The end of 2016 is near and 2017 is just around the corner. 2016 was a year of where predictions like the product as content and content as a product would collide (Robert Rose, CMI). That brands will focus less on creating more content and more on creating the right content (Amanda Todorovich, Content Marketing Director at Cleveland Clinic). And video content will take over on platforms such as Facebook live, video on twitter, periscope, blab, Instagram, Vine and YouTube (Jay Baer, Convince & Convert). Did these come true? In some industries, yes.
Many brands have taken to new platforms to share different types of content and started focusing on creating the right content, not just creating content.
What is going to happen in 2017? Well, I’ve spent some time researching and put this list of predictions from industry experts together for everyone to read and shared my thoughts on a few of the predictions as well.
Jay Baer shared his 7 content marketing trends that matter most in 2017 on his site and what stood out to me were:
- Create content for current customers
- Embrace on-the-fly-content
- The Marketing Generalist
Some of his other predictions we’ve been seeing in 2016, such as testing your content and AR/VR content.
The reason those four stood out so much to me were because:
- Creating content for current customers is super valuable. If I can keep my current customers happy, they are only going to rave about me when they get the chance. Businesses need to stop treating the customers they have as seconds but equal to acquiring new customers.
- Embracing content on the fly is something marketers need to do to stay ahead of the game. Time is flying, and every moment you wait, you are falling further and further behind. Sure, it may not be 100% awesome, but it will be close and it will be live for your audience to consume first.
- The Marketing Generalist contradicts what the digital and content marketing industries have been focusing on in the past, having a specialist in every arena. Think about it, though. If you need to start creating content on the fly and publish it, you want to have someone in place that is familiar enough with multiple platforms to get it in front of your audience quickly. For more on this, read Jay’s post,“Your Marketing Org Chart Doesn’t Work”.
Lilach Bullock shared 6 predictions for content marketing in 2017 and outside of continued growth in video content, visual content, and mobile optimization she discussed:
- Interactive Content
- Evergreen Content
- Influencer Marketing
These stood out to me because:
- Interactive content can create the sense of ownership for an audience and strengthens the desire for them to share that content. Because they own it. I’ve seen a variety of interactive pieces of content from IKEA’s design your own kitchen to holiday mad libs card generators. Personally, each time I’ve interactive with content like this I was quick to share it and talk about it with my peers.
- Evergreen Content is valuable for business because it lives for a longer period of time potentially generating more revenue over time. This is why content campaigns are such an important part of your marketing efforts in the digital again.
- Influencer marketing is going to be huge. With the ever changing search and social media landscape, getting your content in front of your audience is getting tougher and tougher. With influencer marketing, you are able to piggyback onto another person’s audience. (So get out there and make some friends.)
Lisa Goller’s article on emerging trends in 2017 is very interesting and appears to be focused on brands becoming more personal. Some points that stood out to me where:
- Customer-centric strategy
- Conversational style
- User-generated content
These stood out to me because:
- The customer-centric strategy is important for every marketer. It is too easy to forget about customer needs and wants when your business has their own objectives. When creating content, it is important to balance the line between business goals and customer goals, and occasionally sway one way or the other.
- Conversational style stood out because I’ve heard more and more (though admittedly I haven’t researched this) from colleagues, clients, peers, etc that marketing language is tough to believe. With today’s technology, people are able to connect directly to a CEO and start a conversation, so being on the side of personal in nature vs. marketing and corporate mumbo jumbo seems more appealing.
- User-generated content falls in-line with interactive content. If a user can be part of content creation, they are more likely to share it and talk about it right? The same thing goes with the flipside to that, if a user sees content created by humans and not corporations, they are more likely to buy because of that content.
Business 2 Community (B2C) shared an article that includes 46 different experts predictions on content marketing for 2017. A few really stood out to me, and I mean no discredit to those that didn’t. The ones that stood out to me were:
- Anam Khawar – Topic Focused Content & B2B/B2C will become more aligned
- Beth Griffiths – Brands utilizing AR and VR
- Liza Viana & Dennis Koutoudis – Focusing on promoting content, not just creating content
- Holly Rollins – Measurement and ROI of content will be key for garnering and to keep clients
The reason these stood out to me are:
- Topic-focused content is something that I’ve been practicing for a while. Yes, it is similar to keyword based content but different in the way that you aren’t focused on a such a specific, single word. With topic focused content, websites will succeed with the creation of gateways (or campaign-based sections) where you create a cluster of web pages based around a topic that a user can read and gain an understanding of the topic, but has supporting pages for further research.
- B2B/B2C will become more aligned was bound to happen because, like I’ve said before, B2B are operated by humans. The content you are creating should be targeted to a human just like B2C, but you will talking two types of pain points. The pain that they go through as an individual at the company, and the pains that the company goes through.
- Focusing on promoting content is important but often forgotten about. There is usually a budget set aside for creating content or set aside for promoting it, but too often there isn’t a budget for both. This leaves most marketers following the “post and pray” approach which isn’t effective, especially if your website has now search authority.
- Content Measurement and ROI of content is probably the most important part of content marketing. Businesses are understanding that content needs to be created, but they are still wondering what content generated the most money. For marketing agencies and internal teams, they will need a way to show the ROI and value of the content that they have created.
There are a lot of great predictions from industry experts, but I guess only time will tell which predictions come true. If you have any thoughts on what we will see in content marketing in 2017, share them with us on Twitter. @unifusion.