The New Year is fast approaching, and there’s no better time than now to sit down with your team and determine your inbound content marketing goals for 2018. However, before you set any specific strategies in stone, take a look at the latest trends in the content marketing universe to see where your efforts will best be spent in the upcoming year. Here are five inbound content marketing trends to watch for in 2018, along with some pointers for working each tactic into the content marketing mix.
1. Live Video Marketing
While users are3 times more likely to watch live videos than previously recorded videos, according to Facebook, the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report found thatlive video is only used by 28% of marketers.
Although this is a drastic increase from just 14% in 2016, live video marketing still presents major growth opportunities for content marketers. In fact, 61% of marketers plan to use live video services in the coming year, and 69% want to learn more about live video.
Integrating live videos into your 2018 inbound content marketing strategy can help you stand out from competitors – especially while live video is still in its early stages. Broadcasting live videos can help you reach a broader audience, establish authority, build your brand and customer relationships and drive conversions through calls-to-action. Live videos also create a sense of urgency, giving viewers instant gratification and opening a forum for live feedback.
2. Voice Search
Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana are just a handful of available voice search platforms that are changing the way people interact with their devices. As indicated by the 2014 mobile voice survey conducted by Northstar Research and commissioned by Google,55% of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search daily. Of those who utilize voice search, 89% of U.S. teens and 85% of U.S. adults say they do so because it’s the future.
Get ahead of the game in 2018 by optimizing your content for voice search. You probably already know how to research keywords for search engines, but what about voice search? More often than not, voice searches are location focused and more conversational in tone. As such, keywords are typically longer, requiring extra emphasis on long-tail keywords. FAQ pages are a great place for long-tail keywords and questions that mimic real-world queries thanks to their conversational nature. To further optimize your content for voice search, you’ll also want to claim yourGoogle My Business listing to make sharing helpful information over voice search a breeze.
3. Emphasis On Original Content
Continuing its upward trend, original content will be indubitably important in 2018. Based on the 2016 Content Marketing Staffing & Tactics Study by Curata,75% of content marketers are increasing their investments in marketing technology. And as per the latest Content Marketing Institute (CMI) annual report,91% of B2B respondents now use content marketing –up from 89% in the 2017 report.
As the foundation for all of marketing, inbound content marketing should continue to drive your strategies for the upcoming year. Every piece of content, whether it’s a podcast, blog post, or social media post, should aim to attract your ideal customer at every stage of the buyer’s journey. By developing engaging, targeted content for awareness-, consideration- and decision-stage buyers, you’ll be able to diversify your audience – reaching an increasing amount of prospects – build trust and effectively promote your brand.
4. The Value Of Analytics
Content marketers are using analytics to make data-driven decisions at increasing rates. In fact,87% of B2B marketers now use analytics tools compared to just79% of B2B marketers one year prior. Going forward, inbound content marketers can expect to delve even deeper into website analysis, keyword research, A/B testing and other techniques to learn more about their audience and make data-driven decisions.
Make it a goal in 2018 to document, develop and/or adjust your inbound marketing content strategy based on an analytical approach. Through meticulous research and the incorporation of marketing analytics tools, you’ll better understand your target audience, their interests, what influences them and the types of content they best respond to. Uncovering this information will also help you hone in on the most lucrative objectives, such as increasing organic traffic to your site or growing your social following.
5. Multi Content Marketing
Winning marketing strategies require the incorporation of several content marketing tactics. According to the B2B Content Marketing 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, B2B marketers usesix different content marketing tactics on average. Of these tactics, the most popular are social media posts, case studies, pre-produced videos, ebooks/whitepapers, infographics and illustrations/photos.
Seize your opportunity to draw in more organic traffic by proactively engaging in multiple platforms. While some experiences can be tailored to the medium, such as videos for Facebook and infographics for e-mail marketing, you should aim to create consistency across platforms in regards to graphical elements, tone, language, design and messaging. Creating unique content and carefully curating pieces will help widen the scope of your inbound content marketing efforts in the next 12 months.
Take Control Of Your 2018 Marketing Agenda
Between streaming live videos, optimizing your content for voice search, harnessing the power of analytics tools, creating unique content and juggling multiple inbound content marketing tactics, it may seem like you have a full plate for 2018, but don’t overburden yourself. Instead, set obtainable goals with specific deadlines, and work to achieve those objectives. Your hard work will pay off by the time 2019 rolls around.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com
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