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4 Trends That Will Shape (or Continue to Shape) Content Marketing in 2018 Content personalization, video marketing and user-generated content are trends to watch.

By Syed Balkhi Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Content marketing is constantly evolving. Just as it did in previous years, content marketing can be expected to remain a key strategy to increase brand awareness and acquire new customers.

Related: 12 Content Marketing Trends You Should Be Following

And this makes sense because, compared to 2016, more businesses in 2017 have had success with content marketing. The key to continued success in this effort is your ability to anticipate upcoming trends and embrace change as quickly as possible.

In that context, here are several trends that will shape content marketing in 2018.

Content production

Content marketing is known to be a small business's best method for acquiring customers since it doesn't require a huge budget. However, according to various reports, big brands like Apple, Facebook and Google are also investing significant dollars in original content. So, consistent and original content is apparently all the rage -- for all types of business.

In 2018, brands can be expected to spend more budget dollars for content marketing, making it more competitive with other types of marketing.

So, if your business is determined to keep producing high-quality, relevant content on a consistent basis, you might consider recruiting help by hiring a content team.

You can start with a documented content strategy and plan an editorial calendar to streamline the entire content marketing process. Clearly define team roles to keep everyone on the same page. Then, analyze your progress on a consistent basis and refine your strategy as you go forward.

Related: 5 Trends Shaping the Future of Content Marketing

Video marketing

Video is the future of content marketing. Cisco estimates that video will make up 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019. Additionally, 64 percent of marketers agree that video will soon dominate their content marketing strategies.

By incorporating video into your sales process, you can provide your customers a self-serve, on-demand user experience. This way, you can provide them information at the right time without having to make salespeople always available.

Live-streaming is another emerging trend that's been rapidly becoming the norm across industries. Brands are finding innovative ways to use the new platforms available for this trend.

Overall, live video marketing works because of its transparency. People love brands that are real, and live videos reveal what's happening behind the scenes, allowing customers to get to know more about your brand.

Content personalization

Gartner has reported that brands that have invested in different sorts of personalization by 2018 will outsell those that haven't -- by an imporessive 20 percent. In short, the effectiveness of content personalization strategy is resoundingly high for those who have adopted it.

Of course, content personalization is a challenging task, requiring a long-term, involved effort from your content team. So, start by creating an onsite targeting campaign through modal popups and dynamic content blocks. Use email automation to inform your customers by offering the right information at the right time.

Also: Use retargeting banners to reach your potential customers in different phases of the buyer journey.

User-generated content

Brands are investing in user-generated campaigns that encourage their loyal customers to become brand advocates and share their positive experience with friends on social media.

User-generated content (UGC) on social networks works as social proof because humans have a tendency to trust and follow the actions and choices of other people. In fact, people trust content made by others more than they trust brands' own content.

By running a user-generated content campaign, you could build a positive perception among your potential audience members and build your authority overall in your industry.

UGC is particularly prevalent on Instagram, where brands can easily use popular hashtags and create interesting stories. It also increases your user engagement and visibility, factors which ultimately increase brand awareness.

Related: 3 Ways to Ensure Early Content Marketing Efforts Pay Off

Like any marketing discipline, content marketing changes over time. Just as you'd do in response to any other trends out there, it's imperative that you get out ahead of those in your industry before those trends become old news.

Syed Balkhi

Award Winning Entrepreneur - Online Marketing Expert - Founder of OptinMonster

Syed Balkhi is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of WPBeginnerOptinMonster and WPForms

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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