Retailers bristle with excitement wondering what content marketing trends for 2018 look like.
Content has become king in so many aspects of business, and this has transformed how companies communicate with their clients and employees. Good, consistent content marketing can create a business or person as a thought leader in their industry niche. Content is now considered a business investment.
Like astrologers and soothsayers of old, marketing mavens like Neil Patel and Seth Godin, and publications like INC and Forbes give their predictions. Sometimes such words seem more like a casino game like dice or a roulette with all the information. As technology, customer savvy, and search engines evolve, so must the strategies marketers use to engage their customers online. If you aren’t staying on top of the newest trends in content marketing, your brand will be left behind, plain and simple.
Of the most important reasons to invest in quality content marketing, here are the very top!
- Increases sales.
- Improves customer retention.
- Builds the company or personal brand in the marketplace.
- Engages customers in a long term relationship.
In the 2017 “benchmarks and trends report” generated by the Content Marketing Institute, more than 60% of B2B marketers reported that their content marketing strategies are more effective than in the previous year. So with careful planning, strategic know how, and an eye on the trends, your business can have a benchmark year in 2018. Recognize that not all content marketing is effective, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
There are a number of elements that contribute to content marketing success: strategy development, better quality content, time spent on creating or acquiring workable content marketing, and better targeting in content distribution. But how have they changed? What are the content marketing predictions for 2018?
For many years, the content being put out was churned out quickly and with an eye to how many SEO keywords and phrases could be stuffed into an article-like piece of content.
The brands experiencing the best achievements with content marketing aren’t simply flooding the marketplace and their audience with content. They’re taking an old school publishing approach to the words being carefully crafted, and the message is more strategically placed.
One person can rarely produce enough quality content, and acquiring a team of writers isn’t quite sufficient enough to be consider an actual strategy.
Companies need to create a broader strategy, with a diverse group of talents and skills, in order to meet the demands of the audience so that writers can create the kind of content that really reaches people on a deep level.
The process of creating content is just as important as the content itself. Mere words aren’t enough. They need to be afflilated with and work in conjunction with elements like:
- Strategy development, execution, and campaign management
- Video production
- Graphic design, illustration, and editing
- Content optimization across multiple formats
- Content distribution and promotion
- Analytics, metrics, and reporting
Evolving Ways We Interact
Neil Patel calls this new way of interacting with technology the “Internet of Things”. We are no longer strapped to a massive computer on a desk with a tower. The customer doesn’t sit at a desk at a designated time. Many devices are now an integral part of our daily lives, so much so that most don’t recognize the prevalent and persistent presence. There is a plethora of devices: laptops, Ipads, Notebooks, Alexa, Echo, Google Home, and Siri. There are so many means of communication, and each has subtle differences in how they are used and perceived. Content marketing needs to take into account these many ways to communicate.
The Millennial Effect
Most of the tech savvy consumers are lead by Millennials. Hard sales and traditional advertising do not impress this audience. However, this fickle market tends to be brand loyal if won over. It doesn’t work to simply wave a banner and say, “we are great”. If you claim to be “eco-friendly” or any other marketing descriptor, then you need to be able to back that claim with facts, metrics, and respected industry authority endorsements.
Viewing Digital Marketing As a Whole
Content isn’t just a pretty article or blog anymore, there are many aspects to communication. The trend is to integrate all these parts to give a cohesive and comprehensive message. They include but are not exclusive to:
- Landing page
- Social media posts
- White papers
- Email marketing
- Videos, both pre-recorded and live feeds
- Customer and influencer knowledge sharing
Content Is Not Confined
Companies owned, earned, and paid for places where content dwelled. While this is still true, content now also seeps across the spectrum of digital mediums. Others will quote and link to your content if you publish good relevant content. Consumers are quick to praise, and they are even quicker to condemn. Viral videos of bad behavior are rampant. Companies need to be aware of the possible impact that their message might have. Furthermore, employees
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy!
Content marketing is often like a chess game, a war plan, and a video game combined . It’s like watching Lindsey Sterling dance and play intricate violin arpeggios: how does she balance everything? It’s baffling.
The development and the constant re-assessment and re-adjustment of content marketing strategy is one of the top factors and keys to 2018’s content marketing. Most importantly is the efficient content creation and better targeting,
Live Video Is Hot
With Facebook Live and Parachute, content marketers, musicians, customers, and people in general are creating live video content. However, what most don’t realize, is that live video, like the early live TV of the 50’s can have spontaneous trouble with misplaced words. Live doesn’t mean random, off the cuff, go with the flow sort of babbling. Live means you need to craft the content more than ever, so you should have plan, and a script.
Interactive Visual Content
Companion to Live video is the virtual reality of interactive video, with apps, customers can communicate instantaneous.
Content market tips for 2018
1- Determine the perception that you want your audience to have, and evaluate your online reputation regularly.
2- Create a plan and a strategy, and reassess your efforts regularly
3- Hire a great and diverse team, and you will have the resources to support your endeavors.
4- Document, review, and adjust your plan often. Trends can change quickly.
5- Remember things always take longer than you anticipate, so plan for more time than you think you need.
6- Breathe. 2019 will be here sooner than you think.