Content creation is a cornerstone of contemporary marketing but that is old news. It seems like everybody creates content these days: from small to big-sized companies, over educational institutions and NGOs, all the way to individual users. In this prevalence of digital marketing, it became extremely difficult to create good posts and make them stand out from the crowd.
That is why you need to follow the latest industry developments and embrace state-of-the-art marketing tactics if you want to go one step ahead of competitors. In this article, we will show you 10 predictions for content marketing in 2018.
10 Tactics to Help You Rule Content Marketing Next Year
There are dozens of interesting content creation ideas that will probably play a major role in digital marketing very soon. However, most of these ideas are ahead of their time and can’t really make a bigger impact in 2018. We won’t talk about such advanced trends but rather stick to practical predictions which rely on the gradual evolution of content marketing. Bearing this in mind, we present you the list of 10 most important content marketing trends in 2018.
1. Content strategies become detail-oriented
Marketers are facing a constant pressure to create better content, which is why they need to be more thorough and precise straight from the beginning. They are adapting content creation strategies and making them detail-oriented, monitoring and documenting even the smallest aspects of marketing. In such circumstances, it becomes easier to control your digital activities and react in case something goes wrong.
Precise Key performance indicators (KPI) are the basis of this trend as each member of the team needs to know exactly what his/her duties and deliverables are. They will work according to the predetermined schedule, so the room for making technical mistakes is reduced to the minimum. Therefore, the only thing you will have to worry about in 2018 is how to produce high-quality content.
2. Quality is essential
Regardless of the format, your content has to be excellent in the future. The Internet is filled with all sorts of posts, most of which don’t exactly match the quality standards. But if your followers recognize that you publish below-average content, rest assured they will stop visiting your website and social network pages – there are hundreds of similar creators who provide their visitors with high-quality stuff.
According to Wesley Hathorn, a digital marketing manager at Best Essays, marketers need to take two elements into consideration: creativity and technical execution. Wesley explained it concisely: “Technical aspect means that your content has to be crafted professionally, using the right angle, colors, and style. On the other hand, creativity is up to your marketing staff. If you are able to fulfill both requirements, you won’t have to worry about user engagement and conversions.”
3. Channel experimentation
It is becoming increasingly difficult to distribute and highlight marketing content through all each channel individually. For this reason, we expect marketers to start experimenting with a more integrated approach in 2018. Namely, they ought to focus on multichannel distribution of posts in different formats.
For instance, a series of blogs can be compiled into the whitepaper and published as a separate document. At the same time, whitepapers can serve as the basis for SlideShare presentations with crucial findings and statistical support. After that, a presentation can be transferred into the video format for consumers who prefer this type of content. It’s an all-around technique that should lead to well-integrated content marketing across each channel of promotion simultaneously.
4. Content becomes more interactive
Marketers started creating interactive content a long time ago. They focused mostly on quizzes or surveys to entertain their followers and generate leads using this simple model. However, interaction is going to the whole new level in 2018 – and we are not talking about virtual reality (this tactic still requires a more advanced technology). What we have in mind are well-designed interactive games that can grab the attention of your target group.
A perfect example is the recruitment program created by Deloitte. Their ‘Will You Fit Into Deloitte’ interactive recruitment video uses gamification elements to get the candidates acquainted with company’s culture and “various service lines in a light-hearted, innovative, and interactive way, transforming what are usually dry and boring recruitment videos.” Companies that embrace this sort of innovation will go head and shoulders above the rest.
5. Great content demands a team of creators
Gone are the days when one person alone could handle content marketing. Bearing in mind all the trends we already mentioned (interactivity, channel experimentation, detail-oriented strategies), it is clear that contemporary marketing demands a team of professional content creators. A simple blog cannot boost your sales and brand awareness anymore, so you need to grow stronger as a team very soon.
Besides copywriters, you also need video and audio production and editing to manage podcasts, jingles, and video clips. You also need an outstanding graphic designer who can follow strategic guidelines and create the corresponding images or infographics. At the same time, they all need to respect the same branding principles and integrate messages through each channel of communication. All these tasks require a group of well-experienced and creative individuals, so if you don’t have one already – make sure to form it next year.
6. Influencer marketing keeps growing
Although it’s not a new trend, influencer marketing deserved the spot on our list because it’s still the rising trend. Modern consumers demand transparency and honesty while engaging with a brand, which is hard to achieve through traditional corporate communication. Almost 50% of all buyers rely on influencer recommendations, while 40% of Twitter users made a purchase based on a tweet.
These figures prove that you have to invest in a person who has the authority to promote your products or services to target audiences. Therefore, it is hard to imagine a successful brand without a social influencer in 2018. You need to reach an individual who shares the same set of values and has a solid base of loyal followers. But you don’t reach an ideal influencer – your competitors will.
7. Ephemeral content
The fact that content must be great doesn’t mean that it always has to be long and comprehensive. On the contrary, ever since Snapchat introduced its short-lasting content solutions, social media giants like Facebook or Instagram decided to offer their own versions of pretty much the same format, the so-called stories. Young users prefer this type of content as it reflects their own style of living – fast, funny, and exciting. You should keep this in mind and prepare a special part of marketing plan dedicated to ephemeral content exclusively.
8. Produce more videos
Video content already constitutes a vast majority of an entire Internet traffic. People are visual beings and you need to follow this trend to avoid falling behind competitors. Always try to make short but meaningful clips, using professional camera and short sequences. Present your employees or users in these videos, showing a human side of the business.
The latest trend in this field is live videos. Namely, more than 80% of Internet and mobile audiences watched more live videos in 2016 than in 2015. Such content deems more authentic to the followers and they tend to make more comments and shares when you post this format. Write a few nice live video scenarios each month and you will definitely expand social reach in 2018.
9. Voice search optimization
You’ve probably noticed that impatience is one of the most important features of an average Internet surfer. Users demand the best content as quickly as possible without investing too much effort in their searches. That is exactly why more than 50% of all online searches will soon be voice-based.
In such circumstances, you don’t only have to optimize content for the mobile experience but also adapt it so as to fit voice search and commands. Siri and Alexa are already best friends with some owners of mobile devices but this is the growing trend and you better prepare for it on time.
10. Content analysis
You are probably posting dozens of pieces of content on a weekly basis throughout multiple channels. Having in mind this posting frequency, it is highly likely that part of your content doesn’t match the desired standards of quality and technical perfection. This is why content analysis will become more important than ever next year. Marketers will start auditing each post they published this year and try to determine users’ engagement patterns and topics that make the biggest influence, both positively and negatively.
The procedure will help marketing specialists to reduce the number of boring topics or even completely eliminate some themes. On the other hand, they will get the opportunity to focus on stories and content models that really make an impact. Essentially, this approach will allow marketers to post better content, increase brand awareness, and generate more leads and conversions in the long run.
Content creation is the core of contemporary marketing. However, the industry is evolving and you need to embrace new tactics if you don’t want to fall behind competitors. In this article, we showed you 10 predictions for content marketing in 2018. Make sure to consider our tips carefully and don’t hesitate to leave us a comment if you have other interesting predictions to share with our readers.
About the author: Karen Dikson is a blogger and Digital Marketing Expert from New Jersey. She is an intuitive and creative thinker who is able to connect various thoughts into a single theme. Karen loves to stay up to date on the latest digital trends. Her works have been published on HuffPost and other business resources. Connect with Karen on Twitter.