While it may seem like 2018 is fly­ing by, it’s not with­out first mak­ing a mark in the dig­i­tal world and through offer­ing pow­er­ful trends sur­round­ing con­tent mar­ket­ing and deliv­ery. Whether you are look­ing to take on a new con­tent strat­e­gy for the rest of the year, want to tweak your cur­rent prac­tices, or are just won­der­ing where things stand, here’s what’s been shap­ing con­tent mar­ket­ing trends so far this year.

Rise of Influencers

Do you remem­ber the ear­ly days when influ­encers were a nov­el con­cept, and every­one was just try­ing to get more fol­low­ers to become a more sought-after influ­encer? The dynam­ics and specifics may have changed, but the growth and neces­si­ty of influ­encers has not.

Con­sumers respond to emo­tion­al pain points and the opin­ions and endorse­ments of oth­ers. In oth­er words, when they see con­tent from some­one who is talk­ing about a good prod­uct, good ser­vice, or over­all pleas­ant expe­ri­ence, they are more like­ly to respond favor­ably to that con­tent them­selves.

Influ­encers become that pos­i­tive endorse­ment and opin­ion behind a prod­uct that con­sumers respond to, and busi­ness­es are tak­ing advan­tage of this, select­ing influ­encers accord­ing­ly. The key how­ev­er, is that the focus is shift­ing more from how many peo­ple fol­low the influ­encer to how engaged the influ­encer is with their audi­ence and how much the audi­ence engages in return.

Development of Strategy

It sounds like old news, but com­pa­nies, indi­vid­u­als, and large-scale busi­ness­es are final­ly adopt­ing the need for a con­crete con­tent strat­e­gy.

There was a time when that may have looked as sim­ple as pub­lish­ing blog posts three days a week. Now, how­ev­er, it is as expan­sive as ever – and grow­ing every day. Users need to pub­lish blog posts as well as guest posts. They need to be inte­grat­ing social media shar­ing and engage­ment into their plan, as well as under­stand­ing how to best use each online plat­form to suit their busi­ness or indi­vid­ual needs. And all of this is before we con­sid­er the need for email cam­paigns, ad cam­paigns, list-build­ing, and video inte­gra­tion.

Increased Personalization

Whether it is from Chat­Bots, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, or busi­ness­es that under­stand the need for per­son­al­iza­tion along the cus­tomer jour­ney, there is a per­va­sive lev­el of per­son­al­iz­ing hap­pen­ing in online con­tent cre­ation. And for most of us, it is work­ing out just the way it is sup­posed to: we are buy­ing the prod­ucts, tak­ing advan­tage of the ser­vices, and sup­port­ing the com­pa­nies that take the time to make us feel like the expe­ri­ence is per­son­al.

Along with this increase in per­son­al­iza­tion how­ev­er, is also com­ing the need for increased trans­paren­cy. Authen­tic­i­ty gets thrown around a lot, but right­ful­ly so: cre­at­ing authen­tic con­tent, that is true to the ethos and phi­los­o­phy of a com­pa­ny allows them to be trans­par­ent with the con­sumer, giv­ing the whole sto­ry. This tar­gets per­son­al­iza­tion in that the con­sumer feels far more con­nect­ed to the brand and what it is offer­ing or what it stands for, and when you can devel­op emo­tion­al con­nec­tion, you can gath­er busi­ness in return.

Niche Content

Craft­ing con­tent on a broad top­ic or offer­ing insight across sev­er­al areas of a par­tic­u­lar indus­try is not the key to busi­ness progress and suc­cess. One of the main fac­tors that gov­erns an individual’s or business’s abil­i­ty to grow, is author­i­ty. When you can devel­op author­i­ty and cred­i­bil­i­ty, gar­ner­ing trust from your audi­ence and cus­tomers, that audi­ence becomes leads which, in turn, have the abil­i­ty to gen­er­ate rev­enue.

Suc­cess­ful­ly fos­ter­ing this author­i­ty, is top of mind and cre­at­ing con­tent is a great way to do that. But it has to be niche con­tent. It has to be con­tent that hones in on a spe­cif­ic area or sub­ject that can be backed up with cred­i­ble resources and that allows you to dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self in the field. With the pletho­ra of con­tent avail­able online, sim­ply adding more of the same or regur­gi­tat­ing over­done top­ics in dif­fer­ent words doesn’t get you any­where – and isn’t good for your con­tent strat­e­gy.

Change in Formats

Just like blog posts alone stopped being enough a cou­ple of years ago, the shift con­tin­ues today, and it is no longer enough to just man­u­fac­ture con­tent. In order to stay abreast in the mar­ket, keep the atten­tion of an audi­ence and car­ry prospects to leads to cus­tomers, the con­tent has to be diver­si­fied, var­ied and inno­v­a­tive. Today it might be a blog post, while tomor­row it is a video, fol­lowed by an info­graph­ic and then a pow­er­ful image. Bite size con­tent is com­ing on in a big way, and, more than ever, audi­ences are respond­ing to infor­ma­tion they can get quick­ly and ben­e­fit from imme­di­ate­ly. With the nev­er-end­ing list of options for deliv­er­ing con­tent, it only makes sense that chang­ing it up is the way for­ward through change.

With a quar­ter of the year left to unfold, it’s not too late to adopt these pow­er­ful con­tent mar­ket­ing trends. But hur­ry, because pret­ty soon it will be time to start look­ing ahead to what will hap­pen in 2019!