January 17 2018

Content Marketing 2018: 8 Trends to Watch Out For

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Content Marketing Trends

In 2017, content marketing was rated as the most influential and paramount force behind driving incremental sales. Several research and studies conducted by industry honchos show that even in 2018, brands will continue to give more weight to content. Some might even ramp up their investment in this space.

Do you want to prepare your company for what content marketing will look like in 2018? Here, take a look at some of the trends that you must keep a close eye on.

# Investment in original and unique content

As per industry insiders, Facebook, Google, and Apple are among the major players who are planning to make huge investments in getting original content. Since competition is heating up, these industry giants are hoping to continue to stay relevant, useful and original to their target audience.

As for marketers like you, this means that moving forward to the next year, you need to invest in top-notch quality unique and original content to keep your existing customers satisfied while engaging prospects. The coming year is predicted to be the perfect time for companies to step up their game and assume the responsibility for thought leadership.

# Virtual reality will make visual content a reality

The buzz around augmented or virtual reality is not new. Practical applications of augmented reality technology are already existent and this is only helping to push the frontiers of AR/VR. It is expected that AR/VR adoption will increase in 2018. However, bringing the marketing teams onboard with these cutting-edge technologies is going to be out-of-reach for numerous businesses because of the exorbitant cost.

Even if many businesses cannot directly implement these advanced technologies, the AR/VR trend is going to constantly act as a reminder for businesses to lay more emphasis on the creation of interactive, engaging visual content, such as infographics, videos, apps, online games and so on.

visual content

# IoT expected to take content off-screen

Those days are gone when customers were only limited to the screen to view content. Even though radio, billboards, television and other content formats have always existed, IoT (Internet of Things) has interwoven content into lives in a completely different way. Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Assistance, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa is sharing content with their audience beyond their phone, laptop and tablet screens. Thanks to IoT, everything will become digital and activated by voice. By investing in content interactions, marketers will be able to reach out to their audience.

# Streaming live video will become the norm

Pre-recorded video might not be completely out of the scene, but it will certainly be overshadowed by live video. Live video was a phenomenon that exploded in 2016 and continued into 2017, but 2018 will be the year when it becomes mainstream. With Facebook and Instagram striving to update and better their live video feature, there is no reason why marketers should not take advantage of streaming live video to connect with their audience.

The best part is that live video can work for any kind of business. Whether you want to give your audience a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of your company or a closer look at your product, the opportunities are endless.

# Storytelling will be embraced as a part of content marketing

For long, businesses have only indulged in content with a strong focus on information and relevance. Even though the same will still continue, the writing style is expected to shift from being turgid to a more relaxed form of writing. Brands will opt to tell stories through their content in order to grab the attention of their audience. However, this practice is still in its embryonic stage and not perfected yet. So, you can expect to find a lot of failed attempts. But, this practice is expected to mature with time.

Storytelling Content

# Machine learning will be personalizing content

It is predicted that business that has not invested in content personalization will be outperformed by businesses that have by 2018. Companies like, Amazon and Google, have already prepared the way for distinctive user experiences, via hyper-specific customer profiles. Smaller companies will also be able to follow suit with the help of advanced analytics technology.

In the creation of personalized content, AI or artificial intelligence will be playing an integral role. AI might also start to transform the world of content marketing in the coming years as companies have already started implementing AI to publish extremely high volumes of information quickly and easily.

As machine learning continues to evolve, it offers companies the opportunity to start personalized conversations with their end-users or customers. Companies will also be able to deliver high-quality content at scale with the help of AI.

# LinkedIn will finally come on its own for B2B

The paid platform is evolving and getting better, which is great news for the big brands. However, for smaller brands, LinkedIn is one of the best places to promote their content. As this platform has recently started supporting video, it is expected to be a game-changer.

# Branded blog publications will be on the rise

The number of companies turning their blogs and content resources into branded digital publications full of attention-grabbing content is only increasing. Such publications gain high readership and help brands to grow. This trend is expected to be a welcome relief for the audience who are tired of going through pointless company updates, blogs on award announcements and so on. This is also a fabulous opportunity for content marketers to connect with the thought leaders who weave a lot of authority in the industry.

As you and your team of expert content marketers move to the New Year, you must remember that content marketing is a marathon. It is not a sprint. So, you cannot expect to get results right away. You have to put in a lot of effort into finding out which content marketing strategy works best for your business and wait for your efforts to pay off with time.

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