A 2017 joint report from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs revealed that 60% of B2B marketers found their content marketing strategies were more effective than the previous year.
To maintain that growth, both B2B and B2C marketers need to remain vigilant in the ever changing world of content marketing. It’s hard, I know, but keep your chin up and your pen down.
Some say organic content marketing is doomed because of video and Facebook’s ‘pay to play’ method of business, but really it’s just a matter of adapting to new trends. What worked in 2017 may not work in 2018, after all. So to that effect, here’s a list of trends that will affect the world of content marketing this year.
The Rise of Retargeted ads, Voice-Accessible Content and other Content Marketing Trends
1. Consumers Expect Transparency
Do you know the saying, “People don’t want to be sold to”? It’s true, especially for millennials. America’s biggest group of consumers are tired of advertisements, pushy or not. They want companies to be authentic and transparent in everything they do. Some already see charitable contributions, corporate social responsibility gimmicks, and environmental friendly claims as another way for brands to promote themselves.
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey clearly shows what consumers trust now. As you can see, word of mouth referral or recommendations from friends still rank number one. “Consumer opinions posted online” or reviews, rank number two at 66% in North America. These trends will continue well into 2018.
That’s why businesses, big and small, need to increase their efforts in being transparent with their customers. Be honest with product failures or problems. Don’t wait for it to blow up in your face after several customers rant online.
2. Continued Rise of Audio and Video Plus Emerging Content Formats
Video content is one of the big winners last year, as more marketers learned how to shoot and edit videos more affordably. More businesses and solopreneurs jumped into livestreaming, too.
Podcasting is still popular as well, and shows no signs of being a direct competition in video’s share of audience.
This year, however, will not just bring us more videos and podcasts. It will continue the spread of new content formats like smart chatbots and voice-accessible content. Alexa and Google Home were mainly used to command other IoT appliances before. Now, they can be used to play content.
- CPR Instructions from American Heart Association
- Ask Purina allows you to ask questions about pets
- WebMD allows you to ask health-related questions
3. Less Publishing, Better Stories
Orbit Media’s latest annual survey revealed that bloggers are publishing less frequently than they did in the years before. Bloggers publish less but spend more time on each post. The same report shows that bloggers spent 39% more time on one post than they did in 2014.
So don’t be scared of writing lengthy, more in-depth posts.
4. Livestream Rules
Live videos work for almost any niche, not just for recipes and travel. Product sellers can give a demo of their product on live video, so they can show users how it works in real-time while answering questions that come up. You can also take people on a behind-the-scenes trip to your company, to see how you get things done.
5. Written Content Still Fuels the Customer’s Journey
Of course, the rise of videos doesn’t mean the written word is dead. In fact, the need for written content is embedded even more in different aspects of the customer’s journey.
Just think about it, almost every type of content you need at different stages of the funnel needs written content.
- Social media posts
- Lead magnets
- Email marketing
- Landing pages
- Articles and blog posts
- White papers
- Videos – script and subtitles
- PPC – ad headlines and descriptions
And for Advanced SEO, topic clusters with super in depth text content are kicking ass right now for our agency.
6. Remarketing is Booming
Remarketing, or showing previous visitors ads of your products and services on different websites or apps, is becoming popular. Having a Facebook Pixel on your website, for instance, gives you the ability to track how your audience interacts with your website, so you can then use the data gathered to show them the right ads. Remarketing also works in Google Adwords.
This hardly comes as a surprise, as it’s been documented that 87% of consumers use more than one device simultaneously. Marketers and publishers use remarketing as a way to adapt to this relatively new viewing habit. Instead of just reaching a consumer once or twice, they do it multiple times on different platforms and gadgets.
It may sound tedious but data from Salesforce shows it takes up to six to eight touch points to qualify a lead. Of course, better leads are informed and further along in the buyer’s journey than a customer who’s only seen one of your ads or marketing materials, so that’s one reason it works. Data from a ComScore study shows that retargeting ads can lead to as much as 726% increase in site visits after a month of seeing retargeted ads, so it must be worth the effort.
7. Use of Voice and Natural Language in Search Grows
Gartner predicts we’ll no longer need keyboards to search online soon. Voice search already comprise about 20% of Google’s search volume on mobile devices last 2016. ComScore expects this number to balloon up to 50% in 2020.
What does this mean for content marketers and SEO? They have to find a way to optimize their content for voice and natural language apps, like Siri, Cortana, or Google Assistant. In essence, this means optimizing for how people talk, and how they might ask questions when looking for information online.
Get out of your comfort zone
The new year, for me, isn’t just about resolutions. It’s about trying new things to get out of your comfort zone and see how else your existing processes can be improved. Try one of these trends here and see how it works out for you.
Which content marketing trends will you try?