Trends in content marketing we're expecting to see in 2018

Although content marketing is not a new concept, it continues to evolve and is crucial for any business wanting to build a strong brand.

Quality content adds value by entertaining or providing insight to customers and improves their overall website authority. It takes a lot of effort to generate great content - but if done right, content enables businesses to generate leads and profits due to quality engagement and trust.

Transform the way your brand interacts with their customers with these five strategies we’re expecting to see in 2018:

Growth hacks for content

Growth hacking refers to the rapid experimentation of various marketing processes aimed to grow a business, such as increasing leads and revenue through identifying creative ways to sell their brand. The buzzword may be an abused term in the digital world, but there is a reason to why growth hacking is essential in building start-ups.

Instead of brands buying ad slots on traditional media such as radio and television, content marketing does not always require a significant amount of cost. These rapid growth-driven tactics include viral marketing, copy testing, search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, social media outreach and highly personalised outreach to news publications.

Entrepreneurship culture will continue its rise in 2018 and launch many start-ups. With this being said, the growth hacking mentality will be prevalent among these brands as their aim is to have a rapid growth in their customer base at their early-stage launch.

Video content

There is no surprise that video content will continue to thrive in 2018 for entertainment and leisure. People are now spending more time on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and other mobile video content providers than traditional television. Unlike written articles, the audience is more likely to be instantly engaged through visual stimulus with less effort. Therefore, it is no doubt that young brands wanting to reach a larger audience will leverage online video advertising as part of their marketing portfolio.

As most of the consumer-driven traffic comes from online video content, and with the trend in live streaming, and interactive features such as 360 experiences set to improve, video advertising will remain gold in 2018.

Brand blogs

Blogging is an old concept but it doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile strategy. More and more companies are realising the value of a brand blog on their company website. An advantage includes the potential for your brand to position itself as an industry leader with its regular engaging blog on company updates, featured guest posts, and business and industry news and trends.

It gives consumers a reason to click through your website for brand insights and updates. Another advantage is the natural increase in organic search keywords, as topics and keywords on your website are an important way in which search engines will find your site. Take into account that fresh content is the answer to beating your competitor websites on search engines’ results page (such as Google). You may want to brainstorm topics, categories and keywords you want your brand to be associated with.

Furthermore, regular well-written brand blogs can be an effective way to reach newer and larger audiences through sharing links on your social media platforms. With this being said, you can effectively build trust with your audience to supply what they need from you as it proves your company’s expertise and is well-versed in their industry. 2018 will continue to prove that blogging is integral to a marketing strategy as it drives traffic back to your website and deepens the connection with your customers.

Micro-influencer campaigns

Social influencers have been used in the commercial world before the dawn of the Internet era. Now, smaller brands wanting to widen their reach have taken this tactic on board to target online micro-celebrities, and this strategy will only continue to soar in 2018.

Due to the overwhelming amount of niche communities online, small businesses are able to target those who have an authority and large audience in that particular niche. They are an authoritative figure because their content is widely read, trusted and shared.

The strategy involves outreaching to influencers to amplify the business’s message and influence a specific audience and it is becoming even more targeted. It may only take one influencer sharing a piece of content to the right publication or their social media followers for your business to gain traction. With the internet so readily available, everyone has access to some platform or channel meaning that it is now easier to get your message across to the right people and organically promote your brand’s reputation.

Utilising a micro-influencer campaign has the power to improve a website’s search ranking, attract the right and relevant traffic, and potentially generate leads and conversions. It has proven to generate high ROI than traditional advertising for many brands across diverse industries, and therefore this method will only continue to be used.

User-generated content

User-generated content. or UGC, such as influencer marketing, will only prove to be more crucial in the coming year as potential customers trust content made by others more than company content itself. User generated content is any content that has been generated by a platform’s user. This includes reviews, ratings, comments, photos and videos.

When your target audience positively speaks out about your brand - they will cultivate the trust of future consumers.This is because people are now becoming more skeptical about endorsements and advertisements and USG allows your customers to take an honest look into how your brand is perceived on a peer to peer basis.

Furthermore, consumers are becoming more exceptional at visually sharing brand stories whether through videos or images. Make sure that you attract your consumers to generate content for your brand. It is becoming more important for consumers to form part of a company’s content marketing strategy. Give them the opportunity to provide ratings or reviews on your website as this type of content has the potential to create a more authentic dialog between the company and the consumer.

Your marketing needs to now cater for consumers who are demanding a new level of authenticity and trust. Take these 5 trends into consideration, and upskill your employees through some marketing training to broaden their horizons.