‘Tis the season of lists. Gift-giving lists. Grocery lists to cover the essentials for a favorite holiday meal. Lists of resolutions to (try to) keep in 2019. Given that I’m a list lover, and that 2018 has been a year of great content marketing trends, articles and highlights, I’ve curated a list of some of my favorite content marketing resources from 2018 reflective of the top content marketing trends. None of them naughty, all of them nice (for the industry, that is). Check out these “greatest hits” that appear in no particular order:
“Voices Carry” and Now Voice-Activated Tech is Impacting the Content Marketing Landscape
With the continued popularity of voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home, we’re seeing a change in how people purchase products and consume marketing content. As more and more folks opt to listen and talk, versus type and read, content marketing tactics must keep up. That’s why I found both this Econsultancy post on optimizing content for voice in 2019 and this Content Marketing Institute post on how voice-activated tech will impact the future of content marketing so valuable.
“Video Killed the Radio Star” and Now It’s Changing the Content Conversation
Let’s face it: “engaging and visual” is where it’s at – and continues to be – when it comes to content marketing trends. And this year, it didn’t get more visually engaging than video. From more advertisers embracing video on social platforms, to marketers embracing live video to change how they engage with audiences, videos are leading the charge when it comes to creating more authentic interactions and shifting from talking “at” folks to having a conversation “with” them.
These two Marketing Land posts on the introduction of the content conversation and on the rise of video advertising, along with this Content Marketing Institute post on the five new rules of video marketing success, were all great sources of insights this year.
“Everything Changes”: Rethinking Existing Tactics and Adding New Ones to the Mix
2018 brought with it a shift in how we looked at traditional content marketing tactics and a rise in more niche tactics aimed at reaching specific users.
In terms of a reinvention of the tried and true, this year saw a new way of looking at the approach to buyer personas. It’s probably safe to say that most marketers across all industries have, at one time or another, engaged in the exercise of creating personas. But stopping there could cut brands off from a significant part of their audience. Why? Because, as Content Marketing Institute (CMI) puts it, buyer personas put the company/product/service at the center of the story. Modern buyer behavior, coupled with consumer demand for higher quality engagement, demands that we put the customers’ needs at the center of the story. This CMI post outlines how to do exactly that, taking a new look at the process for developing personas.
Another twist on an older idea comes when we talk about the content marketing funnel. Gone are the days of a linear, and predictable, step-by-step buying process. The reality is that the once mighty funnel now looks more like an infinity loop, with customers and prospects jumping in at any point along the journey…and expecting relevant content at every touchpoint. And not just from marketing, but from every department involved. This NewsCred post does a great job of highlighting this shift, and it’s definitely one I’ve bookmarked as a reference point.
One final post I’d like to call out is this great Spiceworks resource on how to build a rock-solid ABM list. Account-based marketing has been a trend for the past few years, rising in popularity as the demand from B2B buyers for targeted, relevant content has increased. But it’s still a fairly new undertaking for many marketing organizations, and the ins and outs aren’t necessarily widely understood. Among the many blog posts and articles out there on the topic of ABM, I found this Spiceworks ebook particularly useful (even though it’s IT-buyer specific) because it concentrates on two often-asked marketer questions: 1) How do I get started? and 2) How exactly do I use ABM to target buyers?
Looking Forward to 2019
As this list comes to an end, I have no doubt that 2019 will bring with it countless new content marketing innovations, trends and practices to inform another (and another and another) greatest hits post. I’m excited to see what’s on the horizon for content marketers, and at the same time I’m still processing the topics and industry shifts 2018 gave us. What a great position to be in!
Author: Stacy Greenberg, Content Manager, Outlook Marketing Services