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Top 4 Content Marketing Trends For 2018: How To Make The Most Of Them

Here are the top five content marketing trends for the year ahead, and the ways in which marketing professionals can make the most of them

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While marketers might think they have gotten the hang of content marketing over the past year, here's the rub - what worked in 2017, may not necessarily work in 2018. Here are the top five content marketing trends for the year ahead, and the ways in which marketing professionals can make the most of them.

1. Content consumption will see unprecedented levels of growth on mobile

2017 was a year of immense stress and shake-ups for India's telcos. Besides industry-wide consolidations, many of the big players were fighting it out to see who could offer the lowest prices for data. In fact, mobile data tariffs are expected to fall to an all-time low of 50 rupees per GB in 2020; compared to 228 rupees per GB in 2016. Unsurprisingly, these low data tariffs are driving content consumption via mobile devices upwards, a trend that will continue into 2018 as more players release lower-priced smartphones to target feature phone users.  
In a bid to target the rural consumer, telcos like Jio and Airtel have also launched low cost, web-enabled mobile phones that cost USD 50 - or less. This is expected to unlock the next phase of growth in the rural Indian markets, yielding even more new mobile users, who will no doubt contribute to the content growth story in India. The JioPhone, for instance, will allow Reliance to reach out to the next hundred million users who are currently surviving on feature phones with limited functionality, finally bringing them into the content marketing fold.

2. Video will be a key driver of content consumption

Amongst the various forms of content consumption, video consumption will be a key driver of growth. A recent study found that India is currently the 6th largest market in the world for mobile video ads when it comes to user consumption. This is expected to rise as virtually all brand advertisers move their digital ad spends to video, as well as invest in creating specific content for video on mobile.

While 2017 already saw a 119 percent increase in mobile video ads in India, the market is set to expand even further in 2018, as more telecom players look to bolster their offering by launching their own platforms. We also expect to see an uptick in long-form video consumption, in tandem with expanded internet access and low data costs.

3. The OTT market will flourish

2017 saw OTT players like Hotstar, Voot and SonyLiv gain momentum in the Indian market. In fact, the OTT market in India was estimated to swell to $272 million in 2017 (up from $202 million in 2016), thanks to improvements in telecom infrastructure and a rise in data consumption. This trend is likely to continue into 2018, especially as telcos all vie to get a bite of the OTT pie. Such a development may take two forms - firstly, as tie-ups between telcos and OTT players, such as Vodafone's partnerships with Eros Now, Ditto TV and Hooq, as well as Airtel's collaboration with Sony Liv and Eros Now. It could also take the form of telcos launching their own versions of OTT platforms, in order to encourage their users to consume yet more content on their platforms.

4. Demand for content technologies will expand

Recognising the growing importance of content marketing, advertisers in India have started factoring content marketing into their overall budgets. Although this is an encouraging sign, it also places more pressure on them to drive ROI, in order to justify this expenditure. It is not unexpected then that advertisers are turning to premium Discovery platforms like Outbrain to drive performance-driven campaigns at scale, in order to secure consistently exceptional results for their clients.

So marketers, take note - before plunging headfirst into the content marketing strategies you've outlined for yourselves this year, first delve a little deeper into the key trends that will characterize your market in 2018. After all, it's no longer just about producing great content that delights our users; it's also about being aware of how and where this consumption takes place - as well as where it's headed next.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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content marketing marketing opinion JioPhone

Sandeep Balani

The author is Head of India, Outbrain

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