While it may seem like 2018 is flying by, it’s not without first making a mark in the digital world and through offering powerful trends surrounding content marketing and delivery. Whether you are looking to take on a new content strategy for the rest of the year, want to tweak your current practices, or are just wondering where things stand, here’s what’s been shaping content marketing trends so far this year.
Rise of Influencers
Do you remember the early days when influencers were a novel concept, and everyone was just trying to get more followers to become a more sought-after influencer? The dynamics and specifics may have changed, but the growth and necessity of influencers has not.
Consumers respond to emotional pain points and the opinions and endorsements of others. In other words, when they see content from someone who is talking about a good product, good service, or overall pleasant experience, they are more likely to respond favourably to that content themselves.
Influencers become that positive endorsement and opinion behind a product that consumers respond to, and businesses are taking advantage of this, selecting influencers accordingly. The key however, is that the focus is shifting more from how many people follow the influencer to how engaged the influencer is with their audience and how much the audience engages in return.
Development of Strategy
It sounds like old news, but companies, individuals, and large-scale businesses are finally adopting the need for a concrete content strategy.
There was a time when that may have looked as simple as publishing blog posts three days a week. Now, however, it is as expansive as ever – and growing every day. Users need to publish blog posts as well as guest posts. They need to be integrating social media sharing and engagement into their plan, as well as understanding how to best use each online platform to suit their business or individual needs. And all of this is before we consider the need for email campaigns, ad campaigns, list-building, and video integration.
Whether it is from ChatBots, artificial intelligence, or businesses that understand the need for personalization along the customer journey, there is a pervasive level of personalizing happening in online content creation. And for most of us, it is working out just the way it is supposed to: we are buying the products, taking advantage of the services, and supporting the companies that take the time to make us feel like the experience is personal.
Along with this increase in personalization however, is also coming the need for increased transparency. Authenticity gets thrown around a lot, but rightfully so: creating authentic content, that is true to the ethos and philosophy of a company allows them to be transparent with the consumer, giving the whole story. This targets personalization in that the consumer feels far more connected to the brand and what it is offering or what it stands for, and when you can develop emotional connection, you can gather business in return.
Crafting content on a broad topic or offering insight across several areas of a particular industry is not the key to business progress and success. One of the main factors that governs an individual’s or business’s ability to grow, is authority. When you can develop authority and credibility, garnering trust from your audience and customers, that audience becomes leads which, in turn, have the ability to generate revenue.
Successfully fostering this authority, is top of mind and creating content is a great way to do that. But it has to be niche content. It has to be content that hones in on a specific area or subject that can be backed up with credible resources and that allows you to differentiate yourself in the field. With the plethora of content available online, simply adding more of the same or regurgitating overdone topics in different words doesn’t get you anywhere – and isn’t good for your content strategy.
Change in Formats
Just like blog posts alone stopped being enough a couple of years ago, the shift continues today, and it is no longer enough to just manufacture content. In order to stay abreast in the market, keep the attention of an audience and carry prospects to leads to customers, the content has to be diversified, varied and innovative. Today it might be a blog post, while tomorrow it is a video, followed by an infographic and then a powerful image. Bite size content is coming on in a big way, and, more than ever, audiences are responding to information they can get quickly and benefit from immediately. With the never-ending list of options for delivering content, it only makes sense that changing it up is the way forward through change.
With a quarter of the year left to unfold, it’s not too late to adopt these powerful content marketing trends. But hurry, because pretty soon it will be time to start looking ahead to what will happen in 2019!