by Uzair Khan, VP of Sales & Marketing at Enterprise Monkey
With 89% of B2B marketers using content marketing in their organization, the stakes for content marketing this year are no different.
From leaping forward from a buzzword to today as a crux and essence of nurturing a B2B industry, content marketing has left no stone unturned for educating the industry best practices to the potential customers.
Ever since content marketing practices first came into existence in the late 19th century, the focus had always been providing value to the customers. Today as we have transcended into the digital age, content marketing has undergone a with a whole new transformation. Today with the onset of technology, content marketing has facilitated more and more people to produce quality content for the customers. This has become both boon and bane for marketers. Boon because there is abundant helpful content, bane because ‘there is an abundance of content’. The competition has increased fourfold with several content creators vying with each other to produce the creme de la creme.
Unlike last year, where content marketing trends involved less technology and more strategy, the year 2018 sees a healthy mix of both along with some extra dose of disruption.
Without any further ado, let us see what trends content marketing has in store for 2018.
With Press Association winning a million dollar grant by Google last year, A.I barged into the journalism world and secured its sweet spot in content creation. Giants like Associated Press, Yahoo, and Fox have already been using AI for content creation for a long time.
It has become hard and illogical to put it out there manually. AI is used to streamline these processes and also help you to classify a significant amount data based on user intent. Here’s how A.I is growing in content marketing:
Tailored Feeds on Social Media.
Providing tailored news feeds on social media as per the user interests. This will significantly increase the engagement on each post as the readers are being shown exactly what they want to see. Facebook is already using this technique without readers even realising.
Optimization for Every Individual.
The market is not divided into segments anymore, but into every single individual. A.I will help marketers to optimize the content on real-time basis and provide an unmatchable experience to each customer.
Easier Content Curation.
Content curation has also become quite easy with A.I. Its algorithms have simplified the data collection for content marketers. They can sort the topics that the target audience wants to read about a specific business or the kind of questions that run through their minds. Thus the content relevance will significantly increase causing more engagement.
Using A.I generated content for repetitive and bulk content such as news stories, reports, statistics etc. where creativity has a minimum role. This has further breached into A.I being used for interacting with the customers using chatbots with really direct and simple conversations.
If you look closely, A.I has increased the personalization of content tuning down to a single individual which would otherwise have been very cumbersome manually.
If you missed it, content marketers have recently shifted their focus from millennials to Gen Z, reason being, by 2020, Gen Z will account for 40% of the total consumers.
Gen Z seek validation from social media. For them, the influencer endorsements are equally important as the celebrity endorsements, and this is exactly why content marketers should care about influencer marketing this year.
Content marketing and influencer marketing go hand in hand. People ‘listen’ to them and that is exactly what you want. Another trend to note here is allowing the influencers to create some of the content for you. This will be like killing two birds with one stone. First, it will ease the load of new content creation and secondly, the trust factor will highly increase among the audience after reading something that’s coming directly from their favourite influencers.
This year the influencer marketing will reach a whole new level, moving from payment model to relationship model. Content marketers will have to focus on building a meaningful relationship with the influencers in order to kindle authentic promotion from their side.
Blockchain technology has been relatively new in the content marketing arena, but the truth remains that it is being explored aggressively in any industry that you can imagine of.
As we are moving deeper into 2018, the development of blockchain in content marketing is growing as well.
Taking Care of Authenticity.
The main issue with a large amount of content that is being produced today is its authenticity. This decreasing trust from readers can pose a major threat to content marketers. The digital identity authentication facilitated by blockchain technology can take care of this issue. It can be used to validate the produced content and ensure that it comes from a reliable source.
Taking Care of Ad Fraud.
Another sector where blockchain can help content marketers this year is ad fraud.
According to research, ad frauds will cost advertisers about $19 billion dollars in 2018. Content markers can never be sure of whether or not the ad placements they have chosen are reaching the correct audience. This means that they’ll be paying for fake clicks and impressions without even realising. With blockchain ledger the ad networks will be able to substantiate the legitimate clicks and impressions.
Creating Decentralized System for Influencers.
We understood how influencer marketing is emerging as one of the dominating trends for content marketing this year. But have you ever thought that what if the flattering followers that you see on their profiles are all fake and bought?
All the money that you have spent on the influencer marketing will go down the drain. Blockchain technology will create more transparent and decentralized system for influencers and content marketers.
Reward System for Micro-Influencers.
Even the virality of the content can also be taken care of blockchain by providing rewards to micro-influencers ensuring that they share and promote your content. Infact platforms like Mavin have already stepped onto this turf.
Uzair Khan is the VP, Sales & Marketing at Enterprise Monkey, an Australia based e-business consulting company which helps Small-to- Medium Enterprises and Not-for- Profits and Startups by providing integration, automation and greater visibility of their business processes.