Content is king, and that’s nothing new. But 2018 will see some exciting trends continue to surface in the world of content marketing, making content a great investment for the brands who embrace it.
Which content marketing trends are worth exploring? What should your business invest in next?
Alongside new trends, we’ll also look at updates to the basics such as social media customer service and SEO. Make sure you take these 7 content marketing trends with you into the New Year…
1. More Original Content
People are looking for real insight, delivered through fresh content. Brands investing in content marketing will be the ones who attract new audiences — and the emphasis is increasingly going to be on original and exclusive content.
Apple, for example, is spending $1 Billion on original TV shows. It sees the value in doing this, creating fresh and original content for its own streaming platform. Speculation even goes so far to allude that this budget must mean Apple is planning something so big that simply hasn’t been done before. In fact, Apple is not alone. Other big companies such as Netflix and Amazon are investing heavily in original content and in content marketing.
They are paving the way for consumer expectations, especially amongst millennials. Audiences expect original content designed to appeal directly to them, in a format they can access.
Try to adopt this same hunger for original content in your business, and always be on the lookout for potential content tie-ins. Can you contribute a fresh, exciting angle? Can you disrupt an industry just with a blog post? Think big, then hone in on a few projects that are likely to bear fruit.
2. Better, More Authentic Brand Voices
Be authentic. As brands begin to invest more and more into original content, it’s important to get your brand voice right. There is a big demand for live and reactive content, but if brands get it wrong and don’t create content that appeals to viewers, they’re going to fail — no matter what the platform or format.
In 2018 more than ever before, people are going to be looking for authentic brand voices that are super comfortable with telling their stories. Millennials have grown up expecting companies to be authentic and transparent.
FYI — Clickbait is dying. Google and Facebook have both implemented algorithm updates designed to give weight to higher quality content — the days of “comment below” and “like this post” may soon be over....
3. Live Content Goes Mainstream
A fantastic way for brands to show authenticity is through adopting a live content mindset.
Appeal to your audience with real-time videos and content. This is the stuff that gives your viewers – potential customers, your community – the real insight they’re looking for.
People comment 10x more on Facebook Live videos than normal videos — it’s time to get brave and go live!
Facebook is putting a real emphasis and bias towards promoting Live content in Newsfeeds. Since releasing Facebook Live they have changed their algorithm so that Live videos will appear higher specifically whilst they are live.
Will 2018 be the year Live content become mainstream? A survey in 2016 by Buffer showed that just 27% of marketers had broadcasted live content for their businesses. 83% said they would like to create more video content, with 42% specifically wanting to create more live videos. I guess time will tell if they reached their goals...
4. More Please! — Snackable Content
Audiences are beginning to show a preference for snackable content, which increasingly takes the form of a short, silent, video. This is evident in the success of ‘Stories’, Snapchat and applications like Boomerang. We’ve also seen traditional content become more bite-sized, such as the transformation of recipes into short, arty video clips on Facebook.
Instagram is often cited as a favorite platform by social media users, and is a popular platform for business. A lot of its success comes down to its simplicity, and the potential for brands to create snackable content that allows users to dip in and out of their feeds when they feel like it.
5. Direct Conversations Between Brand & Consumer
Brands can no longer hide behind a veil of anonymity. Even big players are expected to bow down to the busy social media consumer. Whether it’s service updates, feedback, or offers — brand-to-consumer chat is here to stay and is an ever-growing content channel.
Big organizations are investing heavily in their social media customer service operations — which are themselves increasingly bolstered by clever chatbots. Companies with good social media customer support experience 92% customer retention — a figure that highlights the importance of brand-to-consumer content in today’s fickle marketplace.
6. Internet of Things – Weaving Content Into Our Lives
Taking direct conversation to another level, the Internet of Things offers great potential for brands to make their content part of our lives.
Whilst consumer audiences may not have heard the term ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), they will be familiar with product like Alexa, Siri and Google Home.
With mainstream adoption in 2017, comes the opportunity for brands to create content for these IoT platforms that appeal to their audiences in new and engaging ways. In 2018, marketers will really be able to harness the potential of IoT to create authentic brand experiences.
7. Brands Who Nail The Basics Will Profit First
Whilst it’s awesome to be able to stream live content to your audience via IoT devices, it’s important not to forget the basics. SEO is changing and morphing, but it’s still going to be a big player in the world of content come 2018. Make sure you continue to pay attention to your SEO strategy because SEO developments for 2018 are already happening.
For example, are you maximizing your chance of getting into featured snippets? Optimize your content in a few simple steps, and your organic traffic could increase by up to 677%. Brands that have solid traffic figures and SEO foundations already are the ones who are going to benefit the most from future developments.
Don’t go running after new shiny things until you are sure you have covered all bases. Keep blogging, keep optimizing, keep listening to your users and audience, and you will build a solid foundation from which to build a content empire.
And whilst it’s important to look to the future, the past also shows us that trends and historical data are not always indicative of the future. Things change fast in the online world, so keep innovating and testing. The number one rule of content marketing: your audience knows best.
I hope these content marketing trends give you fresh inspiration! What are your favorite trends? Let us know in the comments!
Kayleigh Toyra is a Content Strategist. She is Half-Finnish and a half-British marketer based in Bristol. She love to write and explore themes like storytelling and customer experience marketing. She manage a small team of writers at a boutique agency.