What’s in store for content marketing in 2019?

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We’re here again!

The start of the year means taking stock, looking forward and trying to work out where the heck the content marketing will go next!

The last two years has seen an explosion in content creation. Brands have all become their own broadcasters and ad spend on online video rose a whopping 40% in the first half of 2018 to £967 million (source: Campaign Live).

This has fuelled a demand from audiences for better, more engaging content.

So, what does this mean for the coming year….? We dip our toes into the predictions game and come up with a few that we think will lead the way in 2019.

  • Content will get more creative and more authentic

There’s a revolution going on. Audiences are rejecting being connected to devices 24/7 and are becoming more discerning about what they look at online.

Books such as Arianna Huffington’s ‘Thrive’ that extol the benefits of turning off your phone are becoming hugely popular.

For brands – this means you really need to understand your audience and create content that adds something to their life (whether this is information, a sense of joy, entertainment, etc) – not content just for the sake of content. Brands are beginning to understand this and create content that reflects them and their values.

This leads us onto prediction number two…

  • Established channels will grow smaller and content ‘churn’ will die!

Facebook has seen a 50% decline in users over the last two years (from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion) – largely due to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal (for those of you who want a giggle – watch ‘Bad Lip reading’ of Zuckerberg at his congressional hearing:

– but also because their feeds are filled with countless poorly-made adverts and click-bait. Audiences are rejecting this and brands are beginning to respond.

2019 will see brands turning away from quick, poorly-made videos – choosing quality and meaning over volume and quick hits.

And, whilst social media is still very much alive – brands will build on their own channels and work with publishers who are more in-line with their brand values to target audiences.

  • Content will become more personalised

It makes sense right? If I feel a brand is talking directly to me, I am much more open to hear their message.

Big data means brands are able to leverage intel to speak directly to the people that they want to speak to. This can go from ‘groups’ of people (creating content specifically designer for people who like football for example) – right through to the individual.

  • Audience will be able to make interactive decisions

This is not a new thing – there was a phase of this when YouTube first created the functionality with some fantastic campaigns from Samsung, Audi, amongst others. It put the audience in control, enabling them to choose how a video’s narrative unfolds or ends.

Recently, we’ve seen this transferred to TV with Black Mirror’s interactive film Bandersnatch.

We think there will more of this in 2019.

  • Long-form will make a come-back!

Ok – so, let’s face facts: video has become shorter. Six years ago, when we started Itch, we were making 5-8 minute videos. That video length as become shorter and shorter – now we create a lot of 10-15 second videos for Instagram and Twitter. It’s an exciting format and allows for a different style of creative.

And while short form isn’t going anywhere, we think that long-form will become much more of a staple as part of bigger content campaigns. It goes back to this idea that audiences are demanding well-made, interesting content that brings something more into their lives.

All in all – its going to be an exciting 2019!

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