Riding into 2017, content marketing has surely come a long way. From businesses just focusing on writing blogs related to their niche to them moving on to associating them with their business goals; from general blog analytics to associating marketing metrics with the same, this marketing tactic has proven to grow businesses exponentially when followed through with a robust strategy.
But with technological advancements and of course the changing market needs, content marketing too has evolved and there are a number of aspects that a marketer will have to keep in mind before strategizing for the next year.
Yes, we’re here to share with you the content marketing trends that will help your business sustain the competition next year and grow in your target market.
1. Customer centric storytelling
While content marketing started off with showing users how to use your products and services in a crisp manner, it evolved into storytelling – a tactic that creates a storyline around the value proposition that your business has to offer. It makes it possible for the target audience to imagine themselves in the situation and then see the value that they will get on engaging with you.
Since storytelling has been around this year, we’re not saying it is a new trend. We’re just saying that the challenge is going to be tougher the next year.
Marketers across different industries will need to put their creative thinking caps on to create compelling stories that don’t just drive attention to their business, but are also able to effectively guide their potential customers towards conversion.
And most importantly, 2017 is going to see the customer as the hero of the story. If you have been thinking of a storyline other than that, time to crumple it and trash it in the can right next to you!
2. Data driven and keyword focused content
Gone are those days when you could write a piece of content and then drive traffic to it effortlessly. With just about every business churning out content on a daily basis, marketers will now need to look into ways that help them from getting lost in the volume of data on the internet.
Which brings us back to the age old tactic of creating content that is keyword focused – SEO oriented. But with a twist!
Now marketers will not just have to focus on keywords that will help them rank higher on search engines, but also keywords/phrases that their target audience commonly uses across digital platforms to seek for products/services similar to theirs.
In simpler words, marketers will need to dive head first into data and understand what their target audience is talking about and how they can join the conversation in a contextual manner – take personalization to an all new level. Be it adding more value to the current conversation or simply providing an input that your audience could use, each of your content pieces need to revolve around a customer’s needs.
3. Well documented content strategy
A whooping 60% of marketers still don’t have a documented content marketing strategy in place. Even though the time and resources that have been spent this year on the marketing tactic, and what’s been planned to be spent in 2017 is increasing by manifolds.
With the competition for attention increasing by the day, it is becoming increasingly important for marketers to take a strategic approach to content marketing. Your strategy needs to clearly list down the objectives of your business, how and which content pieces fulfil the needs, what resources are available to you, how you can take it to the target market and how you can stand out from your competition in market.
The more documented and methodical your approach is, the greater would be the number of conversions in 2017.
4. Mobile marketing will become a must
If it wasn’t already said enough number of times through the year, let us say it again – there is no way you can ignore mobile marketing in 2017 as the world moves to digital! The number of people who are accessing your business content and interacting with it via mobile devices, is increasing by the day.
This only goes to say that while desktop optimization of content is a must, it is vital that businesses also focus on creating consumable content that can be easily accessed on the mobile devices. The easier the piece of information is to consume, the more likely a reader becomes to share it on social media or in his circles.
5. Visual content is unavoidable
Continuing on our point above of making content pieces informative, yet easily consumable, 2017 is going to see a rise in the use of visual content. It is not only consumed and processed by the human brain faster than any other format of content, but also make the content piece more shareable on social and other digital channels.
Be it using plenty of graphics in content pieces, creating infographics more than whitepapers and case studies, using gifs or small videos to put forward your value proposition, 2017 will see businesses catching up with what’s trending on social media.
And considering that most of the consumer internet traffic is video, we think 2017 will see marketers focusing on creating video content more.
6. User generated content to take centerstage
2015 and 2016 proved that internet users tend to believe each other more than any of the promises made by businesses across varied industries. If they think people like them are enjoying the product or service offered by a business, or it has added some value to them, only then do they make an interaction with the business.
Be it recommendations from friends and family, reviews and ratings on digital channels or social media shares of products/services put to use, it is time to start focusing on all the content that your users have been generating and make it a part of your business growth strategy.
What other trends do you think will help businesses stand out in 2017?