Google is becoming addicted to content. Not just any content, but the kind that gets people to react, to think, to take action. Content marketing is nothing new. Advertisers have been doing it for decades. What’s changed is the delivery of that content. What’s revolutionized content marketing is the way we can tailor it to fit a wide variety of media, and the exploding rise of online interaction by content consumers.
If you don’t already have a content marketing strategy, now is the time to forge one. Once you find your company’s voice, and create content that makes it sing, you will be rewarded with better brand visibility and more goal conversions – whether they are sales, leads or audience building.
Here are the top five content marketing trends to watch for in 2017 which should be employed by B2B and B2C businesses alike:
- While any video is powerful, live streaming will continue to grow in popularity. You can find easy-to-use platforms on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and SnapChat that are perfect for live product demonstrations, how-to forums, team introductions, testimonials, and sharing company milestones.
- Outdoor clothing retailer North Face leads the way in using virtual reality to showcase its premium products. It’s a powerful, albeit expensive, way to link products and services to unforgettable experiences. Once the cost of the technology comes down, we’ll see small to mid-sized businesses begin to explore it’s many opportunities more.
- Resurrect your email newsletter. Email open rates are actually going up in many cases, and again, the better the content, the better the results.
- Storytelling is at the heart of any good content marketing strategy. People remember a good story—one that made them feel something. Simply blogging to say you have a blog or ho hum updates to social media channels just won’t cut it any more. People want to be romanced, entertained and informed in memorable way. With the rise of Millennial buying power, the experience and the feelings it evokes, is everything.
- Banners, pop-up ads, and other forms of push advertising will begin to fade away in 2017, according to Martech Advisor. This is a trend that has been on the advertising industry’s radar for several years now. That doesn’t mean push advertising will go away. Rather, it will continue to evolve and morph into something the general public finds less distasteful than an unsolicited pop-up ad that’s hard to click away from.
The usual distribution channels we will be using in 2017 will continue to perform for us, including email, video, downloadable reports and white papers, and blog posts with good content. The difference is that all of these need to be easily consumed on mobile devices, now more than ever.
Make sure your blog is easy to read on tablets and smart phones. It isn’t about optimizing old tools to be mobile friendly; it’s about making everything “mobile first” so that blogs and websites are designed specifically for mobile consumption.
Organic reach will continue to be harder and harder to achieve on social media in 2017 as well. Facebook changed that way it positions content, and favors paid campaigns over organic posts—often even those that take on viral status. Reaching a large audience on social media is not only going to require more advertising dollars, but also better online marketing in general.
Interactive content is also on the rise. Consider interactive quizzes or video presentations over white papers and case studies. These tools hold a web visitor’s attention longer.
Also be sure to use different types of content. Video continues to gain ground in popularity. Create content that drives the buying decision, rather than just creating content for content’s sake.
Bottom line? Competition for a consumer’s time will grow along with their expectations about the quality of what they consume. If a blank sheet of paper intimidates you, hire a professional to help craft your voice and stay true to your message. And don’t be afraid give your content marketing team the freedom to be daring, make bold statements, and create a user experience others will identify with and want to share.