Content marketing arguably has the highest return on investment compared to traditional marketing.
One ex-senior director for data, content, and media at Kraft once remarked that content marketing at the food giant had an ROI that was “4x greater” than their most targeted advertising.
Content marketing is definitely in demand, and if you want to make the most of your strategy, you’re going to have to stay ahead of the curve. To help you do this, we’ve brought you 8 content marketing trends for 2018.
Content marketing trends for 2018
1. Strategic Documentation
There’s no denying the importance of a well-documented strategy. Regardless, many businesses out there have a less-than-desirable track record of documenting when it comes to their content marketing.
Documenting your approach can help you stay focused and on track. In 2016, a study showed that 37% of B2B marketers documented their strategy. This number showed a 5% increase from the preceding year, and it continues to rise steadily.
Businesses are starting to increase their documentation efforts because they are seeing the immense benefits of content marketing and taking the time to analyze and optimize their processes in order to achieve the highest return on investment.
2. Live Streaming
2017 predictions noted live streaming as a popular trend – and true to the forecasts, it’s only continuing to rise in popularity. This is especially true for social media. Many people like to watch live videos because they’re authentic and much of the time, interactivity plays a role as well.
Being able to stream content live gives you the ability to interact with your audience in a more personable and organic method. It has also become a way for businesses to sell their products in a fast and efficient way.
One survey showed that 80% of people surveyed would choose a live video over reading a blog post. Interestingly enough, most people would also prefer a live video over a video that was just uploaded and shot at an earlier time. Facebook even reports that users will comment up to 10x more during a live video as opposed to a pre-recorded one.
3. Content Living and Interacting Among us
The rise in beacon technology has spawned a never-before-seen level of personalization and interactivity with marketing. Beacons are becoming increasingly popular with companies as they have many different uses.
With beacon technology, businesses can deliver highly personalized content on specials, sales, and products straight to a consumer’s mobile device via a mobile app.
The possibilities are practically endless, and with over 40 billion beacon-related queries coming from Android devices each year, it doesn’t look like the trend is going to slow down anytime soon.
Beacon technology isn’t the only advancement that’s reshaping how content is delivered. Virtual reality and augmented reality are presently uncharted territories of potential just waiting to be tapped into.
According to a recent Fortune article, it’s predicted that VR and AR will generate roughly $150 billion in revenue over the next three years alone. This is doubtlessly going to present endless opportunities for marketing.
4. Content Marketing as a Foundation
All types of marketing and advertising include some form of content. Proper content is crucial for marketing is and thus the foundation of any successful advertising campaign or strategy.
More and more businesses are realizing the significance of content marketing in their overall marketing strategy and are focusing on it as a basis for their overall approach.
Marketing expert Rebecca Lieb, whom Salesforce describes as an expert known for having published “more research on content marketing and content strategy than anyone else in the field,” noted the importance of content in Salesforce’s recent Marketing Cloudcast.
She stated that without content “… not a thing moves forward in the entire marketing landscape. That’s why I call it the atomic particle. It’s one of the building blocks.”
5. Social Media as a Publishing Space
Once again, social media plays a huge role in today’s marketing world. Content distribution via social media channels is an extremely effective way to spread brand awareness and authority. Social shares are also one of the most efficient ways that businesses can generate virality.
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 62% of adult individuals in the US get their news from some form of social media, with 18% of these respondents expressing that they frequently use social media as a source for news content.
Additionally, two-thirds of Facebook users get news on the site – and this inclination towards native news stories on favourite social media platforms isn’t singular to Facebook alone.
In fact, 60% of Twitter users get their news on Twitter, and a whopping 70% of Reddit users prefer to view their news stories on Reddit.
Many of these platforms are also moving towards native publishing tactics, much like LinkedIn has done with LinkedIn Pulse. This prevents their user base from leaving the platform to find the content they want.
Additionally, businesses and publishers alike have begun to take advantage of Facebook’s Instant Articles feature, further extending their reach. Other platforms such as Snapchat are including “linking features” that enable easy and instantaneous reads with just one simple swipe.
6. Mobile Optimization as the Standard
Many more companies will be making their content and marketing strategies mobile friendly, especially with the rise of beacon technology. Today’s consumers want everything conveniently available at their fingertips in an easy-to-read and visually appealing manner.
According to recent statistics from Informz, over 36% of mobile subscribers use mobile devices to read their emails. Additionally, Adestra noted that the percentage of companies out there who have optimized for mobile devices increased by 22% in 2014 alone.
Even more interesting is the fact that 68% of companies have already integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy.
If your company’s website or social media content isn’t easily viewed on a mobile device, you’re losing out on valuable conversions, because 69% of engagement with digital media is done on different mobile platforms.
7. The Workforce is Changing
Producing content doesn’t just require a writer anymore. A company used to be able to hire a few writers, and their content would be published on a site or blog. Today, you would need multiple people to help in different aspects of marketing.
Some companies will hire a social media marketing manager. This person is responsible for maintaining the company’s social media accounts. They can help with producing and publishing relevant content. They can also share another site’s content to help.
Some companies also hire individuals who are talented in video and visual production. This person would be in charge of creating video content, as well as producing and sometimes even editing it. A company that records a video before posting it could benefit from someone like this being added to the team.
They can research to find relevant content and create a script. They can also figure out the best time to upload a video or the best title to put on the video to get the most views. They may also be able to help create different visual advertisements for your company.
A company can also benefit from hiring a graphic designer. A graphic designer can help create a brand new website or revamp an already existing site. This person can make sure a site easier to navigate or more interactive for consumers.
Consumers want a site where the information they are looking for is easy to find. They also typically enjoy anything that is interactive. You may want to consider hiring a graphic designer to stay up-to-date with the current trends used on websites.
Transparency is vital for companies. The millennial generation is becoming more and more eco-conscious and likes to give back to society.
If your company shows the ways in which it gives back to the community, contributes to charities, or anything of the sort, consumers are more likely to trust your company. It isn’t enough anymore for a company to claim that they donate to charities – most people would like to see proof.
Word of mouth is still a powerful form of marketing. If one person doesn’t trust your company or the things that your company says, they may tell someone else to warn them to stay away.
If your company shows transparency in their actions and demonstrates proof, a consumer can tell people they know that your company does give back to the community. Giving back to the community or donating to charities shows that your company cares about more than just money.
Content marketing is gradually becoming a central focus in every business’s marketing strategy because of the insanely high return on investments – and comparatively low implementation costs.
Trends in content marketing are affected heavily by technological advancements, which is why new breakthroughs such as beacon technology, virtual reality, and augmented reality are set to completely redefine the business marketing of the future.
Keep in mind these eight trends to keep your head in the game and a step ahead of your competition in 2018.
Got any more content marketing trends? Discuss in the comments 🙂