Content marketing is still on an upward trend, and like all marketing (or perhaps more to the point, like anything digital) it is evolving fast. More than twice as many marketers reported that they saw success from their 2016 campaigns when compared to their 2015 ones, and with increased success comes inflated prices, so it’s worth looking for the new marketing trends where you are going to see the best return for your investment (whether that be time or money).
With that in mind we are looking for clues from current trends to try to predict where we think 2017 will take us.
They’re not going away anytime soon, so it’s probably about time to accept that and join in on the biggest trend of 2016. People spend more of their online time on their phones now than they ever have before, and it’s a trend that will almost certainly continue in the same direction, it already amounts to nearly 3 times the amount of time spent online from desktops. Especially important for B2C marketing it is worth going through your site and content to make sure it is digestible in a user friendly way on your phone.
So no real revelation there, however, the upshot of this trend is likely to lead to a more personalised experience through Apps. 2017 is going to see an increase in content personalisation both in the consumer experience on websites and probably more importantly through content marketing Apps. If you don’t already have an App then it is definitely something to consider in your strategy this year.
There is a certain irony in paid advertising to get your content seen being as how content marketing was born because of traditional advertisings declining returns. However, it is already paying dividends, and with the continued evolution of social media algorithms (in particular Facebook, which has become very much a pay to play environment these days) it seems set to continue being a worthwhile investment.
Probably the best form of this in 2017 could come from native advertising, where your content can appear in relevant places without standing out as an advert. The consumers still get useful and informative content, the host gets to deliver that content without altering the user experience, and you get to reach a potential new audience, everyone wins.
Marketers have been taking advantage of influential bloggers and vloggers for a while already, but we are likely to see an increasing trend in the amalgamation of these influencers rather than partnering with them. It is easier to buy in an influencer than to build a team internally if you have the power to do so (as we have already seen recently with Beme). What does this mean for the average company though? Well, we expect to see an increased importance placed on user generated content to fill the gaps left by these influencers.
Again, B2C companies are going to benefit most from this type of marketing, and something as simple as encouraging users to post a picture with your product can show incredible results.
Visual content already gets the most engagement, and there is little surprise therefore that predictions for 2017 are that this trend continues. In fact it is estimated that video will represent 74% of all web traffic, and thanks to the more advanced search algorithms being better at reading and cataloguing video, it is also likely to become a much greater tool to help with SEO.
So we know that video is important, but what strategies are we looking at being most successful in 2017? Well, viral videos are probably going to be a thing of the past with the new pay to play landscape of social media making them harder to achieve, and a slow and steady strategy building and retaining customers is what we think will be the new order, more talking head style informative videos and vlogs. Offering genuinely useful information in an ongoing series is what consumers want, and it helps to not only grow your brand but to build trust and therefore increase retention.
With the floodgates now well and truly open in terms of content people are going to be turning more and more to specialist knowledge rather than general knowledge. Be specific with your content and tailor it exactly to your customer needs, it is often better to engage some people really well than it is to engage a lot of people adequately. Rather than a video about using social media in your marketing tailor it to a platform, and even better, tailor it to a specific objective or demographic. Yes, the potential reach is less, but the information is more powerful, and that is where real engagement comes from.