Things happen so rapidly in the digital marketing area that, more often than not, we can’t keep track of time and, faster than we could see, December is here again to bring the end of another year. A lot of feelings surround this moment of the year and we couldn’t go without saying a few words about what these last 12 months were all about.

2018 came with important updates to the content marketing field and made us rethink the way we used to do it. This was also an important year for Contentools as a company, we grew our team, leveraged our operations, and launched a new product to the marketing. To keep you up to date on all of this, we prepared a list with the 18 best pieces of content of 2018 that comes with a sneak peek of what you must keep an eye on for your content marketing strategy in 2019. Are you ready?

Your most valuable asset is your team

This shouldn’t be any news, but a business doesn’t exist without a team that works together, defying their limits every day to be the solution and achieve the company’s goals. Needless to say, these actions can only move forward if each person enjoys their ride along with the team through the daily work, we are all humans after all. Oh, wait! We just mentioned our 4 key culture pillars. Coincidence?

With this in mind, have a look at the following content that will help you connect your team and boost your business:

1. It all starts with the leaders

We already live in a new era of technology and working relationships are being redefined day after day, but the human factor is still what groups us all together and help us get things done. Read the article to get insights from our CEO, Emilia Chagas, on how to be a leader in the digital era.

2. Remote means scalable, not detached

This year we were confronted with the reality that prospecting only talents that could work from our headquarter was no longer suitable for our needs. At that moment, we knew we would have to consider a broader picture and go remote. Believe us, it is not as easy as it sounds, but you can read this post to learn from our experience.

3. We are all about content

As a content marketing company, what we value the most is our content team. That made us put a lot of effort into understanding what the perfect content team would look like and we’re proud to say we made it. Do you want to know more and build your own team? Then go see our post right now.

4. The new Content Manager

Content is king, but it would not exist without someone to bring it to life. The Content Manager of the future must do much more than just knowing what to write for their personas and when. In this article, you can become aware of what are the 7 essential new roles for the perfect CM.

The content marketing heroes

Emilia had the opportunity to talk with great influencers that specialise in different niches of the digital marketing area and they have a lot to say. We selected the best interviews of 2018 for you and there is a spoiler: we have a lot more to go live next year!

5. Susan Su

She is the Head of Marketing at Reforge and is responsible for their San Francisco office. During her conversation with Emilia, she compares the new moment of content marketing to what we knew a few years ago and open our minds for the main dos and don’ts.

6. Soso Sazesh

He is the founder and CEO of Growth Pilots and a true expert when it comes to Search Engine Marketing. He will help you understand if SEM suits your company and how you could extract the most out of it to leverage traffic to your website.

7. Ryan Robson

The king of content marketing shared with Emilia his professional experience and will help you enrich your digital performance. Are you considering starting a side business and don’t know where to begin? Then his words are definitely what you need.

8. Kasey Luck

She is the marketing consultant at Bold & Zesty’s and a mentor for 500 Startups. She premiered our Content Heroes series as the first guest to ever have a talk with Emilia, sharing how she helps companies overcome content marketing challenges and have a better performance.

Everyone loves tips and tricks (because they work!)

If you work with content marketing, there is no doubt you were faced at least once with that blank moment. Yes, we are talking of that moment when you have only a few hours to finish a deadline, but not a single idea come to your mind nor what to do with that finished piece of content you have at hand. Luckily, you can count on us to share a few hacks that will make your work easier.

9. Leverage your content reach

Creating incredible content is not easy and although it is the center of your content marketing strategy, you will not see any results unless you know how and where to distribute it. Have a look at our post and learn 4 ways to leverage your content reach.

10. Link building is all you need

You already know that distribution comes side by side with content creation, but what else could you do to expand your marketing efforts? Every content you create must be designed for your persona, as well as it should please Google. Read our article to learn 6 different tactics to earn high-quality links and bring Google to your side.

11. Content Creation Shortcuts

Imagine you have to design an editorial calendar for the next month, but you have already covered all the subjects you could think of. There comes the fear: “what to do now, should I quit?” Absolutely not! This is more common then you can imagine and believe us, it happens to everyone. We listed in this blog post 5 hacks marketers have on their pockets to overcome moments like this. Check it out.

12. Boring writing

If you work with content marketing, you are probably required to use complex vocabulary to detail your business, which makes most of your content seem flat. However, this is not what you wish to deliver for your personas, so what to do? Start by reading this article from Ann Handley that shows you how to make your boring writing fun again, using stink bugs! We are positive this will help.

The future is today

Now that you know all the basics, it is time you see what the future holds for the content marketing you know today. As we mentioned earlier in this post, 2018 was a year of big changes in the field and you must prepare yourself to keep the good work (and results) for 2019.

13. Topic clusters

It is official. Topic clusters changed the way Google crawls through your website and indexes all of your pages, so you must follow the new rules. Our article covers all you need to know about this new method and, better yet, how to apply this to your strategy. Read it now.

14. Organic growth

It is no secret that all efforts we put on content marketing are used to expand our reach and attract more visitors to our website, so we enlarge our marketing funnel and close a bigger amount of customers at the end. This blog post from Sujan Patel to Hubspot lists 5 ways startups can drive massive growth and we are sure you’d like to keep track of this.

15. Sales trends

During this time of the year, all companies make their bets on what they believe will be the main trends for the year that follows. Open View prepared this material with “5 ‘not-so-obvious’ trends for 2019”, in their words. And guess what? Most of them are somehow related to teams. Read the article to know all of them.

16. The future of content marketing

Hubspot prepared a dossier pointing out all of the changes regarding the digital area we saw along 2018 and what we should expect for the next year as content marketing professionals. This is a must-read to prepare yourself before stepping into 2019.

Above all, there is AI

So far, all we mention are in regards to new, or not so much, techniques and methods that are already ongoing and will keep their high relevance for the year to come. Now what we truly believe is going to be a watershed in the digital marketing area for 2019 is Artificial Intelligence and the last two links on our list are related to this specific topic.

17. AI for e-commerce

We know AI already exists for quite a time now, but not the way we’ll see it in the near future. What we are about to do and automate with AI will change the way we work, literally. If you have an e-commerce business, you can start now by applying on your strategy the ideas we share on this post.

18. AI applied to content marketing

Earlier this year, Emilia wrote a piece of content for the Oracle blog explaining the difference between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and how you can take advantage of them to leverage your content marketing reach. There you will find all you need to know before including AI to your daily work.

This is what 2018 represented for us in a nutshell and what we place our bets on for 2019, but we want to hear it from you. What do you think we should expect for the next year? Live your thoughts on the comment section.