Digital Content marketing continues to be a go-to marketing strategy and, as more brands are enthusiastically embracing the idea of storytelling and content creation, the competitive landscape is quickly changing.
With 2019 right around the corner, here are five content marketing trends and predictions that may influence your brand’s content marketing strategy in the new year.
Prediction 1: Content will be better integrated into email marketing strategies.
Many businesses, naturally, use their email marketing to blast out sales-driven messaging: new arrivals, brand news and special discounts. But, as customers start to expect more from the brands they shop — namely a personal connection to the brand that reflects their own values and experiences — it’s going to be beneficial (if not increasingly crucial) for content marketers to create omnichannel touchpoints and capitalize on email accordingly.
From abandoned cart emails with an article in the footer to more robust or editorialized shopping emails delivered in a timely fashion, content will need to thoughtfully fold into the customer journey to get eyes on your articles and increase overall conversion.
Prediction 2: Content marketing departments will grow.
Given that content marketing is a fairly new form of marketing, it’s not surprising that most businesses are slow to build out their content teams, which typically consist of a few in-house or contributing writers. However, as content proves to be a traffic-driver and lead-generator for business, the stakes of original content are going to rise.
In order to remain competitive in this increasingly competitive landscape of well-designed infographics, interactive quizzes and engaging video content, content marketing teams are going to need to grow from the usual “department of one” to include writers, graphic designers, photographers and even their own developers in order to produce high-quality work and maintain optimal efficiency.
Prediction 3: Content will need to be optimized for voice search.
In 2018, we saw an uptick in voice search via Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri, and based on my observations, 2019 is expected to continue on that same upward trajectory. Similar to how content marketers had to tweak content to be more search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly, voice search optimization will be important in the coming years.
To get (or stay) ahead of the game, write headlines in the form of questions that someone would ask their smart device. Focus heavily on the consumer utility of your product, or craft articles that can help your shopper use or care for their new purchase. For example, if you sell boots, write posts about how to waterproof them or remove water and salt stains, instead of writing a roundup of your best sellers which people are less likely to ask Alexa about.
Prediction 4: Marketers will develop a thorough content marketing strategy, not just an editorial calendar.
As content marketing grows into an integral part of a marketer’s toolkit, I believe there will be a greater emphasis on analytics and, more importantly, how to analyze those figures to increase conversion and revenue. That means a more robust content strategy — not only a monthly editorial calendar — will be needed.
Right now, editorial calendars are pulled together based upon traffic, general shopper or reader feedback, and seasonal or timely announcements. In the new year, expect editorial calendars to expand into a full-fledged content marketing strategy that includes content syndication, email marketing, audience segmentation and acquisition channels.
Prediction 5: Live video will hit its stride.
Based on my perspective, brands have been a little sheepish around live video — maybe believing that they don’t have an event that’s “sexy” or exciting enough to warrant a live video. But marketers are slowly getting over the feeling that videos need to appear well-produced and embracing the ad hoc appeal of live video.
In 2019, consider testing the live video waters with simple videos (even if filmed in your conference room) that answer common questions about your product or brand. Conduct a product demonstration or give an office tour, complete with interviews with your team members. Based on my experience, shoppers (and viewers) love to feel that intimate connection with a brand that comes from off-the-cuff content, and live video is a great way to start fostering brand loyalty.
As the new year approaches, follow these and other developing trends to get your brand’s marketing ahead of the game.
With thanks to Janice Chou