Posted: 20 Dec 2017 Contributor: Matthew J Fritschle

Content Marketing Trends for 2018

One of the most overused phrases in marketing is content is king. Sure, it’s used a lot, some may even say too much, but when actually think about it, it makes perfect sense. As Rebecca Lieb, strategic advisor, research analyst, keynote speaker, author and columnist said:

"I've realized that no marketing is possible without content. Social media doesn't work without content, and neither does paid advertising. If there wasn't content ... all you'd have would be empty squares and rectangles and blank videos."

If you want to be successful in 2018, you need to know that content makes the marketing world turn. And just as we saw many content trends come and go in 2017, 2018 is sure to do the same. Narrowing on content marketing trends 2018 will carry over from the past year, here are 4 trends to keep an eye on.

1: Video Marketing Is As Hot As Ever

HubSpot found that video is a big priority with marketers, with 48% planning to add YouTube to their marketing plan in 2018, and 46% plan to add Facebook video. In other words, video was big in 2017 and will be even bigger in 2018 — you just can’t escape it. The best part is that you don’t even need an expensive camera or have top-notch video editing skills either, as long as you have a smartphone with recording abilities you’re good.

Another reason video will be big for content marketing in 2018 is because it’s engaging. Let’s be honest, our attention spans are not what they were 10 years ago and are getting shorter every day. It can’t be helped either; we have phones in our pockets that serve as 24/7 entertainment providers with countless tools and apps that do everything from playing cat videos to playing mobile versions of our favorite console games. And as our attention spans shrink, marketers have to come up with ways to serve content that will be digested and remembered.

Videos do just that; they present content in an easy to digest way that doesn’t require anything other than a viewer’s attention. In fact, we naturally remember video content better than audio or visual alone.

2: Live Video Is Even Hotter

And now we arrive at live video, video’s popular cousin. 2017 saw a surge in live video, and 2018 looks to be another year filled with real-time video content. As for the why, the numbers speak for themselves: average post reach more than doubles for live videos, and average post engagement for Facebook Live videos is 178% higher than average videos. That’s right, if you’re looking to increase your engagement beyond video’s already high levels, hit the record button and go live.

Whether you’re going live on Facebook or Instagram, a live video strategy offers an interactive aspect that draws viewers in. For example, you can upgrade influencer marketing to the next level by adding a real-time component, improve Q&As and interviews by doing them live and allowing the audience to submit their own questions via comments, and take webinars and tutorials to the next level by interacting directly with your audience whenever they need help or have a question.

3: Influencer Marketing Will Place You Directly in Front of Your Audience

As more and more people install ad blockers that minimize the effects of your ads, influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity. Whereas people usually skip ads or grumble if they’re forced to sit through them, they actually do the complete opposite with influencers: they follow them and jump at the opportunity to soak up whatever content they post.

This is because we, as humans, tend to emulate our peers; we look up to them and their behavior and use it as a guide to modify our own actions. The same principle applies to social media and influencers, and influencers are people who others look up to and want to be like (hence the rise of influence marketing). Depending on whose shoulder you’re tapping, it may be a bit expensive, but rest assured knowing that it will most definitely pay off because instead of skipping your ads, your audience will actually seek out your products and buy them.

4: AI-Powered Marketing Will Make Your Strategy Smarter

73% of marketing executives see AI or a technology dependent on AI as critical to the future of marketing, and 20% think that bots, chatbots, or smart assistants are just as important. Narrowing on content creation, take note of what Neil Patel has to say:

I love writing and content marketing. All of my businesses are built on it. But, as much as I resist it, certain types of writing can be generated by machines. As an entrepreneur, you need to automate repetitive tasks to improve your efficiency. Producing content is no different.”

Whether for automation or content generation, some content marketing tools 2018 strategies need, then, fall into the AI umbrella.

Final Thoughts and TL;DR

Content will always be king, so do yourself a favor and create a content marketing plan for 2018.

  1. Video marketing is as hot as ever, and including it in your 2018 strategy is a sure-fire way of bolstering your engagement beyond what you thought possible
  2. Live video is even hotter than normal video and offers something that no other content can: real-time engagement
  3. Influence marketing will place you directly in front of your audience
  4. AI-powered marketing will make your strategy smarter

Good luck planning your content marketing strategy for 2018!

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