Ahhh, the New Year. It’s a time to pause (finally!) and reflect on the year past and make new content marketing goals for the year to come.
For many marketers, this time of year also means a new budget – which could present exciting opportunities and challenges.
If you haven’t had time to think about your team’s goals for 2018, we’re providing some inspiration by asking other content marketing pros to share their 2018 content resolutions.
Their goals include a diverse range of tactics including increasing the quality and authority of content, distributing content with paid media strategies, hosting Facebook Live video chats, using ephemeral marketing, leveraging AI technology and so much more.
Here are their 2018 content marketing goals:
“I’d like to be better at getting content produced in bulk and scheduled in advance. I generally stay on top of my schedule as far as getting it out there – blog post every week, newsletter every two weeks, social media posts at varying frequencies depending on the platform, etc.
But I think it would be great if I got all my content for a month or so written, edited, formatted, and ready – and then just scheduled it to go live at the appropriate times. It would free me up to get ahead on other projects and campaign-planning.”
-Andrea Champ, Marketing Director, Buckeye Lawn & Landscaping and Oheil Irrigation Company
Robust content calendar
“In 2017 I drifted away from constant, rapid content production. As nice as it was to slow down, I also lost a little bit of something. I serve a brand whose product is its thought leadership and the best way to put that forward is through blogging, feature writing, and media opportunities.
In 2018 I plan to dive back into the commitment of a robust content calendar that includes a more diverse list of media outlets. It’s a struggle when you think of all the instant content we create for our brands these days, and how quickly technology and dynamics change. I’m talking Instagram stories, off-the-cuff Facebook posts, and the cloud our current news cycle keeps overhead. Returning to a steady release of long-form content will be positive for myself and the brand.”
-Michael Wagner, Digital Strategist, Markon Brands
“Something I’m hoping to change about our own content marketing strategy is to become more story driven. Rather than pushing the brand first, or talking about why you need us, I want to talk about issues that the community is facing, and know those issues because we are listening to our clients. I want to be less ‘us’ and more ‘them.’ Our goal is to put storytelling at the center of our content strategy.”
– Shearly Reyes, Digital Marketing Manager, iHealthSpot
“Today’s Experience Era, where 61 percent of consumers admit they are now loyal to brands that tailor experiences to their needs and preferences (according to a recent Adobe report), has inevitably changed the modern consumer buying behavior. As a public relations professional, this makes my heart sing.
In 2018, I think we’ll start to see the same high-quality, customized customer experience-driven mindset applied across more marketing strategies. Our approach and goals for any marketing activity will continue to be two-fold: 1) Telling clear, compelling, useful and engaging stories and, 2) Building meaningful relationships with the right audience.
One way OHPR plans to achieve this will be through more thought leadership content. Unlike product-specific content (which can be self-serving or overtly “salesy”), thought leadership content shares relevant industry insight, opinions, data and advice. In doing so, our spokespersons can win over their targeted audience by becoming trusted resources.
Sharing a useful story keeps audiences engaged and ultimately motivate them to take action and be long-term lovers of their brand.”
-Andrea Oliveira, CEO & Founder, Oliveira House PR
“Content marketing is changing for the better in many ways. Many are starting to recognize that shelling out tons of content doesn’t necessarily translate positively into traffic and conversions. Instead, we need to practice a new approach, where we create more of what matters.
In 2018 we are laser-focused on guiding our clients to create more intentional content as a whole. Instead of churning out one-off blogs like crazy, we are switching to developing pillar content that is supported by contextually related posts.
Google’s ever-mysterious algorithm continues to reward brands who establish themselves as authorities on any given topic. This mindset switch with content development is already proving to be effective, helping to improve search ranking and engagement for our clients who are putting this high caliber content strategy into action.”
-Britt Skrabanek, Co-founder and Content Strategist, Superneat Marketing
[RELATED: How to enhance the authority of your content following Google’s E-A-T guidelines]
Create the ‘best’ content
“We want to create more insightful content that targets our clients’ specific needs rather than generic, surface level content. It includes making content more authoritative to showcase our industry expertise and build trust with readers. We want to be detailed while maintaining a voice that supports the brand.
Elevating content from ‘good’ and even ‘better’ to ‘best’ includes collaborating with other thought leaders and weaving both inbound and outbound links throughout content to optimize how our content performs. ‘Good’ content is an easily achievable resolution for anyone; the ‘best’ content requires a tactical approach for our team, and this game plan excites us for the promises of 2018.”
-Wes Marsh, Director of Digital Marketing, Solodev
Invest in quality content
“In 2018, my marketing goals are to prioritize and simplify. Consumers today are drowning in content. In this landscape, the answer to reaching and influencing our audience isn’t to create more content. It’s to create better content.
Therefore, my goal in 2018 is to produce less content, but with a larger investment in each piece. By narrowing the focus of my target audience, and prioritizing the type of content I create, I can better identify their pain points, produce the right type of high-quality content that authoritatively addresses that pain, and devote more time to promoting each piece.”
-Stephen App, Senior Marketing Manager, eCity Interactive
“My focus in 2018 is to create content that specifically addresses marketing challenges within diverse industries. Digital marketing cannot and should not be a one-size-fits-all proposition. While many businesses share some common challenges, it’s impossible for specific marketing strategies to apply equally to different industries.
For example, it’s fine to talk about loyalty programs and how they can build trust within your target audience, but how does a law firm implement that kind of strategy? I think it’s important to talk about general marketing strategies, but then drill them down so that they are tailored to specific industries.”
-Tabitha Jean Naylor, Owner, TabithaNaylor.com
Speak to new audiences
“One of the biggest obstacles I personally face is creating content that speaks to people across all geographic markets in the lower 48 states. While I certainly believe in the virtues and outcomes of targeting a specific market, I find that when I try to speak to individuals across the board, my voice may be too general or may seem as though it is coming from a perspective of a marketer on the West Coast attempting to capture the attention of the rest of the nation.
To this end, my goal for 2018 is to talk to people in my industry across the country about their perspectives, experiences and outlooks, rather than the echo chamber that may be truckers and trucking professionals on the West Coast.
While there are certainly shared and common experiences throughout my industry, there are certain aspects of the commercial transport industry that only affect certain regions. By getting to know those markets, I can get a better sense of what these people see and feel and tailor more of my marketing towards that.”
-Jake Tully, Head of the Creative Department, TruckDrivingJobs.com
[RELATED: Better understand your customers and how to target them by creating buyer personas]
Curated and user-generated content
“Although our content production queue stays very full, 2018 is the year for curated content. Because there is so much content out there already, and it requires many backlinks to elevate that content into the search mainstream, curated offers our audiences good stuff, while the outreach will help increase the likelihood of sources sharing through their channels as well.”
-Jonathan Poston, eCommerce Marketing Lead, 99CentRazor.com and WeddingBandsForBoth.com
“I think a great New Year’s resolution for us as a creative/sports marketing agency is to look at the marketing landscape overall and resist the urge to fall back on what’s easy. With increased competition for eyeballs (on content, on social media, on experiential marketing, etc.), we need to push ourselves and our clients to be true change agents. The easiest, fastest and/or path of least resistance isn’t always the right one – taking risks should be rewarded.”
-Dan Lobring, VP Marketing Communications, rEvolution
“My marketing goal is to launch a podcast in 2018. This podcast will be entitled Contractor Chat and I plan to produce one per month. Our members are really busy working on projects in Washington state, so they don’t have time to join us at events. I’ve decided this is a great way to let people tune in when they can, and engage with our association in a different way.”
-Andrea Smith, Marketing & Communications Manager, Southwest Washington Contractors Association (SWCA)
“I’ve written extensively on the value of video as a compelling and engaging medium, but the primary focus has been YouTube and Facebook to a lesser extent.
My primary goal is to expand reach and engagement by leveraging video across more social platforms, particularly by syndicating Instagram video posts across platforms like Twitter and Facebook to maximize efficiency and reach.”
-Kent Lewis, President & Founder, Anvil Media
“In 2018, we’d like to further focus on video content as a means to enhance textual content. As part of that, we’d also like to develop a system that empowers our customers to develop their own video content.
This will require coming up with an inexpensive, efficient set up that clients throughout the country can reproduce without us having to be there to film. That means testing out recording on different mobile phones and developing a mic and lighting system that helps produce professional-grade results.”
-Geoff Hoesch, CEO, Dragonfly Digital Marketing
Facebook Live video
“My goal for 2018 is to build a Facebook following for our brand through video content production. More specifically, Facebook Live.
As consumers grow tired of slickly produced content, we’re betting on live video as a more interactive, raw, and personal approach to building our following.
I’m currently working on a content calendar specifically for Facebook Live, where I’m planning themes for one live session a week. We’ll provide a forum for questions to be asked, and feature sleep experts who can address issues people face.
Meanwhile, we’ll allow people to get to know the faces behind the website and develop a more personal relationship with the brand.”
-Chris Brantner, Co-founder and Digital Marketing Expert, SleepZoo.com
“My goal for 2018 is to repurpose content in new ways to reach a wider audience. We have created great blogs and social posts in the past, but once they go live they are quickly forgotten and overlooked.
I would love to revamp this content and transform it into infographics, videos and social campaigns in order to reach a new audience. I hope to go through our past content initiatives and find evergreen pieces that can be edited and manipulated to resonate with the audiences of 2018.”
-Magen Sanders, Content Strategist, Promocodes.com
“One thing we hope to accomplish during 2018 is to develop a lot more infographics and snackable visual content. We created several infographics this year and the response was great. The power of data is undeniable and if you present it in an easy-to-consume format, then even better!
Visual content always wins, so another goal that we have for 2018 is to create more videos. One idea that we have is creating one-minute videos made up of 100 clips from 100 different influencers from our platform to feature who they are and the campaigns they’ve worked in.”
-Ismael El-Qudsi, Co-founder and CEO, SocialPubli.com
[RELATED: How to create effective infographics that support marketing]
New content formats
“Our team has had a lot of success with our agile approach to covering marketing and customer engagement trends and best practices. But I think it’s time for us to retrench and figure out how to scale up the impact of the articles and assets we’re creating.
To do that, we have to hold onto a little of that responsive spirit while building out a longer-term content strategy that allows us to dedicate resources to building more innovative ways of telling stories and keeping our audience involved.
The key for us isn’t using flashier formats for the sake of flash — it’s finding ways to tell the stories that our audience is passionate about that speak more clearly and persuasively to our readers.”
-Todd Grennan, Senior Content Producer, Braze (formerly Appboy)
“For 2018, the new in-demand marketing trend is ephemeral marketing, or posting content that lasts only for a short period of time, such as the stories features on Snapchat or Instagram.
It requires a lot of money and effort to create posts that last for at most 24 hours, but there are many benefits. For example, it increases the sense of urgency in promotions, prompting consumers to act now.
Ephemeral marketing also increases engagement with the customers it reaches by generating excitement and cultivating a VIP atmosphere for those users.
Most social media platforms are moving towards promoting this type of content delivery, due to its increasing popularity. In contrast to sponsored posts or ads, this ephemeral content allows brands to create a unique, direct relationship with consumers, which is both honest and authentic. In 2018, the challenge will be to create fun and interactive posts that are not blatant sales pitches.”
-Tracy Julien, VP of Marketing, GuidedChoice
“In 2018: Trust the machine with marketing automation, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will be responsible for the execution of content marketing campaigns.
A whopping 61 percent of SMEs do not use any form of marketing automation. Through deep learning using Google’s platform TensorFlow, you will be able to create models that will, for example, predict what time of day is best to publish articles, podcasts, videos, etc. It even suggests what content to use.
We started using AI four months ago for our content marketing campaigns and the conversions increased by 21 percent. And for our New Year’s resolution, we hope to increase our content marketing results up to 45 percent with AI.”
-Cristian Rennella, VP of Marketing & CoFounder, QuotesAdvisor
“Our goal for the next year is to redesign our website. Our site has a solid foundation with category and product pages, a blog, and necessary information about our business. However, the site lacks an aesthetic touch that goes well with our industry. It’s outdated and our conversion rate shows it. The website is in need of a facelift to update the design that will keep visitors on our pages longer and ultimately convert them into paying customers.”
-Robert Ellis, Owner, Massage Tables Now
[RELATED: How to create killer web content for your new website]
“In 2018, my marketing team is taking a full-funnel approach to content marketing. Our goal is to plan and execute marketing efforts that impact not only the top of funnel (brand awareness) but also the middle (consideration) and bottom (decision). With so much information available online, the buyer’s journey has changed, and it’s more important than ever to reach customers in the right format, at the right time, with the right message.
We plan to work closely with sales to develop messaging, ads, emails, educational pieces and marketing collateral that address each stage of the funnel and help guide prospective customers to make a final purchase.”
-Julia Marvin, PR and Content Marketing Specialist, Digabit
Content to fill the funnel
“For my company in 2018, I’ve already written an involved strategy to ramp up content production and promotion. Our content strategy has been mostly on hiatus in 2017, and I’ve committed to building out four new inbound funnels that use both written and video content and address the top all the way down to the very bottom of our sales funnel.”
-Shana Haynie, Co-founder and COO, Vulpine Interactive
What are your 2018 content marketing resolutions? Tweet us @brandpointco!
Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for grammar and clarity.