The year 2017 for Content Marketing primarily saw mobile-centric and video-based content dominating the marketing activities.
Let’s have a look at what Content Marketing Trends for 2018 are expected by the top-notch industry influencers.
Content Marketing Trends 2018
Virginia Sharma, Director – Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn India
Indian marketers continue to see success in content marketing and explore more creative ways to build and engage their audience. Influencer marketing techniques, native advertising, and video continue to gain momentum and will remain in play for 2018 as well. Here are the top 3 content marketing trends that I see emerge stronger in the coming year.
1. Content Marketing gets smarter with AI
Globally, only 19% of marketers rate their organization as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ at aligning metrics to their content marketing goals. With intelligent algorithms, marketers will be able to introduce new variables to measure and map the buyer’s journey, and move beyond the CPC or CPM models, opting for CPA (Cost per Action) or a performance-based advertising model where advertisers pay for a certain outcome or acquisition. The use of intelligent algorithms that empowers marketers to enhance effectiveness and measure ROI is likely to gain stronger foothold in the coming year. The algorithms will be able to share insights such as the decisions made at each point of the purchase, items purchased, and applications used by the customer, among others. Each of these will be different sets of variables that can be identified depending on the marketers’ requirements. For instance, if building brand loyalty is a priority, then marketers can measure retention rates and percentage of revisiting customers – both key elements to measure the loyalty quotient created by the campaigns.
2. Emergence of Audience Strategist
The audience is a company’s key asset, and building the right audience is a core priority for brands and companies in India and around the world. As per B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 80% content marketers are focused on building audiences, representing an 18% year-on-year increase. This need to know and understand one’s audience, their behaviour, and building trust with them has given rise to the need for brand evangelists and the coming year will see the emergence of the ‘Audience Strategist’, who forecasts audience behaviour, manages audience as an asset, leverages data to understand the audience consumption habits, builds strategies, and invests in technology solutions to pursue newer audiences. The trend will move from classic funnel marketing model to building a larger ‘subscribed audience’ base using content marketing and to create valuable, quality content.
3. Big bets on produced, expert video content
Internet video traffic is expected to be over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, and as we move into 2018, video will gain a whole dimension in the marketing mix. Good quality video content that creates value will be seen as the new trust currency for brands and consumers. Therefore, marketers will focus on upping the ante of the video experience by experimenting with new formats, tutorials, offering testimonials, building thought leadership and expert opinion using video. This trend will also see companies empowering its employees with video assets, video-producing kits to build their share of voice in their industry. This will be a way for companies to champion brand advocacy and credibility. In the coming year, the consumer will also become the producer of video content owing to the rise of new video tools and apps.
Apurva Chamaria, Vice-President & Head – Corporate Marketing, HCL Tech
- Publishers will take big bets on original content to stay relevant and control viewership; valuable programming can grow its audiences and keep their attention. Other than the obvious Netflix and Amazon; Google, Facebook, and Apple will increase spending on acquiring and creating original content. My prediction is that one of these players will also end up acquiring the homegrown players like AIB or TVF in the next 2-3 years. Some of these online players could also end up creating or acquiring offline content players like Netflix which in 2017 made its first acquisition – Millarworld, buying the Glasgow-based comic book company behind Kick-Ass and Kingsman in a strategic move to own and develop its own universe of superhero TV series and films.
- Brands will set up their content studios – Mondelez and Pepsi recently announced significant investments in the launch of internal content studios. Closer home B2B companies like HCL have had their own content studios for a few years now. Some of these internal content studios will go on to achieve wide-spread success which might force companies to look at them as independent revenue-generating SBU’s.
- PR Agencies will reposition themselves as content marketing outfits – Traditional PR agencies have been gradually losing business to new age digital outfits which have more experience content writing keeping in mind SEO and often have massive influencer marketing capabilities. The forward-looking PR agencies will start re-positioning themselves and start offering a wider bouquet of digital ORM kind of services.
Aashish Chopra, Head – Content Marketing, ixigo.com
Three Content Marketing Trends that will dominate 2018
An amazing year comes to an end, complete with videos going viral, news-feeds getting chaotic and organic reach nosediving. If content marketing is your game, 2018 would be the year videos take center stage. It’s going to be exciting and super competitive. These are the trends and focus areas for 2018, something I’m pasting on my wall. Happy New Year 🙂
1. Videos will continue to dominate
If you’ve been procrastinating about getting on the video bandwagon, it’s time to get started. With low cost smartphones and cheaper data, video is exploding on tiny screens everywhere. You got to experiment with different video formats. Live video is turning out to be huge, we got 65,000 comments on an experiment just last week. Regional content is fast becoming a big deal in India, an experiment this year hit 20 million views. Even LinkedIn is going gaga on videos, with incredible engagement. It’s time to deep dive and find the format which works for you: short form, long form, web-series, 360 video, live video, interactive video or the enchanting AR/VR.
2. Organic reach will nosedive
With so much competition and chaotic news-feeds, Facebook has made it harder to reach your audience, unless you pay. Your content needs to work harder. If you want to reach millions on low budgets, either have kick-ass share-worthy content or cough up the moolah! Remember, views can be bought.. engagement is earned. Focus on creating content for low attention spans, tiny mobile screens, think conversations, not campaigns, obsess about storytelling not high production value and most important: Distribution! We’ll beat platforms at their game, when we make our message so powerful that every messenger becomes an evangelist, spreading our content like wildfire.
3. Brands will be built on content, not advertising
Our generation is trained to ignore Ads. The radars in our heads are so evolved, we can spot BS miles away. Ad blockers are on the rise, TV numbers are down and when was the last time you shared an Ad? Ads will need to evolve, be more authentic and BS free. Engagement is more important than views, we need to reach their hearts, not bombard their eye-balls. We’re living in a time where staying relevant is more important than recall. To create kick-ass content, we need multi-skilled storytellers in our teams. Filmmakers who double up as designers, designers who know copywriting and writers who know communication and branding. We need to groom multi-talented rockstars!
Happy Content Marketing in 2018 from Aashish Chopra 🙂
Deepak Kanakaraju, Digital Marketing Blogger, DigitalDeepak.com
- Redefine what valuable content means – are you producing “me too” content or this actually useful? What can the consumer do differently/better after consuming this content and how is different from everything else produced on the same topic?
- Personalized content – the more generic and vague, the more useless. For instance, don’t write a blog on “improve your sales cycle”, research and try to write on building an efficient sales process in the fintech space for a specific target audience.
- Volume isn’t key, it never is. Higher quality content always will have better ROI than 10x low-quality content.
Having shared the Content Marketing trends that influencers anticipate for 2018; it clearly indicates the dominance of content in all spheres of marketing activities. Have you considered these content marketing trends in your 2018? If not yet, it’s time to build it by considering the say of top content marketing influencers.