Crystal Ball Content… 2019 Predictions

by Sophia Parsons on Thursday 17 January 2019

2019… so many hopes, so many resolutions. Fitness! Vegetables! Read more! Sense of purpose!

We’re about half way through January now and it’s safe to say all hope is lost for about 60% of new year’s resolutions. Dry Januarys are fudged and Deliveroo is re-downloaded. Normality is being restored.

However, a new year not only brings us sullying ourselves through breaking self-promises, it also bares absolute oceans worth of prediction articles for the year ahead. Content marketing is no exception, so here is a quick top-line of 4 of the main trends we are set to see in 2019:

Voice Search

We’ve all been there; red in the face, manically yelling at a speaker-box-talk-machine in the corner. ‘Alexa, what is the weather In London today?’ she replies mockingly, ‘the weather in Ludlow today is…’. However – as much as the words ‘I’m sorry I didn’t quite catch that’ might send you into a murderous frenzy, voice search is tipped to be the next big focus for content marketing. Content marketers will be adapting strategies to write content headlines in the form of questions that people are likely to ask their smart device, so the content is served back. It’s a natural progression to keep up with a prospering sector, and the voice search industry is growing at a phenomenal rate. The Alexa team is now reportedly 10,000 people strong, with the lady herself having over 70,000 skills <insert gender specific joke about women multi-tasking here>. In 2018 alone, she told over 100 million jokes, learned new languages and was sold in the tens of millions. No wonder that it has been predicted that by 2020, every major brand will have a voice strategy worked into its marketing plan.

Influencers

Sick of having someone whisper that abridged and devious ‘#ad’ in your ear every time you scroll down on Instagram? Well, transparency is set to be the theme of 2019. Authenticity is something that has really come into question when it comes to brand/influencer collaborations of late. Consumers are becoming hyperaware of the staged posts they are being served by their favourite IG’s. A good example of this is the backlash Scarlett London received from her collaboration with Listerine.

Now, there is a whole other sub-issue here about cyber bullying; we all agree that death threats to someone who was savvy enough to disguise tortilla wraps as pancakes is not okay and a bit over the top. However, it does pose the question of, have we all taken it a bit far? The influencer isn’t really the one to blame. There is a brand behind this who would have approved it, a shelterbelt of followers that continually endorse similar content of hers, and an industry that is beginning to consume itself by consumerism. This combination alone makes it unsurprising that we are at the point of being force fed these glaringly obvious artificial partnerships. What this means for 2019 though, is that influencers, brands and the followers are likely to start thinking in a more unfiltered manner, providing a collaboration that appears instant, rather than one that involves popping down the shop for an Old El Paso fajita kit the night before.

Strategy

Further from developing their influencer and voice strategy, content marketing strategy as a whole is expected to have a bit of an overhaul. It is mused that businesses are going to further invest in progressing their content marketing strategy to the same respects they do their paid strategy. Content marketing has evolved from something you do on the side for engagement, to helping make decisions that are driven by data and insights. It is no longer solely about brand and is looked to support performance. Darwinian in its evolution, content marketing has progressed to become a part of normal marketing. It’s a way to earn trust, build your brand and hit site metrics.

Longer articles

The amount of content we see every day has developed on a gargantuan level. ‘How to’ articles, numbered lists, quizzes (because if you haven’t worked out what kind of pizza you are on BuzzFeed, have you really lived?) and this is only going to continue. In 2019 content is going to get longer, as the carousels of images and 200 words or less blog posts begin to phase out. It’s a sigh of relief, in an era of social media and fast serves that not all is being lost to the feeds. From an SEO stance this makes sense, you may not get a hashtag trending, but search engines are known to reward lengthier posts in rankings and serves the reader a more trustworthy and authoritative source, and with the light being shone on authenticity, this form of content marketing is a simple way to get consumer trust back. Social media isn’t being completely pushed to the side, a recent analysis by Buzzsumo of over 100 million articles also revealed that long form content tends to get more social shares than short-form content. The more it’s shared, the more visibility your content and brand gains, the more visits you get… creating a domino effect of digital reach.

2019 looks to be a promising year for content marketing, developing to become more profitable and credible. It’s always hard to predict a definite, in what is an ever-changing and turbulent industry, but the thought of content marketing taking more of a precedence is an exciting one. Plus, the resolution of creating longer content articles is one that I am more likely to keep than an arduous dry January.