Tag Archives: Content Marketing Trends

2018 Content Marketing Trends According to Joe Pulizzi

2018-content-marketing-trends-according-to-Joe-PulizziWhile I’m still contemplating my own take on 2018 content marketing trends I’m trying to compile the views of various content marketing gurus, and in this post I am briefly going through the points presented by none other than Joe Pulizzi, the man who practically coined the term “content marketing”.

You may also like to read:

Why is it important to keep track of the upcoming trends?

Talking about trends isn’t just crystal ball gazing. The upcoming trends are mostly listed by industry leaders because they know where their field has come from, where it is right now, and based on the past and the present, where it’s going.

One can prepare accordingly.

Also, they are in the thick of things. They are already solving problems for big businesses. They have already gotten a glimpse of the upcoming trends and technologies. They know where their niche is heading to. If you follow them, you are not caught off guard.

For example, if you are already aware what developments are going to take place in 2018, you can formulate and put in place your content marketing strategy accordingly.

What’s happening with content marketing in 2018 according to Joe Pulizzi?

  • Big investments in original content. Joe mentions in the above link that Apple is planning to invest over $1 billion on original content. Though, most of this content will be coming because Apple is trying to create something like Netflix. But, the key is original content. Whether it is content marketing or streaming media, the significance of original content is going to increase.
  • Established media houses and content providers will be acquired. Businesses sometimes acquire conventional newspapers and magazines to expand their media outreach.
  • Content marketing for direct profit. Conventionally, content is published to attract people to websites and blogs that either raises awareness or results in direct sales. What about making revenue from the content produced for content marketing? It may seem like an obscure concept, but Joe Pulizzi’s post mentions Pepsi that is trying to achieve exactly that. This AdAge India report says that Pepsi has created a state-of-the-art in-house content studio to create original content. The company hopes that it will be able to sell the content to cover the cost of creating original content.
  • More budget for content marketing. Joe says that there is a worldwide trend of increasing budgets for content marketing. He also has a word of caution. Increasing budget for content marketing doesn’t mean that businesses might be focusing on more original, helpful content. They may also spend money on creating conventional sort of content, but in digital format and then assume that they’re doing content marketing.
  • Conflicts of interests are going to rise. Conventional advertising companies are already feeling the pinch as more and more businesses are creating their in-house content marketing departments. Although these agencies are building their own content marketing units, somehow, they are always seen as conventional advertisers. There is also a continuous conflict between who creates the content, who manages it and eventually who owns it.

The good thing about content marketing trends for 2018 is that, as is being pointed out by most of the industry experts, this new form of marketing (it is actually not a new form of marketing) is becoming a preferred form of marketing compared to conventional advertising. The reasons being that conventional advertising no longer works and content marketing is much more effective. It engages your audience. It helps you build your own platform. You own your content. You don’t have to depend on third-party publications.

In the coming weeks I may come up with my own take on the upcoming content marketing trends for 2018, but even if I don’t, at least I will be discussing the point of views of various industry experts.

9 Content Marketing Trends for 2018, According to Neil Patel

content-marketing-trends-for-2018-according-to-Neil-Patel

As the 2017 year-end approaches more and more digital marketing companies and content marketing experts will start coming up with their 2018 content marketing trends and predictions. Making a list of trends and predictions gives you an opportunity to show that you have your finger on the pulse of the latest developments in your area of expertise.

Neil Patel has just published his own take on the content marketing trends for 2018. As usual his post brims with valuable data and data graphics.

So, what is the year 2018 going to bring for content marketing? What changes are we going to experience? Is business perception of content marketing going to change? Will people eagerly invest more money in it?

Neil begins by quoting Content Marketing Institute that companies who have been investing in content marketing for years are finally reaping the benefits. This will certainly have a positive impact in the coming years.

According to this source, 60% B2B marketers believe that their content marketing strategies in 2017 have been more effective than the previous year. Every year content marketers are getting better results (experience can be a big contributing factor) and this trend may continue in 2018. The experience gained in the current year becomes useful in the coming year.

The graph given below explains to an extent why B2B content marketing success rate has been improving year after year:

graph explaining why B2B content marketing has been improving year after year

As usual, Neil’s post is quite comprehensive, so, here I will briefly describe his take on the emerging trends in content marketing for 2018.

Single or a select few content formats are not going to work from 2018 onwards

Content these days is being created and published with multiple formats. Consequently, your content team needs to be adaptive and multi-talented. A typical content marketing team may have to handle jobs like

  • Video production and editing
  • Graphic design, illustration, and editing
  • Audio editing and production skills
  • Content optimization across multiple formats
  • Content distribution and promotion
  • Content marketing strategy, execution and campaign management
  • Communications and branding
  • Advertising and media buying
  • Analytics, metrics and reporting
  • Also add search engine optimization

Frankly, I think even presently content marketing teams have to take care of all these jobs.

But yes, as content marketing continues to evolve into its own entity, it is going to have its own, dedicated ecosystem of various formats and activities to bring a multifaceted approach to the table.

Just writing blog posts and publishing them is no longer going to work.

Having said that, writers are going to have the last word. Ultimately, it’s the message that counts.

Content marketers, in their zeal to present a very dynamic form of content marketing, somehow end up discounting the importance of content writers. This is not so. No matter how many formats you can handle, unless the message is convincing, no format is going to help you.

Content marketing for Internet of Things

Your content is going to be accessed using multiple devices and some of these devices may not even have a screen to show your content.

Take for example a device called Amazon Echo using a voice interface called Alexa. In Amazon Echo, everything is voice. The device just sits there in the corner and you have to speak to it and it provides you all the answers it can find. Want some recipe? Just ask Alexa and it is going to give it to you. Want to know the location of the nearest auto repair shop? You get it.

Soon a day may come when people’s refrigerators will be interacting with your content. You will need to carry out your content marketing in 2018 and the coming years keeping that in mind.

Transparency and trustworthiness is going to rule the roost

This trend has been going on for many years. Exactly this is why content marketing caught on. There is lots of mistrust, most of it justified, on the Internet. This is because the entry cost is negligible, and even zero, on the Internet. People with no stakes at all can set up a business and start hoodwinking gullible customers.

This is why people trust opinions of people they know. A Facebook recommendation may be far better than an advertisement for your brand.

Through your content marketing you need to make people trust you and this can be achieved by publishing relevant, useful and engaging content across multiple platforms.

Targeted content for your sales funnel

Since content marketing is totally going to take over your entire buying and selling process, you will need to create and distribute content to cater to different stages and phases of your sales funnel.

For more explanation on this, you may like to read Importance of content writing throughout the sales funnel.

Content from different media may need to converge to give you a consolidated presence

Normally a medium-sized company and a big company may have the following forms of content in their content marketing kitty:

  1. Owned media
  2. Paid media
  3. Earned media

Content marketing in the coming years, including 2018, will need to be a well-balanced combination of all forms of media.

Further reading on this Main difference between paid, owned and earned content.

The undiminished importance of content marketing documentation

Most of the businesses that claim that content marketing doesn’t work for them, don’t have a documented content marketing strategy.

Documentation gives you the direction. It keeps you focused. It helps you set goals and then pursue those goals.

Read What do you mean by documented content marketing strategy?

Live video and interactive visual content are the other two developments that are going to gain prominence according to the 2018 content marketing trends being mentioned on various websites.

Distribution is a big part of content marketing

In 2018, it is being predicted, that a greater number of content marketers will realize the importance of distribution.

No matter how great your content is, unless you make it easier for people to find it, to come across it at the crucial moment, it doesn’t benefit you much.

Often, people confuse content marketing with relentlessly publishing content on their own websites and blogs and then occasionally sharing the links from their social networking profiles.

One needs to develop a system to make sure that you are able to disseminate or distribute your quality content. A big part of content marketing is, marketing your content.

So, these are the 9 content marketing trends for 2018 published by Neil Patel.

You may also like to read 5 content marketing trends in 2018, according to Salesforce.

5 content marketing trends in 2018, according to Salesforce

5-content-marketing-trends-in-2018-according-to-salesforceAlthough the fundamentals of content marketing are unchanging, the trends keep changing every year. This is because new content sharing platforms keep popping up and the line between various formats (text, video, image) is constantly being blurred.

I will have my own take on this sometime in the future, but this Salesforce blog (accompanied by a podcast) throws some light on the 5 content marketing trends in 2018.

Summarily, the 5 content marketing trends in 2018 (according to the Salesforce post) are:

  1. The job profiles of content marketing teams are changing: With content marketing (on the web) blossoming into a complete realm in itself and being recognized as one of the most vital marketing tools, it no longer means writing blog posts and articles and hoping to generate traffic from them. It’s a complete discipline. You need to have an expertise. You need to have a knack for creating killer content and then statistically distributing that content.
  2. Adaptable, contextual content: In the coming years content will no longer be simple blog posts and Facebook and LinkedIn updates. Devices will be interacting with each other without human interaction and lots of content would be changed between them. Quality AI-powered voice-interfaces are making an impact on how content is ranked and used by search engines like Google. More content is written the way people speak. More content is written in the form of answering questions rather than ongoing monologues. Contextually, content will need to learn to exist independently so that the central communication is not failed even when a small chunk of content is picked by a random device.
  3. Transparency and credibility is going to matter more: There is lots of content on the Internet. Whom do you trust? If a particular company is making some claims through its content, since everybody is producing content, it is very difficult to believe who is telling the truth. So, complete transparency will be demanded – from whom the content is coming, who is publishing it and from where the data is being picked.
  4. Content is going to be the fundamental building block for all types of marketing: There are many companies that are already building their entire marketing strategy on the foundation of their content. Coca-Cola for example. Their official website is called Journey, which is nothing but pure content. When companies and organizations start using stories to promote their products and services instead of advertisements, content is obviously going to be at the center of all promotional activity.
  5. There is going to be little difference between paid, owned and earned media: First, here is a blog post on the Differences between Owned, Earned and Paid content marketing channels. What this means is, these days your content can exist on multiple platforms. In traditional sense, owned content is whatever content you publish under your own blog or domain name. But then what about content that you publish on Facebook or Medium? People are also publishing blog posts on LinkedIn? Although the content is published by you, it belongs to a different medium.

It’s always good to know about the emerging trend in your field, in this case, content marketing, so that instead of following, you lead at the front.

Trends change from year to year but what remains the same is the quality of content that you produce and distribute.

So do you think content marketing is easy?

Just like any other marketing, content marketing has its own share of hardships that you have to go through in order to achieve results. Just because most of the content marketing happens on the Internet and just because it’s easier to do things on the Internet compared to the brick-and-mortar world, many people develop this false notion that content marketing should be easy or at least, if not easy, then dirt cheap. Both are misconceptions.

The author of this blog post rightly complains, “Hey, nobody told me content marketing was going to be hard!”

In the blog post the author quotes Joe Polizzi, the founder of Content Marketing Institute who says that in terms of content marketing, we may be entering the “age of disillusionment”.

Surveys show marketers are skeptical about the effectiveness of their content efforts. Many people are trying content marketing with high hopes, but they’re not seeing the engagement they expected. Professionals are confusing short-term campaign-based marketing with long-term content marketing endeavors and they’re not looking for the right kind of ROI as a result. Many are told by agencies that “going bigger” is the solution, but it often isn’t (even if they COULD justify more spend). There are great successes… But there are disappointments, too.

This is something that I have repeatedly written on my blog too, that most of content marketing efforts fail because people have no idea exactly what they are trying to achieve. In most of the cases, they confuse content marketing with relentlessly publishing blog posts and articles trying to cover the keywords to improve their search engine rankings. Whereas there is nothing wrong in trying to improve your search engine rankings, this shouldn’t be the sole objective of content marketing.

The blog post further quotes

The most common mistake is also the most mistake easiest to correct — failing to establish a foundation, or starting point. You can’t just jump in and start producing content and expect to be effective. You have to have well-documented buy cycles, buyer profiles (personas), a library of existing content and an understanding of the tools/technologies you’ll need to effectively measure your programs. And most of all you need alignment from all key internal stake holders.

When it comes to content marketing most businesses apply the “jump first and worry about how deep the pool is later” attitude. You need to have both short-term and long-term plans. You need to figure out your content marketing metrics. You need to know what you exactly aim to do.

Why 86% of B2B marketers use content marketing?

In an annual study by the Content Marketing Institute titled “2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” 86% B2B marketers are using content marketing to promote their businesses. The online survey was conducted on 1800 North American B2B marketers, as explained in this Ad Age blog post. Although in this previous blog post of mine you must have read that 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing one way or another. The differences of percentages doesn’t really matter, what matters is, why it is important for this segment of the market to rely on content rather than conventional advertising models. The explanation depends on from where you look at it.

I write content for a living but without hesitation I can say content marketing no longer means creating informative articles and blog posts, although a major chunk of content is written. Content these days can exist in multiple formats including video, audio and graphic, aside from textual. People are consuming content all the time in one form or another. Take for instance social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. All the time people are posting new updates. They are posting images, videos, sounds and of course text updates. This is content. Without this content these social networking websites have no reason to exist.

Content like this has turned into a medium. Even the search results on Google are examples of content, although it is curated content rather than generated content. But it is content. Since people are constantly consuming this content, rather than existing as a random entity, it has turned into a medium and whenever there is a medium, businesses find out a way to use it for advertising, marketing and promotion. But that’s not the point, the point of this blog post is, why more and more B2B marketers prefer content marketing over conventional marketing?

Is content easier to create and promote? Once it used to be easier to create and promote content but with millions of blog posts and articles being churned out on a weekly basis, this no longer remains the case. It’s not that suddenly there is lots of good content; simply, there is lots of content and it becomes difficult for people to reach what may be useful to them. Nonetheless, whether one likes it or not, without content you don’t exist on the Internet. This is one reason why B2B marketers cannot help using content for marketing.

Another reason is, B2B transactions involve higher stakes in terms of monetary transactions and effort required compared to B2C. Is it easier for you to purchase a single mobile phone from an online retailer or purchase 2000 mobile phones from a manufacturer for your own retail store? Before purchasing those 2000 mobile phones you will need to research and for this research you’re going to have to go through lots of content not just on the manufacturer’s website but also other places. Obviously the manufacturer needs to convince you that there is a market for his product and how your bottom line can be improved by selling the phone from your own retail store.

My content writing services can also be termed as B2B because it’s mostly business owners who approach me to get content written for their websites so that they can make more sales. Although they may not be spending thousands of dollars for my services, my services are critical for their business. So they need to do some research. They carefully need to read through various sections on my website to make sure that they are hiring the right content writer for their business. It’s not just the cost but also the future of the business that depends on a B2B transaction and that is why more and more B2B marketers are using content to strengthen their brand and expand their presence on the Internet.