As a new year sets in upon us, it’s time once again for all those articles about trends to watch—and capitalize on—in 2017. For us, and presumably for you, content marketing trends are pretty important, so that’s what we decided to write about.
Let’s take a closer look at the state of content marketing today and moving forward in the near future.
Content Marketing Still Reigns Supreme
Content marketing has been at the top of every annual digital marketing trends list for years now. Well, 2017 is no different.
In fact, the trend for content marketing is still getting stronger. We’ve even just begun to see many companies spending more money, time, and resources on content production and promotion than on advertising.
Increasingly, businesses are catching on that they can get more bang for their buck from quality content than from ads when it comes to capturing and holding their audience’s attention. This should certainly hold true as most online advertising continues to get more expensive.
In 2017, producing valuable content is still the go-to way to steadily increase brand awareness, build brand authority, grow and engage your following, boost your site’s SEO and targeted traffic, generate more quality leads, and hone your online sales funnel.
Creating Niche Content
While producing content on a single, narrow topic has long been a critical part of crafting successful pieces for the web, there’s an emerging trend for even more narrowly niche content. This is mostly because of the glut of broad, overly generalized content. People continue to get more and more specific with their search engine inquiries to get quickly and directly to exactly what they’re looking for.
Topics and titles need to be more laser-focused than ever to address the individual questions and concerns of the audience. This content is all about even longer-tailed long-tail keywords and talking deliberately to consumers in specific stages of the buyer’s journey.
Adding Video and Other Visual Content
There’s a tendency to just think of content as written forms like articles and blog posts—and there are plenty of types of high-value written content—but content includes much more. Video has been on a noticeable upward trend over the last few years, and it’s poised to really take off in 2017. This is true not only of video content, but also of video ads. Also, while video is more timely and costly to produce, many marketers now say this format offers the highest ROI of all the different types of content.
Video and all sorts of other visual content, like infographics, photography, custom images, and data visualization mediums like graphs and charts, continue to expand their lead over written forms in terms of social media shares and other engagement. They are highly appealing to users, quick to grab attention, generally easy to digest, and memorable. Simultaneously, Google and the other search engines continue to get better at interpreting the substance and intent of visual content.
Make no mistake—written content will continue to be the backbone and key driver of a successful content marketing strategy in 2017. But a robust program will also include visual forms to supplement the written work, and in particular to improve social media marketing results.
Driving Engagement on Social Media
Content marketing and social media marketing go hand in hand. While there’s a lot more to a social media strategy than sharing original and curated content, a brand’s original content plays a key role in the social realm, and this is of increasing importance heading into 2017.
Genuinely valuable original content is the best way to increase engagement, whether in click-throughs, likes, shares, or other metrics. Also, while digital marketing often focuses on acquisition of a following, it often falls short when it comes to retaining the audience.
There’s little benefit to having 10,000 likes on your Facebook page if few of those people pay any attention to it. This year will see increased emphasis on great content that does more to keep the audience tuned in on an ongoing basis.
Marketing Via Live Video Streaming
As Facebook and other major social media sites have introduced live video streaming capabilities, early adapters have already started making good use. It’s already coming into its own as a medium for citizen journalism and for individuals working to bolster their personal brand.
In 2017, savvy brands will seize this opportunity as it’s taking off, finding creative ways to market themselves with live video content. Maybe they’ll broadcast the overwhelming turnout their special event has drawn. Maybe they’ll show their chefs creating masterpieces in the kitchen. Maybe they’ll give their audience behind-the-scenes tours of their facilities. Maybe they’ll let the public see their private charitable functions.
The possibilities are limited only by the imagination. And seeing how they combine the trends toward more video use and toward driving social media engagement, they’re well positioned to be enormously successful.
And you too can be well positioned for increasing success if you embrace these content marketing trends in 2017!