I recently was asked by Magnificent what content marketing predictions I think will take center stage in 2018. This is always a tough question because the digital space is fluid (practically alive). You’ll also find some upcoming ‘trends’ experts talk about you’ve been doing for ages (at least I see that). Trends are going to differ depending on your niche. Are you in PR? Then data and detailed analytic tracking might be a new trend for you (but not to an SEO!). Are you in SEO? Taking a more consumer focused strategy over a tactical one is a novel idea. From a bird’s eye view, we are all starting to converge together to create a balance of what works to market a client’s products.
Top Content Marketing Trends
With that said, please take these predictions and trends with a grain of salt. I like to say I was born in PR but raised by SEO, which gives me a unique perspective in content marketing. As a consultant and one of the senior experts at work I’ve had to blaze my own trail. The trends I see coming up are specific to my clients and workplace. Your agency may already be taking advantage of these (good for you) but I bet we are also already taking advantage of other tactics and strategies that you haven’t even thought of yet.
5 Content Marketing Trends for 2018 and Beyond
1) Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (also known as Hogwarts Mystery) will be a turning point for augmented reality (AR). AR will become a major player in local marketing and I believe it will be the new social media. People are getting tired of Facebook, Twitter is just another thing on marketer’s to-do list. But AR games will take social media to a new level. Instead of connecting online, we’ll be connecting in-person, playing together (or competing), joining teams…think sports for the nerd.
[Quick! Everyone invest in Warner Bros!!]
Side note: I recently saw an episode in Season 4 of Black Mirror (a bit too edgy for my comfort). I’m sure those who’ve watched any of their one-off episodes on Netflix are thoroughly terrified of technology and how it is embedding itself in our lives. The dramatic repercussions can be terrifying. We are entering a new wave of technology and the line between reality and make-believe is fading.
2) I recently helped start an influencer network called Rainmaker Collective. I was chatting with a journalist at The Guardian about the rising tide of influencers and she asked if this was a fad or if it was here to stay. I definitely think it’s here to stay but it needs to evolve in order to thrive. Right now, influencers and brands/agencies don’t know how to effectively work with each other to produce results. Online Influencers can be used to achieve higher rankings, reach a new audience, promote branded content and even create content for company websites. But right now, more often than not, influencer marketing flops. I think 2018 is the year marketers will narrow in on what influencer tactics actually produces results, which will give us the ability to put an accurate price on influencers based on niche and reach.
I’m fairly confident of this trend because I believe my team at Rainmaker Collective is going to be one of the leading researchers in this field. Over the past year I’ve been collecting data on each influencer we work with to determine their pricing and track their results. We are testing different forms of sponsored posts as well. Trying new things, such as adding additional paid budget and getting social amplification from other influencers to boost another influencer’s post.
It’s an exciting time to be a blogger or social influencer!
3) Video will continue to be a major focus in 2018 just like it was a focus in 2017 and 2016. But here’s where I think it will slightly differ: Right now video is used mostly for social, but it can also have a tremendous impact on organic rankings. Place a video on one of your sales pages and BOOM shoot up to first page in Google.
4) Another trend we already see but I think we’ll see more of is getting your sales process into website content. Mostly in terms of questions. Do you have a question your sales team gets…answer it online with a post dedicated to that question (not just in some flimsy FAQ page). But don’t stop there. If you know what question they are asking, usually you know what their next question or thought will be, create that logical next step for them on your website. This will create the need for greater personalization on a website for a seamless user experience.
5) ME: Alexa, what’s some content marketing trends for 2018? ALEXA: I’m sorry I do not understand the question. ME: Ok, I’ll try again in 2019.
While voice search isn’t advanced enough to be useful yet to marketers, I think we can still prep our websites for when that time comes. Rich snippets are a necessary preliminary step in that direction. And even if I’m wrong and they aren’t used for voice search at all, ranking in the answer box will still get you tremendous organic traffic.
6) Paid marketing is making a come back!
Have you seen those Facebook ads of coaches who are like “I’ve found the secret to making millions in just a few months and I’m going to share it with you for FREE! Just sign up to watch my video.” Spoilers- What you are about to fall for IS that secret. Facebook ads that trigger sign-ups that entice users to ‘live the life they want’ is coming full force! Have to admit, even I am going to take advantage of this one.
Come back in 6 months and I’ll teach you how to take Pinterest by storm with 5 secret tips that I use to get my clients to go viral on Pinterest! (Totally serious about this btw)