Content marketing is one of the most dynamic fields of marketing, and although it has been around for quite a while, it’s now slowing down. In fact, it is estimated that the entire content marketing industry will be worth as much as $412 billion by 2021. While it represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses of all sizes to engage audiences and convert them into customers, content marketing requires you to put in a lot of effort, not just for content creation, but also to keep up with all the changes which are happening on regular basis.
Also, reaching out to your target audience is becoming increasingly difficult, since they are exposed to much more than they can possibly handle, which creates a lot of noise. Still, only 9% of B2B brands and just 14% of B2C brands have reported about not using content marketing, which clearly shows that it works, provided that you keep up and make use of the latest trends. We aren’t just talking about preparing your blog for the holidays, but also about implementing some of the emerging content marketing trends for 2019. Here are the six best ones which you should take notice of.
1. Long-Form Articles
According to Jennifer Hill, who works as a content manager for Brillassignment.co.uk, long-form content is probably set to become even more important in the coming years. What defines long-form content? Well, we are usually talking about articles and posts which are over 2,000 words long. While those long pillar posts are much more difficult to create and they are superior to short articles in several aspects. First of all, you have plenty of room to provide real value to your audiences. Second, the longer the content, the more chance you have to insert your target keywords and phrases and to integrate them in a more natural and seamless way. Finally, long-form content gets more shares on social media.
2. Shorter Content
Let’s take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum. We aren’t talking about 500-word article, but more like bite-sized posts of 200 words which, accompanies by a relevant image or an eye-popping infographic, can tell an effective story. Also, millennials, who make up a significant part of anyone’s audience, scan the content first, and they are less likely to invest their time in reading a 3,000-word article. However, they will eat up content which is short, easily digestible, and visually punchy, but which is packed with information nonetheless.
3. Voice Search
Voice search will make up 50% of all searches by 2020, and this is one trend which you want to get in on early, since the number of smart speakers, especially in the US, is skyrocketing. It won’t be long before they are fully integrated into our lives, as well as our online search habits and behavior. In fact, a study says that 31% of teens already use voice search on regular basis, to help them with the homework.
At the same time, we are looking at a world led by artificial intelligence, where home assistants like Google Home, Alexa and Siri are literally bringing increasing interest. It makes this trend that much clearer – we are expecting to see a rise in voice search for many years to come. What does this mean for you? Well, you will have to optimize your content for featured snippets, but you will also need to provide more audio content. Also, be prepared for the emergence of new advertising platforms which will utilize the potential of voice search.
The ways people speak are different from their typing, so you should start focusing on creating content that is adaptable to a natural language search. Keywords remain important, but so does a more human-oriented approach that would respond to voice search when needed. This means that you should be specific in your content, write complete answers and sentences, and keep a conversational nature – all for the purpose of voice search.
Thanks to the fact that AI has made some huge strides in the past few years, chatbots have become very useful for content marketers to provide a more personalized and engaging customer experience for their audiences. Chatbots will not only save your money when it comes to customer support, but they will also help you handle open-ended questions if done right. They are available 24/7, no need to rest, and they are only going to get smarter in the future. Chatbots can be a great cost-effective marketing tool for small businesses.
5. Content Strategy
While quality content provides you with a ton of benefits, it’s not a solution to all of your problems. In order to maximize your content marketing efforts, you will need to put an effective strategy in place, with clearly outlined goals. For sure, some of the general stuff like SEO and lead generation is common for all strategies, but once you get past that, you will have to integrate a strategy which is specific to your business and your goals. You will have to be precise about what you want to achieve with your content.
When coming up with the content strategy, think ‘personalization’. This is the most promising way to deliver a good user experience. People love the feeling of relating with content, so think of it as the digital form of greeting every customer individually. 94% of surveyed digital professionals believe that this is a crucial element of future success and according to Forrester, the interest in personalized content has grown to a percentage of 92%. To make a content strategy that is authentic and personalized, you need to focus on the information you have about the target audience. This information can be gathered from the visitors as well as research of the market and the competition.
6. Social Media
Yeah, we agree that social media is hardly new, but it will remain a trend even in 2019, and probably for years to come. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help you drive traffic to your blog, engage your customers, and spread awareness about your brand. If you run a B2B business, you may also want to consider cultivating a strong presence on LinkedIn, which has experienced a growth of 145% when it comes to the number of users. Regardless of who your target audience is, it is guaranteed that you will find them on social media.
Whether a content marketing trend is here to stay or not, you should make use of it, because it can at the very least provide you with a short boost in terms of traffic or user engagement, which is nothing to sneeze at. Of course, some of the more lasting ones should become a permanent staple of your content marketing strategy.