Everyone is trying to beat the competition and raise the flag of victory.
To get to that point, you engage in all sorts of techniques that might gain some attention for your website.
The only problem?
Even when you achieve victory (i.e., first spot in Google search results), you still need to watch your back.
The competitors continues the attack, and the battle will carry on.
According to 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America Report, 91 percent of the top organizations were extremely committed to content marketing.
Sixty-one percent of the most successful businesses had a documented content marketing strategy.
And 83 percent of organizations labeled their strategy as extremely effective.
Business-to-business marketers gave us even more insights: 17 percent thought their approach to content marketing was much more successful, and 45 percent said it was somewhat more successful compared with one year ago.
Content Marketing Trends Thus Far
What does this tell us?
Content marketing is an ever-evolving category. The only thing we can say for sure is it’ll become even more important.
However, content creation and distribution techniques will change.
So what particular trends will be the main focus for the remainder of 2018? Let’s take a look.
Bigger, More Versatile Content Marketing Teams
The days when a single person was in charge of an organization’s content marketing are behind us.
The expansion of different trends, mainly related to visual content, change the marketing team structure within the organization.
The same report shows 55 percent of respondents still have a small or one-person content marketing team serving the entire organization.
However, 13 percent of respondents have a centralized group as well as individual teams throughout the organization. And five percent said that each product line has its own content marketing team.
This is the sign of a trend.
Having a team of writers is no longer enough. But, writers are still necessary, and services such as Assignment Masters are still available for hire.
However, you also need a team that’s more diverse in terms of talent and skills.
These are only a few of the tasks that need to be covered by a versatile content marketing team:
- Planning and strategizing
- Graphic design
- Video production
- Audio production and editing
- Content creation
- Content distribution and promotion
- Communication with the audience
- Engagement in paid advertising
- Analyzing metrics and adjusting strategy in accordance with results
A single person does not have the time and skills to cover all these tasks. So you definitely need to think about expansion.
Remarketing is Getting More Focused and More Important
Content marketing is all about showing your target audience that your business can meet their needs.
Remarketing is about reminding people how great your brand is. These are people who have already seen your ads and visited your website.
Recently, Nanigans released a survey showing that retargeting was not as effective as marketers thought it was. Both marketers and consumers are not happy with follow-up ads.
Does that mean the practice of retargeting is dead? Absolutely not.
A predictive, behavior-based retargeting strategy is still very effective.
You should base it on a person’s initial activity on a website, such as additions to their shopping carts, time spent on different pages, and so on.
People still want to see reminders of products they once considered buying, but they don’t want annoying and irrelevant ads.
This means we should still focus on retargeting, but we need to make the process more targeted.
Here are some simple suggestions to help with this:
- Google has a remarketing solution which integrates into AdWords. It’s easy to use. Just add the remarketing tag to your website and develop attractive ads to retarget your leads.
- Facebook’s dynamic ads are another great option for your remarketing campaign. Just set up the feature, and it goes to work for you. Facebook automatically promotes your brand to people who show interest in your website, app, or online content.
Focus on Natural Language Search
Voice search is becoming more popular by the day.
Instead of opening Google and typing keywords, people simply ask a question, and their device delivers the results.
This practice makes it easy for internet users to get the information they need.
However, it also complicates things for content marketers.
Focusing on particular keywords is no longer enough. You have to figure out what voice searches people use when looking for your products. Then, you need to target those searches through your content.
The good news is it’s not difficult to adapt to this trend when you have a good content marketing team.
- What questions are people asking when searching for information you can provide? Use those questions in your articles, and provide clear, direct answers. Instead of breaking up the content into several sentences and paragraphs, provide straightforward answers that show up in Google’s search results.
- Use questions as subheadings, and answer them in the following paragraph.
- Because most voice searches come from mobile, you must make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Are There Any Practices You Should Abandon?
We’ve spoken about three major content marketing trends for 2018, but you may be wondering: do I need to abandon any practices?
- Organic search is experiencing a downfall. Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report shows that although overall traffic to websites is still increasing, the percentage of traffic from organic search sources is decreasing.
- Publishing content for the sake of publishing content does not work! A carefully thought-out content plan does not focus on suffocating the audience with content. It’s all about delivering quality and uniqueness.
Good strategies which still work, include:
- Using convincing data;
- Focusing on delivering quality;
- Focusing on content personalization; and
- Putting mobile first.
The trends of content marketing are constantly changing, and that’s a good thing.
At least your job is not boring, right?
You get more chances to experiment with your approach and infuse new methods into the strategy.
But, are you willing to follow the trends or set some new ones?