What Should Content Marketing Look Like in 2019?

3 trends we want to see in 2019, and 3 trends we NEED to leave behind

2018 was the year of authenticity. In an ever-growing sea of content, marketers and brands had to lean in to stand out. Consistent and authentic language has been key to success, and we saw that in the best-performing blog posts and social copy. Brands who continue to understand their audiences and keep up with market trends will continue to see extreme growth in the new year.

3 trends we love

1. Creative Thinking

Thinking outside of the box will never not be in style. Creative marketing, like Burger King’s Whopper for dogs, was a buzz-worthy treat to motivate people to order their food on the DoorDash app. Dogs and burgers might not be the most logical pairing, but once you hear about the Dogpper, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Think about it: Ideas like this (not to mention, IHOB) are the ideas that get you written about in AdAge.

2. Authenticity

Avoid excessive self-promotion, whether that means toning down on #SponCon or taking a break from promoting your brand’s products. Instead, create complementary content for your target audience, whether it be industry news or mom humor. Bonus tip: Incorporating personal anecdotes about your experience with the subject matter is always a good idea. Double bonus if you use video to tell a story.

3. SEO Strategy

Brands are generating more content than ever, so avoid screaming into the void with smarter SEO and content strategy. Pillar pages and content clusters around key topics help to establish your site as an authority and improve your search rankings for similar topics. Creating content is a must—thinking about your content that way also helps you organize your website and post more intentionally.

3 trends to leave behind

1. Youth Speak

We love trends, but there are some things that just shouldn’t catch on. Shortening words a la “totes adorbs,” or trying to describe everything as “lit” is not a good look, especially if you’re writing for readers older than 14. When in doubt, write for your target audience.

2. Instagram Giveaway Loops

We hope that 2019 is the end of Instagram giveaway loops. No one wants to follow 20 to 40 accounts they’ve never heard of, no matter how good the prize is. Giveaway loops are an easy way for influencers to pool their resources, but it doesn’t help new users get to know the accounts, increasing the chance that they’ll unfollow you the minute the contest is over. Sorry, we said it.

3. Marketing Shortcuts

Your audience wasn’t born yesterday, so fishy content and cheap gimmicks aren’t going to fly. For example, instead of following hundreds of people (and then promptly unfollowing them) to get eyes on your channels, engage your target audience and create content that reflects their needs and interests. Not only is it a more sustainable practice, but it also establishes your brand as a serious player.

Old brands focused on selling things, but brands today have to focus on selling an idea. Put your audience first, embrace video and SEO, and invest in good content to make 2019 truly one for the books.

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