2018 is seeing the rapid emergence of several striking content marketing trends. Live video is adding an entirely new dimension of immediacy and authenticity to the content marketing landscape.
SEO experts are placing as much focus on customer experience. More emphasis is also being placed on backlinks and keywords this year.
There is a continuing shift toward the high-quality, long-form content that users and search engines prefer. This is bringing in-depth blog posts and articles to more content marketing campaigns.
On the rise in 2018:
1. Live Video
Live video refers to the process of digitally broadcasting a live event without edits. It made a big splash in 2016 and gained momentum in 2017. Live video marketing may make its greatest gains this year.
You can use live video for a key product launch or an influencer Q&A. Live video brings with it the atmosphere of high excitement, authenticity, and immediacy that only a live platform can.
2. Customer Journey Mapping and CRO
Content marketing campaigns in 2018 are continuing to evolve toward greater specificity. There is an accelerating stream of prospective customer data available to site owners and marketers.
This transition is now reaching new heights of precision. Emergence of customer journey mapping and conversion rate optimization is a confirmation of this.
Customer journey mapping involves creating visualizations, often in the form of infographics. The visualizations track the entire path or journey that customers take on their way to a sale.
CRO, which goes hand-in-hand with customer journey mapping, focuses on the onsite leg of the customer journey. CRO employs sophisticated analytics.
CRO can isolate the most common and effective click-paths that customers take as they navigate your site on their way to a sale.
Customer journey mapping and CRO reveals alternative ways to organize a site’s content, links, and pages. They can match customer needs while increasing conversion rates.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
No one expects the typical digital ad in 2018 to plunge you into a virtual world of the product or service at hand. However, there is every sign that AR and VR will begin to make real headway this year.
Site owners and marketers can no longer ignore the sheer wealth of possibility that AR and VR present. And no one wants to be playing catchup when these two new modes of marketing take off.
The more technically feasible AR may take the lead with mobile ads that use the idea of surfacing content.
But don’t be surprised if you also see a few bold, experimental VR marketing campaigns this year, one or two of which may become breakout successes.
4. Privacy-Conscious Campaigns
There has been a rapid rise of ad-blockers in recent years. This is due in part to the increasing discomfort that internet users are experiencing as an ever-increasing number of ads. Sites seem to know (or think they know) users’ interests based on their past activity on other sites.
However, many sites are now blocking ad-blockers, leading to a tense stalemate. In an effort to offer both users and site owners a way out, Google is in the process of adding a new feature to Chrome.
The feature gives users the option to pay the site owner a small fee through Google Contributor to browse their site ad-free.
Many site owners and content marketers will make adjustments this year to make their ad campaigns. They will be seeking to reassure users that they don’t need an ad-blocker to address their privacy concerns.
It’s also worth considering the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. It is bound to impact the content marketing landscape by limiting consumer data collection in certain contexts.
5. Customer-Experience Centered SEO
There was a time when SEO was all about keyword-density and backlinks. Site owners struggled to pack as many keywords as they possibly could into their pages while using any means possible to get backlinks that would bump up their PageRank.
Eventually, it became clear to Google the cream was no longer rising to the top under this approach. Google discovered searchers weren’t always finding what they were looking for, great content.
This is not to say that Google has now ceased to hold keywords and backlinks in high regard.
Most SEO experts agree that Google’s algorithms have begun to penalize ‘keyword stuffing.” Google is rewarding sites and pages that provide an excellent customer experience. They are looking for content that includes rich, long-form, naturally flowing content.
Guided by Google’s gradual transition, site owners and digital marketers in 2018 are continuing to adjust their approach to SEO.
6. Data-Driven Content
Data-driven marketers are adopting new solutions to respond to consumer demands.
Despite all the new marketing models, two of the most enduring digital marketing mainstays are holding their ground as they continue to evolve.
Google’s algorithms are placing more focus than ever on customer experience, and SEO experts are following their lead.
The content marketing space is continuing to shift its focus toward long-form blog posts and articles. There is more focus on a wide spectrum of naturally occurring keywords. This is inspiring content that speaks to the richness and complexity of in-depth treatments of important topics.
Content Marketing Trends to Look for This Year
As highlighted above, several striking digital marketing trends are taking hold this year. There is increased demand for the immediacy, authenticity and sheer excitement of live video. The demand is driving greater demand for live marketing events.
Customer journey mapping and CRO are helping streamline sites and apps. They are helping businesses to match their customers’ precise needs and purchase-paths. The future promise of content marketing is inspiring bold.