With the twilight of 2017 officially upon us, leaders across every industry are looking toward 2018 and what might be on the horizon, and the marketing world is no different. When it comes to the content world, there are a whole host of crazy innovations predicted to hit in the next 365 days. However, the trends that will have the biggest impact aren’t really about changes in tech and automation, they revolve around changing the way we view content and how we choose to incorporate it into our strategies.

Less Content, Higher Quality

For a long time, the content marketing world has been focused on quantity, building massive libraries of content and caring a little less about whether each piece was truly capable of shining on its own. We sacrificed quality in the name of volume. Finally, the tides are shifting in a big way to instead emphasize quality over quantity. The more time you spend crafting high quality content pieces that position your organization as genuine thought leaders, the better your chances of garnering the highly sought after trust of your target audience.

Instead of trying to pump out 10, 15, 20 blogs a month, stick with 3-4 and make sure the content is relevant, useful, and rings true to your brand. High quality also means high utility and high relevance, so keep these principles in mind as you start filling in the blanks of your 2018 editorial calendar.

Content Journeys, Not Pieces

It’s not unusual to see content marketing efforts siloed within organizations, it’s been this way for a long time, but 2018 looks to be the year that can shift the needle of that compass to a much-needed direction change. Content isn’t just words on a blog, it’s a strategy and mindset that seeps into every aspect of your marketing journeys. The more you can get your team on board with committing to quality content across the whole customer journey, the better off you’ll be. It’s not about the individual deliverable because in today’s “what’s in it for me?” world, it’s the experience that truly matters. For content to be effective, powerful, and capable of driving conversions, it needs to be considered consistently through every piece of the marketing puzzle.

Audience Experience First

Like I mentioned above, it’s all about the experience, and though user experience has been around for some time, 2018 will serve to reemphasize and usher in a new era of audience experience first mentality. The best content decisions you’ll make in the next year and beyond will consider the audience perception every step of the way.

Think about it like this: when a member of your target audience arrives at your site, do they have to search to find what they are looking for? If they arrive at what they were looking for, do you have effective strategies, nurture campaigns, micro-yes buy-ins and relevant information to lead them to where you want them headed next? If you’re not sure of the answer to each piece of that experience, you might want to put your best creative and strategic minds together and see what you can do to rectify that. After all, if you aren’t serving what your audience wants, hey, it’s the internet. They’ll have no qualms about finding it elsewhere.

Relevance Is King

At the end of the day, your target clientale are looking for content, companies, products, and services that are relevant to them. The beauty of content marketing is that it enables you to produce high value content that requires very little buy-in from the consumer (sometimes just an email address which allows you to usher them into a drip or nurture campaign) but goes an extraordinarily long way toward building trust, name recognition, and loyalty.

But it’s not enough to just be relevant anymore, you have to be hyper-relevant. This often requires a close meeting of the minds between your content team and your SEO/SEM team to figure out what people are really looking for. Niche relevancy and micro-yeses are the way to your dream customer’s heart, and if you’re willing to put in the time and investment to creating the kind of content that leaves your audience begging for more, you’ll nail these trends. Then, you’ll be ready for all the tech and industry innovations that can help you leverage these shifts and turn them into big conversions and engagement.

If you need a content partner to help you along the way, we’d love to talk. For 23 years, Webolutions has helped clients solve their marketing challenges. Call 303.300.2640 or contact us online today to get started!