Being one step ahead of others. Being the first to introduce new trends, use new technologies, and offer advertisers new and even better opportunities for brand exposure are certainly high on the list of priorities for each blogger. Therefore, it is important to follow the trends and understand them.
Gilad de Vries, a native advertising and content marketing expert, and a Senior Vice President of Strategy at Outbrain, predicted important trends in content marketing a year ago. A year later he returned to them and checked how accurate his predictions were.
The first of his predictions was that brands would increasingly focus on web-based video content and tell the story of their products and services. Although it may be difficult to collect specific data, we can notice a huge increase in video content over the past year and a half, just by looking at the channels of individual brands on YouTube. This trend is certainly in full swing.
He predicted a huge development of podcasts. Podcasts, which we used to hear on radio stations, have become a constant feature of many brands. More and more listeners listen to them on a monthly basis. According to US research, 112 million Americans have been listening to the podcasts in the last year. More than half of them listen to them at least once a month. Video did not run over audio and consumers sometimes prefer to listen than watch.
New ways to measure the effectiveness of content marketing
His prediction that companies and brands would realise that Google Analytics is a great tool for measuring website statistics, but it is not effective when we want to measure the real effects of content marketing, also came true. Thus, in the past year we observed the growth of the number of companies that deal specifically with the effectiveness of content marketing. Let’s just name three of the most successful: Curata (http://www.curata.com/), Trendemon (https://trendemon.com/) and Nudge (https://giveitanudge.com/).
Although it is not actually a trend anymore, we could notice progress in development of mobile websites over the past year and a half. Today, there is virtually no company that would not have its website optimized for mobile, which we could not claim a year ago.
Virtual and augmented reality
As early as in 2016, de Vries predicted a massive breakthrough of virtual and augmented reality. Although we have seen many different solutions in VR and AR, this technology, in his opinion, has not yet fulfilled expectations. Perhaps this is a trend that can be predicted for 2019.
The last of the important trends he has predicted are chatbots. He assumed that many companies would start using chatbots for interactions with their consumers. Just a few weeks after his announcement, a report was published that 80% of US companies would like to introduce chatbots by 2020. In recent months, we are also seeing more companies in Slovenia using chatbots, i.e. the digital shopping assistant Anna from Gorenje.