1. Long-Form Content
Long-form content will be even more important next year, as search engines reward lengthier posts in results rankings, and readers are increasingly looking for more trustworthy sources. Generally speaking, content should be over 2,000 words to be considered long-form. A recent analysis by BuzzSumo of over 100 million articles revealed that long-form content tends to get more social shares than short-form content. Moreover, the longer the content, the greater the likelihood it will be shared.
It’s important to remember that the point of long-form content is not to waste readers’ time but to provide thoughtful information that can be used as a quality resource. Not only will the search engines and readers favour your content, but you’ll also demonstrate that you are an authority on the subject. While short-form content is easier to create, long-form content is worth the investment.
2. Webinars, Webcasts and Live Video
Research shows the undeniable value of video marketing. A 2017 report by Animoto found that 64% of consumers follow through on a purchase after watching a branded video on Facebook. And the video will only continue to rise in importance, with video predicted to account for 82% of global internet traffic by 2021. Research from Aberdeen also noted that marketers who use video increase their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re preparing to integrate video into your 2019 marketing plan:
• Be engaging and unique.
• Be mobile-friendly.
• Stick to a regular, optimized upload schedule.
There’s a huge opportunity for growth in 2019 with video marketing, so figure out how to optimize videos for your business based on your brand and your target audience.
3. Voice Search
Consumers are more excited about their smart speakers than ever. A 2017 report by NPR and Edison Research revealed that 42% of Americans called them “essential,” and their popularity is on the rise. This year’s version of the same report concluded that smart speakers are becoming a part of our daily lives and bringing dramatic changes to consumer behaviour.
So, what does this mean for your marketing plan for 2019? We will likely be seeing more online publications using audio content to keep up with their followers’ demand. This also means that we may see new advertising platforms. As you enter 2019, your marketing plan should include efforts to tailor your company’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to respond to voice search demands.
In recent years, businesses have increasingly embraced the use of chatbots for personalizing and increasing customer engagement. Grand View Research predicts that the chatbot industry will grow significantly as enterprises are enabled to substantially reduce operating costs. Further, improvements in machine learning technology and artificial intelligence mean chatbot features are becoming more adaptable — and likeable — by consumers.
A quality chatbot can answer open-ended questions and use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to find the best responses to frequently asked questions. Chatbots also maintain a standard level of customer service — never impatient, always friendly. Additionally, they can offer 24/7 client service while retaining data for later use. As we enter 2019, you may want to consider the cost-effective benefits of chatbots as a marketing tool for your company.
5. Social Media
If you haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet, plan on incorporating it into your marketing plan in the new year. If you’re new to social media, consider starting with Facebook. Data from the Pew Research Center confirmed that Facebook continues to dominate the social media realm, and based on numbers alone, it’s a desirable platform for consumer engagement.
You may also want to consider Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, depending on your clientele. Data from We Are Social’s annual Global Digital report revealed that Instagram continues to show consistent growth. However, the biggest user increase was LinkedIn, achieving 145% growth in users in 2018. Though LinkedIn still has some catching up to do, it’s trending upward and shouldn’t be overlooked in 2019. Regardless of who you’re trying to reach, it’s almost a guarantee they’ll use some form of social media, so your content marketing plan should make the most of these platforms.
At the end of the day, what clients really want is to understand your business. The 2018 Global Consumer Insights Survey by PwC revealed the importance of consumer trust in a brand during the decision making process. Cohn & Wolfe’s 2017 Authentic Brand Study confirmed not only that consumers evaluate authenticity when deciding whether to trust a brand with their business, but also that 91% of them are willing to reward a brand for authenticity.
Every interaction you have, whether it’s online or in person, should contribute to your overall brand — a brand that is uniquely yours and is clear about what you offer and how you stand out from your peers. The undertone of honesty and authenticity can attract the types of clients with whom you’ll actually want to work and can make your content marketing initiatives far more successful.
Remember: It Takes a Team
Content marketing isn’t just about writing a good post; it’s about taking a collaborative approach to attracting your most desired clients. To achieve success, you’ll want to make sure you not only have skilled writers but also that you have quality tech people, brilliant designers, savvy videographers and intuitive social media mavens who understand each step of the process and are willing to work together to make sure your content marketing is top quality.
Your content isn’t going to market itself. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these trends and get ready to take your content and your business to the next level in 2019.