A few years ago, content marketing was just a sideshow in most business formations. Little focus was given to the marketing strategy since the results were deemed too small to catch the attention of the entrepreneurs. The revolution is taking new shape every day, and marketers are keen to keep up with the changes. To keep track of the quick transformations, companies have set up proprieties to help them stay on edge.

Like other forms of digital marketing, content marketing is a fast, shape-shifting monster which is hard to manipulate. You cannot claim to stay on top of the game all the time without giving undue attention to the details that matter. What has worked before could turn out to be a set up for failure giving you a direct ticket out of the market. While the concept is not new, numerous twists and turns are likely to provide it with a new face in the coming year. There is no limit to what the businesses can expect as technology is not a predictable portion of the operating environment.

While analysts are likely to give varying opinions about the 2018 trends in content marketing, one thing is sure; the year is expected to be wild and fast-paced. Expect nothing less than numerous entries from content marketers that will be keen to make strides out of the concept. Recently, content marketing is seen as a vital technique for achieving incremental sales in the coming year. In an area influenced mainly by market testing, the trend that stood out in 2017are likely to influence the following year’s best practices. Before you can make your marketing strategies, you may have to be on the lookout for content marketing trends likely to take center stage in 2018.

Increased investments in original content

Content marketing seems to take center stage on digital marketing platforms. Everyone is keen to publish innovative yet reliable information to increase brand exposure and loyalty. With many brands realizing substantial growth from the concept, efforts to distribute original content remains a high priority for the brands. Most recently, a tech giant – Apple intends to invest about $1 billion on producing original content. While there are indications that Apple might venture into the video streaming business, there is more than meets the eye.

original content netflix
Source: http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/14/investing/netflix-disney-content-costs/index.html

As competition intensifies in the mobile space, the firm needs to devise ways to keep the brand unique, valuable which can only happen through original programming. Similarly, Google is keen to bridge the gaps realized in the search algorithms through buying original content from relevant brands and media companies. As in not enough, Facebook has embarked on original videos while Amazon is also taking the lead on a similar front. This is, therefore, the best time to build thought leadership to inspire the target audience. The best part is that brands will get more options to monetize the content through prospects, existing customers or through syndication with other influencers.

Companies to increase content marketing budgets

While the concept plays a pivotal role in digital marketing, most brands rely on outsourced resources to drive the agenda. A recent survey indicates that companies in the US and Asia pacific are keen to nurture expertise in content marketing to enhance reliability. That comes with increased budgets which are great news for the content marketers waiting to reap big from their efforts. However, it must get interesting to see how the budgets will be utilized without skewing towards native advertisements.

Unlike conventional advertisements, content marketing ought to deliver relevant and valuable information over an extended period. Short busts are best known for television advertisements meant to create awareness in the first instance. The content marketers ought to resemble the mainstream media companies as opposed to advertisement firms.

Overlapping marketing duties

Overlapping marketing duties
Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overlapping-roles-sales-marketing-adam-eaton/

With the ever-changing tasks in content marketing, it’s practically impossible to associate particular responsibilities to an individual. While the marketing departments previously owned up all the functions, other units have come up stronger in a bid to be enjoined into the brands content strategy. In most instances, social media marketers might work together with the content team with no one necessarily giving directions to the other.

When it happens, the marketing leaders have no option but step up and give guidance on who is responsible for the content marketing strategy. The marketing department must also take the lead and coordinate the factions to ensure that everyone works towards the same goal. Going forward, marketers must customize information for the audiences; improve the strategy to relay information that keeps the readers guessing.

IoT going off-screen

Since inception, the internet of things has revolutionized digital marketing and caused massive changes in the current environment. While you can still access different formats of information for the platform, IoT made it possible to integrate different forms into one. Various companies have already adapted to Alexa for sharing content with the audience beyond traditional gadgets such as tablets, laptops, and phones. IoT has made everything possible, from beacon-based proximity; device pairing and sensors businesses will have to capture the numerous opportunities that are likely to erupt.

Strive for transparency

Over the years, companies worked with the slogan that ‘content is king’. In retrospect, content marketing is shifting towards reliability and clarity owing to the current demands. For instance, the millennial’ urge for authentic and transparent content seems to take center stage in the segment. Evidently, the market has seen an increased exhaustion in environmental claims, brand advertising, corporate support and charitable contributions. Nonetheless, some companies have been able to integrate the steps, while others are still struggling and seemingly exhibiting dishonesty.

Trust trends are likely to drive the marketer’s appetite to enhance brand reliability to the audience. Like 2017, we are likely to see more recommendations from clients based on this parameter. It’s therefore essential for brands to embrace disclosure to close the identified gaps, hence improve the impact of influencer marketing.

Blogging only will not be enough

Blogging only will not be enough

Often considered the best way to engage an online audience, blogs have been critical tools used for content marketing. With a blog on your site, you rest assured of plenty of attention from your clients as well as the Google’s algorithms. You just needed to mix the formats once in a while, make frequent posts to keep the conversation going. In that case, the brands that maintained regular blogging mode did not have to worry about falling in Search engine rankings.

If you are looking towards shining in 2018, you have to change a few tasks. Not everything will be relevant owing to the numerous changes in the market approach. However, before you fall into panic, it’s vital to note that you will not need to churn out tons of content to keep up with the pace. When the concept began, every brand embarked on producing tons of material characterized by keyword stuffing, grammatical errors, and misspellings among other mistakes. Unlike these moments, 2018 will be a year where the quality of content takes precedence.

However, some tactics will remain with a focus to make them better and suitable for the new environment. For instance, take video will still be vital in content marketing, with short films likely to engulf the scenes. As for the apps, commercials, and podcasts, companies have to use them about their strengths and in varying formats to succeed in 2018. And to sum it up, brands will need agile content teams which will include more than just two writers.

Brands have to provide instant answers

Often, customers will visit your blog to get answers to specific questions about your brand, and related content. The way the online visitors seek information dictates how the brands provide information, and that is not likely to change. However, they want to spend the little time searching for information about your products, hence the need to provide it in a way that is easy to find as well as interpret. A single click ought to provide optimal information for the customer to make an informed decision which should lead to a sale. It calls for your content marketing to refocus the content creation to suit every sales funnel stage, as well as content that directly addresses your customer concerns.

Developing content to capture the micro-moments

Everyone has had the micro-moments, perhaps even now, you are just reading this out of a micro-moment you had a few minutes ago. They are the instances when you think of a question an immediately turn your gadget on for an answer. It’s not defined about when it happens, but most are times when the audience seeks information without planning for it.
In conclusion, content marketing is just getting bigger and better. You can expect excellent results regarding online traffic and the sales that come with it. However, the implementation must be more creative, comprehensive and with challenges if you are to get the best out of the game.