Top 7 Content Marketing Trends to Win 2017
The most famous definition of content marketing was by Joe Pulizzi, where he went on to describe it as a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
“Content is King”
How many times have you read or heard that phrase? Content marketers constantly pound on this idea, which is resoundingly true. It actually became popular after Google rolled out their Panda and Penguin updates. Right after that, content marketing became all the buzz.
It is a broad concept that is composed of several important components to push your brand further, above and beyond your competition. These efforts involve content promotion through your website and the use of tools and tactics to promote it (e.g. E-mail or social media).
The problem that most brands face today is that they are not adept at finding the right strategies. Since we are just right around the halfway mark of the year, it’s still not too late to turn your 2017 around and steer your sails towards success. With things constantly evolving, here are the content marketing trends to watch out for this 2017.
What to Watch Out for in 2017?
Long-Form Blog Posts
Content marketing is a dynamic arena, where things constantly changing right before your eyes. When inbound marketing was at its infancy, publishing two or three short blog posts a week may already earn you a good ranking in search engines, and even rake in great ROI – until things started to change. Soon, content saturation and competition have dramatically increased as short-form content pile up in search engines, with most of it often lacklustre.
In an effort to bring quality content to the top of their search rankings, Google made algorithm changes to ensure that your search results provide high-quality posts. This creates a unique challenge for marketers, because if you want to outrank your competition, you need to create high-quality content. In this case, length is seen as a quality factor.
Today, a 2,000-3,000-word masterpiece that is highly-researched, well-written and keyword-optimized will help you unseat top players in SERPs. Long-form blog posts generate nine times more leads than short-form content. Adding to that, it will also help you gain more online visibility through social shares, and it will also serve as a proof of your industry expertise.
User-generated content, also referred to as earned content, is defined by Webopedia as “any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publically available to other consumers and end-users.” Basically, it is letting consumers be the voice of brands.
It has been said that 85% of people trust content that are made by people than those created by companies. When was the last time you booked a trip without looking into reviews and other traveler photos? For 2017, more brands are expected to test out different forms of UGC to establish brand awareness, engagement and the audiences’ trust for years to come.
A popular example is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign which involved Coke bottles and cans printed with different names on them instead of the brand label. The idea behind this is that people would buy these bottles and cans with their names on it, or the names of their loved ones and friends, ultimately enjoying the beverages of the company. The campaign was a sure hit with people posting the images all over social media highlighting the Coca-Cola containers.
Dune London, a fashion footwear and accessories retailer, used UGC in the form of customer product reviews, E-mail campaigns and customer blogger content incorporated onto product detail pages. They saw that these type of campaigns have increased E-mail click-throughs by 55% and the shoppers’ interactions by 82%.
Coca-Cola and Dune London’s efforts show us how UGC can succeed in gathering unique and engaging content from an audience who cares about the brand. With consumers becoming more skeptical, going for the hard sell surely won’t win it for you.
Original Data and Research
With all these fake news and hoaxes that litter the internet, you can’t blame readers to be skeptical with what marketers put out there. Consumers are now more scrutinizing on what they read, therefore it helps that you backup your statements with facts and studies. Having these can help you prove your point, and can make your content more powerful as you gain legitimacy in the eyes of your readers and potential customers. Scientific proof, research, and factual information make a business appear more appealing because it means that you care about the details and that you have authority in your niche.
B2B and B2C brands should start building a solid content foundation with proof as this is a critical factor in building your client’s trust.
Our visual sense contributes a lot in shaping our decisions. It captivates so much attention that it is considered a core element in your content marketing strategies whether it is paid, native, social, influenced or programmatic.
A glance can already make a strong impression. When people hear new information, they are likely to recall only 10% of that information three days later. However, if that was paired with a relevant image, 65% of people would retain the information three days later. This goes to show how powerful images can be in convincing you to make important decisions, invest your money, or make a change in your life today. We see all these game-changers all around us today. Getty Images’ Director of Visual Trends even stated that “2017 is all about images that are bold, impactful, and evocative.”
Venngage conducted a survey of more than 300 marketers to see how they are using visual content. Findings showed that there is a 53% increase in the use of visual content in marketers’ overall strategy. These numbers mean that 91-100% of their published content use visual material, and more than 90% use visual content in at least half of their posts.
The same Venggage survey revealed that majority of the marketers used stock photos most frequently, followed by original graphics (e.g. infographics), then videos and presentations. From these efforts, majority of the marketers claimed that what drove the most engagement are infographics and other original graphics, followed by charts and data visualizations.
60% of the marketers agree that going into 2017, visual content is absolutely necessary. The role of video content also should be taken into strong consideration with some sources claiming that 74% of all internet traffic will be driven by video content (including 360-degree videos, Snapchat, Facebook Live). Cisco even projects that global Internet traffic from video will comprise 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. What primarily drives all these efforts towards the visual aspect is to craft content that are engaging, compelling, and share-worthy than just the written word.
Search engines are also getting better at reading and analyzing images to determine a website’s niche. Therefore, companies are slowly shifting their resources to create high quality, and more importantly, engaging images.
This is that grey area that lies in between an official testimonial and a subtle product mention which is done in a manner that it is almost in passing. Every industry has their influencers, from Hollywood celebrities, business moguls, and fashion models. The internet is no different as it is also teeming with bloggers, social media personalities, and industry experts. Influencer marketing will be a good strategy to highlight in your content marketing efforts this 2017.
Rubén Doblas Gundersen, better known as ElRubiusOMG is one of the most popular YouTube stars, according to Business Insider, who do reviews, walk-throughs and other funny antics. He rakes in 25.5 million YouTube followers.
Influencers keep content relevant because they are constantly in the trenches, obtaining and sharing the latest insights and interesting news. Since they know the market more than anybody else, partnering with them will certainly give you a leverage when it comes to targeting, engagement, and returns.
Customers also trust fellow customers more than they trust a company’s shiny brochures or expensive ads. The relationship between an influencer and his followers is built upon transparency. Hence, a recommendation from a trusted influencer will get three times more conversion, and the fact that they are on almost every social media platforms only helps this case. When you have enough influencers to talk about your brand or product, then you will certainly get noticed since they can also help boost your content’s credibility. They help keep brands relevant and their endorsements can speak heaps more than your content alone. In 2017, the collaborations between influencers and big brands will only continue to increase.
Simply putting up great content doesn’t cut it if you want to stay ahead of the competition. More companies today are starting to prioritize content promotion in their overall content marketing strategy, and this is done through paid advertising.
The primary advantage of paid promotion is that it can get your content directly in front of your intended audience.
Virtual Reality (VR) was gaining momentum in 2016, but it is expected to skyrocket to popularity in 2017. Several brands have employed this technology which allows customers to experience brands instead of just making them listen, watch or read. So, instead of just reading reviews, virtual marketing takes it to a whole new level of customer experience.
According to Greenlight Insights, 62% of consumers say that they feel more engaged with brands that sponsor a VR experience. It offers an immersive relationship between the brand and the customers.
At present, we are at the “brick-cell-phone phase” of VR. An example would be using your mobile device and Google Cardboard to view VR. The future is eyeing at walk-around VR, also called “room-scale VR”, where one can move around a virtual room. In this futuristic marketing plan, it is possible to go walking around a virtual showroom and use hand controllers to add items to your cart.
With content marketing, storytelling is held at the centre of it all, while the use of VR can serve as the best medium for a brand to engage with their audience and narrate their story in a more digitally creative fashion.
Interactive Content Marketing
Interactive Content Marketing is also getting more attention in 2017. Instead of just readable content, one that you can interact with gets more attention and engagement from readers. Interactive content may include polls, contests, surveys, and infographics. This type of content will help start a conversation with your audience and improve your brand’s persuasive power to a blog, a landing page, E-mail, or a paid media ad. As they say, interactive content marketing is the future of storytelling on the web.
Kissmetrics shares that creating interactive content entails more work, but it is worth it. With the market filled with so much content, an interactive content can help you cut through all that noise. It’s not just generic content that dumps you with piles of information, but customers want answers and they want it now. Encouraging them to participate in this type of content can add an element of fun and active involvement. Another reason is that the world’s gone mobile, and users expect interactivity through this medium. Lastly, it is human nature that we simply want to interact. It is by doing and experiencing things that we learn best, and your interactive content is like the “field trip of content marketing”.
If it is not you out there going the extra mile, then who is? You can just cross your fingers and hope it’s not your competition!
Embrace the future today with NEO360 and boost your content marketing strategy to better heights. Book an appointment with us or get a FREE SEO AUDIT and let’s see what we can do to take your brand forward!
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