How will content marketing change in 2019 and how can you keep up?
As you continue to test and rework on your digital marketing strategy for the new year, it’s crucial to keep key trends, predictions, and statistics in mind. Now is the perfect time to review your strategy from the past year to find out what worked, what didn’t, and to apply to your new strategy.
As we progress into a new year, it’s important to note the past year that shaped this one. In 2018, we saw a lot of new or developing content marketing trends, such as:
- Typed search queries, to be replaced by voice search
- Traditional video, to be replaced by live video
- Mass marketing, to be replaced by personalized experiences
- Data and privacy protections (or lack thereof), to be replaced by GDPR and more regulation
- Long content, to be aligned with snackable, concise content
92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands, even if they don’t know the individual. While the importance of influencer marketing is unlikely to change, the way businesses use it will.
Micro-influencers are predicted to overshadow the bigger social media influencers. The lack of dedication and authenticity coming from macro-influencers as they take on more sponsored posts will impact the marketing itself. Micro-influencers build more personal and authentic relationships with their audience.
Transparent, Authentic, Original Content – No Clickbait
All clients really want is to understand your business when interacting with it. Consumer trust in a brand has a major impact during the decision-making process.
If your content doesn’t accurately reflect your brand’s mission, you need to reassess your strategy. Companies that don’t provide this transparency will suffer moving forward.
Consumers are getting smart at avoiding clickbait and they’re seeking genuine content.
Evolution of the Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel as we know it accepts just about anyone and everyone. It then filters them through qualification processes and spits them out without much more than a parting word. The funnel is becoming more of an ongoing cycle that prefers constant engagement over transactional relationships. This nurturing is more likely to make consumers stay with you.
Chatbots, AI, and ML
Research has predicted that the chatbot industry will grow significantly. Improvements in machine learning (ML) technology and artificial intelligence (AI) means chatbots are becoming smarter and more adaptable to consumer needs.
According to a study by Spiceworks, 40% of large companies will use chatbots or “intelligent assistants” by 2019. Consumers want to be able to connect with their favorite brands via chat. ML has enabled companies to create chatbots that carry on more transaction-based conversations with consumers.
AI and ML will be utilized by brands to deliver a more personalized marketing experience to consumers. Whether it’s customer experience, personalization or analytics, AI and ML will take marketing far in 2019.
Long-Form Versus Short-Form Content
There are several predictions that indicate both long-form and short-form content will reign supreme in 2019.
Google’s more recent algorithms tend to recognize longer-form content as being more valuable. It’s important to remember though — the point of long-form content is to provide thoughtful information used as a quality resource — not to waste readers’ time.
Conversely, short-form content is usually perfect for social media. Bite-sized videos work great for Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Micro-moments for such platforms give your audience exactly what they’re looking for which allows them to engage on a deeper level with your brand.
You’ll want a blend of long and short form content in your strategy.
Brands are realizing AR can help them create an experience to boost their message. More AR/VR devices are being released at affordable consumer rates which will drive the adoption of this technology.
AR can be introduced into marketing strategies to help raise awareness, tell a story, improve the customer experience, promote products through gamification, and, most importantly, build engagement.
Video isn’t new and it’s not expected to slow down. Marketers are investing in video to engage their audience. There will be new opportunities for IGTV (Instagram TV) and video ads. Discovering the best types of video that work best for your audience will be critical. Everything from duration, to gamification, to mobile optimization are factors to consider.
Live video was a big trend in 2018 and it’s not expected to slow down by any means. Facebook users spend triple the amount of time watching live videos over traditional videos. Instagram’s videos get two times the views of its photos. Live video creates several opportunities for consumer engagement, including:
- Q&A sessions
- Product demonstrations
- Interviews with topic experts
- Office tours and behind the scenes
Social Media Stories
With over 400 million active Stories users every month, it’s rapidly becoming the next big trend in social media marketing. Both Instagram and Facebook have integrated this capability into their mobile apps and users frequently utilize the feature.
Stories can be used to prove authenticity, whether it’s executed via behind the scene content, polls, and countdowns, or engaging videos.
With voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Home rapidly becoming a staple in the Smart world, it’s important for consumers to be able to easily find things via voice search commands. Voice searches already make up 20% of all Google searches on mobile.
Optimizing your SEO strategy will be an important first step. Voice search requires more than keywords and marketing jargon. It’s about knowing what consumers want and figuring out how they would use a voice assistant. Keep in mind the conversational nature of voice searches. Try to target longer, naturally phrased keywords.
Statistics for 2019, according to Search Engine Watch:
- 70% of B2B content marketers say their content marketing is much/somewhat more successful compared to one year ago
- 39% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy
- Half of the respondents expect their content marketing budget to increase over the next 12 months
- 61% of B2B content marketers have increased their use of social media for content marketing purposes compared with one year ago
- 66% of B2B content marketers use paid methods to distribute content
- 74% of B2B content marketers say they’ve used or developed long-form content in the last 12 months
- 49% of the respondents said that their organizations measure ROI for content marketing
Content Marketing Conferences in 2019
Conferences offer a great way to learn about new trends and strategies in your industry, as well as opportunities to network. 2019 is providing several different options for content marketing conferences:
- B2B Marketing Exchange – February 25-27 – Scottsdale, AZ
- C3 – March – New York, NY
- Confab – April 23-26 – Minneapolis, MN
- Content Marketing Conference – April 16-19 – Boston, MA
- Content TECH Summit – April 8-10 – San Diego, CA
- Converge – February 19-22 – Atlanta, GA
- DigiMarCon – Multiple dates – FL, NY, CA, Canada, UK, Singapore and on-demand
- Inbound – September 3-6 – Boston, MA
- Workbenchcon – February 21-23 – Atlanta, GA
Let us know what you think:
- What predictions do you have for content marketing in 2019?
- Will you be attending any content marketing conferences this year?
- How do you think 2019’s trends and predictions compare to 2018?