The realm of marketing has witnessed a significant shift toward online-content-driven strategies thanks to constant technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviours. I've seen it first-hand working in healthcare, which is continuing its march toward a digital future as it caters to the needs of patients and members.
But it's not just happening in the healthcare industry.
Content marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for all sorts of businesses to engage and connect with their target audiences, build brand loyalty, and drive conversions. As we venture into the future, establishing your kingdom through content is set to become an even more vital function for businesses looking to grow as more companies aim to attract the attention of consumers.
Here's what the future of content marketing will entail for organizations that aim to succeed using content.
Evolving Consumer Landscape
The future of content marketing lies in recognizing and adapting to the evolving consumer landscape. Just as a wise sovereign understands the needs and desires of their subjects, businesses must comprehend the aspirations and preferences of their target audience. For example, Nike's "Breaking2" campaign successfully captured the hearts of running enthusiasts by providing valuable insights and guidance on training techniques, nutrition, and the human spirit as part of the campaign.
Rising Significance of Digital Channels
With the rapid advancement of technology, digital channels have become the crown jewels in the marketing kingdom. Businesses that embrace these channels will extend their reach and influence in the future. Red Bull's content marketing strategy, for example, conquered the digital realm by sharing exhilarating sports-related content across platforms. Through captivating videos, articles, and social media posts, Red Bull asserted its online reign, captivating millions of consumers and establishing itself as a leader of energy, adventure, and adrenaline-fuelled experiences.
Building Trust and Credibility
Trust and credibility are the foundations upon which a successful business builds their online kingdom. In the marketing realm, businesses can establish trust and credibility through their content. HubSpot's blog, for example, functions as a trustworthy advisor, consistently delivers high-quality, educational content that serves as a beacon of reliable information. By providing valuable insights and guidance, HubSpot has earned the loyalty of businesses and marketers, solidifying its reign as a trusted resource. This will be a key point for businesses to align with as they look ahead to becoming a credible brand.
Personalization and Customer Experience
Tailoring content to provide personalized and immersive customer experiences is key to capturing audience attention. Netflix's recommendation engine analyzes user data to suggest tailored movie and TV show recommendations. By offering a personalized content experience, Netflix strengthens its position, captivating audiences and nurturing customer loyalty. Businesses can follow suit by understanding their customers' preferences and delivering content that speaks directly to their individual needs and interests.
Storytelling and Emotional Connection
Storytelling is a powerful tool that enables businesses to forge emotional connections with their audience. By crafting compelling narratives, businesses can leave a lasting impact. Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign connected with its audience through stories that challenged traditional beauty standards. By promoting body positivity and celebrating diverse forms of beauty, Dove created an emotional connection with its audience, establishing a meaningful presence in the hearts of its loyal customers. Connection with your customers on an emotional level will remain a key priority for companies that want to succeed in the impersonal online world.
The reign of content holds the key to establishing your kingdom in the online realm. Just as a wise leader recognizes the evolving landscape, embraces the power of their digital court, builds trust & credibility, personalizes experiences, and weaves compelling stories, businesses can harness the full potential of content marketing in a future that is becoming more digital and more online. With a strategic and customer-centric approach, businesses can establish their presence, foster brand loyalty, and drive success in the ever-evolving marketing landscape.
I’ve picked up a few lessons during my freelance writing career, which spans five years.
During my undergrad in journalism school, I took a freelance writing course.
Initially, I never had a need for it. I worked full-time in newsrooms across the globe for nearly 10 years after J-School.
Fast forward to 2016. Print journalism continued its bloodletting and I was part of a mass layoff at the Toronto Star.
It was then that the freelance writing course came in handy. I grew a roaster of clients in the corporate space, which needed my journalistic storytelling skills.
But whether you’re writing for media outlets, or for corporations, these tips will come in handy if you plan on becoming a full-time freelance writer. Here are my top five tips on succeeding as a self-employed freelance writer.
Create A Website
As a freelance writer vying for new contracts, a website is necessary. Many clients want a quick and convenient way to see your work. A website showcasing your published articles does a great job of that. A website is your online portrait. It gives prospective clients a quick impression of your past projects, your writing style and—if you like—your per word rate or retainer conditions.
I use Weebly to host my website, which costs around $100 a year to keep online. But there are other options out there for around the same price.
Use Social Media
In this remote landscape, one of your best bet in landing new freelance opportunities is through social media. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or another channel, social media is a great way to connect with prospective clients and to land those freelance contracts.
I’ve gotten many contracts through my LinkedIn account. Remain as active as you can on social media channels in order to reel in those writing gigs.
Find Your Niche
If you can become a specialist writer in any one industry, it’ll pay off in dividends for your career as a self-employed writer. When you understand a specific industry in depth, it makes you a better—and faster writer. And that pays. For example, if your per word rate for a 1,000 word article is 70 cents, you make $700. If you can research and write that piece in six hours, you end up making $117 an hour. If you can research and write that piece in four hours, your hourly rate jumps to $175.
When you find your niche, you understand the subject matter better, in turn, making you a better writer. And you also write faster. By writing regularly on the B2B SaaS space, for example, your writing will inevitably become more in tune with what editors in the industry are looking for. That’ll inevitably create more demand for your work.
Read, Read, Read (And Write) Daily
To become a good writer you need to read constantly. Journalism schools ingrain that into students. As a J-School undergrad back in 2008, I subscribed to several newspapers and magazines. And I was voraciously reading any book I could get my hands on.
My favourite horror writer, Stephen King sums it up well: "Constant reading will pull you into a place (a mind-set, if you like the phrase) where you can write eagerly and without self-consciousness."
As a freelance writer, it’s up to you to hone your craft. Reading daily helps with that.
Keep That Line Of Credit Handy
Like with any business, self-employed writers experience an ebb and flow of work. For those dry spells, it’s good to have a line of credit to keep you going. There comes a point in a self-employed writer’s life where the influx of clients keeps you in the green all year long.
But if you’re just starting out, a line of credit will keep a roof over your head and your stomach full when the client work dries out.
When setting up a contract with a client, always agree on the rate prior to any work. Some clients pay per word, others by the hour. More long-term clients may develop a retainer for your work.
Create clear guidelines on how many revisions you’re willing to do after you’ve written an article, and what the revisions entail. You don’t want to end up doing full-on rewrites, so it’s best to make that clear with your client ahead of time.
Finally, don’t take on work that undersells your worth. Figure out the freelance writer rate in the industry you’re working in. Do some research prior to signing any contract.
And relish the fact you’re succeeding as a full-time writer working on your own terms, and creating your own schedule.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.