4 content marketing trends for 2018

Content marketing has been a growing trend on the digital horizon for a few years now and that growth is only going to continue into 2018, with 89% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers reporting they are using content marketing to increase leads and drive their brand forward1.

However, digital marketing is a constantly shifting space and what worked last year, won’t necessarily work again this year. So what should you be focusing on in your content marketing strategy for 2018? In this post, we’re taking a look at four of the top trends predicted for the coming twelve months…

 

1) Changing content formats

Content marketing is no longer just about blogging! To stay ahead of the game (and to keep your audience interested), you need to build in a number of different formats for your content strategy.

Why?

As consumers we are flooded with content and so it’s vital to find ways to stand out and make your content noticed. Audiences now have a plethora of options when it comes to finding content and blogging is just one among many, such as:

  • Email
  • Podcasts
  • Video (Produced)
  • Video (Live)
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Social media
  • In-person events

How can I get started?

Take time to create a content marketing strategy which weaves in a variety of formats that suit your audience and your business.

Recruit specifically for the skills required for the formats you’ll be using. For example, if you choose to include video in your strategy, then hire someone with experience in video production and editing.

 

2) Voice search

Not only is the way we distribute content changing, but the way that people are finding and consuming it is too. In 2018, you will need to consider new consumption habits which are being brought about by ‘personal assistant’ tools such as Alexa and Siri.

Why?

It’s predicted that by 2020, as many as 50% of all searches will be voice searches2.

How can I get started?

When creating your content, do it with voice search in mind. Consider how your audience might search and the terms they might use (and how these will differ from standard, typed searches).

You will focus more on long-tail keywords and questions including words such as ‘how’, ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘why’.

 

3) Authenticity

More traditional forms of advertising are starting to wear thin on today’s consumers. They want connection, transparency and trust in their dealings with businesses.

Why?

As more and more businesses move online, the one missing element is that personal interaction gained from speaking to someone face to face.  Ultimately, people trust and want to work with people and not corporations so today, more than ever, it’s important to find a way to be authentic online.

How can I get started?

Focus on ways that you can build trust with your audience. The first and most obvious way to do this is to be trustworthy. Assuming however that this is a given, here are a few other ways you can increase your credibility with your audience:

  • Personalisation – showing your customers that you know and understand them
  • ‘Behind the scenes’ content – letting customers in and showing them your less perfect, less corporate side
  • Video – more on this in the next section, but showing customers the ‘face’ of your business immediately makes you more authentic and easier to connect with
  • In-person events – if video makes you more approachable, showing up in person does so even more!

 

4) Live video

Video has been gaining in popularity over the last few years and that growth has seen an exponential increase in the amount of video content being consumed. Live video in particular is a trend we expect to see much more of in 2018.

Why?

Live streaming has been around for a number of years on channels like YouTube. However, it really started to grow when Facebook launched Facebook Live back in 2016. According to statistics from Livestream, 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video to social posts3.

How can I get started?

The great thing about live video is that you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get started. You can go live on Facebook with nothing but a mobile phone.

Planning is key. While you want your video to come across as relaxed and informal, you don’t want it to appear unprofessional and unprepared.

Consider using live streaming as a form of customer support. Cover frequently asked questions and give people the opportunity to get their queries answered.

 

Ensure your content is getting to the right person, speak to a member of the Experian B2B Prospector team on 0870 012 1111 to find out how.

 

Sources: 1. Point Visible, 2. Campaign Live, 3. Livestream

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Posted on by Ben Buckton

Estimated read time: 5 mins

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