Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2018

Why would Apple, the world’s most valuable company by stock market valuation, be planning to spend $1B on content creation as reported by TechDigg? Well, other than wanting to catch up with NetFlix, Apple wants to stay relevant. To do that, Apple needs to keep the attention of its users, and the best way to achieve that is by constantly creating new, original and interesting content. Other than Apple’s content creation debut, what else is set to change in the content marketing landscape come 2018?

It’s said that those who do not learn from history are bound to make the same mistakes. Let’s review the present before we look at what comes next. The good news is that content marketing is working better, at least in general. In recent research, 62 percent of the content marketers polled said they were getting better results in 2017 than what they got in 2016. The bad news is that the cost has gone up, mainly because of pricing wars. Since competitors had upped their budgets, the respondents said they felt they had to follow suit.

Prophecy is best left to charlatans or the divinely inspired Based on present trends, I can confidently forecast how content marketing will shape up in 2018. In this article am going to share some of my thoughts.

Original content will be premium in 2018

According to a content marketing institute that claims to have been contacted by Google, the tech giant is buying original content from both media companies and brands. Apparently, Google is sourcing the content to fill gaps in content identified by their search algorithms. However, Google is not alone in the content market. Facebook is also buying, though Amazon remains the world’s biggest content buyer.

But what’s the point of all these examples? 2018 will mark the end of defining the originality of content based on whether it passes a plagiarism check. Most of us already run content through plagiarism checkers before publication. But passing plagiarism check means the content is not duplicated, not that it is original.

Originality, on the other hand, is a measure of new information in the content. Content marketers need to stop thinking about originality like high school teachers grading assignments and more like Ivy league panelists judging a Ph.D. thesis.

Artificial Intelligence will become a key player in content marketing

The success of content marketing is due to the capability to reach out to receptive audiences. For instance, we typically start consuming car-related content when planning to buy one. Identifying the most receptive audience is, therefore, vital to the success of content marketing. Furthermore, leads need to be converted to sales, and that is where AI comes into play. AI can help identify the most receptive audiences and prospects, bringing these to the sales team attention.

Other AI technologies like natural language processing, generation algorithms, and predictive analytics will also play a bigger role in content delivery and creation. Remember, search algorithms are driving Google’s content acquisition by identifying content gaps.

Mobile optimization will become even more important

When is the last time you could not access email because you are not close to your home or office PC? We want information, entertainment and work on-the-go and on-demand. Statistics show that in the US, 69 percent of digital media consumption happens on mobile platforms.

To deliver your content in 2018, you will need to optimize it for mobile. You should also seriously consider building your own app. This is particularly pertinent since over 40 million people in the US are consuming content exclusively on mobile. As such, you must be on mobile to keep and grow your audience. Businesses that want to be ahead of the curve need to review and audit how they communicate with their mobile audience constantly.

Social media will become a publishing as well as a sharing platform

You’ve probably heard the adage, build it and they will come. But it was not so in the Internet era. Today, even groundbreaking content has to be distributed. Hitherto, social media platforms have been primarily used for content distribution.

Social media platforms have been pushing into content publication. Facebook’s Instant Articles and Twitter’s browser App are excellent examples. Also, users don’t want to leave their favorite social media app or site to go look for content. As a result, content marketers are using the platforms for content publication and not just for sharing. Furthermore, in an age in which social media is the most common use of the Internet, an engaging social media presence is as important as having a great website.

Content will become more graphical

Visual content is becoming increasingly popular. It has spawned dedicated platforms such Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. However, the popularity is not new, not when “A picture is worth a thousand words” has been around for centuries. But there is a game changer or rookie MVP in the form of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

VR/AR is not new. In fact, it has been around and underachieving for a while. But now, experts are predicting $150 billion in revenue between 2018 and 2020. The Gartner hype cycle considers VR/AR one of the top 10 disruptive technologies over the past five years. The popularity and sales of Google glass, 3D movies, and 3D home entertainment systems seem to support this opinion. But even if you don’t want to adopt these technologies, they should remind you to up your game on visual content.

Think of everything you have invested in the creation of infographics, multimedia-oriented apps, and videos as preparation should the VR/AR hype come to pass. If you still are not sure video is going to become more fundamental in content marketing, just look at the recent past. Every social media platform has introduced live video streaming in the recent past. In fact, a recent survey found that 82 percent of people prefer videos to other forms of social media posts.