Whether you run a thriving blog for your small business or you’ve never published a thing, 2019 will see some fundamental shifts in content marketing trends.
According to a study by Time, 90% of consumers like custom content from brands and 56% of people prefer brands that don’t just sell but share something interesting or teach them something new.
2019 is the year to take creative risks with your content marketing and have some fun engaging with your audience.
As you contemplate how your small business will approach content marketing in 2019, take note of these leading trends.
Trend No. 1: New formats and mediums
One of the leading content marketing trends this year is branded video content, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Watch for small businesses to experiment with episodic series, how-to’s and behind-the-scenes content
More than half (54%) of consumers say they want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.
Video rises as the most thoroughly consumed content type. While consumers often skim or multitask while consuming written content, 62% of consumers stop and pay attention to videos.
What other formats could you use?
Would prospects have fun with interactive content such as quizzes? What about a podcast? According to Statista, the number of podcast listeners is projected to reach 132 million by 2022.
Try different things with your content marketing and see what works. If a piece of content doesn’t generate much engagement, let it go and experiment with other formats. Even if you’re unsure where to start with your content marketing, you still must start. In her blog, Heidi Cohen notes that consumers need six to eight content touches before they become a lead and enter your sales funnel.
Trend No. 2: Compelling visuals
If you want to maximize your content marketing this year, use images.
32% of marketers say images are their business’ most important form of content, with blogging in second at 27%.
According to HubSpot, people only remember 10% of the information they hear three days later. However, when a relevant image accompanies the same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
When customers are searching online, high-quality photos can also make your small business stand out. More than half (60%) of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business that has an image appear in local search results.
Trend No. 3: Content marketing must prepare for voice search in 2019
Voice search is having a big impact on the way small businesses approach content marketing. Last year, there were more than 1,000,000,000 voice searches per month. By 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches.
Are you ready? Since voice searches are conversational requests, it’s important to reassess how you create and optimize your web content for queries.
Consider how your target audience would talk to their phone or smart device when they want to do something. “Hey Siri, what’s the lunch special at Corner Café?” or “Hey Alexa, does Fred’s Dry Cleaning deliver?”
Answering common questions in your content not only increases your odds of your small business showing up in search, but it’s also just plain useful for your customers.
An FAQ page is a great opportunity to plan for voice search in your content. You can use free tools such as AnswerThePublic.com to determine what questions people are asking about your product or service. You can also expand on FAQ content in the form of blog posts.
Trend No. 4: The rise of artificial intelligence in content
When small business owners start planning their content strategy, AI can help cut back on the time spent on topic selection, keyword research and performance tracking. By 2021, AI is predicted to recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity. Plus,Gartner predicts that one in five workers will rely on AI to perform non-routine tasks by 2022.
Watch for more small businesses to turn to AI-powered tools this year to eliminate the guesswork and build data-driven content strategies. Platforms such asConcured andBrightEdge use AI to discover what people are searching for, what topics drive engagement, and what you should cover with your content.
Crayon is another tool that uses machine learning to shed light on what your competitors are doing. This makes it easy for small businesses to track and analyze what works and doesn’t for similar local businesses.
Remember, content is still king in 2019
When you’re running a small business, it’s easy to overlook content marketing. However, content deserves a spot at the top of your to-do list.
If you look at nearly any successful business, you’ll find a wealth of phenomenal content. Just consider the businesses that NewsCred recognized for exceptional content marketing in its Top 50 Awards. Winning companies hail from a variety of industries and come in all different sizes. They all have one thing in common: A desire to capitalize on the power of content marketing.
To reach new customers and grow your business, it’s crucial to invest in content. Don’t keep doing what you’ve always done. If you’ve just launched your business, don’t be afraid to kick off your content marketing efforts.
While there are many things competing for your time and resources, make content a priority this year. When you consider the trends above, you set your small business up with a winning content marketing approach.