The year 2018 is so far off, you’re likely thinking to yourself, ‘why do we need to worry about industry trends for next year right now?’ says Rogerwilco’s head of content, Michelle Jones. The reality is, she says, is that 2018 is not that far away.
If past decades have shown us anything, it’s that those last few months of the year are going to fly by. So, now seems like the ideal opportunity to look at five content marketing trends to look out for next year.
1. Acquisition of media
Content marketing has its roots in 1732 when the United States founding father Benjamin Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack. It was created to promote his printing business and was released for 25 years.
If you consider that P&G created the first serialised radio and TV shows, leading to the term ‘soap operas’, and John Deere started publishing a magazine for farmers in 1895 called The Furrow, content marketing is a time-honoured profession. That’s more than 285 years of content marketing in action.
When you think about these cases, it becomes clear that there’s an opportunity for large companies, which own many brands, to create an online portal by buying existing media platforms. This portal could be home to a range of content, which serves to educate, inform, and entertain readers while using subtle mentions of their own available products or services.
Many companies are starting to do just that. Consider Arrow Electronics in the US, which brought a massive 51 media properties, creating the largest media company in the B2B electronics space. Another example is Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter. It’s a pregnancy and parenting source of information, reaching more than 45 million parents every month.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT and its assortment of connected devices have been in our lives for many years now. Marketing guru Neil Patel believes 2018 is the year we’re going to see it take content off our screens, pointing to the likes of Siri and Alexa.
“The Internet of Things has made it so that content can be all around us, interwoven into our daily lives in a way that’s hands and eyes free.With sensors, device pairing, and beacon-based proximity marketing, there are growing opportunities for content interactions that go beyond audience engagement. It’s content that is highly targeted and is available to your audience in more formats, at the right time, in the right place, when they need it most,” says Patel.
It should come as no surprise that the usage of video is expected to soar next year. Live videos, in particular, are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, Facebook has said that users spend triple the amount of time watching live videos than static ones.
Users are also more likely to comment – a massive 10 times more likely. In addition, a survey by live video platform Livestream found that 80% of respondents would prefer to watch a live video than pre-recorded versions.
4. Voice search
According to Google, a massive 20% of searches are conducted via voice. That number is expected to increase rapidly. It’s essential for all marketers and brands alike to be cognisant of the importance of the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) standard.
Google has emphasised the importance of speedy page load times. AMP allows your site to load quickly, and Google will see that you’ve optimised and reward your website in the search engine results pages SERPs.
Gartner has predicted that 30% of web browsing sessions will be conducted without a screen within the next three years. Google’s organic search results are expected to decrease as the use of voice search increases.
The imminent advent of VR and AR has been promised for many years now. In fact, it’s very likely it made many similar roundups a year ago. John Hall, co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co, says he’s confident 2018 is the year we’ll start to see it happen.
“For a lot of brands, VR and AR present unexplored marketing territory, and you may not feel ready to go all-in on these technologies just yet. And I don’t blame you – you should definitely walk before you run,” says Hall.
He adds, “So if you’re not ready to bring your content into virtual reality, just view this trend as a reminder to improve your visual content. Creating interactive graphics, videos, and apps not only makes for a more engaging content marketing strategy, but it also lays the groundwork for future experiments in VR/AR.”
If these predictions of today become the reality of tomorrow, 2018 is set to be an exciting time for both marketers and brands alike. It’ll be a year filled with exciting new technologies which will lead to increased brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and interesting conversations.