Has your content marketing strategy been on the decline, figuratively dwindling to embers? If so, we can help. We've collected content marketing trends designed to blow new life into your strategy and rekindle it into the roaring blaze it once was.
We've gathered these trends from across the industry. We've scoured studies from such brands as Content Marketing Institute, Hubspot, and Salesforce -- all leaders in content marketing trends -- with the goal of showing you the very best advice to boost your strategy.
Let's dive into these must-know B2B PR and content marketing trends 2019 to see how you can fuel your marketing strategy for the coming year.
8 Powerful Content Marketing Trends That Will Impact Your 2019 Strategy
1. Email Effectively Nurtures Audiences
When asked In a recent Content Marketing Institute survey about the top ways to nurture audiences, 87% chose emails and email campaigns, trailed closely by educational content with 77%.
Just how important is email in reaching and nurturing your audience? A study from Hubspot reveals that 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. But does not mean that you should email simply for email's sake? No. Consider 78% who unsubscribed from an email list complained about receiving too many emails.
When done right, email marketing campaigns can feed and nurture interest in your brand. Such tactics as email automation, personalization, segmentation, and designing for mobile are all part of an effective email marketing strategy.
Bottom Line for 2019: If you don't already have one, it's important to develop a strong email strategy that nurtures your audience.
2. Personalization is Key
Generalizations are, well...boring. Your audience is made up of many different individuals who don't want to be just another potential buyer. They want to be seen individually, especially by the brands in which they plan to invest.
With the creation of personalization technology, we as businesses have no excuse not to personalize each person's experience. This technology allows us to refer to each person by name and to provide content that is tailored to their interests.
In one study from Salesforce, 57% said that they would be willing to give their personal information in exchanged for personalized offers and discounts. In the same study, 53% said that they would be willing to part with personal data for a more personalized shopping experience.
Bottom Line for 2019: Ditch generalities and tailor your strategy to give a more personal experience to your audience.
3. Conversational Search Takes Over
With virtual assistants like Okay Google, Siri, and even Hey Alexa, the way we search for things has changed. No longer are audiences typing out their search queries. Now, most people speak into their devices and search engines, which has led many to ditch individual search terms in favor of full sentences and questions.
One study shows that this trend is especially popular in younger generations -- with 71% of those between the ages of 18 and 28 using voice-activated devices. This number drops considerably to 39% when we shift to audiences between the ages of 44 and 53. As years go by, however, this trend will expand and impact a broader age range.
Bottom Line for 2019: Within your SEO strategy, focus on voice search with phrases that mimic natural language and syntax.
4. Live Video Becomes a Priority
It's no surprise that video marketing is a top priority for content marketers in 2019 -- with 63% having increased their use of video. But this past year, we've witnessed this trend moving away from traditional, scripted video, and racing toward more relaxed, natural live streaming videos.
Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram have all witnessed an increase in their live streaming services this past year. In fact, another study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau showed that 47% of live video audiences watched more video this past year than previously.
Bottom Line for 2019: Prioritize live streaming video as part of your strategy and make it unscripted and natural.
5. B2B PR Belongs in Your Strategy
A growing strategy for improving content marketing is through B2B PR. While PR and content marketing have long been viewed as completely separate entities, professionals from both sides have realized that they often battle many of the same enemies. These enemies include the challenges of proving ROI, link building for SEO, and amplifying content.
When you realize the similarities that exist between PR and content marketing -- PR does, after all, create a lot of content for brands -- it becomes self evident that these strategies are intertwined. Whether you tap into PR strategies to build more links back to your brand or to promote your brand's content, there are many ways that public relations can boost the power of your brand's strategy.
Bottom Line for 2019: Incorporate PR tactics into your strategy to make it more powerful.
6. Longer Content Takes a Back Seat
Research a few years ago showed that long-form content (blog posts over 1600 words) ranked higher in search engines than shorter content. Since then, we've seen a humungous jump in long form content over the past few years. Has this skyrocketed strategies? Not really.
Now we're faced with a dilemma. As content marketers, we need to temper our approach and create a balance of content -- both short and long form. Why is this important? Audiences need content of all sorts.
Long-form content still has its place -- it is a great way to establish thought leadership and provide deeper information to hungry audiences. But what about audiences on the go or who are just looking for simple answers? You need to give them snackable content that won't overwhelm them.
Bottom Line for 2019: You need to balance your strategy with enough long and short content for every stage of the buyer's journey.
7. Content Creation Increases Budget
When asked where they expect to increase spending over the next 12 months, 56% of respondents in the CMI study pointed to content creation.
Even if content creation is not part of your 2019 plan, this trend shows that it might be the plan for many of your competitors. Whether it's the creation of an ebook, video, or webinar, content is a building block of success for your brand. To get the most out of it, though, be prepared to invest time and money into creating the most attractive content for your audience.
However, better content creation doesn't have to break the bank. There are many free and affordable content creation tools that will help you to create better content. The trick, however, is to invest in across-the-board better content creation for your brand.
Bottom Line for 2019: Look into ways to expand your content creation to keep up with at minimum and aim to surpass competitors.
8. Customer Conversations Need to Happen
One study performed by Content Marketing Institute revealed that when it came to customer research, less than half (42%) actually had conversations with their customers.
This is especially surprising when you consider that 73% of content marketers plan to create buyer personas as part of their strategy. The fact is that strategies like web analytics, social listening, and keyword research can take you only so far. If you wish to bridge the gap and really get to know your audience, then you need to have real conversations with them.
The fact of the matter is that your customers and prospects hold the ultimate key to your understanding their behavior.
Bottom Line for 2019: When doing audience research, go straight to the source and talk to your customers, whether one-on-one or through a panel.
These content marketing trends are taken from the most recent studies and the input from today's most successful B2B content marketers. More importantly, implementing these trends will take your content marketing from a dwindling flame to a roaring fire of a strategy.
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