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Forget the January blues, there’s no time and anyway, it’s almost over! A New Year requires new direction. For ultimate engagement, here’s what to include in your content marketing this year.

Your story - We all enjoy a good story, in fact, we’re hard-wired for it. Unlike data, stories trigger emotions and research shows time and time again that consumer buying decisions are primarily influenced by emotions, not logic.

A question to ask yourselves in 2019 is, how can you best bring your story to life and share it with your audience?

Your story is the narrative that makes your brand and your products unique. It doesn’t need to be grandiose, it just needs to be real.

Turning your story into a ‘best-seller’ is as much about the way you tell it and the channels you use to share it as the storyline itself.

Storytelling through pictures will quickly capture hearts and minds, cover more ground in a shorter time and provide your audience with compelling ‘snackable’ content that they’ll love.

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Video marketing - 2018 was a huge year for video marketing and 2019 is poised to be even bigger. All signs point to video becoming the primary medium for how internet users consume information.

From teaser videos to explainers; promotional videos to traditional advertisements. Last year, Hubspot found that 81% of businesses used video for marketing purposes and that consumers watched an average of 1.5 hours of video per day - wow!

Video is quickly becoming one of the most versatile and profitable digital marketing tools out there. Easy to consume, highly shareable and emotionally charged. It motivates audiences to take action helping to shorten sales cycles, increase conversions and foster the kind of brand advocacy that can take you from nowhere to everywhere! Be sure to incorporate video into your marketing this year.

Relatable social content - With shorter attention spans and increasing preference for mobile access, visuals will continue to fuel your social content this year. Show the authentic side of your brand with relatable visuals. These have become valuable currency in the world of content marketing. But what exactly do we mean?

Knowing the lives and habits of your audience will help you create visuals that resonate. Relatable visuals give your followers a sense of familiarity, ‘we’ve come to the right place’. They are creative, provide context and can still be differentiated. By making them relatable you’ll give an overall story and identity to your brand that your followers can relate to.

This means carefully choosing colours and curating a combination of professional shots as well as the real-life unedited stuff. You have to be authentic but the more you help people to see themselves in your posts the greater their engagement and propensity to share. So, to get ahead with social this year create a stock of relatable visuals to see you through from one season to the next.

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Wrapping up - Brands need their marketing efforts to result in more sales. The good news is quality content reaches beyond just raising awareness and actually drives up revenue.

With recent research by Altimeter Group reporting how short-form video and still imagery are out-performing all other content formats in terms of engagement, investing in visuals to enrich your content is a solid bet for 2019. So, plan your stories, use visual content to bring them to life and share them across social channels to resonate with your audience. You’ll be good to grow!

#visuallyenriched