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In just a few years, the content marketing landscape has changed so much that a person transplanted from 2013 might struggle to comprehend and keep up with what content marketing in 2018 looks like. If someone from today were to hop in a time machine and travel to 2021 or 2022, he or she would likely feel just as out of place.

Constantly changing algorithms and updates in SEO, as well as changes in what people are interested in keep content marketers on their toes. Below, we present a few big trends in content marketing today, and what’s changing for the future. Plus, we help you figure out how you can make your way through an ever-changing content marketing landscape.

Current Trends in the Content Marketing Landscape

One of the biggest trends in content marketing has to do with the type of content marketers are creating, and how they are creating it. A few years ago, it was common for marketers to depend on former journalists to fill their content creation needs, according to Salesforce.

These days, content has moved beyond the purely text-based category. Video is big, with more than half of marketers claiming that it provides the best return on investment, according to Hubspot.

Another big trend in content marketing sees big brands — think Pepsi and Apple — making moves to produce their own, fully original content. The goal of this content won’t be to make people more aware of those brands, or even necessarily to boost the sales of the brands’ products. Instead, the goal is to entertain. For example, among the new content products, is a film starring T.I. Pain, according to AdAge. Meanwhile, according to The Verge, Apple has joined forces with Steven Spielberg to re-launch the director’s “Amazing Stories” series.

While content that’s actually useful or that fulfills a need has always been the best type of content (rather than content that puts selling first), today’s trends show that marketers are willing and able to put sales on the back-burner in an effort to entertain and engage with an audience.

What’s Changing the Content Marketing Landscape

Certain trends and preferences are changing the type of content that gets produced. But, there are also some forces that are largely out of marketers’ control that are altering the content marketing landscape.

One major change happens behind the scenes. Social media has long been an important player when it comes to distributing content. But changes in the algorithms used by social networks constantly keep marketers on their toes.

For example, at the beginning of 2018, Facebook overhauled its news feed algorithm (again). It put greater value on and gave prominence to posts from friends and family, the “New York Times” reported.

This change will affect how a brand’s posts reach an audience — including if they end up reaching an audience at all.

Not only will it have a negative potential impact on companies. The change might also end up hurting Facebook’s profits, as “USA Today” noted. If fewer people are watching a video ad paid for by a brand, Facebook’s revenue will fall.

It’s not just the methods of distribution that are evolving in 2018. The actual objects and devices that people can use to access content are also changing. The Internet of Things is becoming more and more accessible. People will be able to consume content while browsing their refrigerator, or speaking to their smart speaker.

How to Make Your Way Through the Content Marketing Landscape

It might seem challenging to try and keep up with a landscape. It’s always shifting. Tools and tech make it easier to produce content and ensure it reaches the right audience. Plus, there are tools available today that streamline and simplify previously complicated techniques.

For example, plenty of tools exist that help you create video content. Others allow you to incorporate virtual reality or augmented reality into your brand’s content.

Custom content programs and marketplaces allow you to find experienced and knowledgeable content creators. That way you don’t have to figure out how to make a video or infographic.

Content marketing programs also help to simplify the distribution process. That way your content gets in front of the people you want to reach. You don’t have to guess the best way to get it out there.