Anthony Basile

With temperatures scraping triple digits on the East Coast, the Midwest and beyond, this past week and weekend were likely a bit of a blur for more than a few content marketers. But now that the mercury has returned to sensible levels, at least for the moment, it’s time to look back on a few useful updates that may have slipped through the cracks.

There’s no summer vacation for marketers, and no off-season. The second half of 2019 is underway, so be sure to learn from these informative content marketing insights, each of which is on the longer and more detailed side, before the temperatures spike again and the pool starts calling.

2020 Content Marketing: What’s Clear and What Needs to Be in Focus

This is a big one. At Content Marketing World 2019, the Content Marketing Institute asked speakers to point out trends for best practices and trends that will be making waves in the year 2020. Using the theme of 20/20 vision, CMI polled the industry thinkers on which trends are clearly in focus and which are still fuzzy. The answers ran the gamut and are all well worth checking out.

For a quick idea of the answers on offer, Mantis Research’s Michele Linn suggested that using personas to target content marketing is a clear, in-focus priority for the year ahead. Where things get blurry is the question of whether these marketing personas are based in the real world, or if they’re being fabricated out of old data.

Find The Red Thread’s Tamsen Webster pointed out that companies have mastered the concept of targeting a variety of audiences and using many content formats. What’s still blurry is the PURPOSE of all this content.

With so many opinions on offer, you’ll certainly find some inspiration for your own content marketing efforts. Are there important factors you’re overlooking, or are you right in line with the experts’ thinking?

To digest all the hot takes and insights CMI collected, take a look at the full piece!

Infographic: Dealing with Customer Complaints on Social Media

When audiences aren’t happy, everything a brand has put into its content marketing efforts is put to the test. In today’s era of connected customers and social media availability, a little incident may not stay little for long, and perception can change in a hurry.

Dealing with complaints and unhappiness isn’t a fun topic, but it’s an essential one. Media Update recently assembled an important series of crisis-response steps into a clear infographic that bears studying now, rather than half an hour after the angry tweet has gone viral. A lot of the advice focuses on not bending under pressure, sticking to a consistent voice and not losing lightness and humor when the going gets tough.

Check out these strategies and ask whether your brand is ready to carry them out. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to use them. If not, you’ll be very glad you planned ahead.

View the graphic here!

Email List Hygiene: Why it Matters for Your eCommerce Business

This highly detailed overview by Jlit’s Sharon Hurley Hall will help marketers focus their email efforts for the second half of 2019. Tidying a mailing list may seem a little disheartening at first, as the end result will inevitably be a smaller group of email addresses.

For a company that worked hard to get those subscribers, it can be hard to let go. But if a subscriber is inactive or unresponsive, it’s best to acknowledge that fact and make the cut – otherwise, that name on the list will just give companies a false sense of their reach and mess up their ROI projections.

The Jilt piece goes through all the details, from reasons why companies should clean out their databases to immediate and long-term benefits of making the cuts, along with steps to follow before, during and after the cleansing process.

For companies that spent the first half of 2019 getting confusing results from their cluttered email mailing lists, a quick spot of mailing list hygiene can change the tone for the back half of the year. With this comprehensive guide to making the necessary cuts, there’s no excuse not to carry out the tough but worth-it process.

Check the guide out here!

If the cooler days have brought a little calm to your company, take some time to review the guides above and think about your next content marketing moves. Applying these important lessons now could set you up for a good summer, a great fall and a smoother ride into 2020.

Check back for next week’s roundup, no matter what the weather is doing outside!