The way we consume information changes every day. We work closely with brands from a range of sectors, focusing on creating content within a content strategy that their audience actually wants to read.

We like to forecast what’s coming to try and keep on top of trends to stay ahead of the curve and to be sure what we’re doing for our clients’ works. There was a day when it was as easy as writing a few meta-descriptions and keywords and hitting publish, it’s not as simple as that these days, though.

In this piece, we take a look at trends for 2019, and how you can be sure your content gets noticed in a pot that’s getting dangerously close to overspilling…  

What’s been, gone and never coming back?

Luckily, long gone are the years of spamming the internet with poor quality, spun content. Google soon sorted that out when it realised the games certain marketers were playing. But whilst we’ve spent the last few years cleaning up after people who thought they could cheat the system, we’re still learning about our audiences and what they engage with every day.

Unfortunately, I’m not just telling a bad joke here. Marketing is an industry that moves very fast.  Trends are around for a few months, everyone gets really excited about them and then and then they disappear to the Marketing Trends graveyard. Google Glass, anyone?

A few years ago, everyone thought it was possible to keyword stuff articles and that would mean they’d win on the internet. Unluckily for them, however, this was one trend that was never destined to last. Luckily for copywriters, it means that their talent is no longer being overlooked in marketing – not just anyone can write well. And it means more and more business owners are recognising a requirement for content creators.

Content marketing trends in the past have often fallen short of readers’ expectations, whether that’s with a click-bait headline that shortchanges them with the content or visually driven mobile-first content that simply doesn’t give the information required on the page.

2019 Content Trends

Whilst there are definitely a few trends that don’t look likely to come back anytime soon, there are also ones that take just that little bit longer to get off the ground. At one of my favourite events of 2017, Copy Cabana held in Bournemouth, one of the hot topics of the day was AI, and how it could be influencing the future of digital marketing.

And whilst we’re not seeing that much of it in our day to day lives right now, it does seem that at some point, AI could be assisting us in more ways in day to day life. In some cases, it could even replace humans in their job roles. It’s exciting, if not a little bit scary, that collaborating with robots to create something truly engaging for an audience could be just around the corner.

You would expect that with something as creative as copywriting a robot simply wouldn’t be able to do the task at hand. Unfortunately, we’ve been proved wrong; luckily it doesn’t seem that they have too many skills right now though. Let’s take into consideration how an AI-driven machine faired when the team at Botnik fed it all seven Harry Potter books and asked it to create an eighth, the finished product was what we’d call… interesting:

|“They looked at the door, screaming about how closed it was and asking it to be replaced with a small orb. The password was ‘BEEF WOMEN,’ Hermione cried.”|

It looks like AI doesn’t quite have the skills yet to be truly creative and accurate, (JK Rowling and copywriters around the globe sigh with relief that they are safe, for now) we just need to tread carefully. Making sure the strategies we are creating for clients are working for their business requirements and the consumers that are engaging with them.

And that’s the tricky bit.

Research shows that 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers are planning to use content in their campaigns in 2019, but does this mean we’re in danger of creating content for the sake of it?

Strategising content creation is one of the most important things a business can do. It’s all well and good thinking “If i write this ‘how to’ guide it might rank for that keyword or it will help increase organic traffic and that might lead to a few conversions”; but, without a strategy behind what you’re working on, you are likely to fail in achieving your ROI goals.

A ‘How To’ guide can be very successful if partnered with other aspects of a content strategy. It takes a lot of planning, but trust us… it’s worth it.

So, what is the future of storytelling?

2019 is set to mark a transitional period in how we work, with more platforms recognising a requirement for easy to publish, aesthetically pleasing content. News outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian and BuzzFeed have been working on building their news articles to tell a story.

Storytelling is not just about the words on a page anymore, it’s about the whole package. Slowly but surely, we’re recognising how big players can impact the way in which we’re able to publish these. Visual aspects, virtual reality, video content and imagery are all important to building the story.

AMP Stories

Google announced last year that they introduced a new way of publishing content for mobile storytelling. AMP stories is a visual-driven format for evolving news consumption mobile. The fact that Google is recognising that new ways for content to be published are required marks a very big step in the content marketing world.

AMP encourages users to apply basic HTML and AMP coding skills to publish content, it has only recently launched therefore Google acknowledges that there may be a few teething problems with the platform. However, it provides content publishers with a mobile-focused format that minimises technical barriers, allowing for new ways for content to be published on the web.

Stating in their blog on the launch of AMP stories, Google commented: “On mobile devices, users browse a lot of articles, but engage with few in-depth.” , recognising the shift in how people are digesting information now, and looking to future-proof their platform with the introduction.

This is encouraging copywriters and content creators to strategise what they are producing much more, looking at how we can implement strategies that push the boundaries.

Influencers

This is nothing new, big brands have been using influencers for years. In 2019 we are expecting bigger things from the collaborations, as brands start to notice restrictions on guidelines and work harder to create collaborations that work for the audience, not just for the influencer.

Looking with particular interest at ‘micro-influencers’, it is interesting how smaller brands are recognising the requirement to implement this into their content marketing strategy, as carefully crafted collaborations start to get smaller brands noticed in the right way.  

Working with influencers has the ability to build trust and brand loyalty. And when the end goal is to increase awareness of a product, convert more customers for a service it is a no-brainer. And, even with the stringent brand guidelines in place, research shows that 91% of the public is unaware that influencer marketing regulations exist. So as long as you’re adhering to the rules from an advertisers perspective, your audience will be receptive to the collab.

Voice Search

20% of all mobile search queries are voice, and this is set to rise in the coming years. Google’s technology is currently 95% accurate and with this comes the rising requirement for content to be tailored for this type of search. Voice searches are longer than your average search, using three to five keywords, and use a much more natural language. Therefore it is important for content marketers to recognise how to tailor content accordingly, researching long-tail keywords to attract this organic traffic.

Authenticity

As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, business owners are recognising a requirement for owning their own content. Being able to give the creative freedom to a marketing team that knows their business inside out, and will deliver a strategy that works.

Truly authentic content comes from a copywriter who has been trained and understands how to manipulate the English language to work for your brand, and this is what readers want, to engage with something that has been thought out and is obviously authentic and loyal to the brand it has been written for. It’s easy to spot the outsourced content from the authentic content, and platforms, where you can find a copywriter at the last minute to fulfil a brief on the cheap, are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Audiences want to engage with pieces that give them something to take away from, this brings a shareable factor that content marketers have been lusting after for years.

 

Key Takeaways;

  • Authentic content is key, employ a digital agency with creative copywriters and content marketers within the team
  • Researching and building a strategy that works for your brand. There is an angle for every business, you just might not be able to see the wood for the trees.
  • The future is bright, even with AI and virtual reality hot on our heels. A collaborative, creative future awaits.
  • Take your time, a trend that will never die – don’t create content for the sake of it, take time out to plan, strategise and report on what works (and what doesn’t) because believe us, even after years of doing this, the marketing industry will still surprise you!
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