Today, technology drives everything. It drives our lives through our phones, vehicles, financials and even how we purchase products and services. Every year it seems that technology is advancing at a faster rate than the year before. Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing just about every area of our lives and work, including content marketing. From creation to distribution to consumption, tech is forcing brands to rethink how we use content.
Small and medium-sized business owners should be aware that these days content is key. Being on Facebook and Twitter and posting every day or second day is not enough. In order to get ahead, you must be aware of three things:
- Who is your audience?
- What are your customers looking for in a product or service?
- What is the most cost-efficient way to deliver it to them?
These days content runs everything from retail to social media to technology. Technology is the leading force behind content marketing. Business owners and their teams’ need to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, identify how they affect content marketing and PR trends, and adjust our strategies to match. So let’s look at seven tech trends that are sure to shake up content marketing in 2018:
1. Investments in Content are producing results
More than 60 percent of B2B content marketers and business owners are reporting that they’re more successful now than they were the year before. This means that business owners and managers are keeping to their long-term investments plans and not pulling the plug too early. In order to succeed with content marketing, businesses need to stay dedicated to engaging, high-quality content marketing in long-term in order to see substantial ROI.
2. Social will serve as publishing outlets, not just sharing platforms
Content distribution relies on a variety of tactics — and social shares are the most common way for brands to distribute content. But platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have been making the move toward becoming publishers in their own right, rather than platforms for sharing links from traditional media outlets.
Facebook reigns as the most used social platform for small businesses, and publishers have been using its Instant Articles feature to extend their content’s reach. However, they are not the only ones to do so. Twitter and Instagram recently unveiled a similar feature that allows users to read articles at a swipe of a finger.
Social channels offer a way to get in front of audiences where they are and drive them back to your site, just as guest posting content to the right online publications does. But in an age dominated by social media, having engaging brand social channels is just as important as maintaining a top-notch website.
3. Publications are becoming more focused
As content marketing grows, online publications continue to adjust their models to accommodate this change. I’ve seen more publications shift from covering a variety of broad topics to publishing only niche and highly focused content. Kissmetrics, for example, is focusing more on data, analytics, and growth.
This is a huge opportunity for business owners and marketing. Business owners dealing with a lot of competition can stand out by re-evaluating their products and services and offering something that your competitors aren’t. For example, if you are a landscape company. There are thousands of landscaping companies out there offering similar products and services at similar prices. Ask your customers, look at your numbers, see what your customers want in order to stand out. Better experience? Offering more hours than a competitor? Better quality materials?
4. Machine learning will enable content conversations.
Machine learning is evolving at an exponential rate! Every year we are getting closer to artificial intelligence. We already have experienced some form of AI in our everyday lives. For example Apple’s Siri, Google Home. Artificial Intelligence has impacted nearly every aspect of business from financial to marketing specifically content marketing.
“Content marketing is becoming more conversational, blurring the lines between content marketing and sales. Customers show high interest in having one-on-one exchanges with companies over social media and text message, but companies find it hard to have quality conversations at scale,” Alex De Simone, CEO of Avochato, said.
“Machine learning technologies that enable marketers to tailor who sees a message are starting to decide what the content of conversations should be. The shift from traditional content marketing to machine-mediated conversational marketing will change the way marketers operate, empowering them to deliver better content at scale.”
For more information on artificial intelligence:
5. Advanced tech will make full content personalization a reality
The move toward custom personalized content has been underway for years, but advanced technology will help you take it to the next level. Precision analytics allow you to track audience profiles, establish and target your buyer personas, and generate personalized content and recommendations.
Amazon and Google have already proven the value of creating personalized experiences through hyperspecific customer profiles, and tech will enable companies of all sizes and industries to follow suit. In fact, doing so will become critical: Gartner predicts that by 2018, businesses that have invested in across-the-board personalization will outsell those that haven’t by 20 percent.
6. Mobile optimization will be the standard across industries
We just don’t use desktops nearly as much as we used to. We want everything on-the-go and on-demand, which is why 69 percent of digital media engagement happens on mobile platforms. While it’s not completely necessary to build your own apps (though it’s not a bad idea, either), your content still has to be optimized for mobile consumption.
Mobile-only internet use is on the rise, with 41 million people in the U.S. accessing content exclusively from their mobile devices. To grow and sustain your reach, optimizing for mobile isn’t just a recommendation — it’s a requirement.
More information on mobile marketing:
7. Artificial intelligence will begin creating and enhancing content
Content creators are already tuning in to the potential for AI to transform their work, and the technology will shape the industry in 2018. AI tools like predictive analytics, natural language processing, and generation algorithms drive smarter, more effective content.
Big-name publishers, such as the Associated Press, already use machine-generated content to increase the volume and speed at which they release information. And within the next five years, some experts predict that half of all content will be developed by machines, and humans will only oversee and edit when necessary.
Chatbots, data analysis algorithms, and personalized recommendation systems will automatically direct audiences to content that’s relevant to their interests and circumstances, creating a more dynamic and personalized user experience.
As technology drives changes in content marketing, our industry will shift and adapt in ways we can’t yet anticipate. By watching these trends and embracing the opportunities they present, content marketers can develop truly innovative audience experiences and position their brands to lead us into this brave new world.
Thank you for reading!
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Hall, J. (2017, July 16). 7 Content Marketing Trends Brands Need to Prepare for in 2018. Retrieved September 05, 2017, from https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-content-marketing-trends-brands-need-to-prepare-.html
Hall, J. (2017, August 20). 7 Tech Trends That Will Shake Up Content Marketing in 2018. Retrieved September 05, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2017/08/20/7-tech-trends-that-will-shake-up-content-marketing-in-2018/4/#27080a8555b6