As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead to next year. In particular, marketers are already hard at work developing their marketing strategies for the following year. Are you in this position, too? In this industry, each year brings about major changes in terms of marketing platforms, trends, technologies, and more. Content marketing, in particular, is constantly evolving. What worked last year to attract customers may vary greatly from what will work next year. So what should you be looking out for in 2017? Here are some of the top content marketing trends to be aware of for the new year.
Video marketing, especially live streaming
Video isn’t going anywhere. The past year has seen an incredible increase in video sharing, and there seems to be no signs of stopping. In fact, Syndacast is predicting that as much as 74% of Internet traffic in 2017 will be due to video. Countless platforms have video sharing capabilities, including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. In fact, the popularity of Snapchat and the increasing popularity of Instagram’s new Stories feature and new live streaming feature further proves how popular video has become.
Live streaming in particular will become even more popular in 2017. Facebook Live took off this year, and as mentioned earlier, Instagram is currently rolling out live streaming on their platform as well. Brands in 2017 need to commit serious time to producing video- both created content and live streaming content. In fact, a recent study shows that brands who do use videos receive on average 41% more web traffic from search engines than those brands who do not.
Emphasis on mobile
If you read any article from the past several years discussing web design, SEO practices, marketing trends, or anything related, you will read about the importance of mobile. In the past, the emphasis was on ensuring you have a mobile friendly version of your site. This impacts SEO and is what your customers want. However, as mobile continues to grow in popularity, it is no longer enough to just be “mobile friendly.” In 2017, brands need to understand that their content will get the majority of views from users on mobile devices. With that in mind, mobile should be the focus when creating content, not a second place option.
Make sure your content is easily enjoyed on mobile devices, whether it be via social media or on your website. If your website is not easy to navigate on mobile, consider making a mobile app instead. 2017 could see as much as 75% of Internet usage coming from mobile. That is too high of a percentage to ignore, and is a number that is sure to only keep rising in the coming years.
Last year you likely remember the shock when stats came out that our average attention span is just 8 seconds. Like it or not, in our busy world today there is a lot happening that divides up our attention. This is especially true when it comes to the Internet. The abundance of content spread across a large variety of platforms makes for a real challenge for marketers trying to capture someone’s attention. For this reason, 2017 will see a rise in interactive content. This content engages users, making them much more likely to actually pay attention.
Buzzfeed does this incredibly well. A large part of their website (and social media) is devoted to quizzes, which always perform very well. Your brand might consider doing the same thing. You might create a quiz that tells a user what their style preference is, with their result displaying items that you sell that match this style. Or, stick just to social media and run a Twitter poll. Whatever you do, make sure a portion of your content engages your audience.
This is not a new trend, but it is one that is gaining popularity. Influencers are some of the most popular people on social media, and their followers represent large audiences that brands want to target. Today’s consumer is skeptical of traditional advertising, and would rather hear about products and brands from a third party. No matter what your industry is, with a little bit of research you can find relevant influencers. As you build your 2017 content strategy, consider reaching out and asking influencers for help. With the right collaboration you will have your brand exposed to a large target audience. Still not convinced? 80% of marketers who have already tried influencer marketing are satisfied with the results.
Finally, 2017 will continue to see a rise in personalized content. Technology has advanced so much that people expect to see content that is personalized and relevant to them. Broad marketing will no longer cut it.
There are plenty of ways to go about this, the above example from Spotify is just one example of personalized content. With your ecommerce brand, think of various segmentation opportunities present within your audience. With those segments, you can create content that will be perceived as relevant to each group. Not everything has to be tailored to a single individual, but rather the focus should be on relevancy. The above Spotify example is likely targeted at a segment of users who happened to listen to the same musician frequently.
2017 will continue to focus on personalization and relevancy. Customers will not waste their time on content that has no impact on them. There are simply too many choices these days. If a customer is not satisfied, they will look elsewhere until they find a brand they like.
With all of these marketing trends, keep in mind that they are all about producing quality content that will engage and interest your audience. Investing time and money into your content marketing efforts will without a doubt pay off in 2017. Have we missed discussing any top trends? Let us know- and happy new year!