The 5 Biggest Content Marketing Strategies to Watch Out for in 2017

Content marketing in 2017 will be more challenging for marketers that are not prepared to adapt. In an increasingly competitive business landscape, holding consumers’ interest for the long term is vital.

Some major trends to look forward to include:

BRAND STORYTELLING

Gone are the days when all brands would do is invest massively on advertising and push-marketing and then some more. According to a poll commissioned by the software company, Marketo, up to 63% of consumers say there are highly annoyed with inauthentic, generic advertising messages.

In 2017, the trend towards brand storytelling and authentic marketing will continue. Consumers are paying less attention to push marketing tactics and more on stories that connect them to brands in a valuable, stress-free way. Consumers want to know who you are, what you do, why you do it and what this all means to them. To tell a good brand story is to prompt your audience to associate your company with certain values, goals and a specific mission.

MOBILE IS HERE TO STAY

It is undeniable that mobile continues to change how consumers browse, purchase, play and interact with others. ComScore reports that 65 percent of all digital media time originates from mobile and especially on apps while only 35 percent of time spent online can be attributed to desktop usage.

Is your content optimised for mobile? Are you engaging your mobile users in a way that is seamless and convenient for them? Do you have an app? If you have not yet considered these things, you are probably leaving money on the table.

Greg Verdino of Verdino & Co consultancy says that even though smartphones have been around for a long time now, “for many brands, mobile remains an afterthought.”

Mobile bounce rates have been found to be the highest merely for the fact that researching, reading or simply interacting on mobile is entirely different from the desktop experience. Responsive design is a great step in the right direction but more important is the need to create a consistent digital experience across all devices to improve user engagement.

THE EMAIL COMEBACK

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute makes an interesting observation and opines that in 2017 brands will invest less in organic publishing and more on social media advertising. Brands will likely opt to promote their organic content on their own platforms such as websites and invest in paid promotions to generate and grow an audience.

The continued dominance of paid promotions means that brands will inevitably lose control over engaging their audience through publishing organic content on social platforms. This conundrum has left content marketers with email as the single best platform to build and grow an audience using organic content. In fact, a study by the Content Marketing Institute found that marketers rate email as the best metric for measuring content marketing success

In light of this, 2017 will see more brands focusing on creating high quality and engaging e newsletters to grow their audience. Brands will begin to look at email in a different light — less as a mere marketing collateral and more as an opportunity to provide customers with a truly special experience when interacting with their favorite brand.

VISUAL CONTENT WILL RULE

If you have been thinking about content marketing in terms of blog posts, ebooks and white papers, you might want to add images into the mix. Social platforms from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others have significantly catapulted the dominance of visual content. Four times as many internet users report that they prefer to watch a video about a product than to read it.

The demand for images, videos, GIFs and infographics comes down to users looking for precise and interesting information that will not take too much of their time. Brands that will win are those that will provide users with bite size, high quality information they can consume on the go.

Of special importance is video. There is strong unanimity that video is not only going to significantly impact on SEO but also delivers the highest ROI of all the content formats.

LESS FOCUS ON ACQUISITION AND MORE ON RETENTION

For a long time, the main focus of content marketing has been on acquiring and growing an audience. While this is a great goal, winning brands are those that will be able to retain their existing audience.

The truth is, with so much virtual noise and shorter attention spans among consumers, retaining an audience is no easy fete. In 2017 going forward, the challenge for marketers will be creating content with the goal of engaging and retaining the existing audience to the point of conversion and beyond.

Content Marketing

The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing but one thing remains constant: content is always king. Even then, winning brands will not be those that do content marketing ‘as usual’; the winners in 2017 and beyond are those who will understand consumers’ need for authenticity, real connection, time saving and instant gratification.

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