Digital marketing is constantly evolving and new trends, tactics, and strategies are being developed every day. So how do you know which ones are worthwhile pursuing? We’ve put together four of the top digital content trends and how you can keep up with them:
Digital Content Trend #1 - Engaging visual content
While one of your main priorities for your website is that it functions well and is easy to navigate, it’s just as essential that the look and feel of your site align with your brand and engages visitors. A site that's full of stunning visuals is going to be far more eye-catching than a big block of text. They give someone a quick insight into what a site or company is about, and if you're selling something then strong visuals are a big part of persuading someone to buy.
However, images alone aren't enough to keep visitors engaged; one of the biggest digital content trends at the moment is video. If you're not already using videos in your marketing then you're missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your audience — 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support. Video should be used in combination with images and graphics to ensure your website is full of engaging visual content that sells your brand and your products to visitors.
For example, if you're selling software then you'll want to use photos of people using your software so that your target audience connects with then, and screenshots that give a more detailed insight into the product. But a short video tour of your software that highlights the features and how easy it is to use is really going to sell it.
It is essential that your video content is high-quality, but this doesn't necessarily mean you have to invest thousands into hiring a professional videographer. If your budget is tight you can use a tool like Shopify Burst's free online video maker to create custom videos from your product photos in just a few minutes. Or to create video tours of software and apps, use a free screen recording tool such as OBS Studio.
To get the most out of your visuals ensure you plan out where they will go, format them to the right size so that they're still high quality but don't take too long to load, and don't forget to add in the alt text.
Digital Content Trend #2 - Answering search intent
Answering search intent should be the primary goal for all SEO optimized content that you're producing. Search intent is the reason that someone is searching for something; their main goal when they typed into a search engine.
It generally falls into one of four categories: informational, commercial, navigational, or transactional. They might be looking for information about something, searching for a specific site. trying to find something to buy, or researching something they might buy at a later date.
Focusing on answering search intent will help you to make your content more fulfilling for readers and viewers, which in turn will help to boost your search engine rankings because Google aims to provide users with the most relevant results for their search.
There are certain keyword modifiers that can help you with identifying the searcher's intent such as how, what, who, where, guide, tips. To start focusing on search intent you can use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs that allows you to filter for keywords with a specific intent modifier. You should also look at the pages that already rank on the first page of search results for the keyword you are targeting so that you can create content that is similar to those.
It's important that visitors aren't put off when they visit your site, Google looks for signs like someone bouncing straight back to the search results as an indication that the page didn't fulfill their search intent. So the page not only needs content that answers their query, but it also needs to load quickly, be easy to navigate, use subheadings to outline the content, and use images and video.
Digital Content Trend #3 - Featured snippets
Featured snippets are the short section of text that appears at the top of Google's search results that are there to answer someone's query immediately. The text is automatically pulled from a website and it's usually one of four things; a definition, a table, an ordered list (step-by-step instructions), or an unordered list (examples, top 10).
They are one of the best ways of getting noticed in Google search results because your site's snippet will appear above everything else. Securing the featured snippet spot is a great opportunity to get clicks to your website, even if your web page isn't ranking at the top of the normal search results.
To try and get your website in a featured snippet start by looking at search results that already have one, to see what type of snippet Google is after. You can do this by searching manually for different keywords, or use an SEO tool such as SEMrush when you're doing keyword research that allows you to filter out results without a featured snippet. It's also important to be aware that most featured snippets are displayed when people are searching for long-tail keywords.
Once you've decided on the search result that you are going to target and you know what kind of featured snippet is already being used you need to ensure that the same type of content is available on your page. For example, if it's a definition you need to provide a 40-60 word paragraph that gives a concise answer underneath a heading that asks the question. Your answer needs to be objective and informative, with no opinions or sales.
Digital Content Trend #4 - Podcasts
Podcasts are one of the fastest growing digital content trends. 24% of people in the US listen to podcasts weekly (68 million people), so there's huge demand and it's becoming an important part of marketing businesses and building a personal brand.
There are a lot of reasons why you should consider starting a podcast, but the main one is that they can be more accessible for your target audience. Instead of focusing on reading a blog post or article, they can listen to you anywhere such as on their commute, at work, or at the gym. And while it's more engaging than written content, it's also easier to create and more accessible as a business than filming professional-quality videos.
To start a podcast you need to do some planning. Choose a topic that's relevant to your business and you can offer unique insights or entertainment on, identify your target audience, and come up with a name.
When it comes to equipment you really don't need much to get started - a computer and a USB microphone will be good enough. You'll also need recording and editing software, and then you need to choose a podcast hosting service like Buzzsprout where you store episodes, and listeners can find and download them. Once your podcasts are hosted you can also submit them to various directories to reach more listeners.
While it’s always tempting to stick with the marketing strategies that you already know, keeping on top of the trends ensures your business doesn’t seem outdated and out of touch. These four digital content trends can offer a lot of value in marketing and growing your business.