors.” Well, they’re doing that in recent years for a reason. As I mentioned above, marketers and content strategists alike are doing whatever they can to get their story to the masses. So much so, that many news stories are actually being faked in some way in order to get an emotional response from viewers. Raw and poignant stories audiences can connect with on a deeper level are getting more shares than the clickbait stories of the past — and people of the internet have noticed.
As such, it’s become difficult for audiences to differentiate between content that is staged and what is real. This could potentially also be a factor in why individuals have stopped sharing as much as they used to. In the end, it’s so important you speak from your heart and from what you know. Truth, real emotion, knowledge, and experience are the things that actually reach potential customers, not scandalous information.
In conclusion, audiences cannot be tricked into clicking on your content or sharing it, as trends like click-baiting and fake news have shown. Your attempt to connect with communities involved in your niche should originate in a true interest to connect and share information.