Content marketing plays a critical role in an enterprise’s success in today’s world. Companies who have invested in content marketing in the last few years have already reported the benefits. According to Content Marketing Institute, comparing year-on-year data, about 34 per cent of marketers felt that their content marketing efforts were more effective in 2016 compared to the previous year.
While there were various factors that played a role in their success, understanding the key content marketing trends was something that essentially made the difference. In order to maintain this growth, it is important for marketers and organizations to stay abreast of the ever-changing content marketing landscape.
Here are a few trends marketers and businesses should watch out for in the year 2018.
Organizations will continue to invest heavily in content and content market
Organizations around the world have realized that content is the king and content marketing is crucial without which, their audience won’t notice them. Moreover, competition for organizations has gone beyond the web and entered other digital platforms. With these trends in focus, more and more organizations will continue to invest in content across digital platforms in order to stay relevant. As per TechDigg, Apple is about to invest $1 billion in original content. Google too is looking at buying original content from media companies to fill the content gap it’s algorithms have identified.
Giants such as Amazon and Facebook too, are investing heavily in content. All these go on to show that investments in content and content marketing are just about to grow in 2018.
Content roles will expand with changing content formats
When companies first realized the importance of content, many of them started focusing on hiring content writers and churning out massive amounts of content. However, with various content formats coming out, the focus has to shift from flooding the audience with textual content. Successful organizations have realized that just hiring content writers won’t cut it anymore and won’t help in tying up all the various marketing strategies. It also won’t help in addressing the issue of newer formats that are becoming popular among audience.
This is why they have started creating a broader strategy and taking a wider approach. They work towards processes where ideas are constantly improved upon, adapted to new formats that people want to consume and customized for audience. This also means that they invest in not only content writers, but also in diverse set of talent and skills in order to meet customer demands.
Content beyond web
The truth is that content has already moved beyond the web today, thanks to mobility and internet of things (IoT). People don’t need to sit on front of their computers or laptops to consume content from the internet. Content has already made its way into mobiles, hand-held and wearable devices in various formats.
In fact, take the example of Apple’s or Google’s voice search. The moment you key in a voice query or search, you immediately get a call-and-response content. Alexa, Amazon’s voice service is also becoming a doorway to share digital content for several organizations. In fact, many of them have already started using Alexa to share a vast variety of content with audience who do not like to be glued to the laptop.
With the proliferation of IoT and content moving beyond the web, the opportunities in the B2B and B2C space are huge. For example, sensors, device pairing and beacon-based proximity marketing offer marketers exciting opportunities to connect with their customers and keep their interactions fresh and meaningful.
Interactive visual content for customer engagement
It is common knowledge that video has become one of the popular content formats that drive customer engagement. While they are very engaging and interactive, there is one more type of interactive visual content that has started creating a completely different form of experience for audience, and this is virtual reality (VR). Virtual reality offers organizations new opportunities for content marketing and customer engagement.
As per International Data Corporation, based on forecasts and sales models, the revenue from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will grow from over $5 billion in the year 2016 to more than about $160 billion in 2020. Even Forbes Global shows that almost 30 per cent of consumer-facing brands will experiment with VR marketing in 2017.
While virtual reality may seem a little expensive to jump into, there are ways organizations can test and implement marketing tactics in a strategic way that won’t cost much.
There will be greater focus on personalization
With customers becoming smarter and demanding more individualized experiences from businesses, personalization will become extremely important for organizations in order to attract customers and earn revenues. Consequently, highly personalized content will play a crucial role in helping organizations achieve their business goals.
Organizations are already using certain strategies and methods to collect important audience data from across the digital space to understand their preference and online behavior better. Businesses will continue to invest in strategies and approaches such as cookies, exit intent technology and people-based marketing in 2018 so that they can utilize consumer data to provide their audience with greater personalized offerings.
A clear content strategy will become important
More businesses are investing in content marketing every year. Yet, many fail to reap the benefits and ROI on their content efforts. Why is this? The problem lies in their inability in effectively scaling their content efforts and more importantly, lack of a proper strategy.
Before planning to scale your content effort as an organization, you must form a clear content strategy for your business. With the right content strategy, you can plan, create, publish, re-purpose and manage useful content. This helps you to get the right content out in front of the right consumer at the right time so that your content engages them and inspires action. Organizations have slowly started realizing the importance of content strategy and more organizations can be expected to invest their time and efforts in creating content strategies in the coming year.
The content marketing landscape is ever-evolving. What audience may like today may soon become the thing of the past. Hence, organizations must constantly look out for what their audience prefer so that they can tailor their content strategies accordingly. Above everything else, great content is what really attracts your customers and this has to be at the heart of every content marketing effort.