Content Marketing in 2018: Trends, Tools & Tech

Cute Boy Browsing a Virtual World in Virtual Reality Glasses

What does 2018 have in store for creative content & what does it mean for you?

It’s that time of the year again – where we all dust down the crystal ball and look ahead to what the new year will bring for content marketing. Things got pretty interesting in 2017 with 360 video and VR going mainstream. 2018 looks to be just as exciting.

Here are a few thoughts & predictions on the trends, tools and technologies we think will be big in 2018:

No one will sell anything anymore!

Well this isn’t entirely true – because let’s be honest, the reason for content is to sell more stuff! But more and more brands are moving away from in-your-face, product-focused content and embracing content that people actually want to watch. Just have a look at Mr Porter’s social media channels for how to do this well:

Or, dare we say it, some of the work we’ve been doing with Nespresso over the last year: 

Instagram Stories

Nothing new here! But we think how brands use Insta-stories will change in 2018. Insta-stories will go from the everyday amateur content to more professional brand stories. With brands using 10 second film to tell a campaign story. Bring on the mini clips!

Brands will stand for something

Trump, Brexit, Kim Jong-un, Climate change …its pretty grim out there. People are angry and we think that more brands will make a stand in 2018. Get it right like Patagonia have (we think one of the most exciting brands in terms of content) and you produce brilliant and engaging content that hopefully changes things for the better:

Get it wrong or fake it, like Pepsi did with *that Kendall Jenner advert, and you just annoy everyone!

Virtual Reality

 Ok – it’s still a bit of a gimmick right now. But Facebook didn’t buy Oculus (for a pretty substantial $2bn) just to let it die. VR going to get bigger this coming year with new technology coming from Oculus (the Oculus Go and the more impressive Santa Cruz), Google and HTC. Brands will take advantage and create VR stories. Take one of our clients – DS – who use VR brilliantly to allow for car customisation: 

33 Seconds – DS interactive store from itch media on Vimeo.

Facebook really pushed live in 2017 – but for brands, professional multi-cam live outputs were still expensive and the rewards limited in comparison to the planning and production involved. But live is an area brands cannot ignore in 2018 – its growth is outpacing other types of online video. Technology needs to catch up a little here and we think 2018 will be the year when you can produce TV quality live output on Facebook without an enormous price tag.

Here’s one we did last year for Nespresso:

The kit just keeps getting better!

 Just over 10 years ago, the Canon 5D launched, changing the industry – giving brands access TV quality film (in the right hands of obviously!), shot on a DSLR, without a big price tag. 2018 looks set to be the year we see cinema-quality 4K super slow-motion become much more affordable (think Planet Earth cinematography). With cameras such as the Kinefinity Terra 4K available for just $4,000 – we’re going to see amazing quality.

Add to that affordable, quality drones that are on the market (DJI Mavic Pro being just one example) and some interesting tech inventions on Kickstarter – there’s going to be some great kit coming in the new year.

Long-form will make a comeback

Videos keep getting shorter and shorter. These days, we produce a lot of 10-20 second video content for social media. But we are seeing a shift in viewing habits – with more people wanting Netflix-style content – and brands are realising this and getting involved. Short form undoubtedly captures attention – but long-form engages with your audience and creates more involved brand awareness. So 2018, we think we will be seeing more mini-docs, featurettes and, dare we say it …perhaps a full length film or two?


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