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9 Content Marketing Trends to Look Forward to in 2018

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

by Neil Patel

Organizations that have made consistent and sound investments in content marketing in recent years are reporting those investments paying dividends.

That’s what the latest data from CMI is showing us.

According to the 2017 benchmarks and trends report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, more than 60% of B2B marketers reported that their content marketing strategies are more effective than one year before.

Comparing the data year over year, 34% of marketers felt their content marketing was effective in 2016 vs. just 30% in the previous year.

In 2015, 4% of marketers felt their efforts were “not at all effective.” Thankfully, those numbers improved for 2016 with 0% of marketers stating their content marketing was “not at all effective.”

There are a number of factors contributing to that success, including better quality content, strategy development, more time spent on content marketing, and better targeting in content distribution. In short, the experience gained through content marketing made those marketers more effective.

But in order to maintain that growth, marketers also have to stay tuned into the ever-changing landscape of content marketing.

What worked last year may not be enough to creep ahead in 2018.

Being able to anticipate trends, as well as the change in audience behavior based on technology trends and updates, can help you adjust your strategy and get ahead of the wave. Here are some trends to keep an eye on as we head into 2018.

1. Changing formats mean content roles are shifting

In recent years, there’s been a consistent shift away from content churning.

The brands experiencing the most success with content marketing aren’t just flooding their audience with content. They’re taking a media publishing approach.

Having a team of writers isn’t enough anymore.

Your company needs to create a broader strategy, with a more diverse group of talent and skills, in order to meet the demands of your audience.

The process is just as important as the content itself now.

The approach Pixar takes to making blockbusters is a prime example of how this process is changing.

According to Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar, the company doesn’t start with great ideas.Every project begins with “ugly babies” that are “awkward and unformed, vulnerable and incomplete.” By focusing on their processes and relentless improvement, Pixar is able to take those simplified concepts and continually work to improve them.

That process is what has helped them win more than a dozen Academy Awards.Content marketing is moving beyond just blog ideas.

There is a greater process you have to work toward in which ideas are constantly improved on, customized for different audiences, and adapted to new formats that consumers are using. Just hiring writers won’t cut it anymore.

Blogging by itself doesn’t tie into all the pertinent marketing strategies of growing companies, and it doesn’t address the issue of new formats for consumption.

The content team will need to grow and adapt for the next year and should include people who have talent in:

Video production and editing

Graphic design, illustration, and editing

Audio editing and production skills

Content optimization across multiple formats

Content distribution and promotion

Strategy development, execution, and campaign management

Communications and branding

Advertising and media buying

Analytics, metrics, and reporting

If you look at the latest data, you can see the spread of content tactics being used by successful organizations. The average company uses 8 of these tactics across a range of media types and channels.

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