As 2017 comes to an end, savvy content marketers are celebrating the holidays the way they do every year: visiting content past, present, and future. Huddled together around the light of their computer screens, they will dissect the past twelve months to identify what marketing tactics worked and what didn't.
As they count their remaining budgets they will plan last minute content pushes for December, hopeful to round out the year with one final win. But a visit to content future will be the most important part of their journey. Will they see a future filled with success and happiness, or will they refuse to adapt and find themselves buried in a grave of dead tactics?
To avoid finding yourself 6-feet deep in a grave of dead content, consider the lessons that arise from these 16 facts about content marketing in 2018:
Quality of content will be a key driver of success in 2018.
Marketers that plan to invest in unique, high-quality content will see a lot of wins in the new year. Counterparts that rely too heavily on templates or low-cost services -- which often prioritize quantity and speed over quality -- will likely lose traction in 2018 as a result. The following five trends back up this claim:
1. According to Hubspot, a whopping 80 percent of consumers prefer custom, original content over canned solutions.
2. The recent Content Marketing Institute 2017 Benchmarks Report found that 85 percent of content marketers attribute their 2017 success to developing custom, quality content throughout the year.
But quality content isn't cheap...
3. The same report suggests that B2B Marketers who spent at least 39 percent of their budgets on custom content in 2017 saw the most success.
4. B2B marketers that spent at least 38 percent of their budgets on the same level of content saw equal success.
If you are spending less than most marketers, consider adjusting your budget for 2018. And while you're at it, focus on personalizing your content as much as possible. This heightens your level of quality while positioning your brand for greater success in the new year.
5. Gartner suggests that businesses focused on personalized marketing in 2018 could outsell their competitors by 20 percent
The most popular content in 2018 will be video
With video, it's all about the simple economic theory of supply and demand. As demand for video increases, the supply of online videos like motion graphics must go up to meet the expectations of today's consumers. For marketers, it's important to understand just how strong that demand is so that they can invest more of their budgets into the right types of video in the new year. The next seven statistics should drive your video marketing efforts in 2018:
6. According to Cisco, an expected 79 to 84 percent of online consumer traffic will be video traffic in 2018.
7. Hubspot's 2017 Video Benchmark Report suggests that successful businesses release an average of 18 videos each month to keep up with demand.
8. According to Hubspot, 80 percent of customers prefer to watch an explainer video above all other content types to learn about a brand, product, or service.
9. And if you're marketing to executives, then video is even more powerful with The Economist suggesting that 85 percent of executives prefer watching a video above all other content types when learning about a product or service.
When considering what types of video to produce, there are three categories you should focus on: personalized videos, motion graphics, and livestream.
10. According to Livestream.com, 82 percent of people prefer to watch a livestream video delivered from a brand versus viewing a traditional social post from that same brand.
But animated motion graphics continue to be the most popular option because they are more affordable to produce for marketers and offer more engaging storytelling experiences for audiences. Motion graphics also make producing personalized videos easier, which is important for marketers hoping to boost conversion rates in 2018.
11. According to Vidyard, personalized videos can increase open rates 16 times more than standard videos
12. Vidyard also suggests that personalized videos grow click-through rates by 450 percent.
Visual content will reign in 2018.
While video is the most popular choice for visual content marketing in 2018, other forms of visual content should be considered to drive further success. The remaining four statistics should help you convince coworkers and clients alike to focus on creative visual content in the new year
13. According to reports from Forbes and Deloitte, 71 percent of key decision makers prefer short case studies spanning three to four pages with plenty of visuals breaking up the content.
14. Blogs that break up their content with images see 650 times the engagement of those that don't according to Adobe.
15. Statista predicts that there will be at least 171 million active virtual reality users in 2018
16. Techcrunch reports that augmented reality will see the most demand with nearly 70 percent of consumers believing that AR will be highly beneficial for them in the new year.