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Getting into the swing of your content marketing strategy for 2017

So, 2016 is coming to a close. In content marketing terms, it has had a lot of highs and any business that has an online presence knows the power of using social media to get your products sailing to a selling heaven, to cut a large slice of market share and also gain customers that will come back for more.

This year we saw the success of live streaming, how pictures became a one-stop location to get your message across, how emojis gave messages that fun and personal touch, how Pokémon Go turned walking into a game while marketing also had its turn to be on the go, and much, much more.

But what about 2017? What will get marketing content to pop even more and what do we need to know in order to get ready, steady and going on the road to a new year’s success story even before the whistle has blown.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, these are the biggest trends to look forward to in 2017.

1. Native advertising – in the past enterprises spent more time and resources on content creation and much less on content promotion. Now this is all changing and next year it will change even more. This is where more native advertising comes in, which is “a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.” Now we have had time to monitor how native advertising works and as it is working successfully in what seems to be a natural environment, marketeers will be more abled to concentrate on promotion and advertising and be more sure that where and how they place their content marketing really does work for them.

2. Influencer marketing – now with users just a click away, and with so much choice at their fingertips, it is important to make your company stand-out. Having a target market is nothing new but speaking to that target market on an individual level has become part of the marketing mix, and the emphasis on this will just become more focused. So why does it work so well? First of all, it can be used on almost all social media channels, it’s reach can be tracked so the marketing team can tweak it as necessary and people are so tired of paid ads, so talking to people’s personal needs, wants and preferences won’t just help you have loyal customers, it is also a breath of fresh air to users who may feel – or have felt – like just another consumer.

3. Video and visual – we know that our attention span has reduced considerably since we all got ourselves smartphones and it is obvious that a visual picture and a moving picture will get our attention easier than text – you do need time to read text after all. So it isn’t surprising that more focus and resources will be placed on putting more content into videos, in finding ways to tell your story just with one picture, and on getting more graphical and creative with the words that will go along with the visual.

4. Writing – yes, videos and visuals are taking over but that makes the writer’s work even more challenging. Videos and pictures are all good and well, and lots of fun to create and share but even now (yes, even with Facebook and Snapchat being kings of the social media world) communication is still text based. Besides, a picture can be interpreted in many ways but words say exactly what you want them to. So be prepared for next year and if you don’t have a professional wordsmith on board, get one into your boat ASAP.

5. Mobile – we have already mentioned Pokémon Go in our introduction and how smartphones are taking over. Content marketing only works when people are online and it is well known that mobile devices have taken over desktop internet use.
In an article published just last month, statistics from 2014 were given to show that 30 per cent of the population in America accessed the internet via their tablets, while 29 per cent used laptops, 22 per cent used smartphones, 17 per cent used desktops and that only left two per cent for other. So make sure your content can be quickly and easily downloaded on a mobile device, work-well and be easy to see, or you will lose a very big part of your market to the competition.

Before we get too consumed by the season’s cheer and want to play more, it is a great time to consider these five trends while putting together next year’s content marketing strategy. Make sure to speak to your user on a personal level, use videos and pictures that will grab their attention, but also make sure your words do the talking, make sure the placement of your advertising works, and put content on mobile devices as your top priority and have a great content marketing new year.