By now, there’s no doubt that content marketing works. In some cases, it’s ROI is even higher than the most targeted advertising. According to the most recent research by the Content Marketing Institute, organisations that have been consistently evolving with consumer trends and investing in content marketing, are seeing greater returns every year – and 70% of marketers have said their content strategy is more effective than last year’s.
These improvements show us that not only is content marketing valid (and vital), but more importantly, that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Like all things digital though, the form it inhabits shifts as we do. So to prepare you for a new year met by a new consumer, here are 2018’s top marketing trends to invest in.
1. Double Down on Ephemeral Content
The success of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp stories tells us that the appeal of ephemeral content goes beyond just Snapchat. When you put a finite time limit on content, it immediately gives that material an air of exclusivity (thereby motivating its consumption).
“Evergreen content” has long been a staple buzzword among the marketing community, but in 2018, brands looking to stand out need to ditch the long-life for the impermanent.
2. Live Video is Life
Marketers and customers from every corner of the globe are jumping on the bandwagon to embrace live video, and you should be too. Here’s why:
According to Facebook, posting a video receives 135% increase in organic reach compared to posting an image. Of course, this is on average – a high-quality image will still usually trump a low-quality video.
People are spending 3 x more time watching live videos than those that are pre-recorded, so there’s clearly something to it. What’s more interesting is that individuals are 10 x more likely to comment on live videos compared to regular videos, which means that engagement rates are climbing too. In response to these insights, Facebook has made data-driven changes to their algorithms to ensure live videos are shown first on newsfeeds, and that when live videos are finished and broadcast, comments are replayed as they happened during the live version.
Be it in a studio or on the fly, brands need to be ready to go on air if they’re looking for competitive levels of engagement in 2018.
3. Invest in Interactive Visual Content
It is a widely believed misconception that virtual reality is “only for gamers.” But with major players like Facebook, Adobe and Apple now providing the tools necessary for companies to develop their own virtual and augmented experiences, it’s in 2018 that we’ll see brands take one step closer towards leveraging this nascent technology to tell richer, more immersive stories.
With YouTube and Vimeo pushing 360-degree video, we ought to be seeing a lot more of this type of advertising being produced and consumed too – which, of course, gives the viewer autonomy over their visual experience (and more reason not to click “Skip”).
New to us now, but mainstream by 2020, VR and AR are the perfect investments to make in 2018, if you haven’t yet already.
4. Smarty Pants
You didn’t think we’d leave this off our list, did you?
It’s the technology that shows us our closest friend’s activity on Instagram and Facebook, it allows us to find the closest coffee shop to us at any given moment, lets us ask Siri any question we desire and is enhancing functionality in every sector – fashion, cars, healthcare, productivity apps and more.
Ladies and gentlemen, artificial intelligence is here, and it is about to get bigger and better.
AI has been around for a while – it’s certainly taken a few years to learn about the technology and for everyone to catch on. 2017 seemed to be the year of investing in it – with 80% of multi-national corporate enterprises investing in the tech, and one third of them predicting they will need to invest more in upcoming years to keep ahead of competitors.
If you’re new to this technology, we suggest starting with something easy enough to get to grips with that can also be hugely beneficial – chatbots. Not only do they increase online visitor engagement, but they make engagement possible in the first place by doing what they do best – chat. They also pull targeted content only, as well as getting your business’ customer support to be much easier to manage and of a high quality.
In 2018, we can look forward to AI driving the most revenue in product innovation and development research, customer service and supply chain and operations, and having the most impact in the IT, technology, telecommunications, business and professional services, customers services and financial services.
Which trends are you going to invest in in 2018?
Meltwater is the global leader in media intelligence and invests in cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence to maintain that status. Our latest media intelligence platform, Executive Alerts draws on artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide a product tailored for CEOs and directors – alerting them to only the most important anomalies across a range of external data points. Contact Meltwater India to find out more about the world of Outside Insight.