Over 2 million blogs are posted every single day. Content marketing isn’t just a channel for the big boys anymore, it’s become a main stream channel for marketers and businesses of all sizes. But do you know what’s on the horizon for this year?
Will article content rain king or will AI be taking hold in world full of automation?
We asked 12 experts to tell us what they see as the rising stars in the content marketing world to help you shape your strategy for this year!
Influencer Content Marketing
Brands are looking for more organic ways to reach their target audiences on ever growing social media platforms. Facebook ad policies change seemingly every day. With so many varying things in the paid ads platforms, one way brands will continue to grow and reach their target demos, is influencer marketing. And I am not talking about just paying someone for a simple shout out. I am talking about crafting, hand in hand with the influencer how they use your products or services to make their life better. One of the trends you will see running parallel to this above trend, is brands picking influencers more carefully. Paying attention to not just their audience but their engagement rates.
Brands want to make sure that someone does not just get a ton of impressions on their Instagram posts, but that people comment and like those posts as well. As these brands will want to drive awareness of their brand message as well as engagement. 2017 is the year of discriminating influencer content marketing.
Stephen Towmey – MasterMind SEO
A Shift in Social Media
2016 saw Instagram introduce a new algorithm that acted as areal game-changer for many businesses; it became harder to reach target audiences, and posts most definitely suffered when it came to the amount of ‘likes’ they received.
Similarly, YouTube’s algorithm changes are costing vloggers traffic and Facebook ‘likes’ are harder to come by than ever before.
For these reasons, a trend that has been emerging recently is businesses moving more towards paid social media advertising and focusing less on posting organically. When a company promotes a post or invests in social media advertising, they are able to refine who sees their post/ad down to the tiniest detail; age, location, interests etc. They can also choose how long it runs for – a far safer bet for success than posting and hoping for the best.”
James Nuttall – ItWorks
Content Has to Be Tailored to a Unique Individual
No longer will content marketers be able to create a piece of content that they hope will meet every audience’s wants and needs. With so much content out there, customer’s have learned to only pay attention to content they believe was written for them.
The days of building a prospect list of 1000 people and firing out emails asking for shares and website placements is history. Inspiring webmasters to share content through personalized outreach emails a will become more and more commonplace in 2017.
In your outreach, demonstrate how the content benefits the website’s users and don’t be afraid to offer social media promotion or some other kind of “thank you” for sharing the work.
As web development becomes easier for small businesses to acquire through tools such as Upwork and 99designs, 2017 will see more interactive content that provides more engagement than a simple editorial piece.
As the content market becomes saturated even further, interactive content that engages the user through video, games, and other “clickable” content will stand out as the leader of 2017.
Evan Harris – SD Equity Partners
Joint Content Will Be Big
Creating content with a strategic partner is becoming a great way to not only get a ton of website visitors but also web links. If your business has a partnership, have your content team look into using data a business partner is willing to share or has shared. It’s gives you exclusive content and shows your partner dedication to your business relationship.
Max Page – CouponHippo
2017 – The Year of Video
We’ve all searched YouTube for informational or entertaining videos over the years, but 2017 will be transformative for video. With a 5x higher recall than the written word, video is the most engaging media format and most effective in assisting conversions. Mobile search volume has surpassed desktop, so more video is being consumed than ever before. Affordable data plans, improved bandwidth and widespread Wi-Fi access has reduced the cost and improved the overall mobile video experience. Another factor is the evolution of content marketing, incorporating increasing amount of video.
Video production costs have decreased dramatically, both in terms of the quality of mobile phone video, affordable or embedded editing software as well as digital SLR and 4K video cameras. Video form factors have evolved as well: live streaming (on platforms like Facebook), 360-degree video, augmented & virtual reality and best of all, drones, all make the video capture and viewing experience more dramatic and immersive.
Even business-to-business brands are getting into the mix with demos, tutorials and testimonials. Last but not least, video advertising is exploding and will offer new opportunities for targeting and engagement display and text ads lack. If your brand isn’t doubling down on video in 2017, you will miss the bus.
Kent Lewis – Anvil
Live Video Goes Big
We (as an industry) are starting to think about video in general as content, but live video is still somewhat new. In 2017, we expect this to grow to become an important source of content for businesses.
Facebook Live has the most potential, of course, because of the existing mass reach of its user base; however, other networks (like Instagram and SnapChat) both have the “in” with younger demographics which makes them equally important.
The tools are out there to use, so brand should start getting comfortable recording video that can’t be edited or (for the large part) scripted. This will be difficult for hard-core brand marketers who are uncomfortable with the imperfect nature of content this produces.
This is important because we expect Facebook and other platforms to push the live video feature, and that they will reward those who embrace it (with greater visibility in the feeds).
Bob Clary – Intellibright
User-Generated Content Within the Sales Funnel
More brands will connect user-generated content to the sales funnel. This type of social proof offers another layer of engagement with the consumer. Whether its informing buyers about your products or convincing them to purchase, UGC provides an opportunity to clinch the sale.
As RankBrain and machine learning helps search engines to better understand search queries, more emphasis will be put on topic modeling than writing for a specific niche. For example, auto insurance companies will expand their content strategies to talk about not just finance related to cars, but car maintenance or customization; medical professionals will share insights related to overall health and wellness, rather than just their specialty practices.
This topical relevance will help brands cater to their core audience’s overall lifestyle and interests, not just the specific products or services they are purchasing. What’s more, it allows them to build their brand authority, provides additional opportunities to capture audiences from organic search, and encourages higher engagement when shared on social media.
Every marketing professional is sick to death of the phrase “content is king”, and for good reason. Every brand in the know has their own blog, newsletter, or content strategy in place. We’re at the point now where simply having content on your website is not good enough. There are absolutely no guarantees it will get you seen, heard, or discovered.
For many brands who are working towards established content marketing goals, 10x content is the new frontier. The idea is that your content is 10 times better than what currently exists on the Web, especially when compared to your main competitors. When created and promoted correctly, this type of content is much more likely to earn social interaction, valuable backlinks and press, and more eyeballs on your site.
Spoke and Wheel Strategies
With the fundamentals in place, many content marketers and editors will be paying more attention to strengthening their existing strategies. As once challenging questions surrounding the ideal topics, frequency, and length of content are demystified, more attention will be paid to connecting the dots between different platforms and mediums. For example, as the popularity of live video soars in 2017, content marketers will become more adept at utilizing and repurposing that content for other initiatives across their blog, onsite content, in white papers, etc.
This spoke and wheel strategy will become paramount for those looking to promote a specific product, webpage, or piece of content through all other touch points where content marketing is performed. We’ll be thinking more about how to promote that new collection across social media, email, the blog, and more to strengthen brand signals and messaging.
Jess Herbine – Trinity Insight
With over sixty percent of searches completed on mobile devices and Google’s mobile-first index on its way, it is crucial that content creators keep mobile readers in mind when writing their content. Individuals using their mobile device don’t necessarily want to read a blog that’s two thousand words. Instead, they’re likely looking for a quick answer to a question they’ve got while on the go. Therefore, content marketers need to ask themselves while they’re writing if they’re answering a question in their content that will be easily found by the reader in addition to being easy-to-read on their mobile device.
Tory Kalousek – BlueCompass
I think you’re going to see optimizing for mobile will continue to be a huge trend in 2017, so if you’re a marketer, you better make sure that your business has a website that is mobile friendly. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a lot of startups should use a mobile-first strategy, in which their site design is heavily focused on mobile users. Why? Because there are more than one billion mobile device users throughout the world, and increasing numbers of them are using their devices to make purchases, engage on social media and share what they find interesting.
Live streaming will just get bigger and bigger in 2017, because it is an effective way for marketers to connect and engage with consumers in a relaxed setting. Companies can do live events for product launches, Q & A sessions that invite consumers to find out more about products and services and even “Get To Know the Team” sessions in which they introduce their employees to consumers. The big key with live events or live streams is to ensure that users are engaged at all times. You can do that by encouraging users to ask questions and make comments throughout the event, and also by offering free and valuable content such as eBooks, guides and free samples.
Marketing Through Influencers
There’s an old saying that “game recognizes game,” which means that people who are successful are more likely to befriend others who are successful or on their way to success than they are those who have no ambition.How does that relate to digital marketing? You have to create outstanding content that will get on the radar of influential people in your industry who will then share your content and provide you with the credibility you need to establish authority in your field. Influencer marketing must be a major part of your strategy in 2017, whether this strategy is done through financial investment (paid influencer marketing) or through earned influence marketing based on outstanding and relevant content.
The Rise of Chatbots
I think chatbots will become more prevalent in the coming year. How will this affect content marketers? Consumers, both B2B and B2C, will turn to chatbots to answer their queries instead of searching for those answers on a company site. Content marketers will continue to struggle in getting traffic to their content. They’ll also need to adapt and learn to create content to satisfy the constraint of bots and the demand for this new channel.
AI Will Be The New Buzzword
Artificial intelligence is coming to a content marketer near you! AI is gaining traction in numerous fields, including marketing. So it’s just a matter of time before it becomes part of the content marketing lexicon. I figure we’ll see it happen this year. CanIRank already employs advanced machine learning to help content marketers find keywords they can rank for, links they can get, and on-page optimizations that will move the needle. I suspect others will follow suit by offering complementary AI-based tools that help content marketers become more efficient.
Stephen Jeske – CanIRank
There you have it! Some of the biggest content marketing trends that you need to be aware of this year!
Spot a trend our experts missed? Comment below and let us know!