2018 Marketing Trends: What’s on deck for content marketing

content marketing

The world of content marketing is continually presenting new opportunities to marketers, and it shows no signs of slowing down as we segue into 2018. Here are the 2018 marketing trends to consider for your strategy.

As of this year, 89 percent of B2B marketers and 86 percent of B2C marketers were employing content marketing strategies; further, 70 percent in the B2B market and 73 percent in the B2C realm planned to introduce more content than in 2016. Overall, 75 percent of marketers were slated to expand content marketing investments.

Perhaps most telling of 2018 marketing trends, is the fact that big players such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are making significant investments in original content, much of it video.

“In some ways, we are seeing the golden age of a new television … it just happens on any and every device imaginable,” writes Joe Pulizzi on the Content Marketing Institute website. “Consistent, original and addictive content is all the rage.”

So what’s slated to be new for 2018 marketing trends? Industry analysts forecast the following:

Firms will focus on longer-term content marketing campaigns as a way to build brand reputation. “It must be differentiated and consistently produced over a long time, like media companies do,” Pulizzi advises.

Social platforms will act more as publishing outlets. Facebook’s made headway in that direction with its Instant Articles feature, while Instagram and Snapchat already easily link to articles. “In an age dominated by social media, having engaging brand social channels is just as important as maintaining a top-notch website,” writes John Hall in Forbes. “Why would people leave their favorite social apps when they can get all the content they want in one place?”

Machine learning will enable interactions within content that closely mimic two-way conversations. “Customers show high interest in having one-on-one exchanges with companies over social media and text message, but companies find it hard to have quality conversations at scale,” Alex De Simone tells Forbes.

Visual content will get more sophisticated with the growth of virtual and augmented reality, allowing for spectacles that sometimes boggle the mind.

Personalization will grow to the next level, thanks to advanced analytics that identify customer characteristics even more closely. It will also become a competitive differentiator: Gartner projects that by next year, businesses investing heavily in personalization will outsell others by 20 percent. “If content isn’t created with a specific target audience in mind, it’s just a spray-and-pray strategy,” Joakim Ditlev recently told the Content Marketing Institute.

Live video streaming on social media will generate major new opportunities for creative content; in fact, Cisco predicts worldwide internet traffic generated by videos will make up 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019. “The real-time nature of live video makes people feel intimately involved,” writes Hall. “(It) provides a great opportunity to establish close customer relationships.”
Mobile-ready content will become absolutely essential for marketers as Americans increasingly avoid desktops and use only mobile to access the internet.

Content will increasingly be created and improved through AI. One analyst predicts that within five years, half of all content used will be AI-created. The Associated Press is among big publishers already making use of the technology. “In the meantime, features such as chatbots, data analysis algorithms, and personalized recommendation systems will automatically direct audiences to content relevant to their interests and circumstances,” Hall writes.

Another 2018 marketing trend to look at is that many of the big online players will start monetizing content via syndication and their own customers, Pulizzi predicts.
The coming year should be an exciting time to be working in content marketing, with technology continually opening up new possibilities for getting your message across in ways that offer value to your customers.

RingSquared can advise you on how to incorporate dynamic number insertion and other call marketing personalization features within your 2018 content marketing strategy. Ask us how we can help by calling 1-800-700-1987.