3 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

In the fashion world, it’s “cargo pants will be the new jeans.”

In the finance world, it’s “the cryptocurrency market will continue to grow.”

In the wellness world, it’s “vegan desserts and optimizing gut health will be a major focus.”

Yep, it’s the beginning of 2018, and each industry is busy making their predictions and trend forecasts for the year ahead.

Like the fashion, finance, and wellness industries mentioned above, there a whole new set of content marketing trends you should pay attention to if you’re a business owner.

However, if you don’t happen to have psychic powers or a crystal ball, you may need to consult other sources that can help you stay abreast of what’s to come in the months ahead.

Read on to learn about three content marketing trends that every brand and business should be aware of if they want to increase sales, engagement, and overall growth in the New Year.

#1 Growth in Influencer Marketing

With the dawn of social media, brands are able to more seamlessly integrate and showcase influencer endorsements in their product marketing efforts.

Telling your customers how great your product is only goes so far–which is why in addition to testimonials and case studies, influencer endorsements have the potential to raise brand awareness, grow leads, and increase conversions.

Influencer marketing will only continue to become more pervasive in marketing strategies–especially considering more people are viewing content on their personal phones and computers and engaging with social media.

In the United States alone, there are currently…

Considering these astronomical numbers, it’s no wonder that brands don’t hesitate to hop on board and partner with influencers for easy access to tens of thousands, and even millions of followers.

In fact, statistics show that nearly 40% of Twitter users claimed to have made a purchase as a direct result of a social media influencer’s tweet.

Additionally, with the costs of technology decreasing, it’s becoming easier for influencers to generate high-quality visual content for their audiences.

Conversely, agency-produced content is still pricey, with a 30-second TV commercial costing businesses an average of $350,000 and more in the last few years.

That said, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Paying a lifestyle influencer with 10,000 followers to post about your hair product doesn’t necessarily guarantee conversions.

Middle-tier influencers can be helpful in raising brand awareness, but may not generate enough leads or sales to be worth it.

Therefore, be sure to do your research into how many followers an influencer has, as well as follower engagement and past success with marketing for other clients when it comes to generating revenue.

#2 Diversified Content Mediums and Platforms

Blogs have traditionally been the rock-star medium in the world of content marketing.

How could it not? Combining compelling copy with SEO can make a serious dent when it comes to growing your base of leads and customers.

Additionally, the Content Marketing Institute found that “after reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase.”

That said, if you aren’t already doing so, 2018 will be the time to diversify your content marketing platforms.

This means increasing your production of…

Email newsletters: Utilizing an email newsletter and building your base of subscribers is terrific if you want to accomplish the goals of…

  • Ensuring higher brand recall and association: Whether you’re providing customers with occasional product-care tips, announcing an upcoming event you’re hosting, or cross-selling related products, newsletters give you a chance to keep up a connection with dormant customers. Once they’re ready to buy again, your brand and products will be one of the first options they think of versus competitors that underutilize this valuable medium.
  • Targeting different audiences: You’ll be able to speak to the various demographics within your list utilizing segmented messaging and specialized newsletters. Basically, better targeting=more conversions.
  • Testing various messaging strategies: Mailing lists are a perfect channel for businesses to test what works and doesn’t work. With a variety of metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and others, the data is there to back up why one method of persuasion trumps another.

eBooks: In many senses, eBooks are the new business card.

Not only do they contribute to your credibility as a business, they also create conditions for an initial interaction with customers.

Although eBooks are provided as free lead magnets in many cases, according to the Huffington Post, eBook sales are “expected to grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018. With self-published ebooks comprising 32% of Amazon’s daily ebook sales at the end of the quarter ending October 2, 2014, marketers should be taking advantage of this type of content marketing.”

Infographics: Text-based content is a must–but diversifying your content offerings with visual content can take your business to the next level.

Infographics are a great way to educate your client about the problem your target demographic is looking to solve, as well as how your product will solve that problem.

Therefore, consider hiring a graphic artist to produce an infographic every now and then that you can share via various platforms and gain more inbound leads.

#3: Content Development for All Stages of the Customer Journey

You’ve heard us say it before, but we’ll say it again, only because it’s so essential: take the time to map out your full customer journey.

Customizing the sales process, user experience on your site, and content for your customer avatar will help guide prospective customers forward in making a purchase.

That said, oftentimes people will make the mistake of planning content that focuses purely on customer acquisition.

If you want to have a comprehensive strategy that will drive engagement after the initial acquisition, as well as encourage return purchases, you’ll need to develop content for all stages of the customer journey.

As you refine your content plan for 2018, make sure your blog posts, emails, and other content pieces cover the journey from start to finish.

Now that you’ve been equipped with three tip-offs for a successful 2018, it’s time to put them into action. Good luck!

Want more tips? Check out these six growth hacks to take your content marketing to the next level this year.

michelle

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