When it comes to content marketing, keeping up with the industry changes is a minimum requirement for success. We compiled research and forecasts of trends affecting content marketing in 2018 so that you can pick the bits that best fit your content strategy!
Personalisation and AI
Personalised content maintains its value. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and machine learning (ML) are the tools that transform uniform, one-fits-all content into personalised experiences. A company producing personalised content may increase its value by up to 20 % compared to those that do not utilise personalisation. For instance, newsletters and offers can be easily personalised even on individual level to guide them more successfully down the path to purchase.
Using chatbots and social media messaging services to enhance customer experience and to support digital marketing will become more common. For example, the use of Facebook Messenger as part of a company’s customer service will increase. With this kind of tools, companies can increase the interactivity of their contents.
Videos, live streams and podcasts
New content formats will have an even stronger position compared to before. Traditional video contents are still valuable but are supplemented by live streams. Live videos are perfect for making the target audience commit to the content and for providing a sense of transparency and authenticity. Moreover, live streams gain more visibility on social media platforms than conventional video content. Live streams about product launches, for instance, have shown to have the potential to activate consumers well. However, it is still relevant to create written content about the videos to improve their organic search visibility.
In addition to videos, also the amount of audio content will increase. Podcasts are a great way to gain the trust of your listeners: knowledgeable and high-quality content gives a professional impression. Often informational content that offers answers and solutions proves to be effective, and many educational podcasts are among the most listened ones.
Internet of Things
Internet of things makes the consumer’s everyday life easier and allows for showing the right contents at the right time, for instance, by utilising indoor positioning systems. Consumer smart devices make it possible to reach consumers outside of their living room and front of the TV. Through wearable devices, such as smart watches, it is possible to reach potential customers practically anywhere, even in the middle of a morning jog! Companies should carefully consider what kind of content they want to produce for these devices. What kind of contents would you like your smart fridge to provide?
Interactivity, VR, AR
Interactivity will be an even more important in communications but also in content itself. Interactive content will stand out from the rest by being dynamic and activating the consumers. It allows for, for instance, story-telling, where the consumer chooses the direction of the story.
Technologies utilising virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) open new opportunities for marketing communication and content production. For example, IKEA uses AR in its app, where you can test how certain furniture would look like in your own living room. Adidas, on the other hand, utilised VR technology in its product launch. Many companies have adopted virtual tours as part of their marketing. With 3D devices becoming more commonplace, search engines will rank higher contents that are optimised for these platforms, as has already happened with websites optimised for mobile devices.
Some of these trends may still feel far-fetched, but their drivers are not new. Marketers should therefore carefully consider which trends fit best their strategy to make the most out of them.
Remember to consider your target audience in all your content: the better the personalisation, the better you reach the right people. Make use of new content formats, such as live streams, in story-telling and in creating brand loyalty. The point of content is to stand out, so repeating what has already been said and done serves no purpose. With the trends in mind, do what makes you you. Don’t get blinded by the myriad of possibilities, stay true to your brand and make your contents consistent!