Content will continue to be key in 2018
Apparently, the coming year will see Apple investing over $1 billion on original content; Google purchasing original content specifically to fill content gaps found through their search algorithms, and Facebook shelling out on original video. With consistent, original, and addictive content all the rage then, we look at three trends that we think will shape content in 2018…
Creating content that ‘speaks’ the customer’s language
Customers are no longer limited to the screen in the way that they view content. The Internet of Things has made it so that content is interwoven into our lives in a brand-new way. Thanks to Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches, and the ratio of voice search is growing faster than type search. ComScore reported that 40 percent of adults now use voice search once a day, and that 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. And Mintel’s Digital Digital Spring Trends Report revealed 62 per cent of Brits are using, or happy to use, voice-operated devices to listen to music, search, check the news and shop.
Voice activation will therefore start to become a real trend in 2018 – and one which the industry will need to respond to. People don’t search the same way vocally as they do a keyboard; writing is more formal, structured and careful, while talk is more casual and natural and content will need to reflect this. For SEOs, this means re-thinking content and creating copy that speaks the customers’ language. In addition to short, two- or three-word phrases, marketers will need to start building in long-tail keyword phrases to account for lengthier, voice-commanded search queries.
Presently, 46 percent of all searches on Google and a third of all mobile searches are local. Mobile voice searches are three times more likely to be local-based as voice search provides a safer, faster, easier way to access information on-the-go. This means marketing will need to ramp up local SEO and as you generate long-tail keyword phrases, working in local details.
In addition, voice search on mobile devices means people are accessing information while doing other things. They want more short-form content; snackable answers to the questions they’re asking. While this doesn’t mean the end to all long-form content, brands will need to research the questions their customers are asking, and offer quick answers and immediate solutions on blogs, FAQ pages, and social media posts.
Increased demand for video content
Over the last decade the Internet has diversified and enriched the PR industry, with an explosion in mobile devices and faster networks making a vast range of content immediately available users whenever, and in whatever form, they want it. While this has led to a decline in the number of print publications, reducing the number of available PR opportunities, it has also opened up a wealth of online opportunities. As 2018 will see more local newspapers shut down their print operation and focus exclusively online, demand will soar for PR video content.
Fifty-five percent of people consume video content, and by 2020, online videos will account for more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic. Bringing video content into your marketing strategy might seem like a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be the sole focus of your budget or even the biggest portion of it to be valuable.
People like to watch and comment on videos. This means that websites with video content benefit from increased engagement and higher numbers of shares, increasing social signals. All this combined with more brand mentions and links from PR significantly improves SEO. Video content perfectly complements traditional PR tactics such as press releases, case studies, opinion-led articles and new comment. It can also tie in with other digital functions, such as marketing and even HR, and can also massively improve a company’s ranking on major search engines such as Google.
What’s more, pre-recorded video content is continuing to be overshadowed by live video, which will become even more mainstream in 2018. According to Facebook, users spend three times more time watching live videos than videos and comment more than 10x more during live videos. A Livestream survey showed that 80 per cent of respondents would rather tune into a live video than read a blog post.
Personalisation will continue be a hot topic
Personalisation enabled by use of data has been a mission for most brands in recent years: consumers expect brands to know them, recognise them and deliver them directly relevant information. Brands are now able to dig up huge amounts of information on their customers. They can see what they are buying, where they are going online, and even what they plan to buy. If a brand can track a customer’s journey through the sales process they can start to communicate with them on a meaningful level. Asa this becomes more mainstream, the more agencies will be able to pitch campaigns at exactly the right level and with the perfect pitch for consumer interest.
But with GDPR looming, it’ll to be harder to deliver direct personalised messages. This will force a renewed look at how to ensure access to consumers, how to talk to them, and what it means to personalise messaging and make it directly relevant to individuals and groups. New techniques will need to be evolved to ensure stronger relationships are forged.
Like any marketing discipline, content marketing changes over time and we think the above trends will shape content hugely over the next 12 months. What are your thoughts?