At this time of the year I always like to take some time to reflect, plan and set new goals. In particular, it’s a time when I reflect on everything that I’ve learnt from the past year of running my business, attending events, the business mastermind that I belong too, reading books, consuming content created by others, and all the insightful conversations that I’ve had.
It’s not all perfect either, it’s a time to reflect on the mistakes that I’ve learnt along the way too, and thing things I would have preferred to have done differently!
At the start of 2018 I shared my content marketing predictions for the year and got some great feedback, so I thought I’d do the same for this year!
Listen to my five content marketing predictions in the podcast below, or keep reading on to find out more.
Content Marketing Prediction #1. Growth of Instagram Stories
According to Buffer 400 million people around the world use Instagram Stories on a daily basis, and that number is rapidly growing by the minute.
Even crazier than that, the completion rates are well above 50% on Instagram Stories (Buffer research concluded it’s more like 75% and growing). That’s far higher than other forms of video content on social media.
When I was at Social Media Marketing World in March 2018, Michael Stelzner talked about some fascinating data he and his team have collated in his opening keynote – something that stood out to me perhaps more than anything else was that on Instagram, people spend 80% of their time in Stories. People are not necessarily even there for the posts! Stories are far more popular.
If you are already creating content for Instagram Stories, that’s great! Ask yourself, is there possibility you could up your game? Make them more fun with face filters, GIFs, superzoom, polls, rating scales, and more. Tip: always try and make your first ‘story’ interesting and captivating.
If you are not using Instagram Stories, there’s no time like the present to get started! They don’t have to be complicated. Stories are based on sharing micro-moments. Try taking a bunch of tiny videos and photos throughout the day, and bundle them together as a story. That can be enough to engage people and grow your Instagram audience, because that sort of simple, cosy style of content is exactly what Instagram Stories are for.
To brush up on how to repurpose content to Instagram (including Stories), head over to episode 48 of the Content 10X Podcast with Jenn Hermann (which incidentally was one of my most popular podcast episodes of 2018). Also check out episode 32, where I talk about ways to repurpose blog posts to Instagram. Bear in mind that most of these tips are translatable to other formats as well (e.g. podcast and video to Instagram too).
So, to conclude, I predict Instagram Stories will get even bigger in 2019.
Content Marketing Prediction #2. More Behind-The-Scenes ‘Raw’ Video Content
Video content doesn’t need to be professionally produced to be engaging and shareable.
Raw, unscripted, under-polished, vlog-style content where you simply share more about your everyday life can work very well, and it’s increasing in popularity.
We’re seeing people responding strongly to these kinds of “day in the life” or “afternoon in the life” kind of content.
Chris Ducker has started creating more vlog content. E.g. This screen shot is taken from a vlog about his family relocation from Cebu, Philippines to the UK
Why? Firstly, I think it’s because we’re all naturally quite nosey. People like to see your tips and your advice and they really do value your opinion, but they also like to know where you go to for a coffee, what you do in your spare time, and all the behind the scenes moments that go on in your life. People like the openness and the transparency of these behind-the-scenes style videos.
Secondly, as I mentioned in my content predictions last year, the era of “fake news” has led to people being increasingly skeptical of the content they consume online and in the media. In this uncertain environment, rougher, under-polished videos feel far more authentic and people are really responding to them.
What is great about them is they can take less time than the highly-produced videos, while at the same time they can add even more value.
Less time and more value is music to the ears of any content marketer!
Tip: If you’re creating video content as a form of content marketing for your business, then make sure the business benefit is there for you. Don’t just create content for content's sake. So for example, this raw-style content could be you sharing how you manage your time through the day, or how your prepare to deliver workshops, or take your audience to a conference with you!
Content Marketing Prediction #3. More Focus on Audio Content
In 2019 we will see more audio, more smart speakers, and more voice search.
Last year I said that there would be more focus on people consuming audio content and I still stand by this rising trend. I predicted that more people would be consuming audio content in 2018. Not just podcasts, but audio content overall – from our smart speakers, so from our Alexas, our Google Homes, our Siris, etc – and from audio books too.
People are rapidly getting used to reliable voice commands, voice search, and also just listening to audio as the predominant form of content.
Edison Research, who is the main research body for podcast statistics, said that in 2018, six million more Americans listened to podcasts than 2017. This took the total podcast listeners in the US to 48 million people.
Another fascinating finding was that 51 million Americans now own a smart speaker! This is bound to contribute to the growth of podcast listening as people will inevitably learn that they can listen to their favorite podcasts straight out of their smart speakers.
The question here is how should you educate your audience to consume your content through smart speakers, and how to use other audio-only technologies like flash briefings.
Sigrun, a top business coach and upcoming guest on the Content 10x podcast, has repurposed her podcasts into flash briefings that go out on Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri on a daily basis to her flash-briefing-subscribers. She’s been really progressive with this and I think she’s leading the way.
If you create audio content of any kind, it may well be worth figuring out how to integrate it with smart speakers and voice search in 2019.
Content Marketing Prediction #4. Long-Form, Quality Content will Rule!
Andy Crestodina, (who was on episode 45 of the Content 10x Podcast), does an annual survey of bloggers. He asks over a thousand bloggers the same questions every year. This way, he keeps the clear pulse of the blogging world every year.
In the 2018 survey, Andy found that an average blog post takes three and a half hours to write, up from two and a half hours in 2014.
He found that 8% of people spend more than six hours on their posts, and they also get far better results from spending that extra time.
So in essence, only a small percentage of bloggers are going the extra mile and yet for their efforts they’re getting incredible results.
We often comment to each other about how “attention spans are so small these days”, but what if that’s not exactly true? Maybe people are just more discerning now, have higher standards, but once they find something that’s oozing with quality they’re happy to sit down and consume the whole thing.
It’s also great for your SEO. Google looks for signs that your content is that extra higher quality than others. Whether you’re a blogger or a podcaster or whatever, longer-form, high-quality content will continue to be disproportionately rewarded, both by your audience and by search engines.
I think people will start to realise it’s not about getting the next bit of content out, then the next, then the next….it’s about spending more time making sure the content we do publish is epic!
Content Marketing Prediction #5. Email Marketing Comeback
Email marketing has always been a huge deal. When I first started out in the online businesss / online marketing world the consistent advice mentioned over and over again was to grow an email list and I heard phrases like ‘the magic happens in your email list’ and ‘sales only happen on email’ over and over again.
I think it’s true that most sales decisions happen in people’s email inbox, rather than in a social media post.
But in the 90s it was possible to get email open rates of over 80%. That was because email was new and people used to read every email they got very carefully. Pretty soon, the market got used to email marketing and now it’s extremely good to get an open rate above 20%.
In 2018, The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enforced, which many content marketers said would be “email marketing Armageddon!”. People in the EU now have to opt in for marketing messages in order to get them (and there’s all sorts of rules and regulations surrounding this).
What if all those people saying it was the end actually got it backwards? What if our email lists shrink in size but get much more responsive? I think that’s almost inevitable.
People are going to focus more on GDPR-friendly email marketing. How are you going to make it worth people’s while to opt-in for marketing messages? If you can answer that, you will be so far ahead.
We have a great opportunity in sending emails to people who are happy to receive them and are interested in reading them in a less-cluttered inbox.
There you have my five content predictions for 2019. I have lots of other ideas about what’s going to happen in the content world in 2019, but these are the ones that stand out to me.
I’d love to hear what you think. If you have any further opinions or anything more to add, then please do comment below or reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram. And as always, if you want any help with your content repurposing, at Content 10X we offer a fully done-for-you content repurposing service. If that sounds interesting to you, check out our services page or get in touch directly.