AI, IoT, video content, original content production – these are just a few of the forces that is reshaping the world of content marketing. As we move closer to 2018, marketers will need to make their moves and embrace the latest trends around these.
Here is a guide to help you with this.
1. The Increasing Relevance of Original Content
It recently came to light that Apple is planning to spend $1 billion on original content. Multi-channel and multi-format content strategies have gathered critical mass and are being used by marketers to differentiate brands.
Google is also sourcing a lot of content directly from media companies and production houses. Not the one to be left behind, Facebook is also investing a lot in original content.
It’s clear – the leaders of digital space consider original content important for the future, and that’s a cue for content marketers to follow the same path.
Here are some suggestions for brands:
- Start early. Bring content creators onboard who can work across formats and channels.
- High quality visuals are the backbone of content marketing campaigns for social media; platforms like Burst, that offer free to use HD photographs, are a great help.
- Look for every opportunity to repurpose your recent high-performing content.
- Video content is increasingly becoming more relevant. Invest in a team with video production and editing skills.
- Webinars are a great way to establish authority and create re-usable video content in the process; try ClickMeeting to organize your webinar content management.
2. The Move towards Transparency in Branded Content
Consumer preferences are changing. Particularly, there seems to a growing mistrust for branded content. A quick look at Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Survey tells you that audiences trust people they know, and not brands, and this trend is highly likely to translate into ground level content strategy changes in 2018.
Content marketers will need to embrace the idea of disclosures within their content, lest they risk negative publicity, just as YouTube gaming network Machinima got because of allegedly questionable tactics in its 2015 campaigns for subtly promoting Xbox One and several games.
Companies that can bring in the flavor of honesty in their content will win the marketing battles of 2018. No wonders, influencer marketing is also under the scanner, with native advertisements and brand-sponsored content failing to showcase expected levels of conversions.
3. Increasing Content Marketing Budgets
Content marketing is getting increasing importance from marketing strategists, particularly in Asia Pacific businesses. There’s a lot of expectation around the space, with estimates that growth in market size for content marketing in 2018 will outpace that for 2017. Plus, more than 70% marketers believe they’re creating significantly more content now. That’s a necessity for their brands to stay relevant.
There are a lot of factors that can explain this. For starters, visual content is going big. This means higher production costs for the same quantum of material as text content. Also, there’s a lot of support for the idea of creating highly focused micro niche content for brands to heighten their conversions by targeting content at highly relevant audiences.
4. The Changing Face of Content Teams
Because of the forces in play in the content marketing industry, the compositions of content teams are very likely to change in 2018.
We already talked about the increasing relevance of visually impressive content. Apart from this, content marketing teams will need to work on highly organized multi-channel content plans to be able to drive synergies between all content sources and engines. This will trigger the inclusion of people with leadership and management skills in content teams. Also, on an execution level, these skills will become more relevant:
- Branding and communications
- Audio and video production
- Content distribution
- Graphics designing and editing
- Analytics and reporting
- Strategy development and execution
5. Content off Screens
Supernormal investments in voice controlled content are evident already; Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Google Home, and Apple Siri are at the forefront of this move towards ‘voice’.
Natural language processing technologies and machine learning powered AI algorithms are enabling digital systems to interact with humans and create engagement of the quality never experienced before.
From beacon based proximity marketing to device pairing – there is a lot going around in the IoT space that has appeal for digital marketers. Because these channels ensure availability of highly contextualized, timely, and value added content, their conversion potential is huge.
Consider how Amazon’s Alexa voice service, for instance, is becoming a doorway to amazing content, the key to the door being – voice. The American Heart Association provides information on performing CPR via Alexa.
Content marketing has retained its importance as a driver of conversions in the intensely competitive digital marketing space. For marketers with a vision, 2018 is going to be a year of experimentation, and filled with opportunities to leave competitors behind in the race. This guide will help you do that.