Before the ball dropped on 2019, several trends in content marketing were predicted to take the new year by storm. Now that we’ve crossed 2019’s midpoint, it’s interesting to look back and see if any of those predictions stuck. According to Entrepreneur, an online publication, the trends most likely to impact the marketing industry included everything from changes in the structure of the marketing funnel to voice-enabled search results. A look back on the past six months reveals what’s succeeded so far.
The marketing team, Digital Success, lists several trends that have dominated 2019. At the top of the list is voice-enabled search. Voice-enabled search allows users to command their devices, such as Apple’s Siri, to search the internet, a website, or app for specific keywords and phrases. Due to its increase in popularity among users, its importance for those who specialize in search engine optimization (SEO) goes without statement.
The next trend is branded content. Branded content exists outside the lines of traditional advertising, but is still created by and associated with the brand in question. One clever example is Lego Movie. The toy company put several stop-motion animation films, made from its products, in theaters for a new generation of children. This isn’t to say a brand has to go so far as to make a feature film, but it’s an example of the creative lengths a brand may go to if it has the resources.
While a feature-length kids’ film might work for a toy company, the same content would be inappropriate for a brand such as Always, that sells feminine products. Knowing the type of content that’s relevant to your brand is as important as the content itself. A short film that’s several minutes long might not be appropriate for Twitter, but a GIF or graphic will do the job.
An important change in content media trends is how performance is measured on social media. Metrics now look to engagement, as opposed to reach, to determine how effective the marketing is. According to Digital Success, the popularity of engagement sits at 30 percent, as of 2018, while reach has declined from 37 percent in 2016 to just 12 percent in 2018. Seeing how easy it has become to buy likes and followers, this isn’t surprising. Reach is no longer a reliable indicator of success.
Finally, long-form content such as videos and podcasts continue to rise in popularity among digital audiences. According to Nielson, 48 percent of digital audience members are millennials and individuals of Generation Z. Of these two demographics, fewer of them are turning on their televisions and radios, and more are charging up their laptops and mobile devices.
Trends will continue to change as technology, audiences, and the culture shifts. However, the one constant is that consistent and quality content, in whatever form it takes, is the best way to reach audiences across the board.