The palmy days of content marketing isn’t behind us. It’s ahead though many experts believe otherwise.
2018 will be a rough yet promising year for content marketers who are giving it their all. An idea on the trends that would potentially dominate 2018 can help them prepare an effective content marketing strategy. This year, videos retained their importance in internet marketing. And it looks like videos and original content would still be of great benefit to enterprises next year as well.
Let’s get on with what awaits content marketers next year.
Blogging just won’t be enough
An active, engaging blog has always been effective when it comes to getting people’s attention and getting links for a website. The commonly practiced strategy was to make the blog visually appealing and relevant by including infographics, videos etc. If done on a regular basis, brands wouldn’t fall behind.
However, 2018 will be a bit different. It’s just like when content marketing was a fresh concept. Back in the days, people just posted as much content as possible stuffed with keywords for SEO benefit. Online marketing matured over time, replacing quantity with quality. Now we need to measure not just the reach but also engagement.
Though good blogs can still be useful when it comes to engagement, just that alone won’t be enough next year. Marketing teams won’t be able to do much just with a writer. They will have to make use of different content formats and find creative ways to engage people.
A good example is the new trend where enterprises release creative short films that increase brand awareness, and attract the audience to check out what they offer. Experimenting with apps, podcasts, and new ways to get people to look at your services won’t hurt your brand in the long run.
Content will be consumed away from screens
This has been a topic of discussion in TED talks for a while now. The advancement of technologies, particularly the advent of IoT, might very well lead people away from screens. Content marketers have already started exploring marketing potential with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Developers have started building voice-activated apps thanks to Amazon Alexa Skills, opening doors to new content formats.
Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) are not to be taken lightly, as many haven’t considered their impact on digital marketing solutions and services. Planning for leveraging them effectively in 2018’s content marketing strategies is a good idea.
Content marketing is not a collection of advertisement campaigns
Considering the potential of content marketing, many companies are now prepared to allocate more budget for it.
In a study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) this year, it was found that 32% of B2B marketers are expected to increase their budget for content marketing over the next 12 months. Investments are clearly increasing.
However, Joe Pulizzi of CMI notes that a majority of these budgets are campaign-oriented i.e. most companies seem to have the wrong notion that content marketing is a collection of advertising campaigns scheduled to be done one after the other.
Campaigns are an important component for any content marketing strategy. But the purpose is not just to advertise. The essence of content marketing is to provide content that’s relevant to users so they will know about the kind of services your business provides and what makes you different. It can build loyalty and relationships. This is why it shouldn’t be treated as a string of ad campaigns but something more that gives better results. Even with a big budget, if there are no relevant or compelling content, the marketing strategy would end up as a failure.
Creating content for micro-moments
What Google identified and named as micro-moments is a specific type of consumer behavior where we impulsive use our phones to search answers for a question that suddenly popped up in our heads. It can be anything like ‘Do crocodiles eat other crocodiles?’ or ‘where can I play arcade games near me?’
Every time someone does this, they would be expecting a relevant answer to their query. This is why consumers of a business expect to easily find and understand information about that business. They wouldn’t want to spend time digging up that information from the business website or social media.
This means the content marketing team should focus a good amount of effort to develop content for every stage of the sales funnel – anticipating what a customer would be seeking and providing answers so they won’t have to seek it for long. A content audit can help a lot in such a scenario.
This is probably where content marketers are going to spend the most time next year.
Content marketing is becoming more comprehensive and sophisticated. To keep up, marketers will have to find the right mix of creativity, planning, and scheduling. 2018 will certainly bring big benefits from content marketing alone but the strategies we are now going with, won’t be enough in the long run.