Fast & Easy Friday: A Recap of the Week’s Top Articles & Insights

Here are the stories that grabbed our attention this week. We hope you find some inspiration before you head out to enjoy the weekend.

  • 5 Social Media Trends That Will Have Maximum Impact in 2018:  As social media platforms and consumption continue to shift beneath our feet, it’s vital to keep tabs on the big picture as we formulate marketing plans for the future. This short piece offers a quick, smart overview of the trends you’ll want to watch and capitalize on in the coming year, including ephemeral content like Snapchat, the growing importance of bots in the customer service realm, the short-term future of livestreaming, the ways AI and image recognition are already reshaping visual media, and the value of content that inspires personal engagement.
  • Okay Google… How Will Voice Search Impact Content Marketing?: With 41% of adults already use voice search on their phones, it’s no surprise that voice search is a major game-changer. But what can you do to make sure your brand is ready? We don’t ask Siri the same questions we’d type into a Google search, so “Italian train tickets” quickly becomes “what does a train ticket from Venice to Naples cost?” But of course, that’s just the beginning. This post explains how forward-thinking brands are already capitalizing on “skills” that teach Amazon’s Alexa to answer potential user questions with answers that satisfy customer queries while pointing them toward their brands. Check out the full post for more details.  
  • 5 Ways to Do Original Research Faster and More Cheaply: Repurposing content can help you expand a content library and ensure you’re reaching customers with data in the format they prefer. If they don’t read e-books, you might grab their attention with the same vital data point presented in a colorful infographic. But new content is still important. Readers are looking for value, and that most often comes in the form of original research that gathers brand-new information you can present to your audience. The costs can add up quickly, but there are ways to contain those costs. This Entrepreneur article covers five strategies for quickly delivering original research on a budget.
  • How to Outsource Your Content While Still Maintaining Quality: Content marketing is no small undertaking. It takes a lot of content to reach an audience. But it can be nerve-wracking to ask for help when you know that quality is just as important as quantity. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t outsource some of the work. Here, Neil Patel walks you through the best way to outsource content marketing creation with confidence. He covers everything from how to decide which projects are the best candidates for outsourcing and how to select a quality partner to how you can set your agency up for success. It’s a must-read for content marketers who think that only in-house content is good enough.
  • 7 Key Trends Determining the Future of B2B Marketing: As summer comes to a close, most of us are looking past the next quarter to draft our plans for the coming year. So it’s a great time to focus on the larger trends and how they’re likely to impact our plans. This LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog post by Mike Weir is based on a presentation he delivered at Content Marketing World 2017 and includes what he says are the crucial trends that are defining the future of B2B marketing.

Summer’s over already, and we’re gearing up for a busy, happy holiday season. What are your plans for Q4, and what are you looking forward to in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below!