content marketing

The Future of Content Marketing: 3 Technology Trends to Watch in 2018

As we look forward into 2018 and beyond, there are a number of technology trends that will shape the future of content marketing. New platforms, systems and tools are shaping the way that marketers and brands reach their audience.

The prospect of a shifting landscape can be scary, but with the right understanding of coming changes, marketers and entrepreneurs can prepare for the future, anticipate upcoming trends and identify unique opportunities for growth.

To get a look at how technology will change content marketing, let’s look at three big trends happening now.

Custom content journeys

Many companies still think of content marketing as a collection of content that readers find on your website then read at their own leisure. But smart marketers are learning to craft content journeys that help guide prospects from the top of the funnel all the way through their purchase decision.

With new tools and technology, brands and publishers will be able to better target and segment their audience. They can use activity and demographic data to surface the right content for the right people at the right times.

This can already be accomplished to some extent with the right retargeting strategy, but new tools will allow you to tie together the customer journey across different platforms and touch points.

Related: 13 Fundamental Lessons to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

New distribution channels will emerge

We’ve already seen some big changes with regards to organic content distribution on social networks (e.g., Facebook’s latest algorithm change), but we’re also seeing a more fundamental shift.

Many platforms are evolving, and the way that we use them will also shape the way that brands publish and share content.

Facebook’s recent focus on their Messenger app and the rise of chatbots are a prime example of a new distribution channel emerging from an existing platform. Now, instead of sharing content from a Facebook page or blasting it out in a newsletter, you can send content directly to subscribers with a chatbot.

We will likely see an increase in these new channels as platforms mature and introduce new features.

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Advanced tech platforms demand new, immersive brand experiences

Content formats are changing. We’ve already seen a big jump in the use of video and audio content as brands look for new ways to stand out from competitors and take advantage of different promotional channels.

But many companies have remained slow to take steps toward new formats, largely because these are seen as only incremental advantages that come with a hefty upfront investment. This is because the devices that consumers use for consumer content are still relatively unchanged.

Computers, tablets, and even smartphones are screens with similar interfaces.

But this is soon to change. With the increase in AR and VR technology, the way that we interact with digital content will begin to fundamentally shift. Rather than text and video content that we consume through a screen, new formats will emerge. Immersive, real-world experiences will become the new media through which we interact with brands and publishers.

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Of course, the heart of content marketing is still creating great content; that will not change.

While technology is increasingly a part of any smart content marketing strategy, it can’t do the heavy lifting.

It’s important to think of the role of technology as a supplemental way to improve your content marketing efforts, not as a bandaid for poor content.

With the right combination of great content and innovative technology, you can take your content marketing to the next level.

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