7 Content Trends For 2019
From influencer transparency and chatbots to advancements in virtual reality, here’s how consumers are engaging with content this year.
Consumers are becoming increasingly distrusting of marketing and advertising, meaning content has got to be more sin- cere and authentic than ever. A brand message that contradicts the brand’s actions, or a forced influencer campaign can be the death of a brand in public opinion. Eighty-six percent of consumers said authenticity is important when choosing which brands to support, according to user generated content aggregator Stackla’s 2017 Consumer Content Report: Influence in the Digital age.
2. GROWTH IN INFLUENCER MARKETING
While non-believers argue that influencer fatigue has started to set in, with consumers growing tired of people that
will promote anything for a buck (or a freebie), that certainly isn’t the case when influencer marketing is done right. This year, in an effort to legitimise their profession, influencers will be more transparent and ethical than ever. The kind of in- fluencers brands choose will also have smaller communities and more engaging experiences with followers to get closer to a user generated content experience, which Stackla’s report says is the most authentic form of content.
3. MANY WAYS TO SEARCH
In an effort to create hightenend online CX (customer experience), search engines are going to diversify to include chat- bots and voice assistants across all platforms instead of search boxes. Users want to be able to search once and get information from all available sources for greater efficiency. This will also include improvements in language and accent recognition.
4. PERSONALISATION OF CONTENT AND CX
I once attended a press trip where a select group of editors were taken to an exclusive safari spa in the Midlands. We could have as many spa treatments as we wished so I went down the menu and did them all. Years later (and now a wife with a new surname) I returned with my husband (who had not informed them of my previous experience) and was highly impressed to find that not only had the spa kept my personal information on file, they somehow knew it was me although my surname had changed and therefore already knew my treatment preferences. Mind. Blown. This sort of personalisation in customer experience is going to become crucial. Research company Coredna says nearly 60% of con- sumers agree that tailored engagements based on their history with a company play a very important role in their pur- chasing decisions, while 74% get frustrated with websites when content, offers, ads and promos appear to have nothing to do with their interests according to Janrain, an identity management specialist in Oregon, USA.
5. REACHING AUDIENCES
You may have seen an ‘experiment’ on a friend’s Instagram post that asks you to comment if you have seen that post. There is validity to the exercise after all. Changes in algorithms mean social media can no longer be relied upon for the reach it used to provide. Posting to 20 000 followers does not automatically translate to 20 000 pairs of eyeballs on your content, this means content marketing needs to take a varied approach to paid distribution, keeping an eye on new-style SEO.
6. HIGHER CONTENT STANDARDS
The shutdown of major consumer magazines is proof of the expectations that consumers have of content and its func- tion in their lives. Not only should it reach them ASAP, it must also be of an extremely high quality, creative and ad- dressing the very heart of what they are looking for from that content provider. If your message isn’t smart, well pack- aged, researched or considered, it won’t have any impact.
7. VIRTUAL REALITY IS ON THE UP
According to Forbes.com, virtual reality is going to evolve to become a more ‘natural’ experience in terms of how one interacts with the virtual space. The visuals are going to look even more realistic as advancements are made in picture quality. Virtual reality as well as augmented reality are going to become more commonly used, but their use will be for more practical purposes (e.g. training and teaching) rather than pure entertainment.