What to Expect From Content Marketing in 2019
Posted by Ka-Lok Ho
In my previous post I mentioned one of my predictions for content marketing in 2019.
That was just 1 of 5 things I have in mind, so although we’re almost at the end of January, here are the break down of my predictions.
1. Less clickbait. Higher quality content.
The content landscape has been plagued with clickbait over the past few years. Where ad revenue was the main goal and click through rates (CTR) were king.
Clickbait is stolen attention and stolen attention does not strengthen customer loyalty.
Brands are picking up on this – in a world where there are a million options vying for your customers attention, consumers have learnt to distrust brands through too many bad experiences. The best option to gain permission for attention now is through honest, helpful, and personalised content.
Brands are no longer just competing with each other, but video on demand, podcasts, YouTubers – anyone has the ability to create quality content now. Brands are forced to not only raise production quality, but their content value proposition too.
2. Interactive Personalised content experience.
In a previous post where I discuss the ABC’s of a Good Content Strategy, the first golden rule was authenticity – to be relatable to your audience. The best brands are doing that, but now consumers want a unique personalised experience to have their voices heard.
Instagram Stories, which began unashamedly as a Snapchat clone, have been doing a fantastic job of taking the disappearing content concept to the next level by adding many features that allow viewers to engage with the content creator.
These features significantly increase engagement and adds another element to the relationship. No longer is it a one way transaction, from creator to viewer, but now there is conversation with such features as being able to vote for choices, ask questions, have countdown timers and I’m certain this year there’ll be many more.
This year we already have another great example with Netflix’s interactive Black Mirror Special, Bandersnatch, which allowed viewers to choose options of how the story could play out. If it’s possible to do it through video on demand, there should be no excuse to not be doing this through your other channels.
As seen with the Black Mirror special which took Twitter by storm, the element of having a personalised experience then being able to compare notes with your friends, and seeing how others have reacted adds another dimension to the content.
It’s not a one way B2C affair anymore, if anything it’s C2B in terms of content.
Consumers now want to be heard, they want to know their opinions matter and then share their experiences. With it becoming ever easier to have a back and forth with your favourite brands, the content experience is evolving. Now it’s the audience that get to demand what is seen.
3. More raw/unpolished content.
Audiences want to see more ‘real’ content, less polished, less perfect and more authentic content.
They want to see if not a face, a personality behind the corporation.
The evidence is in the fact that more brands are adopting behind the scenes videos, or an inside look into their processes. Many are are also asking to create in the style of user generated content (UGC), to emulate the look of viral videos and raw footage.
What you may find mundane about your day to day in your business, your customers are likely curious about the process. Look at the popularity of vloggers, the production quality isn’t high, their days mostly aren’t that interesting, but it’s something about the reality of it all and a peek behind the curtain that pull audiences in.
When content is king and you’re always needing to create to stay consistent, for SEO, to be on top of the mind, behind the scenes content is a great way to get more bang for your buck.
If you have a photoshoot for your products for example, share behind the scenes of how the project came together, on set photos and videos, short clips of any fun bloopers or fun facts, interviews with on set talent or even staff.
Raw content is low effort, high impact.
You would’ve had that production set up anyway, so instead of just gaining the one deliverable and intended result, grab another camera and now you have more pieces of content easily.
4. Collaboration with the community.
In a world where we’ve become culturally more aware, more sensitive to all opinions, and diversity is taking somewhat of a step forward, the value is in the different voices, perspectives, and inclusivity.
ITV recently reached out to their community and let 52 creatives of various disciplines play with their logo, to create their new television idents.
One of their goals was to ‘open the door to make [ITV’s] palettes richer and more exciting’
This is just one of many examples of brands collaborating within their community to bring a more diverse worldview to their brand. But there are many benefits to collaborating with your community, which I have wrote about in a previous post here.
In summary, you open doors for a conversation with your customers strengthening customer loyalty, when you have your community collaboratively creating with you, then having your other customers see this, it is essentially the best testimonial you can receive from your brand advocates.
When even traditional mediums are takings steps forward in this area, digital and tech brands can learn from the example to take into their own content marketing strategies.
5. Long-form content is here to stay.
When it seems everyone and their dog has a podcast, with newcomers everyday, long form isn’t going anywhere.
Only a couple years ago during the peak of Vine’s popularity was the general consensus that audiences only had an attention span of 5 seconds. I’ve always believed it to be a condescending thought and generally disagreed with the sentiment.
It’s not that customers have a short attention span necessarily, it’s the bigger question that brands face;
Do you have the enough value to provide to keep your customers engaged for a long time?
Long form is difficult to get right, and not many brands have managed to successfully step into the format, whether it be articles, podcasts or lengthier videos. However those that do get it right, usually have a much clearer understanding of their customers and are able to provide immense value with their content, with a more devoted, engaged audience.
Consultants, and solopreneurs who act as educators thrive in this space as they begin to act more like influencers.
Another typical issue is it’s believed that it’s a bigger investment taking up too many resources. Yes there is the initial time investment of planning, writing, creating, but the long term pay off is worthwhile if you understand the relatively secret benefit to long form content, which might surprise you.
The true secret to long form content is what comes after; micro-content.
What is micro-content? Content that is easily digestible in less than 1 minute, whether its audio, video or a quick article.
To take the long form version and break it into many shareable parts that can be placed all over your channels. I will write a more in depth article on how to achieve this in the coming weeks.
To sum up my predictions;
Higher quality content. Less clickbait.
Interactive personalised experiences.
More authentic, raw and unpolished content.
Collaboration with the community.
Long form content wins the long game.
Overall, I think the landscape for content in 2019 is moving in an interesting way already and I’m excited to see how right and perhaps more so, how wrong I may be. Content is an ever evolving game, but it’s thrilling to see the innovations and strategies.
Some of these predictions may also be more prophetic for myself, as I continue to develop content for the Erudite.
What are your thoughts for content in 2019? Connect with me on Instagram or LinkedIn and let me know.
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Join me on Instagram where I post daily, sharing my process, behind the scenes on projects and lessons learnt in my business and personal development. @kalok.ho