In the coming year, more and more companies will be looking to leverage the power of user-generated content. This is content that’s created by consumers or driven on some level by interaction with your users.
A simple example is testimonials received from customers. Another example is campaigns calling for users to supply suggestions, details of their experiences or pictures they’ve taken, for sharing with others.
For instance, Apple’s #ShotOniPhone campaign features photos taken by iPhone users – including amateur photographers – on billboard advertisements.
Source: Ad Week
In particular, user reviews exert significant influence over consumers’ buying decisions. One survey reports that 64% of customers read reviews before opting to make purchases. For certain categories of purchases, that figure would be higher.
Other forms of user-generated content, including images and videos, are also playing a much greater role in digital marketing. Consumers tend to find this content more authentic and believable. Potentially, this makes it more powerful than content with a slick, “glossy” or more corporate look and feel.
Content topic clusters
Search engines favour content that is comprehensive and authoritative. Accordingly, topic clustering – or grouping all relevant content under a single pillar page, based on a single topic – can earn content a higher ranking in search engine results. It gives all the content in the cluster more authority and makes the entire cluster perform better.
This short video from Hubspot explains topic clusters in simple terms.
For example, if your topic is Facebook, your pillar page would be a generic article, blog or page about Facebook in general. On this page, you’d use relevant keywords to link to all other pages with content about Facebook, for example covering subtopics such as Facebook advertising, groups, videos, guides and so on.
The hierarchy or site architecture that this approach creates makes it easier for search engines to find content that’s relevant, given what users are searching for. This automatically increases search engine visibility.
10-second videos and advertising
Longer videos obviously still have their place, but we’re not talking about a dedicated YouTube channel. When it comes to advertising and marketing on social media platforms, users haven’t gone there specifically to watch your content. You need to grab their attention away from what they’re actually doing and still get them to retain your message.
This is where 10 and even 6-second videos come in. When you have users skipping ads after only 3-seconds on some platforms, you start to understand how little time you have to grab people’s attention.
The length of a video has a major impact on how many people watch it to the end. Source: Treepodia
It’s not just the Skip Ad button on YouTube that’s driving this need for shorter videos in marketing. Internet users are bombarded with more information and news than ever before. Taking it all in can lead to an overload that causes users to skip over content or simply leave. For your content to be noticed, it has to be short, simple and engaging.
Voice search is about 3.7 times faster than typing, and its popularity is increasing fast. By 2020, it’s estimated that 30% of all web browsing will be done without touching a screen or keyboard.
As a continuing digital marketing trend in 2019, marketers will be revising their content strategies to account for this.
People tend to make more direct queries in voice searches than in typed ones, and they expect to get immediately relevant answers. The searches they use are also more conversational, rather than consisting of just a few typed keywords.
This calls for particularly effective search engine optimisation (SEO). It also means that long-tailed keywords are becoming more important, while short-tailed keywords receive less focus.
Generally, websites that already implement SEO best practices will do just fine with voice search. Those that were getting away with minimal or no SEO optimisation, however, are likely to suffer.