University Marketing & Communications

February 16, 2018

Content marketing trends for 2018

University of Washington

We’re officially in 2018, everybody! It’s that time of year when marketers try to anticipate what the big shakeups will be in the coming months: what will emerge, what will remain and what will fall to the wayside.

At the December Marketing Roundtable, the panelists noted that in today’s digital marketing landscape, it’s hard to predict what will come down the pipeline even six months from now. So while no one can say with specificity what will rise to the top in 2018, here are some general trends to keep in mind — as predicted by the wise minds over at Forbes.

Video will continue to grow in importance

Studies show that the use of video increases engagement and doubles your reach, so it’s not surprising that video was a big hit in 2017. The medium is poised to become even more popular in the coming year, according to sources like HubSpot, which predicts that nearly half of all marketers will include YouTube and Facebook videos in their next marketing plan.

Don’t count out email yet

Organizations must continue building strong, direct connections with audiences — email campaigns are effective for this purpose and “can work for nearly every brand,” says Forbes. In addition, research from Adobe shows that email offers an ROI of $40 for every dollar spent, which tops paid and organic search combined. So keep growing your email list — HubSpot has some great tips on how. And now that the UW has adopted Marketo, managing email lists and creating engaging email content has never been easier. The software also offers a range of tools to help with personalization and market segmentation in our email communications.

Original content will be king

Forbes notes that in 2018, “Content marketing is about creating interesting content people actually want to engage with. Stop talking about your brand, and start creating content people want to read, watch or listen to.” One extreme example is Apple, which recently poured a billion dollars into original content for its new streaming services. At the UW, we should stick with the strategy we’ve developed for demonstrating our impact on the community and the world through powerful, personal narratives.

Though the world of marketing changes constantly, these trends show that newer isn’t always better, and old methods aren’t necessarily outdated. In the end, effective content marketing comes from being strategic and intentional with the tools and resources at your fingertips.