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content marketing trends

Top Five Content Marketing Trends in 2018

The new year is here (hooray!) and these are the five trends we’re most excited about:

1. High Quality Content

There is a lot of noise on the internet and way too much mediocre content. But as platforms up their games (with things like stories, filters, and user-generated content campaigns, just to name a few), content improves, too. Boring ads and gimmicks just can’t compete.

We’re excited to see more great writing, videos and campaigns that add value to the user experience instead of just selling to followers.

2. Video

Video is a part of content, but it gets its own section here because we expect video to be a big player this year.

We’ve already seen video come to dominate Facebook newsfeeds, and it’s growing on other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, too. Videos are going to have to be better than ever to outperform the competition.

The downside is that we’ll also see more video ads. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve seen YouTube ads that are so good that I didn’t even skip them to get to the video. But, 2017 brought with it those awful Facebook video ads that cut in at weird times and are designed to be unskippable. I am sorry to say that I think this year will only bring more.

3. Chatbots

I find chatbots a little annoying because they don’t go away and I don’t find them helpful.

But, then I remember that it was only a few years ago that voice recognition software became useful. Remember when voice recognition on phones made you want to chuck your phone through a window? I don’t remember the last time the computer couldn’t get me where I wanted to go.

I think we’re seeing the evolution of chatbots and if they save me from customer service emails and wait times on the phone, I’m all for it. (PS Here’s a cool if only tangentially-relevant story about bots and humans.)

4. Augmented reality

I am loving the direction of AR. Sephora Virtual Artist and Ikea Place are two of my favorites from this list but we’re still in the very early stages of the technology. I loved this Forbes list of 11 creative uses for AR in marketing. Admittedly I get a little freaked out knowing my face is stored in some marketing department’s database, but just so long as no one steals my eyes, right?

5. Podcasts

There is no form of media I love more than a well-produced podcast, so I was excited to see this list of branded podcasts, only one of which I’d ever heard. eBay’s podcast Open for Business was a 13-episode run produced by Gimlet and it was so good!

According to Journalism.org, fewer than half of Americans have ever listened to a podcast, and fewer still listen to them regularly. But, listenership is on the rise.

I hope 2018 brings more great branded podcasts. Even if you already have a strong audience base, branching into podcasts is going to reach an entirely different audience. If you’re thinking of getting into the podcast game, now’s the time. Really all you need is some dedication and a good microphone.

Anna Ray