Content Marketing in 2018 - Trends, Tools & Tips for Growth Marketers

Posted by Thomas Heeg

Imagine you live in a year in which an A.I. visual design tool exists that can create over 400 million banners in one day, resulting in a 100% increase in conversion rate. Welcome to 2018.

In January, Facebook changed its news feed algorithm. In February, Google introduced (after Apple though) its Augmented Reality Platform ‘ARCore’, enabling you to create AR-content for mobile. 2018 has only just begun and already the content marketing landscape for growth marketers has changed drastically. And luckily, there’s much more to get excited about.


Download our List of the Best Growth Hacking Tools 2018


Facebook Aiming for Quality


As Facebook revised its news feed algorithm to give priority to content for “friends, family, and groups”, growth marketers should consider quality and relevance over quantity in content creation. Although the impact on paid content seems to remain unharmed, Facebook says it will increase the amount of “meaningful interactions” and so its algorithm will fight fake-news and filter out clickbait-style and meme-like content.  Time to say goodbye to the overload of cat movies on your newsfeed (unless all of your friends and family members have a cat of course).

Tip 1: Make sure you publish authentic content to receive a high relevance score in Facebook Ads Manager. Since creating authentic sustainable content is always a challenge, and If you do want to use unauthentic, yet high-performing content, try to scout on subReddits for content that has been Top-rated. Contact the author/user and ask for permission to use his/her content in your ads. Next: hit the right audience with your freshly harvested content.

Tool 1: Miappi is an A.I. content tool that helps you collect, curate, moderate, display and analyze user-generated content showing your brand, product or service. Check out what the 14-day  free demo can do.



Keep an eye on A.I.


A.I. is becoming (well, it actually already is) key in creating, analyzing and predicting content. In November 2017, Amazon launched a pre-trained machine learning tool called Amazon Recognition Video, which joined Amazon Recognition Image. Both tools make your life easier by identifying objects, people, text, scenes, and activities. Simultaneously it is detecting inappropriate content that you’ve provided to the Recognition API. Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Google has created a range of similar A.I. tools that assist in content recognition, analysis, and categorization.

My suggestion: add these to your growth marketing toolbox.



In the content creation landscape, Alibaba introduced its A.I. visual design platform (Alibaba LuBan) that’s capable of generating 8,000 different banner designs per second. According to Rexroth Xu on, LuBan designed over 400 million banners for a wide array of products during last year’s (ok, no  2018) Single’s Day Event (China’s version of Black Friday).

Xu says “If we assume it takes a human designer 20    minutes to design one single banner, then we will need 100 designers to work non-stop for 150 years to produce the same amount”.  Here: some tips on how to fire your designer(s) in case you feel flabbergasted at this point.


(A.I. still can't tell ↑)

Tip 2: Is the next tool useful? No. Is it fun? Yes. Try this teachable machine learning tool and see how this self-learning machine trains itself in image recognition. Great for understanding the basics of self-learning machines.

Tool 2: To uplift your real-time content mix, have a look at this A.I. prediction tool: Rewarded as the best A.I. technology by the SXSW Innovation Awards 2018, with this tool you could have predicted the outcome of the U.S. elections correctly. Hint: the winner was no raw chicken.



AR you ready for the next step?


At the same time Augmented Reality is taking over its brother Virtual Reality,  as AR doesn’t require a headset and therefore is easier to adopt. Apart from its AR-platform ARCore (enabling  developers to start testing with AR-applications), Google launched another very interesting AR-prototype last January. ‘Article’ is a 3D model viewer allowing you to have amazing AR-experiences in your browser. Although Google is still experimenting with this feature, it’s definitely one of the AR-developments to keep an eye on. Can you imagine placing a  walking Astronaut in your living room?
A small step for man… 

Tip 3: To get a bit more familiar with today’s AR-possibilities, try out some of these (free/almost free) apps in this article and explore what AR can already do for you (like measuring, gaming and designing in AR).

Tools 3: Although developing your first AR-content (or eventually AR-app) might feel like rocket science now, the next thing you do from this point on (so that is: now) is introducing yourself to Apple’s free ARKit. Read this article to get started and learn how to build your AR-app, step by step. You can do this!


Generation Old and Generation Z


Have you forgotten about Generation Old? In the 2018 Design in Tech report by John Maeda, the older generation was brought to attention again. "In more developed areas, the proportion of older persons already exceeds that of children; by 2050 it will be double" (UN report on World Population Ageing 1950-2050). Brands rarely try to tap into the older age group through social media, which makes it a huge source of potential (also for Growth Marketers). As long as they have a computer, that is.


Now, let’s talk about the future audience, and I don’t mean Millennials. Meet the Purpose Generation. Growing up in a rapidly changing tech society while facing issues as climate change and digital privacy scandals (the GDPR is just the start of many tech regulations to come), Generation Z is more future focused than its predecessor. They can be described as realists, problem solvers and hands-on tech creators who strive to make the world a better place. Through social justice (taking a stand on social and political issues) and self-empowerment (learning new skills) this generation is motivated to tackle gender, equality, politics and global warming.


 Tip 4: Read The Purpose Economy (by Aaron Hurst) and Doughnut Economics (by Kate Raworth) to get a better understanding of  how our digital economy should be designed in order to fight global challenges together with Generation Z.











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This article was written by Thomas Heeg during the Growth Tribe Academy. Thomas has been participating in the academy since Feb 2018.  Check him out on LinkedIn. 

Written by Thomas Heeg