Content marketing has become one of the top ways for businesses and marketers to reach their audiences online in recent years. With the competition for online attention hotting up, what can you do to still reach your audience and have them consume your content? While the competition is definitely fiercer in 2017 than ever before, there are ways that you can make your content stand out. In this blog post, I’m going to share the top content marketing trends that you need to know about going into the new year.
Video is king in 2017
One of the biggest trends in digital in 2016, and one that is sure to not only continue in 2017, but also get even bigger and more popular, is video – whether it’s live streamed or recorded, video will surely be one of the top content formats of the year.
In 2016, we’ve seen Snapchat take the world by storm and Facebook Live becoming so popular, it seemed to be the only thing you could see in your News Feed.
But it’s not just live streaming that had success or will have success in 2017, but also regular ol’ recorded videos as well. And the thing is, video works; and it works very well. For example, studies have found that by including a link in your emails, you can increase your conversions by a staggering 200-300%. Or, if you include a video on your landing page, you could start getting up to 80% more conversions. People are simply much more likely to take action after viewing a video, which includes engagement, such as sharing and commenting.
Video marketing is going to be huge in 2017, particularly on social media, so we’re likely to also see a lot of businesses and marketers creating more videos for their websites and social profiles, as well as using streaming services for a new way of reaching their audiences.
Video production, fortunately, doesn’t have to be complicated; in fact, even as a beginner who has never held anything more than a phone camera in their hands, creating videos is easier than ever. You can even create whiteboard videos, animations and other types of videos that only years ago would’ve been impossible to create by a marketer with no design knowledge. There are plenty of tools that you can use, such as RendrFX, Animoto and Biteable.
As more and more influencers pop up on social media and the online world in general, the easier it is for marketers to use them for promotional purposes. It’s the reason why influencer marketing has been a hugely popular practice in 2016 and looks set definitely to continue to do so in in 2017.
Influencer marketing is a perfect way of promoting your content, as it can help you reach a much larger targeted audience. And since social media is helping more people than ever to become influencers in all kinds of niches and industries, it’s much easier for marketers and businesses to find influencers to connect with.
In order to find influencers, start by looking in your own list of followers first to discover any potential influencers that are already following you. In order to do this, you can use a tool like Agorapulse, which automatically identifies influencers in your followers. You can also use a tool like Buzzsumo, which allows you to search for influencers by the best content being shared online. Then, use a CRM tool to manage all of your influencer contacts so that you’re always in the loop. Agorapulse, Sprout Social and Sendible have very good CRM tools, but you can also compare through different ones based on all of their features using this tool from iag.me.
It’s not just video that is going to be successful, other types of visual content will likely continue to be big in 2017. In the coming year, try to use as many visuals as possible in your content, such as images and infographics. Ideally, try to create your own instead of using stock photos, as it will help you stand out from the competition and attract more of your audience’s attention.
Even with written content, it’s essential that you use as much imagery as possible to break it up and make it more readable and entertaining for your audience. Visual content also works well on social media, so create a plan to publish more images, GIFs and other types of visuals in order to help you boost your engagement, as well as clicks and traffic.
Interactive content is great as it boosts engagement and it is more entertaining for people, as they can get more involved. You can create all kinds of interactive content, be it for fun and a good laugh, or for research, for example, and post it either directly on your website or on social media.
Interactive content is easy to set up now, particularly on social media, and it’s not used as often as other types of content, so it can help you stand out in 2017. Don’t overdo it, though – keep it contained to one every once in a while, or else you probably won’t get as much participation as you’d like.
Webinars and online courses
The online course industry has been quietly, but very quickly, evolving into a huge industry worth over $100 billion. Webinars and online courses are extremely popular and they’re only going to get bigger in 2017.
With a webinar or online course, you can offer the ultimate value to your audience: teach them something new in a quick, but very efficient way. Think of something that you know very well and find an angle that would most interest your audience. Then, you can use one of a plethora of tools that allow you to put together your course, as well as set up payment for it. You can then host it on your website (or the tool’s website) and use your social media channels, email list and website to promote it. Not only are online courses a great way of diversifying your content in 2017, but they can even become an extra revenue stream for you.
Content marketing is going to continue to be huge in 2017, with more and more businesses and marketers using it to promote themselves. As competitive as content marketing has become in 2016, it’s likely to be a lot more so in 2017. The competition is going to be fierce this year, so marketers will need to stay on top of all the latest trends and diversify their content as much as possible in order to stand out.
What do you think the content marketing industry will look like in 2017? What types of content will work best in the new year?