Content is the information that your inquiries and clients consume when they engage with your business online and offline. That’s why it’s important to give thought to the content you produce and publish, since it’s the vehicle behind:
- getting your audience's attention,
- speaking directly to right-fit leads, and
- encouraging them to act.
There are four content trends in particular that can help you do this effectively.
Moving into 2018, marketers are exploring how visuals and audio can be used to increase conversions. In fact, as a consumer yourself, you may have noticed that you are more likely to be attracted to content, and remember it, if it has a visual or auditory element.
Visual content can help to deliver essential information, as well as tell your brand's story. It’s also important to show instead of tell, because offering more than one format for your content opens modes of communication with different segments of the population. Let’s take a look at four key visual and interactive content trends that will help you to generate leads and position your offering in front of right-fit inquiries in new and engaging ways.
A growing company knows the value of using results and social proof to attract and retain clients. If business growth is your objective, then you likely have data at hand that demonstrates the benefits of your service or product offerings—and unless you’re communicating it to prospective clients, then it’s simply gathering dust.
One way to showcase compelling results and their significance is via infographics. Infographics apply quality to quantity (in a more interesting format than a spreadsheet). They are an opportunity for you to make results and social proof (for instance, percentage increases) digestible and more tangible to clients and inquiries.
Take AT&T, for example. They recently created an intuitive flow chart to show how they lowered the cost and improved the quality of sushi delivered in Chicago. Numbers and clean visuals support key information, to gets every point across without being overwhelming. This example highlights the versatility of infographics: it works as a case study, a description of their process, and highlights the benefits of their process.
If you lack the in-house skills to create infographics, then you might consider experimenting with video, which can be used to show inquiries how to complete a task themselves, or demonstrate how you can do it for them.
The versatility of video allows it to be applied to marketing campaigns and to showcasing your products and services. And the great news is, video often doesn’t need to be much longer than one minute to communicate a message (and retain viewer attention).
For instance, a quick tutorial can help visitors gain trust in your service capabilities and industry knowledge. On the other hand, longer video formats (like webinars) can educate in-depth, and live streams allow people to attend your events or talks virtually. A mini documentary can highlight your business culture, or show the story of how your business began, while animated video can be used to explain how products or processes work.
For instance, Google’s informational video about how Search works, is straight from engineer and former Googler Matt Cutts. The decision to superimpose Matt over an animated background is two-pronged: it gives context to the complex mechanics of Search, and it puts a face to the Google brand, which adds a human element to an otherwise automated process.
Video leaves a lot of room for creativity. VeriSign is a domain-name provider that highlighted their main offering through a quirky mockumentary about a fictional man who saves abandoned shopping carts. The video targets both the humor and sensibility in future customers; the story highlights that any business owner will be able to find an appropriate domain name that serves them no matter their mission.
Now, both examples above aside, not all video needs to be filmed. With the right software, you can record a screen-share and add a voice-over to a step-by-step tutorial that helps clients and inquiries get to grips with new and existing products or services. In fact, that’s something our Tech Lead Jillian does for our clients!
While videos often fall into the category of instructional, podcasts enable listeners to absorb information on the go. The podcast format continues to be a popular medium for people seeking educational or entertaining content. It’s a great opportunity for you to reach your inquiries and clients on a platform that’s designed almost exclusively to communicate expertise and thought leadership
For instance, podcast enables you to repeat broadcast an interview with a leader or influencer in your industry who has an interesting perspective, or it can be used to broadcast a sound bite update on what you have been working on this week. Check out HubSpot’s 2016 year-in-review of sound bites for inspiration.
With that said, the trends above mostly involve action on your part. There are emerging interactive content trends like augmented reality that put users in control—and AR especially is quickly gaining traction in marketing.
4. Augmented Reality
Different from virtual reality, which takes you away from the real world completely, AR uses your environment and adds to it a little (or a lot) with computer-generated images. You’ll find AR in many places these days, from apps and brand accounts (think Snapchat filters) to interactive product placement.
Augmented reality can be a useful asset to an inbound marketing strategy by enticing visitors to see and use your product when they can’t actually be there to touch and feel—and jumping on board early is a sure-fire way to stand out from competitors.
Brands like IKEA already use AR to bring the products from their catalog to your device, to see what they would look like in your home. B2B marketing is quickly seeing the benefits of this tool, since a whole host of enterprise-related companies already demonstrated their interest and intentions of using the capabilities of this new technology at the 2014 Augmented World Expo in California. It has become particularly prevalent in the complex manufacturing sector; a number of AR developers now cater to them, like Kaon AR.
Kaon produces AR tools to help clients highlight the benefits of their products. Cisco uses it in their interactive catalog, ThermoFisher uses it to let customers view dimensions of their storage and freezer products targeted to biobanking, and both GE Oil and Gas and GE Power and Water use the application for customers to explore their industrial products.
Find Your Medium!
We’ve heard from some of the biggest names in B2B—and now it’s your turn to visualize the possibilities! Sure, it’s better to have a stream of moving client logos at the bottom of your homepage than not, but is it telling a story? Is it memorable? Instead, you should be thinking about how you can turn the results you have achieved for these clients into an infographic, demonstrating the work you carried out for them and telling their individual stories.
Or, perhaps it’s time to consider putting together short video interviews instead of testimonials, since KPCB says that video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 and beyond.
While this blog only looks at a few examples of content trends that can grab your leads’ attention, they are innovative and effective ways to get noticed among the shuffle of similar messages. At Hudson Fusion, our lead generation strategies focus on communicating why and how you are different to or BETTER than competitors. And, we help your clients and inquiries realize how you can answer their questions and solve their pain points in new and innovative ways. Want to talk about which types of content will help you BEST increase the number and quality leads you get? Let’s chat!