In business, what your customers want and respond to changes every day. In marketing we need to prepare and respond to those changes. Digital tools are rapidly changing the content marketing landscape and every year we see the rise and fall of new platforms. So what trends might emerge in 2018?
Many brands already use personalisation as part of their email marketing strategies, using automation to reach people based on behaviour, interests and demographic. With 66% of consumers saying that they are extremely lively or somewhat likely to switch brands in they feel like a person rather than a number, organisations need to take the personalization experience further.
The British Academy of Digital Marketing sees the focus shifting away from traditional static site content in 2018 to a more dynamic website. Marketing automation will allow companies to offer tailored experiences for their customers depending on where they are in the purchasing life cycle.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
The shift to personalisation requires the ability to access and analyse customer data, which means organisations need to ensure their data complies with the EU’s new data protection by the deadline of May 2018.
The new legislation means that companies covered by GDPR will be more accountable for their handling of people’s personal information. All companies that deal with data in the EU will need to comply with GDPR, even if they are based in non-EU countries.
Last year Google announced that 20% of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. This number is likely to increase as consumers get used to asking other virtual personal assistants such as Alexa and Siri.
Ultimately voice search will alter content and SEO strategies to include more featured snippets or present interactive tutorials that can be spoken to consumers. Since voice search queries frequently contain question words, content strategists should research the FAQs relevant to their organisation.
Video is here to stay
Video was expected to be huge in 2017, and the suggestion is that it will continue to expand in 2018. HubSpot reports that 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their plan in the next year, and 46% plan to add Facebook video. In terms of unique monthly users, YouTube is more popular than Google.
For B2B organisations, video offers the ability to simplify complex information. For example a short video demonstrating a how a product works might be a better user experience than complex written instructions.
There is room for quality thought leadership
Recent Edelman-LinkedIn research found that 41% of CEOs said they included a company in a request for proposal (RFP) process after reading a thought leadership piece by that company. B2B buying committees tend to be cautious as a poor buying decision can damage a career. If thought leadership positions a company as a leader in the industry, it can decrease the risk of the buying process for prospects.
However, 86% of thought leadership pieces consumed by CEOs are considered merely good, mediocre or poor in quality. Furthermore over 30% of decision makers have removed companies from consideration after engaging with what they viewed as poor thought leadership content. So the lesson is quality matters.