At the tail end of 2017, feeds were flooded with content marketing tips for the coming year. Let’s take a look at those predictions together with what we’ve seen so far this year, as well as what we can expect as we get closer to 2019.
Seth Godin once said that “content marketing is the only marketing we have left.” The authenticity and usefulness of content marketing is created by and perfectly suited to the internet generation. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone is sold on the power of content marketing, much less that all content marketing is done correctly.
A DOMO infographic shows that content marketing is not to be smirked at. See the image below to see what was created every minute in 2017, and since then these number have most likely grown.
In 2017 it was estimated that 91% of B2B businesses would be using content marketing, and that more than $42 billion dollars would be spent on digital ads. Below are some of the top trends that were predicted for this year, together with how they have actually performed thus far in 2018:
Prediction #1. More Video - Less Text
The end of 2017 had marketers shouting from the rooftops that text was a dying breed. We were experiencing a text extinction in favor of streamlined video content. These individuals were not entirely wrong. Video is now an absolutely crucial element in any content marketing strategy. Statistics show that the average adult spends 1.5 hours per day watching video and that 81% have purchased an item after watching a video about the product.
However, the prominence of video does not mean that we should rid our marketing teams of text. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Studies have shown that a healthy balance of video and text is more successful than video alone. Instead, marketing experts recommend producing economical yet high-quality video to display authenticity and engagement, and to bundle video with high quality text to complete the package.
Prediction #2. Virtual Reality
The promised Virtual Reality explosion is not new, in fact we’ve been talking about its potential for years. While we are now beginning to see VR used in marketing, it’s not the showstopper we all expected. However, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality’s less intense cousin, has been making waves in marketing for that past year or two. From the Pokemon Go craze came applications for learning, storytelling, or even functionality to show you how a particular couch would look in your living room.
According to Forbes, AR is “giving advertisers and marketers an opportunity to create innovative campaigns that integrate the digital world into the real world ... from children and tech-savvy millennials to baby boomers – basically, anyone owning a smartphone.” While we are all still waiting for VR to take over the way we buy and sell products, AR is making our lives a little easier and more exciting.
Prediction #3. Pinterest
2017 predictions stated that 2018 would be the year of Pinterest. However, when looking at the statistics you might be feeling a bit underwhelmed. While 29% of adults use the highly visual social media platform, the statistics have remained constant throughout the year. Of course, this does not mean to abandon your Pinterest efforts, only to know that your boards most likely won’t increase your sales quite as much as we had all hoped. If you are interested in making the most of Pinterest, this excellent guide from Sprout Social can help you understand the Pinterest audience.
Prediction #4. Education
Educational-based marketing is a way of helping customers with issues they often face. From learning how to install software or how to build a gazebo, educational marketing has made strides in the last few years. Great digital content, whether video or text, serves a purpose and solves problems. In 2017, experts predicted that the web would see an influx of this type of content marketing, and so far, they seem to be accurate in their predictions. Even though education-based marketing is the direct opposite of traditional seller marketing, it’s safe to say that this approach will most likely be a superior strategy in 2019 as well.
Prediction #5. Honesty
Social media has created a business transparency that is unprecedented. If a deal goes sour or a product doesn’t meet expectations, the world will quickly hear about it in a simple tweet, post or review. This phenomenon means that businesses must be honest in all affairs including all content and marketing campaigns, as well as in customer engagement - both online and off. It is safe to say that this trend is permanent. No longer can companies hide faulty products and services behind flashy ads and photography. By adopting an upfront honesty, a business can avoid awkward interactions that could prove to be disastrous. Just for fun, take a look at this post about Insane Honesty - when businesses take honesty to a whole new level.