5 Content Marketing Trends You Need To Know in 2019
Technology is changing. So are customer expectations. In order to keep your content marketing fresh and meeting its goals, you need to stay up-to-date with content marketing trends.
If someone asked us today: what is content marketing?, we’d likely give a very different answer than we would have just a couple years ago.
96% of B2B content marketing professionals agree that content is helping them build trust. 56% say they’re increasing their content spending in 2019. But where are they spending their money?
Let’s take a look at where content marketing strategy is going in 2019.
Trend 1. A More Immersive Customer Experience
“In 2019, immersive storytelling and location-based experiences will draw customers to brands like never before. As people crave the experiential, the brands that understand how to deliver them narratively will see explosive engagement.” – John Bucher, mythologist/narrative strategist, Telling A Better Story
John reminds us that content marketing trends in 2019 are getting more experiential, immersive – and fun. That’s fun for both the customers and the companies who create them. There’s less “talking at customers” and more “helping customers be part of the conversation”.
Top brands today accomplish this in several ways.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Brands are integrating augmented reality features into your content. This helps their customers experience brand offerings. AR content becomes an extension of the buying experience.
Whether someone is in a physical store, at home or in an Internet cafe, these kinds of tools enhance the experience and keep people engaged.
71% of customers find brands that use VR “forward-thinking”.
Virtual reality allows customers to see and hear an experience as if they were there. And because there are so many ways to use VR, you can keep your brand feeling new.
- Utilize VR to take customers through the manufacturing process.
- Introduce them to the people behind the brand.
- Host live video sessions in VR.
- Snap a live photo of a showroom or other location and give customers a walk-through.
Want some great VR content marketing examples?
Car companies like BMW, Audi and Lexus make great use of VR to put customers behind the wheel.
HSBC used VR to invite Rugby fans to “become a Wallaby”.
Getting people excited about creating content for your brand not only builds loyalty among your existing fans. It helps expand brand awareness exponentially.
Running social media contests and showcasing customer-generated content increases the amount of content you have out there. It costs less. And in many ways, this content is the most valuable because it becomes a personal recommendation from someone a potential customer knows.
In 2019, your content marketing strategy needs UGC.
Trend 2. Everything Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Does your content marketing plan include artificial intelligence in 2019? If not, you may want to ask why. AI is becoming more accessible, easy to set up, and vital for a successful content marketing strategy.
One of the strongest benefits we’re currently seeing from AI isn’t chatbot, although those will get better over time. It’s in the analytics and automation.
AI helps a content marketing specialist sift through overwhelming amounts of data to make use of those data. This allows brands to personalise the customer experience, another important content marketing trend over the past several years.
Personalise based on behaviour, interests, and even location to be more relevant to customers. AI learns what customers want and, coupled with automation, it delivers the ideal experience.
Trend 3. Revving Up for Voice Search
Voice continues to increase in popularity. And while everyone is using it, you may be surprised to find that individuals over 50 are quickly adopting it for its convenience and usefulness. According to Pew Research, 37% of 50+ say they use voice assistants.
We normally look to younger generations to identify emerging trends because they tend to be early adopters. But the fact that so many older consumers use it suggests that it won’t be long before voice is in every corner of content marketing.
A content marketing firm can no longer think of search engine optimisation (SEO) in a traditional way. Content marketing strategy must include awareness, analytics and specific strategies to help content appear higher in voice search.
Trend 4. Redefining Your Influencer Partnerships
Working with influencers is a great way to expand your reach by getting your content in front of likely customers.
Traditionally, influencer marketing has included collaborating an influencer who shares your content on social media. But today, top brands are redefining the influencer relationship. They’re hiring influencers to create their own content for your brand.
From guest posts to adding a video created by an influencer to your Youtube channel to networking with top bloggers, you’ll find some great opportunities to apply influencer content marketing trends.
Let’s look at some content marketing examples.
In the years after this business learning platform was acquired by LinkedIn, they reached out to YouTube influencers who aligned well with their brand. They sponsored episodes with influencers who encouraged people to expand their skill-set to grow professionally.
These influencers are familiar to their wide following so this doesn’t look like a sales pitch. It perfectly integrates entertaining content with a clear content marketing strategy.
Coincidentally, another company that starts with an “L” sought partnerships with influencers who had high engagement not just a big following. This trendy mattress company worked with bloggers who created and published on their blogs unbiased reviews of the Leesa mattress.
Bloggers helped break down every aspect of the mattress, pros and cons, comparisons, and recommendations to help customers learn more about the mattress from an outside source.
Was everything they said good? No. But it was authentic. And customers like that.
Trend 5. A Real Content Strategy
“I think a growing number of businesses will stop thinking about content marketing as a separate discipline and instead realize that all good marketing involves content marketing. You can’t have good demand generation, or good PR, or good product marketing without a commitment to meeting your audience’s needs with valuable and interesting content – the essence of content marketing. – Allison Wert, content marketing manager, Frontline Education
Five or so years ago, it was easier for someone with no real strategy to simply produce a lot of content until they got results. But what is content marketing today without clear content strategy? It’s a complete waste of time and money, as too many find out too late.
Sadly, according to 2018 data from the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of businesses don’t have a clear content marketing plan. Furthermore, they are spending big on content marketing. But they don’t understand how it actually aligns with business goals.
As any good content marketing specialist will tell you, it’s not just about creating great content. It’s about knowing what content people are really looking for and understanding how that content guides a customer through customer journey.
It’s about setting clear goals and achieving them.