Happy New Year!
Having not written a GT blog for some considerable time, I have now been given the honour of writing our first blog of 2018 – and what an honour that is! I know, you’re jealous. I would be too.
And so, as it’s the start of a shiny new year and we’re all feeling positive and looking forward to all the good things that lie ahead (come on; it’s only the second week of January…we’re still positive!), the GT team are going to take it in turns to make some predictions on what this year may have in store for each of our areas of expertise. I know, the world and his dog are doing it, just bear with us…we need the keywords! 😉
So, as copywriting – or SEO copywriting, to be more specific – is my thing, I’m going to give you my predictions for SEO copywriting and content marketing in 2018, based on the questions I’ve most been asked recently. So, whether you’ve been content marketing for years or are a content virgin, you can make sure 2018 will be the year you finally start to grow your business online.
How Popular Will Content Marketing Be In 2018?
Despite all the dire predictions that the content bubble is about to burst and that there’s just too much content out there, I doubt very much I’ll be out of a job in the near future. In fact, when you look at it in the grand scheme, content marketing is still in its infancy, and many experts in the field are predicting that 2018 will be the year that content marketing comes of age.
So whilst the end of content as we know it may well be inevitable at some point in the future (although that’s another story), I reckon I’m safe for this year at least.
I’m not going to reel statistics out at you here – you’re perfectly capable of Googling them for yourself, and this article from First Word sums them all up really nicely – but essentially the trend for content marketing is expected to continue to grow even more in 2018 than it did in 2017. Depending on who you believe, between 60 – 80% of UK businesses now use content marketing to a greater or lesser extent to promote their business, both on and offline, and most of them say they value it as a fundamental arm of their overall marketing strategy.
And, as good content marketing requires good copywriters, I suspect the GrowTraffic team will be writing many more blogs, email newsletters, web pages and online articles in the coming months. The question is, will you?
What Form Should My Content Marketing Take In 2018?
One great thing about this explosion in content marketing, however, is that it’s going to force everyone to get better at it. That’s good news for those of us who genuinely care about SEO copy.
Simply churning out crappy copy in articles that have nothing to do with your website will no longer cut the mustard; content now will need to be incredibly well targeted and researched, useful to your audience and, above all, very well written. Moreover, length really will matter in 2018; pile it high and sell it cheap copy – such as two or three-hundred-word blog posts – won’t get you very far in the new world order; the algorithms now are looking for blog posts or articles of preferably over 1,500 words, so in-depth is the name of the game.
What’s more, words alone won’t suffice any longer, as both algorithms and users come to expect much more sophisticated forms of content from businesses, such as infographics, videos, original social media or blog graphics and webinars etc. They’re also more than ever expecting the content to come to them, so you’ll need to make sure your content creation plan is twinned with a decent content sharing plan, to ensure your carefully crafted content is easily distributed and discovered, not simply left to gather metaphorical dust. That means, if you still haven’t got your head around social media, 2018 is the year to pull your finger out and get on with it, or get left behind.
Of course, whilst it might not sound like it, all of this is great news for copywriters, as every form of content requires carefully crafted words in some form; videos need scripts, infographics need text etc. As far as I’m concerned, the more content the world needs, the better it is for copywriting!
How Will My Content Be Consumed In 2018?
Once upon a time, we all just read our content on a screen, whether that be a mobile phone, laptop or tablet. But not anymore. Now, thanks to devices such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana, the content we’re all creating is being read to us instead of us reading it ourselves. Lazy or what?!
And if we thought the emergence of voice search a couple of years ago was a big change to deal with, then the explosion of these devices and the Internet of Things that is predicted for 2018 will knock our socks off.
Now, to the uninitiated amongst you, this may all sound like a subtle and unimportant distinction, but to us copywriters, whether our words are read or spoken actually makes a big difference. Think of it like the difference between a novel and a play, if you like.
As a copywriter, this is a big deal to me, so I’m going to come back to it in a later blog post, but essentially for you, if you’re planning on doing some content marketing for your business this year, you need to be thinking as much about how your content will be consumed, as much as who will be consuming it.
How Will I Know My Content Marketing Is Working in 2018?
The answer to this question is actually exactly the same in 2018 as it has been in every year before, only more so.
One of the down sides to the fact that more people are now accepting content marketing as a fundamental part of their marketing strategy is that, well, more people are doing content marketing. That means not only does yours really need to stand out, but also that you need to make sure you know what’s working and what’s not. After all, there’s no point putting your efforts in to creating beautiful content if no one is reading it, or your competitors are doing the same thing, but better!
Hence, making sure you track the success of your output is crucial; that way, if you did something that worked really well, you can do more of it, and if something really wasn’t a success or, worse, got a negative response, you can stop it or act quickly to rectify it.
Fortunately, monitoring the impact of your content marketing is easy and free; for your website, Google Analytics is incredibly useful for a broad overview, telling you exactly how many people have visited your site, where they came from and what they were looking at. If you’ve been promoting your content on social media too (which, as we established above, you really should be doing), then the individual platforms mostly have very simple analytics built in too, which will allow you to see which posts performed well and which didn’t. Facebook Insights, for example, gives you a really easy-to-understand snapshot of how many people saw and then engaged with your page and posts, so there’s no need to guess any more about how well your campaign is progressing.
Remember though; checking and knowing your statistics is one thing, if you want to be ahead of the game, you need to make sure you use that data to inform your choices too.
Should I Try Content Marketing In 2018?
Do you have a business? Do you want it to grow and thrive in 2018? Then the answer is simple; yes.
Regardless of whose statistics you believe, the undeniable truth is that more and more businesses are now online and are using content marketing to grow their share of the market. You can bet at least one of your competitors will be online now, beavering away, growing their online profile and positioning themselves to take over your market.
One of the most common arguments against promoting a website, which I hear from business owners on an almost daily basis, is that their customers don’t find them via their website; they come from word of mouth or other offline advertising instead, hence there’s no need to spend money on a fancy website. Well even if that’s true for the time being (and I still question how many customers they may be losing out on that they aren’t even aware of), then think of where your customers will be coming from in five or ten years’ time. Today’s customers may not spend their entire life online, but you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow’s customers will. And are.
If you want to be ahead of the game, if you want to be in with a fighting chance of competing in the brave new world that’s coming, then your business needs to be online now, beating the competition and securing the loyalty of the customers of tomorrow with quality content marketing. I’ll guarantee your competitors are doing it.
Get In Touch
As one of Lancashire and Yorkshire’s most innovative – and honest – SEO agencies, GrowTraffic are experts at content marketing and we pride ourselves on the quality of our SEO copywriting. We don’t just churn out sub-standard copy willy-nilly; instead, we research your market thoroughly and create quality, targeted content, fully search engine optimised, that will grow your business online and increase your traffic and rankings.
If you’d like to know how we could help your business in 2018, whether you’re just starting out online, or you’re an old hand but your methods aren’t now seeing the same results, then please do get in touch with us.
Our team have years of experience in the full range of digital marketing skills, so whatever your needs, we can help. You can get in touch by emailing [email protected] or give me a call directly on 07495 181 007.