If you work in content marketing, you probably know that its booming growth and ever-evolving ecosystem forces us to constantly be on the lookout for the next big thing.
One day we’re creating pillar pages and topic clusters to please the Google gods, and then the next, we’re overhauling our entire social strategy because another Facebook algorithm update will flatten our organic reach even more than before.
That said, trends come and go every year, but we believe the seven covered below are here to stay. Read on to learn about the marketing trends that could move from hype to reality in 2019.
Whether its views, social shares, scroll depth, subscriptions, leads, and sometimes even ROI, digital marketers can measure it all. But even though we have access to a laundry list of metrics, we still can’t measure what is arguably the most crucial indicator of a campaign’s performance — emotional resonance.
Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing a spike in traffic as much as the next blogger. But in an industry where skimming a page for 10 seconds counts as a view, leaving your desk to grab some string cheese will result in a time-on-page of five minutes, and 50% of web traffic and engagement are generated by bots and Chinese click farms, claiming digital metrics are a surefire way to gauge your content’s emotional impact is a stretch.
Fortunately, with neuromarketing, which is a blend of neuroscience and marketing, brands can gauge the emotional resonance of their current and future marketing campaigns. To do this, companies like Immersion Neuroscience and Spark Neuro have developed wearable technology that can gauge certain neurochemical and physiological responses, which both signal emotional engagement while consuming marketing content.
2. Multicultural Marketing
Out of all the challenges a company faces, diversity and inclusion is not only the most pressing one to address but it’s also the most difficult one to overcome. The societal movement for diversity and inclusion has rightfully bled over to Corporate America, enabling the public to expose the working world’s lack of diversity and challenge them to fix their ways.
This has rocketed diversity and inclusion to the top of every company’s mind, but even though the world is a melting pot today, most brands market in a way that only appeals to a country’s majority ethnicity or culture. That means there’s a huge pool of people that brands aren’t resonating with.
However, generating more sales shouldn’t be the only reason you market to minority groups. Acknowledging their ethnicities and cultures should be another huge driving factor.
Because, ultimately, letting minority groups know that it’s not only okay to be different, but it’s also amazing that they bring such different perspectives to the places they immigrate to, will move society forward and help immigrants be proud of who they truly are.
3. Cognitive Computing-Powered Customer Service
Cognitive computing is a technology that can analyze enormous amounts of data in the same way humans think, reason, and remember, so people can naturally interact with the technology and extract data-backed recommendations from it
Brands who implement cognitive computing into their customer support technology are able to assemble two-pronged customer service teams that help provide better, faster customer service.
By setting up computers and robots in their stores that can actually understand natural language and accurately answer people’s routine questions, a retailer’s human employees can service more customers who have more pressing needs.
In the neuroscience field, researchers have proven that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and resonate emotionally with them. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to well-crafted narrative — that’ll never change.
Just like your favorite Netflix show, crafting shows can entice your viewers to watch entire seasons of your series, subscribe to your updates, and get more excited for your show’s newest season than they currently are for the third season of Stranger Things.
So before you green light another slew of listicles, how-to posts, and ultimate guides, remember how powerful storytelling is and consider crafting a show chock-full of conflict, surprise, and emotion that also ties to a unique angle and is told in an episodic fashion.
According to a content format study conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital, people age 12 and older are listening to online audio content at unprecedented levels. On average, people spend 17 hours per week tuning into their favorite podcasts, online radio shows, and audiobooks. There are also 14 million more weekly podcast listeners this year compared to last year, which is more than Guinea’s entire population.
The demand for audio content has exploded, but that doesn’t mean people will listen to your branded podcast just because it’s a podcast. In reality, they’ll only listen to it if it can hold their attention and, ultimately, entertain them. Otherwise, producing yet another interview-an-expert podcast like everyone else will only add to the noise flooding the internet.
6. Word of Mouth Marketing
Nowadays, only 4% of consumers believe marketers practice integrity. So what’s a marketer to do when the very people they need to persuade don’t trust them? They need to rely on their customers’ recommendation of their brand.
People trust customers over marketers because marketers have an agenda — they promote their product or service to generate sales. On the other hand, customers will only rave about a product or service if it truly benefited them.
To create as much word of mouth marketing as possible, you need to stay laser-focused on developing the best product or service possible and providing top-notch customer service. In other words, you need to serve your customers needs before your own. Only then will your customers turn into a loyal, passionate tribe that will recommend your brand to their friends and family.
7. Historical Optimization
In 2015, HubSpot made a revolutionary discovery about their organic monthly blog traffic — the overwhelming majority of it came from posts published prior to that month. In fact, 76% of their monthly blog views came from these old posts.
Today, their groundbreaking revelation rings louder than ever — 89% of their monthly blog views currently come from posts that were published at least six months prior, and they’ve developed an entire strategy dedicated to refreshing and republishing these historical pieces of content.
These types of blog posts are called “updates”, and they comprise 35-40% of HubSpot’s editorial calendar. And by refreshing them with new information and SEO optimization and then effectively republishing them as new blog posts, HubSpot can build upon their existing organic value that these posts have accumulated through backlinks and user engagement and double or even triple their traffic.
This process also helps HubSpot optimize their blog for efficiency, decreasing the amount of new content they have to create while increasing their organic traffic and conversions. And many other brands are starting to jump on the historical optimization train to revamp their blogs too.
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