2018 – Content marketing grows up

In the world of marketing, content marketing has been a trendy term for the last number of years. In 2018, the recent hype will be replaced by a well-thought-out approach, where a strategic view replaces individual activities. The (content) marketing is moving closer to business development, on account of which you can predict and hope that content marketing will become an adult this year.

Content marketing of mass media is beginning to lose its importance.

These content marketing blocks and modules that we all hate on web portals are not always content marketing. We have been deceived, as these are often just ad texts. Being blinded by the brilliant pair of words ’content marketing’, it has been forgotten that ad text has long been considered a relatively ineffective tactic. So, there is a flood where there is little water to drink.

This year, it is understood by both ad text publishers and ad clients who to date have seen only a replacement for banner ads in any content, and these are losing effectiveness. Increasingly demanding readers expect reliable content from media publications, while ad clients understand that being one out of tens of ad texts on a limited surface is no longer attractive.

Therefore, I believe that we will also see a drop in one-time so-called content marketing articles this year. These will be replaced by larger collaborative projects, which will create more meaningful value for the target groups. Such projects, however, are only available to a small number of clients due to the high costs and workload.

Social media will finally become paid-to-play.

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have long been considered a wonderful (if not quite free, then virtually free) marketing channel. 2018 will finally prove that the principles that are familiar to us with TV, radio and print advertising are also valid in social media – the channel needs to be paid to reach people.

The organic reach, which, based on our experience, is higher in Estonia than, for example in North America, will continue to decline inevitably. Brands must be willing to contribute financially to communicate with their “followers”, proving once again that social media channels are not owned by brands but by Facebook and others. By changing the algorithms, Facebook always has a greater impact on the spread of content than a brand. However, this does not mean a decrease in the importance of social media but rather the need to change expectations, goals and tactics.

Importance of own channels is growing.

In the process of making content marketing more strategic, the ways of content creation and spread are seriously reviewed. More and more brands are deciding to contribute to their channels and are looking for ways to make their channels even more effective. Websites, newsletters, apps, events, customer magazines – these are just a few examples of ways to communicate with (loyal) customers without intermediaries. The contact created in own channels is much stronger than the environment of the intermediaries, so more are contributing to developing own channels.

In their own way, the above ideas can be summed up on the fact that, due to the development of technologies, brands have unprecedented opportunities to more effectively manage, monitor and measure the whole communication chain through which the investment made can also be assessed in a better way. It may, however, mean the need to allow external partners to get closer to their business data than ever before.

The current year is likely to lead the advertising and marketing industry to a number of exciting and, perhaps, even fundamental changes. It is clear, however, that at a time when practically everything can be imitated, two things that are essentially impossible to be copied remain sound: the brand and its relationship with its consumers.



More and more brands are deciding to contribute to their channels

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