Content marketing has come a long way since its early days.
With over 89% of businesses using content marketing as a key strategy to promote their business, it’s no longer a matter of choice. Rather, it’s a must-have.
More importantly, over 60% of B2B marketers reported that their content strategies were more effective than they were a year ago.
To sustain this growth, however, you need to stay attuned to the ever-changing content marketing landscape and adapt to the evolving patterns in content consumption.
As 2018 has arrived, let’s take a look the content marketing trends in vogue, and what you should do to stay ahead of the curve.
Dish Out Content as per the Taste of Your Audience: Different Formats for Different Audiences
According to 2017 B2B Content Marketing Research, companies are using as many as 8 different content formats to cater to the diverse content consumption patterns.
It’s important to explore platforms where your target audience frequents most often, and produce content in a format compatible with the platform.
For example, if you’re an apparel brand, it’s vital to create catchy Instagram videos to generate interest and word around your new arrivals.
Similarly, if you’re into training and recruitment, LinkedIn is a suitable platform for you. Invest in slideshare, write articles on LinkedIn Pulse, and share educational videos on LinkedIn.
In short, you should explore the platforms your prospects use and the kind of content they consume easily.
Recommended Reading: How to Use LinkedIn for B2B Marketing
Content marketing in 2018 goes much beyond blog strategy although blogging, done well, can drive organic traffic.
However, if your audience spends its time outside Google Search, blogging alone cannot help you boost your qualified traffic and leads. You should reach out to your audience whichever platform they’re on, serving content in formats suitable to their consumption patterns.
Is your content marketing team staffed with folks with multi-tasking skills required to live up to this demand?
Strategic Documentation: Better Documentation of Content Marketing Strategies
By its very nature, content marketing tends to be effective in the long haul. It requires not only deployment of your valuable (and often limited) resources but also monitoring how a particular strategy pans out.
In short, content marketers should document their content strategies periodically, and leverage it to streamline their future campaigns.
Surprisingly though, not many content marketers seem to think that way.
The 2015 B2B Content Marketing Research by CMI found only 32% of marketers had a documented content marketing strategy. In the following year, however, there was an uptick, meaning the trend grew to 37%.
Documenting your content strategy not only makes you a better content marketer but increases the success rate of your content strategies.
A research at the Dominican University of California found documenting your goals can enhance your success rate in meeting them.
With 41% of content marketers still not having a documented content strategy by 2017, you’re likely to see an upward movement in this trend.
On another note, this could also be a unique opportunity for you to follow a documented approach and outperform the competition.
Live Video Content is Already Going Through the Roof: Is Your Brand Ready to Jump on the Train?
The State of Social 2016 asked their followers the type of content they’d create if they were not constrained by the limited resources.
The answer was heavily tilted towards videos (83%) with 42% saying they’d invest in live videos as well.
They were right.
Facebook found users spending 3 times more time watching live videos than a video that was no longer live. Moreover, they also commented 10 times more on a live video.
In fact, 80% of respondents in a study conducted by Livestream said they’d rather tune into a live video than read a blog post.
So, why videos are such a rage.
- For starters, they the most transparent way of connecting with your prospects and customers alike.
- They allow your viewers to interact with you in real-time.
- They are more authentic, personal and engaging than, say a blog post.
If you’re in an industry where your competitors not connected with their audience enough, live videos on Facebook and Instagram could practically give you an unassailable advantage over others.
Are you ready to go live?
The Arrival of Artificial Intelligence: How Machine Learning is Turning Content Marketing on Its Head
You’ve heard it before — the conventional content markers are unable to leverage the data they procure, leaving tons of potential opportunities on the table.
The lack of this data awareness is endemic, and it reflects in their less-than-expected content marketing ROI.
So, in the face of burgeoning customer data, how is the industry trying to solve the challenge of dealing with the data?
Fortunately, we’ve found a solution — AI-empowered platforms in the content marketing space, is now able to chew up all your data (well, not literally) and spit out actionable insights.
Driven by machine learning, these platforms can help analyze, segregate and share customer data that your team can immediately act upon.
And, it’s not just limited to data analytics alone; AI platforms are already helping businesses create audience-centric content and person lead generation tasks on the fly.
Indeed, we’re going to see more and more companies embracing AI to streamline their content marketing strategies, generate qualified leads, solve customer relationship challenges, and boost ROI.
Recommend Reading: 4 Reasons Why AI is Crucial to Your Content Marketing Success
It’s the Right Time
From VR content to AI-driven content strategies, content marketing is poised to make a paradigm shift in 2018. You don’t want to be left behind with old-school content strategies. It’s the right time to revisit your content marketing roadmap and revamp your strategies for profitable future.
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: .