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What Are the Most Important Content Marketing Trends of 2018?

Big brands and small businesses alike have continued to experience growth from content marketing this year while many new trends have emerged.

Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Virtual Reality have affected distribution channels and the types of content marketed. However, with consumers spending more time on smartphones and flooded with never-ending content, attention spans are shrinking challenging brands to find more effective ways to connect with audiences.

The following significant content marketing trends rose to the top in 2018 simply because they work. Keep an eye on these five trends in 2019 and the future.

Authentic Content

Audiences are becoming selective about where they put their attention and are flocking to authentic brands they can trust. 63% of consumers surveyed state they’ve purchased from brands they felt were authentic over competitors. Additionally, 84% of millennials surveyed said they don’t like or trust traditional advertising, making authenticity the most critical content marketing trend that developed this year.

Consumers are no longer solely seeking information. They’re craving human connections through storytelling. Microsoft Story Labs is a beautiful example of authentic content that’s honest, transparent, and sparks conversation.

To create authentic content, focus on your audience, share personal experiences, invite engagement on social media, personalize content, earn social proof, and infuse it with your personality.

Live Streaming Video Content

While video content has been effective for many years, the popularity of live streaming video content is booming. With live video, audiences can engage in authentic conversations with their favorite brands on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms. Live streaming is real, in-the-moment entertainment that’s engaging and unpredictable.

One brilliant use of live streaming comes from Experian. They host live chats on Facebook and Twitter on useful topics like how consumers can save money, budget finances, and improve their credit score. Other brands broadcast events, live interviews, and answer customer questions live.

The possibilities of creating authentic connections with users via live streaming are endless, easily making it one of the most valuable content marketing trends of 2018.

Bite-Sized Content

The human attention span has dropped below that of a goldfish, a mere 8 seconds long — down from 12 seconds in 2000. As a result, bite-sized content has expanded as a content marketing trend in 2018. Often referred to as snackable content, this bite-sized content is just as small and tasty as it sounds.

One of the most famous examples of bite-sized content is the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign that even a goldfish couldn’t forget. Their commercials and videos are as long as 30 seconds long and as brief as 15 seconds but are so entertaining that even the busiest person without the faintest interest in cologne can’t help but watch it.

Take heart; you don’t have to create brilliant commercials to produce bite-sized content. Snackable morsels also include fun infographics, brief articles, lists, GIFs, memes, and quotes. With bite-sized content, the more personality it has, the better.

Influencer Content Marketing

An impactful, recent trend for distributing content is influencer marketing, which involves paying a prominent social media user in a particular niche to promote a brand or product to the influencer’s following. In other words, the trusted influencer becomes the brand’s ambassador.

An example of influencer marketing in late 2017 came from Special K. They launched a New Year’s campaign partnering with social media influencers to create posts using the hashtag #FuelYourResolution, which made their results easily trackable.

Influencer marketing is a powerful content marketing trend because consumers trust people more than brands and are more likely to purchase a product because someone they looked up to recommended it. Instagram has been the top platform for influencer marketing in 2018, though you can also find active influencers on YouTube and other social media platforms.

High-Value Content

Internet users are bombarded with content and consumers are wising up about how they spend their time and attention. As a result, high-value content has risen as one of the most solid content marketing trends of 2018.

Unlike paid advertising, anybody can get in the content marketing game, which means there’s a plethora of poor content out there and audiences are getting smarter about sifting through anything that doesn’t make an impact. Simply put, if your content isn’t high value, it will no longer get results.

Hootsuite launched an entertaining brand campaign with a video entitled “A Game of Social Thrones.” LinkedIn promotes helpful marketing guides as eBooks to grow their user base. Big brands are using content that’s entertaining, engaging, and valuable to stand out in today’s market.

High-value content doesn’t necessarily have to feature celebrities or be lengthy. High-value content invites honest conversation, teaches valuable lessons, touches the heart, is consistent, and comes back to the first content marketing trend — authenticity.

Platforms and distribution channels will continue to change and evolve as technology and people do. However, these five trends that emerged in 2018 will continue to be critical to your content marketing success in 2019 and beyond.

Dina R is a writer, life coach, and yoga instructor with 10+ years experience writing online business, article, and newsletter content. Articles have been syndicated and featured on MSN Lifestyle. Niche specializations and experience in dating, relationships, yoga, fitness, and healthy living.

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Freelancer Dina R

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