Twenty years ago Bill Gates said: “Content is King”! Much has changed, but these words remain relevant with time. In a rapid flow of technological progress content became one of the leading tools for digital marketing and there is more to come. Below are the 5 key trends that will make you reconsider content marketing in 2018:

1. Quality above all

Before we look at the first trend ask yourself: “What is the content’s main job?” Increase traffic? Generate leads? Entertain? Raise credibility? You won’t mistake if you say “Yes” no each of these questions.

Content quality largely determines the behavior of today’s quite picky customers: whether they follow, trust, purchase or not. Moreover, it is targeted by the search engines. The more relevant and useful your content is, the more chances you have to reach the TOP of search results.

Annual research at Content Marketing Institute states that 82% of marketing specialists consider high quality content to be the main factor influencing effective product promotion.

Marketing strategies of many renowned companies only prove it. It is know that IT gian ‘Apple’ is going to invest over $1 billion into original quality content, whereas Google intends to buy it from major media and Facebook spends money on video.

In 2017 our company designed a website for ‘Novhorod-Siverski’ - Ukrainian organic cheese manufacturer. The site reached top positions with an ‘organic cheese’ search request just under two month after launch only due to substantial approach to content creation. Usually, it takes from 6 months to a year to achieve such results.

Novhorod-Siverski Organic Cheese.

2. User-generated content (UGC)

Study from a large British marketing agency ‘Reevoo’ reveals that customers and users appear to make best sales. In fact, 70% of consumers are more likely to trust content generated by other clients then general site texts.

User-generated content (UGC) is unique since it is created by brand’s audience. It includes customer reviews, recommendations, product and service rating, blog publications, photos and videos, podcasts, etc.

Remember ‘Share a Coke’ marketing campaign. It was the first time when people could find a beverage with their name on it instead of a typical company logo. Every John and Mary, Betty and Steve had a chance to purchase personalized Coke and share in through social media. As a result Instagram had over 500,000 #shareacoke posts increasing company’s sales by 2%.

Instagram #shareacoke

Institute of Vertabrology and Rehabilitation website designed by BRAB is a good example of user-generated content implementation. Patients’ reviews [comments] present nearly at every page of the website are the key factor here. They make visitors more lenient and tructful towards certain procedures and the clinic itself. All reviews are personalized and automatically matched with the procedure or treatment methods customer wants to read about. This way, the person looking for scoliosis treatment will only see reviews related to this subject.

Institute of Vertabrology and Rehabilitation (IVR).

How it works

  • It is important to motivate your customers to leave comments for your service or product. It is even better if these reviews include photos or video.
  • You can initiate a ‘tag a friend’ photo contest and promote it by means of contextual or pre-paid advertisement at Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Integrate social media platforms using hashtags (#) or tracking [monitoring] services.
  • Set up an interactive feedback layout at your site.

3. Streaming video

In 2017 live video broadcast or stream video took up to 75% of all Internet traffic and there is no reason to predict it’s possible decrease with time. Videos rule - no doubt of that! Besides, today there is a variety of platforms where you can publish this type of content.

According to recent research 82% of consumers prefer streaming video to other types of posts.

Let’s take a look at the most creative brand promoting videos.

One of the well known US publications the ‘BuzzFeed’ was the first to gather 10 million views. Their 40 minute online broadcast “How Many Rubber Bands Does It Take To Explode A Watermelon?” boosted public attention.

‘Benefit Cosmetics’ retail company broadcasts beauty lifehacks and makeup tutorials on weekly basis.

Dunkin’ Donuts broadcast as they cook new fancy pastries and occasionally have online real time kitchen tours.

4. Personalized content

Let’s define personalization first. To put it simple, it means adaptation of certain content for a specific target audience. Basically, it is a deviation of a particular piece of information to attract different groups of people. Gather, research and advisory company from the USA predict that companies, which care to invest into personalization will outrun their competitors at the market by 20% in 2018.

HubSpot launched a survey to test effectiveness of 93,000 appeals published at their platform within a year. Results of the study conclude that appeals aimed at a certain group of users are 42% more effective then general appeals.

La Moda, leader of Ukrainian fashion e-commerce, is a great example of content personalization. The company started working with item suggestions that are displayed at product description pages. How does it work? One of the customers looks for a blue jeans and a blue shirt. The next customer looks for blue jeans only, but the system suggests blue shirt or another item the customer is likely to buy with the first product. This algorithm is 15 years old but still proves to be effective today.

. Personalized content at La Moda

5. Micro-scale opinion leaders

In 2018 interaction of business with opinion leaders remains the most effective channel of communication with potential buyer. Statistics show that only 33% of consumers trust commercial advertisement, whereas 90% tend to believe opinion leaders. But don’t rush to hire celebrities! In Facebook, Instagram or on YouTube average bloggers with up to 100,000 followers get more audience than Justin Bieber himself.

Even the great launched a special Amazon Influencer project in 2017 to closely work opinion leaders.

One of the new Amazon’s partners is top YouTube channel for parents “What’s Up Moms”