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August 19, 2018

#6 Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out For In 2018

The New Year has started. There are already tons of content marketing trends in 2018 prediction posts. And you might think this is just another such post.

But let me be clear about something – this is not merely a prediction post. Instead, you are going to know five data-driven content marketing trends that will flourish in 2018.

So if you want to create a solid content marketing strategy in 2018, you will find this post handy.

Without further ado, let’s discuss content marketing trends that will drive success in 2018:

1- The Use of Video Content Will Increase

Videos will drive 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, 73% up from 2016. Needless to say, this growth will happen year after year, implying that the year 2018 will see a rise in video content. And more brands will include video content in their content marketing strategies this year.

Cisco predicts live video on mobile will grow 39 fold by 2021.

Content marketing trends in 2018_Live-Video-On-Mobile-1024x562

Why shouldn’t they? Worldwide 51% marketing professionals find videos the kind of content that offers the best return on investment (ROI).

What’s more, blog posts with videos attract three times more inbound links than the posts without videos.

Are you ready to incorporate video content into your content marketing plan?

Here are some key steps in mapping video content to buyer’s journey:

  • Top of Funnel – Create educational videos to make your audience understand how their problems can be solved. To ensure the success of Top of Funnel videos, you should never promote your product or service in Top of Funnel videos
  • Middle of Funnel – Explainers videos are ideal to target your audience in the Middle of Funnel. They should explain how your product or service can solve audience’s problems.
  • Bottom of Funnel – At this stage, your audience is about to make a final decision. Video content like honest testimonials and step-by-step guides to using your product or service can push your audience to buy.

Remember, video landscape is noisy. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you should create videos that your audience wants to watch. A little research on this matter goes long way.

2- More Brands Will Use Chatbots

Gartner stated in 2011, “By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.”

The statement seemed to be hyperbolic that time. But looking at the speed with which brands are adopting chatbots, we can be sure that Gartner’s prediction to be true.

Chatbots Magazine has predicted tremendous growth of chatbots.

chatbot growth

Leading brands, such as Starbucks, The Wall Street Journal, MasterCard, Pizza Hut, and many more are already using chatbots to delight their customers.

In 2018, more brands will include chatbots in their content marketing strategies.

How can you get on the chatbot bandwagon?

The best way is to use chatbots to power conversations. Yes, you have read it – chatbots can offer human-like instant responses that could be visual snippets, plain text, or a combination of both.

Potential benefits of chatbots include cost-effective customer support, faster response time, and easier business transactions.

3- More Brands Will Optimize Content For Voice Search

It is official that more Google searches are coming from mobile than desktop. And 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.

As the number of smartphone users is growing, the number of people using voice search will also grow in 2018. This will change content marketing. And more brands will optimize content for voice search.

Voice search has shown explosive growth. Just look at the Data via KPCB/Mary Meeker

Voice search growth_screenshot

If you want to create an ace content marketing strategy in 2018, you should not ignore voice search.

People often use voice search to find local content and information.

Here are some tips on how you can optimize content for voice search:

  • Optimize local listing
  • Your content should have the most commonly asked questions by your audience
  • Target long-tail keywords
  • Use lots of microdata
  • Think how people speak and write content accordingly

Brands are still early in the voice search trend. If you adopt it, your brand could have a competitive advantage over slow competitors.

4- Emphasis on User-generated Content Will Surge

User-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than other media, according to a research.

UGC growth_screenshot

My friend, user-generated content is gold. The engagement with your brand and the good things people say about your business are genuine. That’s why user-generated content adds credibility and authenticity to a business.

According to 2018 User-Generated Content Report,

“It’s one of the best marketing tools to produce and deliver authentic content, and that it generates an increase in engagement – the top KPI for many marketers – it’s safe to say that UGC will be sticking around in the new year.”

Yes, my friend, to harness the power of user-generated content will be one the top content marketing trends this year.

With the fact that more brands will lay strong emphasis on user-generated content in 2018, you should not leave behind your competitors.

Here are five proven ways to encourage user-generated content:

  • Create buzz for your brand
  • Run online contests or quizzes
  • Offer users rewards to create content
  • Ask your audience questions
  • Conduct online surveys

Though user-generated content is a powerful marketing tool, it is not always easy to get it.

To make your UGC campaign successful, you will need to be super creative.

5- The Use of Influencers Will Increase

People have become marketing averse. Nearly two in three millennials use ad blockers, making it a bit difficult for content marketers to promote content.

Look at this SlideShare screenshot.

ad blocker growth_chart_screenshot

To amplify content reach and promote their brands, many businesses have started incorporating influencing marketing into their content marketing campaigns.

In fact, influencer marketing saw a rapid growth in the recent years. Reason?

“As social networks continue to evolve their algorithms, and users increasingly rely on more accessible, immediate word-of-mouth recommendations, a growing number of businesses are turning to influencer marketing to maximize the reach of their messaging”, says Andrew Hutchison in The State of Influencer Marketing.

The time when 93% people buy or try things that close friends recommend, brands will certainly benefit from influencer marketing.

So, in 2018, too, marketers will amplify content strategies with influencer marketing.

6- Content Customization Will Soar

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are available in multiple languages. Amazon and Netflix are known to place customization at the center of their products – those programmatically generated ‘Recommendations For You’.

Why?  In today’s time, customization is the key to success. And this will one of the most important Content marketing trends in 2018.

“By 2018, organizations that have fully invested in all types of personalization will outsell companies that have not by 20%,” says technology market researcher Gartner.

This year, more brands will try to offer content customization.

However, it will not be easy to do so. Demand Metric finds 59% marketers don’t have the technology and 54% don’t have the necessary resources such as language translators, so they don’t personalize content. If you want your content marketing strategies to bring in dollars, you should overcome these challenges.

When I was creating the draft for this post, I talked to my fellow Indian content marketers about content marketing trends that will drive success in 2018. They all voiced almost the same.

“Content Marketing in the recent past has been a massive factor in helping organizations understand and engage better with the audience. While 2018 will see the acceleration of some already existing trends (such as creation of focused, better quality, & more personalized, byte-sized content for the smartphone users, and more Videos), some newer trends (such as use of AI-based techniques to analyze both Audience & Metrics used to measure ROI) will start to shape up the field of content marketing. Internal content marketing is set to evolve as content studios and more organizations will consume original content for brand-building rather than spending on advertising.” Amit Kapoor

Awarded the ‘Most Influential Content Marketing Professional’ by the WMC, Amit Kapoor is a Global Top 200 Content Strategist, and India’s Top 100 Content & Brand Custodian. An STC IAC Speaker & an ET columnist, he has 17+ years of in-depth experience in content writing & marketing for a globally diverse audience and his articles have been published in IIT Mumbai (TechFest), Inc500, Hakin9 Magazine, & Industrial Automation magazine. You can reach him here

“I see micro-influencers being used extensively by brands, both big and small as they have a niche group of followers. This will also be the year where founders of companies will concentrate on their personal brand. I had a few founders who wanted help with PR for their personal brand. This trend will only increase with the rise of LinkedIn where entrepreneurs have a credible place to promote their personal brand. Brace yourself for bite-sized videos and nuggets of wisdom passed on extensively in professional platforms. Videos will remain the most popular type of content and you will get to see more long-form articles.”  –Mathew Joy Maniyamkott

Matthew is a 27-year old content marketer, entrepreneur who teaches people how to start a career as a freelance writer. He started his writing career five years back and is currently a contributor to Entrepreneur India, Yourstory and The Hindu Business Line (on Campus). Check his course on Learn how to become a Freelance Content Writer here

 

Final words,

Content marketing is a highly effective tool to build brand awareness and boost sales. But your marketing strategy should evolve with the passing of time. Create a content marketing strategy following these steps, and you will get great ROI in 2018.