As we reach the end of the year, there are two things we can say for certain for 2019:

  • Content marketing will become even more important
  • Content creation and distribution will change radically

There’s a reason Seth Godin calls content marketing “the only marketing left” – it’s authentic, useful, and perfectly suited for the internet generation.

But while few can doubt the effectiveness of content marketing, the channels, tactics and tools marketers use to create and distribute content will continue evolving in 2019 and beyond.

What content marketing trends should you watch out for? How should you change your marketing strategy to keep pace with these changes?

[Content marketing trend #1] Authenticity, transparency, and value marketing

First things first:

When it comes to any type of marketing, authenticity, transparency, and value have always important.

(Or, at least, they should have been.)

However, by 2019, all of this will essentially be table stakes. That is, if your content doesn’t accurately reflect your brand’s voice, the mission your company stands for, and the value you hope to bring your target audience…well…you might as well not create it in the first place.

Case in point:

  • 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a key differentiator that leads to a purchasing decision
  • 73% of consumers would pay more for a product if the company behind it promises transparency
  • 94% of consumers say they would remain loyal to a brand that provides complete transparency

Needless to say, companies that don’t provide this transparency – and perhaps even go as far as to create inauthentic content – are going to suffer moving forward.

For one, not being transparent in the first place is typically seen by consumers as a red flag of sorts. Moreover, those who notice said red flags are probably going to dig deeper into said company’s statements to determine their validity; any discrepancy between what a company says and what it actually does, of course, is going to cause major problems among its audience.

With regard to providing value through the content you create, the purpose of content marketing has never been simply to sell your products or promote your brand. Rather, content marketing has always been about providing value to your audience in some way – be it educating them, entertaining them, or otherwise. In doing so, you communicate a sense of authenticity and transparency through your content, in turn allowing your customers to trust your brand moving forward.

How to use this trend

The best way to provide value through your content marketing initiatives (and, again, to communicate a sense of authenticity and transparency in doing so) is to create content that:

  • Aligns with your overall message and mission
  • Helps your target audience better accomplish their goals as pertains to your offering
  • Makes them comfortable engaging further with your brand

Through its content, Away has been able to position itself as more than just a simple luggage company; rather, the brand thrives on helping its customers get the absolute most value out of every trip they take.

Keeping with the travel industry motif, Southwest Airlines has created a standalone site called Transfarency, which provides “tips on how to outsmart other airline’s bogus fees.”

[Content marketing trend #2] Content personalization and interactivity

Core dna customers such as Stanley PMI are using our platform to personalize their eCommerce customer experiences — and we expect to see more content personalization taking place across the eCommerce industry and beyond in 2019. That’s because:

78% of consumers say that personally-relevant content is a determining factor in their purchasing decision

  • Increasing personalization can lead to a 500% increase in consumer spending
  • A lack of relevance leads to an 83% decrease in engagement rates

Furthermore, content that provides even the slightest bit of interactivity, according to Jeff Bullas:

  • Enables brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors
  • Leads to enhanced engagement among their target audience
  • Fosters an increased sense of trust and credibility among their viewers/readers

That said, as we move into 2019 you’re going to want to figure out numerous ways in which to create personalized content that allows – and in some cases requires – your audience to interact with your brand.

Not only does this allow the customer the opportunity to review the restaurant in question (creating user-generated content in the process), but it also allows OpenTable to get a better understanding of the user’s needs and expectations when dining out. In turn, the service can provide even more personalized recommendations for the customer moving forward.

Live video via platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are another prime way to create interactive content that can essentially be personalized on-the-fly. While sometimes you’ll certainly want to use such platforms to create scripted broadcasts in which your audience isn’t meant to participate, you also could use them to put on Q&A sessions, create interactive how-to videos, and so on.

[Content marketing trend #3] Cross-team input and development

Going along with what we said earlier about authenticity and transparency, the process of content creation should span throughout your entire organization – not just your marketing team.

That is, everyone in your organization – from the CEO to your ground-level employees – should have some input at some point in the content creation process. There are a number of reasons for making this change.

For one thing, each of your team members engages with your brand’s customers in different ways – and will be able to provide varying perspectives regarding their needs and expectations in terms of the content they want to see. Similarly, as each team member plays a different part in the overall operations of your company, they have their own unique understanding of the value your company provides. Putting these two points together, your various team members will likely have a number of different ideas as to how to communicate your value to your audience members.

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