Since ‘Content is King’ became a buzzword, organizations all over the world have consistently put a lot of effort into creating content. Every marketer knows by now that creating interesting, original and useful content opens the doors to customer’s minds, and establishes loyalty. Creating sticky content is what marketers are aiming for.  Sticky refers to memorable, emotional and interesting enough content to make an audience spend more time on reading, talking about, or interacting with brands.

In comparison to last year, more than 89% of B2B marketers already use Content Marketing as their main marketing tool by providing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain an audience, and drive them to action – as a report from the Content Marketing Institute, shows.  Clearly, most companies have shifted their marketing budgets from traditional advertising and story lines to video marketing, social media posts, and to IoT (Internet of Things) solutions such as Alexa or Google device.

Content creators need to adapt quickly and efficiently, in order not to lag behind current technologies and trends.

Here are the latest trends for Content Creators to consider in 2018:

The Internet of Things – taking content out ’n’ about

If you are not friendly with current technologies and you have a plan to develop your business next year, IoT might be a great solution, especially for local services relying on Internet sales such as the food industry, wearables like Fitbit or Apple fitness devices, or services.

Internet of Things, although sounds like magic, is basically artificial intelligence that works as a system, combing the data gathered through all processes we are involved in on the worldwide web and delivering efficient solutions to the end user. Although IoT is widely used to create “intelligent” houses (for example SMART meters that measure temperature, compare costs and switch on when the time is most efficient); “intelligent” health networks or, “intelligent” production lines, we can use the technologies on an every-day basis, in almost any industry.

All marketing automation tools like Marketo or Salesforce rely heavily on IoT, too. From our perspective, interconnectivity of different digital devices creates endless opportunities to listen and effectively respond to the market needs, hence delivering the right message to the right people, at the right time.

The solutions can analyse buying habits across all platforms, obtain data that wasn’t available before; give us better insights into any stage of a customer’s journey, and even give us the chance to prepare a set of fully contextual ads to tailor outreach.

Have you already used Alexa by Amazon or Google device to ask for something? In 2018, intelligent devices are predicted to gain popularity. The concept of IoT is rapidly slipping into our world. If you are willing to keep up to date with the latest trends, why not add your brand to Alexa Skills Set? In the skillset you can find all sorts of skills required for everyday life, including lighting control, traffic watch, daily news, business tips, bitcoin value, or quotes from favourite inspiring people; used on a daily basis by Internet users without sitting in front a screen. To stay ahead of other brands, adding your company to the local data base is a must. The digital footprint will be recognized by any device in the IoT network. Exploring new ways of exposing your brand might result in greater brand awareness without a high price tag. More about Alexa Skill Set here.

Authentic, transparent approach

Consumers are tired with constant aggressive marketing techniques such as advertising; they have had enough of branding consisting pretty much of the same features for everyone. There is no “recipe for success” that suits all. The clue to gaining attestation these days is providing the real picture of you and your brand. Two years ago, it was very trendy to donate money to charity. CSR was on the rise. These days, supporting good causes might be seen as a desperate move in promoting a brand without authenticity and honesty, if the brand is not backing up their promotion with relevant, consistent actions.

Several companies fined during recent years for not disclosing that social influencers were paid for their products reviews, are another example of failure in authenticity. Warner Bros. and Microsoft (with their Xbox promotion) were fined for unlawful practises in this area. Recently, the lack of transparency was recognised by Facebook and brands using Facebook to build social engagement can no longer directly ask for liking, voting or sharing their posts. In 2018, asking for sharing content, like or vote will be disadvantaged by popular social networks and result in lower positions in the newsfeed. Consistent posts asking for favours can even result in the ban of a Fan Page. Posting on Facebook cannot be treated as a primary audience development tool any more.

If you are not leveraging influencers in a positive way, your campaign may not be effective and could fail. The fan data base needs to be relevant. If you are pursuing influencers for cooperation, check not only their number of followers, but also their opinions, audience profile and the reasons why they are following this particular person. The quality of followers counts, not quantity. And remember, if influencers talk about you, it doesn’t really do much, but if they talk consistently and they keep coming back to your brand, their influence can result in expected audience’s interactions. It takes 6 months on average to generate brand awareness. To check our influencers campaign, go here.

Content tailored to your customer’s journey

Establishing your customer’s journey should be the primary task in any marketing strategy planning. You need to know if the audience you are about to approach is aware of your brand, if they already use it, if they are looking for a solution for their problem, or they are not even aware that the solution exists.

At the awareness stage, most appropriate content to use are: reports, research findings, e-books, editorials, expert comments, whitepapers, and educational content.

If you target an audience in the consideration stage, use: lives on Facebook, webinars, podcasts, video marketing, comparisons, bots.

If you want to tailor content for consumers at the decision stage, the following content tools have been proved to be effective: case studies, comparisons, trials, demos, tutorials.

The lines between owned, earned, and paid media, will blur

Owned media are no longer under control, as social networks can interact with the brand, either adopt the brand or simply destroy its reputation by posting a few words. Paid media are less popular as they lose credibility and response rates. Earned media, on the other hand, seems to be gaining popularity, and is perceived as the most reliable source of information. The truth is – a clear border between the three is slowly disappearing. The most apt seems to be the creation of content that combines all three factors, and is promoted simultaneously across all channels, in different formats.

Live videos will become increasingly popular

Over 80% of marketers believe that creating video marketing should be at the top of the list of any marketing team effort. It combines all the factors above, such as tackling the problem with authenticity, relevant content for every stage of the customer’s journey, or transparency and innovation. Needless to say, Facebook videos raise organic reach by over 135% in comparison with images, for example. The engagement rate with videos is almost 2.5 times higher than any photo post and 3 % higher than a status post. Facebook users spend 3 times more time on watching live videos than any other type of video, and they are 10 times more likely to comment. 80% of respondents in a Livestream survey said that they were more likely to watch live video than read a blog post, and over 82% preferred lives to social media posts. Recently we have run Live Videos campaign for our client ExcellenceVale. The results were staggering. We had to expand our client’s event venue to allocate more participants of advertised event than originally expected.

Interactive content on the rise

Although mentioned several times during the past years, Virtual Reality has started to shape the new marketing landscape. Visual solutions demanding consumer engagement might help shoppers to feel more familiar in a digital world. It includes a more realistic approach, for example, from Shopify, which added a VR app to customize clothes in real time, or Vistaprint, which allows you to visualize a Business Card or calendar in real time.

Recent studies from several study centres show that over 30% of brands will use some form of VR in their marketing approach. Some brands are using visual tools to enhance customer experience during shopping at POS, some use digital apps as leverage with trends. The more interested industries seem to be: travel and tourism, events, leisure and music, home design, education and gaming. Virtual reality appeals to a human’s brain on three levels: neocortex, responsible for higher-level thinking; limbic system – responsible for emotions and motivation, and the reptilian brain, which is related to our primitive instincts.

If you are looking for help with the above techniques tailored to your brand with Polish audience in mind, do not hesitate to contact us.

Posted in: