Your 2019 Content Marketing Playbook – Part 5: 5 Content Marketing Trends To Watch in 2019
If there is one constant in marketing it’s “change” and while the theme of content marketing is to make connections with and provide information to your audience, how that is accomplished can – and will – change as tools and technologies change. So far in our 2019 Content Marketing Playbook series of blog posts we’ve looked at defining your content needs, bolstering up your core digital marketing platforms, and using data to drive content creation. Those posts all contain excellent tips for maximizing your existing content reach, but what about the future of content marketing? What does it look like? Where is it going?
We’re tackling that topic in this post as we take a peek into the future to look at five content marketing trends that we think will only grow in 2019.
5 Content Marketing Trends To Watch
Content marketing is constantly evolving, which means marketers have to evolve with it. That means keeping on top of content marketing trends and aligning them with your business and customer needs. You’ll find no shortage of advice and predictions for the future of content marketing, but they all agree on one thing: content marketing is here to stay. That means it’s time to really embrace it as part of your overall marketing strategy, but where to start? How about with these 5 trends that show no signs of slowing down?
- Video. Webcasts, webinars, live video; they’ve all grown exponentially in 2018 and it’s a safe bet that video will continue to dominate in 2019. Videos are perfect for our on-the-go lifestyles. They are short, to the point, and easily accessible from all types of devices and locations; in other words, they’re the perfect medium for marketers to get their points across to today’s consumers! Video has been shown to boost sales and improve revenue and we honestly can’t see that trend going anywhere but up. Platforms like Facebook make is particularly easy for anyone to post live videos with little more than a camera phone and an internet connection. You can put fresh video content in front of your target audience immediately and connect directly with consumers. We say, “Capitalize on this tool!” and add video to your marketing toolkit.
- Natural Language Search. Also known as Voice Search, this technique targets consumers’ increased use of voice assistants. Simply put, we speak differently than we write. So, if you’re using Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or Echo to find information, you’re most likely going to ask a question, give a command, or just use natural, conversational language in your request. By contrast, if you’re typing a search into a search engine, you’re more likely to just tap in a few keywords. It might not seem like much of a difference, but to an algorithm, it can be a tremendous difference, which means your search results can be wildly different between voice searches and typed searches. Optimizing content for voice search means less focus on short keywords and more:
- Use of full sentences
- Asking questions and providing answers
- Use of longer, more naturally phrased keywords and even phrases
- SEO. Search engine optimization will remain a necessity in content creation. SEO is still the best way to get found online by making your content easier for search engines to find. That’s not going to stop. Consumers will still be turning to the internet and search engines to find answers to their questions or research products and services and they’ll still be using keywords to find that information. For marketers, that means getting your business on the search engine results pages (SERPS) for those keywords – and that means including SEO in your content. You’ll need to do keyword research, incorporate those keywords and phrases into your written content and your content tags, and track your results so you can focus on creating content around your most successful words and phrases or the most searched for terms of your audience. SEO helps ensure the right content gets placed in front of the right people at the right time.
- Personalized Content. As we as a society dive deeper into technology and digital consumption, personalized content will become more important. Personalizing content to the user is the best way to stand out from the crowded sea of content that your audience is swimming in every day. Personalized content, emails, products, videos, infographics and more will help build that strong connection with your customers that you’re looking for. You’ll need to do your research (add link to the Playbook Data blog) and rely on customer data like purchase histories, buyer personas, social media actions, and links clicked to customize content like never before. It sounds like a lot of work, but personalization definitely pays off in the form of stronger customer relationships. Think personalized behavior-based emails as opposed to shoot-in-the-dark blast emails.
- Social Content. Social is also here to stay. Social media is hugely popular and simply can’t be ignored as marketing medium. It’s an incredibly effective way to connect with customers and would-be customers and to allow others to do the work for you; when customers share your content, they’ve made your job easier. That means it’s up to you to create content that is shareworthy. The caution with social media is how quickly it changes. Video is a perfect example. A couple of years ago, it was a very small component of social media, today it’s one of the hottest social trends. You’ll need to keep on top of social media trends in order to capitalize on this platform more effectively, but if you always keep in mind your target audience, the trends to follow will be clear to you. Don’t be swayed by the latest trends if they don’t apply to your audience.
Where Do We Go From Here?
What does this mean for you as a marketer? Do you need to drop everything you’re doing and jump on the bandwagon of these trends? Nope. As we’ve said all the way along, focus on your customers and audience first, then tailor your content to their needs and expectations. Content marketing is still simply a matter of making sure your content gets put in front of your audience when they need it. The best to do that is to know your audience.
In fact, we’ll dig a little deeper into that topic in our last post on this subject, which is all about focusing on the customer as a guide to content creation.