What can we expect of content marketing in 2019? To best answer this question is to think of content marketing as an organism that’s continuously evolving in a changing digital environment. And one of the most significant changes that we will experience going forward will be the way big data is collected.
With the appearance of digital media, marketers gained access to unprecedented amounts of data. It included everything from the items people usually purchase, to the pages they regularly browse, as well as what they say to others over the internet. This information has radically transformed the way content marketing functioned over the past several years.
But with more recent developments such as the Cambridge Analytica incident, data breaches from Equifax, and Mark Zuckerberg appearing before Congress, it’s becoming increasingly more apparent that big data collection is no longer the path to take. Some governments have already stepped in to mitigate the situation. New data privacy laws such as those in California or the European Union’s GDPR attest to the fact that data collection is no longer what it used to be.
With that said, how will content marketing look in 2019? What are the trends that will dominate the near future?
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Sometime during 2019, the video will make up over 80% of all customer-oriented traffic circulating over the internet. As a consequence, video technology is more available and affordable than ever before. Likewise, with video software often offered at a freemium, video content is much more accessible to even the less tech-savvy business owners, or those on a limited budget. It should go without saying that investing more of your time and energy into this type of material will be worth your while.
Numerous video production agencies have also entered the market, following the increased demand for video content. These agencies specialize in everything video-related and will generally provide you with numerous types of content. These include both short and long videos, testimonials, promotions, behind the scenes, how-tos, etc. As part of your video content marketing strategy, you should diversify your content but not at the expense of consistency in terms of style, voice, and posting frequency across all touchpoints and social channels.
Long-Form Quality Content
There’s always been a debate between producing less material but of higher quality as opposed to more, shorter, okayish one. And for a while, the second option seemed to come on top. But in more recent years, particularly with Google’s new Rankbrain algorithm, long-form content is winning out.
Several other benefits come with more extended content. It is difficult to write a poor quality article if it’s longer, as more research and more links are required in long-form content, which, in turn, will increase the quality and value of the piece. Both of these factors will help with SEO, raising the post’s ranking in Google’s search results. Similarly, your page stands a higher chance of being backlinked, further boosting its search engine rankings. Furthermore, long-form content was shown to get 68.1% and 22.6% more engagement on Twitter and Facebook, respectively, as opposed to shorter content.
Nevertheless, you will need to strike a balance in terms of content length. If it’s too short, say around 300 words, your content will not be relevant enough to take advantage of the benefits mentioned above. If it’s too long, however, you risk people not reading it, in the first place. Most experts argue that the optimal length should be somewhere around 1,600 words per post, with the minimum being in between 800 to 1,000.
Voice assistants such as Alexa, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant will account for over half of all internet searches by 2020. Statistics also indicate that in 2019, four times as many millennials will be using voice assistants than baby boomers. Your content will also need to account for these trends.
The reason this is important is that the way we type and the way we speak are relatively different from one another. So, instead of focusing so much on your traditional keywords and concise sentences, you will need to prioritize answering queries as you would when speaking. You’ve probably noticed that, when typing, people want to optimize their text and rearrange the words to use as fewer in a sentence as possible. It is not how people generally talk, however, and will not rank equally as well in voice search.
Instead, try writing full-sentence questions and answers in your posts and titles, rather than breaking them up into multiple sentences for easy reading. Do not overdo it, though, or you will risk falling into the other extreme. Another factor to take into account here is mobile-friendliness. Since most voice searches happen from mobile devices, your website should accommodate that format.
Less ‘Cause Marketing’ and More ‘Cause Transparency’
Over the past several years more and more brands have been hitching a ride on the cause marketing trend. If it were Earth Day or Veterans Day, they would make a donation or hold an event and then boast about it all over the internet. Going into 2019, this will no longer stick as brands have given consumers the so-called cause fatigue. People have since come to realize that most brands don’t support most if any of those causes and only do an occasional advertising stunt solely for the sympathy points.
That said, companies can and should change the world but not by pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Instead, they should support and amplify causes that are already in tune with the brand’s mission. Unlike the cause marketing stunts, this cause transparency should be evident throughout the company’s content marketing strategy.
These are some of the most important trends to look out for in 2019 and beyond. All of these will require some degree of experimentation before you manage to find the best recipe to fit your company’s individual needs. Regardless of how often content marketing is changing, one factor seems to remain constant. Providing value to your audience via the content you produce will be unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
Want to learn more? Talk to a professional Content Monsta!