7 Trends Dominating Content Marketing in 2018

Whether or not we’re truly in the , one thing is for sure: the once-uphill battle for content marketers to get client or internal buy-in for content strategy, creation and deployment has leveled off.

People not only want content, they know they want it, and they’re willing to reward brands that give it to them. This realization is coming at an exciting time, as the platforms, technologies and opportunities for consuming content are more robust than ever.

So what are the big trends driving content marketing today? Let’s explore how brands can cut through the noise and deliver their audiences value-driven content that they will engage with and share.

1. Content Built for Voice Search

have trotted out impressive demos showing the potential integration between voice and next-generation healthcare.

For Alexa, it’s the use of the functionality that’s going to allow 3rd-party companies to unlock the true power of the interface. With that kind of access, it’s only a matter of time before someone unleashes a truly killer app that goes past mere voice functionality and actually gets into content marketing. It’s no wonder VanynerMedia’s VoiceCon in NYC explored voice-based opportunities for marketers and brands earlier this year.

2. Automated Content Delivery

The idea of one golden megaphone or mono-message for a brand is becoming increasingly old-fashioned. This new world of multiple audiences and use cases, targeting and retargeting capabilities, and automation services from companies like and offers marketers the opportunity to create individual content programs for much smaller audience segments.

It also allow marketers to serve up key pieces of content at critical parts of the user journey. Meet the consumer where he or she is at, rather than firehosing a bunch of generalized content at a single newsletter list.

single person, we’re confident we’ll see brands exploring the happy medium between Marcos Menendez’s private commercial and a generalized billboard on I-84.

3. Live-Streaming Everywhere

While live-streaming was pretty novel way back when Facebook Live was opened to the public in 2016, you’ve got to do more than simply point and broadcast to stand out these days.

The last few bits of monoculture we have left — sports, awards shows, and event television such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead — have created cottage industries of instant recaps, blogs, and yes, live-streamed instant takes of the preceding episode or game. There’s no more waiting until Monday morning to find out what your favorite critics thought of last night’s season finale. Pop-culture outfits like and are probably live-streaming their hot takes on this very blog post…right now! (Spoiler alert: they found this blog stylistically interesting but ultimately predictable).

So, how are brands capitalizing on these viewing trends? Like their pop-culture counterparts, brands that are successfully harnessing live-streaming are tapping into feelings of exclusivity and access. Dunkin’ provided both with their company from a while back. And Wistia has gone behind the scenes as well.

4. Augmented Reality

If you’ve been on the Internet you’ve heard about augmented reality, or AR. Perhaps the biggest crossover AR hit thus far was when Nintendo and scored big with Pokémon Go in 2016. But don’t take our word for it; just look at this guy:

made another big splash recently with the app. Ever wanted your own dinosaur, but can’t get past that “no pets” clause on the lease? AR is knocking on your door right now with a baby einiosaurus in a basket.

. According to Alamgir, it was the company’s most successful promotion to-date.

. “For the younger generation of consumers, immersive media (AR & VR) is the transformational technology — like the mobile phone was for Millennials, and the home computer was for Boomers and Gen X.”

5. Increased Investment in Content Strategy

for pre-roll and midroll ads continue to spike (anyone need a mattress), a new wave of content creation by brands has emerged.

HubSpot’s is an engaging business documentary series that never comes close to veering into inbound marketing infotainment (seriously, it’s really good), and GE’s audio drama hit The Message performed well enough to keep the company serious about investing in .

As more brands head in this direction, we hope they can follow the lead of HubSpot and GE by committing to creating great content rather than long-form radio commercials.

7. Lots of Bad Content

, most miscalculations will end up being just kinda bad. This is an unfortunate effect of brands clumsily executing content plans, or of selling off their goodwill for quick traffic.

Whereas content creation used to feel like an underground religion with a few, strange emissaries trying to convert the uninitiated (and capture their marketing spends), content marketing has become an oft-used (and misused) buzzword. If conversations are starting off saying things like “We should make an infographic” or “we should make a video” then that could be cause for concern. As a brand, what story are you trying to tell? Where does your expertise lie? What do you want people to feel?

We’re looking forward to where content marketing is headed through the second half of 2018 and beyond, and this list seriously could have been five times as long. What content marketing topics would you like to see us cover next?

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