Content marketing is evolving as the nature of digital communications change. Blogs and social media will remain staples of most content marketing operations, but other formats will bring new opportunities. Let's take a look at content marketing trends to watch in 2019.
Voice Search Optimized Content
The use of voice controlled assistants is growing in popularity and they're changing the way content is found. In a recent report, Global Web Index found that "27% of the global population is using voice search on mobile." However, only 17% of internet users own a voice-controlled smart speaker. As you might expect, content optimized for voice search is more easily found by voice-enabled digital assistants. Google's John Mueller recommends using structured data, voice snippets, and natural language in your content. It can even be helpful to provide direct answers to common questions your audience may ask.
Video will continue to be popular in 2019. YouTube reported people watched a whopping billion hours of video every day in 2015. Young Americans tended to spend an average of two hours per day consuming YouTube content. Livestream reports an average of 80% of users surveyed prefer to watch live video from a brand over reading a blog. Breaking news is watched more often than other content and users preferred YouTube Live over Facebook Live and Livestream.
Live video can be a great way to connect with your audience during live events, special reveals and more. Building excitement around the live broadcast is another opportunity to pick up more views. Producing live video can be a relatively easy and cost effective means of delivering an exclusive experience.
Conversational Customer Experiences
Customers want to communicate with brands through means they already use (live chat, SMS, Facebook messenger). Messaging apps are particularly popular. PwC reports that more than 3.4 million Australians use messaging apps as a primary means of communication. Conversational exchanges aren't limited to humans, of course. Automated chat bots and chat bots that use AI are also capable of delivering human-like conversational content. Providing an exceptional customer experience through a conversational exchange is an opportunity to delight and build out content around these activities.
Social media platforms aren't the only places to find a loyal audience. The Content Marketing Institute reports an increase in the production of owned media content. Brand-owned content such as newsletters, emails, ebooks, podcasts, and the like will continue to grow in popularity. A study conducted by IPG Media Lab found that 59% of study participants were more likely to seek out branded content. Branded content is effective and even outperformed display ads. Developing branded content in formats that fit your audience and organization's needs can boost overall brand appeal.
Data-driven personalized content delivery is not just a neat idea, customers expect it. Consumers tend to think more positively of a brand that delivers highly relevant content. Serving personalized content around each step in the customer journey can help customers better connect with a brand. Delivering the right content at the right time to the target audience can result in better conversions.
Both video and voice search will be big drivers of content in the coming year. Other content marketing trends will be focused on providing a natural language interactions with customers on platforms they already use. Overall, trends indicate a desire for brands to be more human in the way they interact with customers.