8 Content Trends That’ll Keep Consumers Coming Back For More

Consumers expect content that’s both timely and and hyper-relevant. If you’re a forward-thinking brand, you’re already considering how to make your content more compelling, concise, and addictive.

8 Content Trends That’ll Keep Consumers Coming Back For More

by CMO.com Team

Posted on 02-05-2018

As 2018 builds momentum, evergreen content might have its place, but relying on it to drive engagement is not the most effective strategy for marketers. Consumers expect content that’s both timely and and hyper-relevant.

If you’re a forward-thinking brand, you’re already considering how to make your content more compelling, concise, and addictive. With this backdrop in mind, let’s take a look at eight content marketing trends.

1. Vertically Shot Video Is On The Rise

Consumers are increasingly engaging with brands via live content and stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, making mobile video content more important than ever. In fact, 85% of digital marketers plan to increase their investment in mobile video this year, up 10 percent from last year, according to a recent study.

Vertical video also continues to grow, generating stronger engagement and watch times on Instagram and Snapchat than traditional horizontal formats. In line with this, we continue to see major brands across categories invest in vertical video as the format of choice for consumers.

2. Storytelling In Micro-Moments

To stand out in a sea of endless stories, brands not only need to produce better content, but they also need to tell stories in shorter increments and in bite-sized videos. As VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk put it, “Everybody is short on the only commodity that matters in this life—our time .”

People embrace brands that aren’t afraid to let them in. That’s why the most popular videos on Snapchat and Instagram Stories have a more edgy, intimate feel. They capture human experience. T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s “Slow Cooker Sunday” cooking show is a great example. This year, we’ll continue to see investment by brands in live, ephemeral, and localized content for Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

3. Instant Gratification On Demand

Consumer expectations are shifting dramatically as the always-on, always-connected nature of our mobile devices shape the way we live.

We’re also seeing the same trend apply when it comes to content. Netflix, whose number of subscribers last year surpassed that of cable TV, is, of course, the poster child. Its growth, and that of other over-the-top (OTT) streaming services, shows the desire for content on-demand, whether on a TV, mobile device, computer, or another device, said Neil O’Keefe, SVP of content and marketing at the Data & Marketing Association, in a September interview with CMO.com.

4. New Opportunities With Live UGC

The emergence of live story content on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook has created a wave of visual user generated content (UGC) like nothing we’ve seen before. According to a recent Consumer Trust Survey, 76% of consumers find content posted by other consumers to be more honest than brand content. Adding the live element to UGC reiterates this honesty and brand authenticity, driving an increase in brand engagement and loyalty. Brands are recognizing this and leveraging live UGC creatively to engage their customers.

5. Broader Distribution And Sharing Of Content Beyond The App

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others continue to innovate, encouraging users to share and discover live content. Instagram, for example, recently partnered with the popular messaging service WhatsApp to allow Instagram users to post their stories directly as a WhatsApp status message.

Not to be outdone, earlier this year, Snapchat also launched an update for Stories that allows anyone–not just its users–to see snaps from celebrities, media partners, and others. For example, TEGNA, which owns TV broadcast stations in 39 markets around the U.S., is partnering with Snap to distribute Snapchat content outside of the messaging app.

6. Emerging Features

New features, such as geofilters and polls, continue to emerge, opening up more ways for brands to engage fans. Early fall, interactive poll stickers were launched on both Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Now, just like adding a location sticker, you can add a brief poll on top of your Stories to ask a question and see live results from your followers.

This interactivity is incredibly valuable for brands because fans are not only watching and engaging with their stories, they are also interacting directly through geostickers, polls, and localized content. The next evolution, of course, is …

7. AR As A Mainstream Tool

Last fall, Facebook debuted its Augmented Reality Camera Effects platform and AR Studio tool, joining Snapchat, which was the first to launch AR tools for developers.

Both Snapchat’s World Lenses and Facebook’s World Effects allow brands to build and share amazing AR experiences. They can augment the story with 3D objects, such as a heart floating above someone’s head, an arrow pointing to an important story element, or an animated sticker to celebrate an awesome moment.

8. Geolocated Video Discovery And Sharing

As we move through the year, location will play a bigger role in how people discover video at events. Already we’re seeing Facebook Messenger build on its Live Location feature, while YouTube recently launched Director Mix, allowing brands to deliver thousands of localized videos in one campaign using Google Maps data. And the power of Snapchat’s “Snap Maps” is undeniable.

With stronger location and metadata, marketers now have information to deliver content that is much more relevant. For example, if a potential customer is searching for a new snowboard, the store can show a snowboard-related video shot recently in that person’s skiing area.

Why It All Matters

Ultimately, successful storytelling and content starts with being human and connecting—having a two-way conversation. Live content, especially when it’s hyper-relevant and local, provides brands an incredible opportunity to create a fast-track memory shortcut, building real relationships with consumers and brand affinity with people directly in their communities.

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