Ever get the feeling that many of the digital marketing tactics effective in the past—even a year ago—no longer work as well as they used to? You’re not alone.
Keyword research, solid on-page SEO, and sharing content across the most popular social networks is still essential. But those and other established digital marketing practices are no longer enough to make your blog posts or other content stand out.
With an estimated 2.7 million new blog posts written every day, it’s getting progressively harder to stand out. Your audience only has so much attention to divide among all the potentially valuable and interesting bits of online content.
What to do? This question was raised at a digital marketing roundtable discussion in Minneapolis recently. Here are three tactics the panel of experts recommend starting or doing more of for digital marketing success this year and next.
Show and Tell: Use More Video Marketing
Video is more engaging than text. Video content is also easier to consume, particularly on mobile devices. Blog posts with videos draw more traffic. And video content is great for SEO.
While its worthwhile investing in quality video content to protect your brand image, costs have come down. Powerful yet simple online video creation and editing tools enable even marketers without video expertise to create engaging content.
But keep it short. On average, 53% of viewers will watch a 90-second video to its conclusion, but the rate generally declines for longer videos.
You Can’t Buy Love, But You Can Buy Reach: Use Social Media Advertising
People have been writing for at least a couple of years now that organic social media reach (particularly on Facebook) is dead. “Dead” in this case (as is most often true) is an overstatement; brands that take the time to build a relevant, engaged following, and create share-worthy content, can still drive significant traffic through organic social.
But reach has certainly been curtailed. It’s not just that social networks want to sell ads. As with the explosion of blog content, the volume of brand social media updates has grown dramatically over the past few years as well. This combination makes it unquestionably harder to get noticed.
Fortunately, social media advertising is still affordable for most businesses. And it’s highly targetable; ads and content can be shown to your ideal audience based on location, job role, employer size, and several other factors.
Be the Match: Write 10X Content
The term “10x content” was coined by Rand Fishkin. In his words:
“10x content…is the idea that, because of content saturation, content overload, the idea that there’s just so much in our streams and standing out is so hard, we can’t just say, ‘Hey, I want to be as good as the top 10 people in the search results for this particular keyword term or phrase.’ We have to say, ‘How can I create something 10 times better than what any of these folks are currently doing?’ That’s how we stand out.”
Creating content that is ten times better than the current top result on Google for any popular (or even sort of popular) search phrase isn’t easy. It has to be comprehensive, unique, insightful, data-supported, attractively presented, and in Rand’s words, “useful, interesting, and remarkable.”
It can easily take 30-40 hours to produce a piece of 10x content. And even then, you may have to “do this 5 to 10 times before you have one hit.” Granted, the payoff for nailing it can be significant. But you’ll need to place a big bet, more than once, before you’re likely to hit that jackpot.
What do all three of these tactics have in common? They are expensive. What these experts are saying is that the days of cheap and easy traffic are coming to an end. Whether in time, talent, or targeting (ads), you’re going to have to pay.
Content has become nearly infinite: every day, there are more than two million blog posts written, 864,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube, and 294 billion emails sent. But the time attention of prospective content consumers is limited. And scarcity increases cost.
So it seems as though in 2017, standing out means paying up.
What do you think?