What are the key content trends you should be aware of as we move towards 2018? How do you stay relevant in an industry with such an astonishing rate of change as content marketing?
Without chasing after every new shiny thing, how do you incorporate the latest developments into running and promoting your business, and make sure that the actions you take will be relevant to and appreciated by your audience?
This becomes much easier if you have already articulated your strategy, as you have a solid foundation and direction against which to test out new ideas, and be pretty sure that the latest opportunity will be another chance to get close and personal with your audience.
It’s the time of year when predictions are in the air and having read through lots of these articles so that you don’t have to, there are some key content trends that may be new or that have been coming to prominence for a while. Which ones do you think will be of benefit to your business in 2018?
Many businesses don’t yet have a clear documented strategy for their content marketing efforts, although the Content Marketing Institute has consistently found that companies with a strategy in place do better than those without.
Avoiding overwhelm can be a big challenge for small businesses, and investing time in both strategy and planning will be a good investment. The clearer you can be from a high level on what you are trying to achieve, the better you can follow your planned path without too much diversion.
Consistently producing relevant timely content for your audience is a key part of what will drive you to succeed in 2018.
The demand for personalisation continues to grow, and is set to expand further as a crowded marketplace means it is no longer enough to provide content that isn’t as targeted as you can make it. The more you can speak directly to your audience the more you will make them feel special and that your content has been created specifically for them.
While your budget will dictate how much you can invest in tools to automate new levels of personalisation, what this trend dictates is that you keep adding audience value to your content, and to always be relevant to their needs.
Video has been an increasing trend for a couple of years and will be consolidated further into an essential part of the mix. Video posts on social media massively outperform text-only posts, and live streaming of video is even more popular.
The directness of video offers an opportunity for you to get much more personal with your audience, to build a more authentic interaction and to give your information a more personal human touch.
Facebook Live in particular is increasing in popularity, and it is an accessible and affordable way for small businesses to experiment with video and determine the best approach.
According to Hubspot’s video marketing statistics, 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers, and the growth in this area is rapid.
And if you aren’t up for video, at the very least you must be using imagery in your content, on both Facebook and Twitter engagement rates can be up to 150% higher if you include an image, and as the online audience becomes more accustomed to visual stimulation, this will likely increase again.
There is so much content out there.
There is more content out there than you could ever read, and more content is being created all the time. The chances of your content reaching its intended audience get slimmer, so it is worth investing in creating quality targeted pieces that speak as directly as you can to your audience’s needs and requirements.
Voice search is also on the increase, and it is worth watching voice-led products which are changing the way people search. This means paying attention to more natural language search and longer-tail search queries when you are creating content from an SEO perspective. With these voice-led products gaining popularity, this is a trend that needs watching as the year passes.
Consistently producing quality targeted content that is genuinely helpful to your audience, that adds real value, and that you spend time promoting and distributing online, will give you the best chance of staying visible online.
You need to be very aware of the audience you are targeting, the value of what you are providing for them, and you should be using your content consciously to drive your audience through your sales journey.
Content that is working hard for you to drive sales and engagement, that is adding clear value to your audience, will enhance your online reputation and drive people on to greater engagement with your company, resulting in driving up your sales.
Not sure how these key content trends apply to you?
When looking forward to your 2018, it’s great to keep up with change and have a view of emerging key content trends – but don’t neglect your core strengths and your planned strategy. If you know your audience, invest time in planning and creating valuable personalised content, and use measurement to track and direct your progress, you will be off to a good start for a successful 2018.
If you need support in how to adopt any of these key content trends to your business, if you aren’t sure where to start or which direction to go in next, we can help.
Please get in touch for a no obligation discussion around how we can help you better achieve your 2018 content marketing goals – call us on 01491 614404, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.