Content Marketing has become incredibly vital to the success of businesses and organizations in recent years, and its importance will only continue to grow in the future. If you’re new to the world of content marketing, there’s no better time to perfect it than now.
According to a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in 2016, 88% of B2B respondents were using content marketing.
Before we dive into content marketing trends to look out for, you may be asking yourself, “what exactly is content marketing?”
Content Marketing isn’t necessarily about your specific brand or the products and services you offer, but instead it’s about providing unique content catered to your specific audience. What do they want to read about? What are their interests? What will help you gain their loyalty and trust?
This can be done in several ways, whether it’s providing them with a blog post, a webinar or an engaging video. The whole point of content marketing is to grow your brand’s awareness and reach by providing existing and potential customers unique content that other companies do not offer them.
With all this in mind, let’s now take a look at some of the emerging trends of content marketing that you need to be aware of as 2018 comes to an end.
Content Marketing Teams are Diversifying
The amount of possibilities for content creation are growing by the day, and it’s becoming clear that content marketing teams need to have a wide range of talents at their disposal. Today, content marketing goes way beyond simply writing blog posts or sending out newsletters.
Organizations reportedly use 13 different marketing tactics on average, including anything from videos to blog posts to in-person events and more.
With the content creation field rapidly diversifying and expanding, your content marketing teams need to adapt as well.
In 2018 and onwards, simply having a team of writers won’t cut it anymore. You need to have a wide range of people that are capable in different fields of production such as graphic design, event planning and video & audio production.
Your team also needs to extend beyond content creation itself, as you need people that are capable of developing and implementing strategies, and ensuring that your content is properly distributed.
Content Is Everywhere - Not Just Your Screen
In the last couple of decades we’ve made huge strides in creating new means to digest content. From newspapers to computers to laptops to iPads in a number of years, the possibilities to engage with content continues to grow. With newspapers becoming more and more obsolete, it’s no surprise that the digitalization of content is now beginning to expand beyond words on a screen.
Podcasts have been around for several years now, but in the last year their popularity has grown immensely. They’re easy and convenient, and extremely simple to create. With applications like Anchor, creating podcasts can be as simple as clicking a couple of buttons and that’s it.
According to Edison Research, 17% of marketers plan to add podcasting to their marketing efforts in the next year.
Affordable home devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have also started to become household staples in the last year. They only became available in Canada earlier this year, and it’s already reported that 8% of Canadians 18 years and older own at least one smart speaker.
Personal assistants like the Echo and Home also extend to Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. The emergence of these new devices and personal assistants extends the possibilities of audio content marketing. When content is in audio form, people can consume it conveniently at many different points as they go on with their day.
Detailed, Documented Strategies are Essential
According to CMI’s 2017 survey, only 32% of organizations have a documented content marketing strategy.
The survey also found that 53% of the most effective marketers have a documented marketing strategy and 40% of the least effective marketers have no strategy at all.
The interesting part about the results of this specific question is that 48% of marketers claim to have a strategy, but for whatever reason it is not documented.
Moreover, only 36% of respondents said they meet weekly to discuss their content marketing program. While 55% of respondents said their content marketing teams meet beyond weekly, the survey revealed that 61% of the most effective B2B marketers meet daily or every week.
Having a documented and detailed strategy can go a long way, ensuring that everybody on your content marketing team knows what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them. On top of having a documented strategy, it’s key that your content marketing team meets regularly to make sure that the strategy is going according to plan.
Video Consumption Continues to Grow in Popularity
Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram have been steadily growing over the last few years, and there’s no signs of them slowing down any time soon. Here are a few eye-popping statistics regarding the popularity of video consumption:
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
- By 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic, and 85% in the US
- 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily
In 2018, the possibilities for video are seemingly endless, and there’s no excuse to not be producing video content. There’s no need for a fancy studio or expensive equipment, as most people’s phones that fit in their pockets can record high quality content.
There are a ton of ways to implement video too - whether it’s producing pre-recorded material or just hopping onto Facebook and doing a Facebook live. It was reported that Facebook users watch live videos 3x longer than pre-produced ones, and comment 10x more.
Content Marketing teams are starting to understand that diving into the world of video creation is absolutely necessary, as video platforms are at the top of marketing teams’ plans to add in the next year.
Beyond the big names like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, there are a ton of different video platforms such as Periscope and Animoto that can help you get started in the world of video content creation.
Distribute Often, Distribute Effectively
You shouldn’t get discouraged by the amount of content that is out there in 2018.
There’s no denying the fact that there’s a ton of it floating around the digital world. However, that doesn’t mean that you should feel like there’s no point of putting out your own content as it may get lost in the sea of the internet.
Take a look at this infographic from Smart Insights on what goes on online in just one minute:
With the number of posts growing every year across each social platform, there’s clearly a lot of competition when it comes to content. Just because there is tons of other people posting, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be. The only way to get your content out there and in the eyes or ears of consumers is to actually create and distribute it.
This is how a content distribution plan is necessary to succeed. Websites such as Taboola can help your content marketing team get on the right track. Rather than just randomly producing pieces of content and throwing them online, you can take advantage of the statistics and analytics at your fingertips to figure out what works best.
These numbers can allow your content marketing team to produce proper distribution plans across multiple channels and maximize your content’s effectiveness.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Content Marketing is a tricky area to perfect and see results from. It’s constantly changing, and if you don’t stay up to date on the newest trends then you’ll fall behind quickly. It is vital to your organization’s success to have a dedicated team working on your content marketing initiatives.
If executed correctly, content marketing can help boost your sales and overall performance across the board. If you follow these five trends in content marketing, you’re taking a step in the right direction and you’ll be off to a great start.