Good content is good content. It is as true for digital marketing as it was, and is, true for traditional publishing. Content marketing in 2018 needs to be both interesting and relevant if you want it to motivate a reaction from the reader. Because if your content doesn’t resonate with your targeted audience you have failed. One reason this happens is that digital brands forget to be human. It is important to create and distribute compelling content. This year the trick might just be to be more human.
Mobile- Ready Content
This year the number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to top 2.5 billion. Mobile now represents almost 70 percent of digital media minutes. As the number of users grows so do the accessibility of apps. Smartphone users are utilizing their mobile devices to do the tasks that used to be limited to desktops, everything from online shopping to booking flights. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are the leaders of the social media game right now, with Facebook leading the pack. Those three platforms report that nearly 80 percent of their users access social media channels through their phones.
The demand for mobile-ready content has never been greater. This year brands should focus on creating content specifically for the small screen. Mobile-ready content should be simple, with few key-presses required to engage with it. Social video content will become more mobile-friendly as well. Additionally, social media channels continue to incorporate new technologies, like providing users AR (augmented reality) experiences.
Rich content drives the most engagement. That’s because “rich content” facilitates user interaction. Videos are considered a form of rich content because they usually require the viewer to click play. Twitter polls are a great way to employ rich content in a social media campaign. Ask Twitter users to weigh in on a certain subject. Instagram introduced polls in their Instagram Stories feature. Not only do these polls encourage user interaction but they also help you collect consumer insights.
Something else to watch for is crawlable rich-media content to go more mainstream. This is great news for marketers who produce and publish eBooks, infographics, white papers, etc. Get ready to see renewed excitement for the next breed of these formats.
Over 80 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. And 66 percent trust other consumer opinions posted online. Both of those numbers are higher than the 46 percent of consumers who trust ads on social networks. Those numbers make it clear that users trust one another more than a celebrity spokesperson. What does that mean for marketers? An opportunity to leverage user-generated content. This year expect to see brands leveraging user-generated content more heavily in their social strategies.
But this goes beyond simply reposting a happy customer’s Instagram photo. First, brands will need to spend more time encouraging this type of content from users. Then brands will need to spend time polishing user-generated content and weaving it onto social campaigns in an organic but professional way.
In previous years marketers have spent a lot of time focused on producing evergreen content. This content that can be recirculated to drive engagements for months on end has been the gold standard. But that’s changing in the world of social media. Snapchat was the pioneer for ephemeral content, but other social media platforms have joined the game.
The popularity of Snapchat and Instagram Stories has proven that consumers covet this kind of fleeting content because they know it won’t last. Its temporariness creates an exclusive component to it and users find it more authentic. The content is also limited to mobile, where it is able to reach a wider audience.
Based on its popularity, brands will continue to ramp up efforts on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook in order to generate a consistent stream of ephemeral content that keeps consumers coming back for more.
Invest in Talent
Marketers can no longer cross-promote the same content across every platform and call it a good strategy. Instead, brands need to invest in talent that knows how to create specific content that engages that audience through every social platform out there.
Companies know how crucial social media is from both a brand-awareness and consumer-engagement standpoint. They long ago invested in their social strategies. But this goes beyond that investment into the talent who creates the content. Brands need people to lead their storytelling.
There will be an emphasis on finding and hiring individuals who have the knowledge to grow your audience. These individuals must be highly organized and tech-savvy. They need to be able to generate a consistent stream of content and keep audiences engaged.
There are great opportunities to build meaningful relationships with consumers. Content marketing in 2018 is evolving, but good quality content still matters. This is the year to branch out from one type of content and embrace a variety of cutting-edge content options including mobile-ready, rich, user-generated, and ephemeral content.