5 Trends That Will Shape Content Marketing in 2017
Content marketing isn’t just a sideshow anymore. More and bigger companies are relying on it as one of their main marketing forms. No longer is content marketing something a handful of companies do. Instead, it’s become a massive monster that is expected to be worth more than 32 billion dollars by 2018.
Of course, that ever growing interest does mean that there is a lot of change and development going on and you’ve got to stay ahead of those if you want to make sure that your content marketing continues to attract eyeballs.
For that reason, let’s take some time to look at the trends that will shape the field this year (and into the future).
Yes, you’ve heard it all before. Mobile is now bigger than desktop. Do I even need to put a link to that statistic in here? Though we might be experiencing a little bit of leveling off, that still leaves mobile with the lion’s share.
That means your content has to be mobile-ready.
But then, unless you’ve been living under a rock you already knew that. Here’s that new bit that people don’t really talk about so much. Mobile conversion rates are a lot lower than desktop conversion rates. People simply aren’t as ready to buy on the little screen as they are on the big one.
Several reasons have been proposed for why this is true.
- People might find it hard to buy on that finicky little screen.
- They might not feel that mobiles are as secure as the big screen.
- They might see phones more as something for browsing and entertainment and laptops and desktops as the place to make serious purchases.
All three things are things you can take advantage of in your content marketing strategy. You can make buying things on mobile easier, by reducing the number of keypresses. You can make it clear that buying from your website is secure no matter what device they use. And you can make it really easy for people to begin filling in information on your website and then continue it from another device.
In this way, your content won’t just get eyeballs but will pull in dollars as well.
Diversified content is no longer a cherry on top
Users will get bored if you only put up one type of content. That’s just not how things work anymore. Instead, the expectation is for your site to make use of different types of media, be it infographics, galleries, video, podcast or something else.
Yes, this does mean that you’ve got to diversify your skillset (and possibly your team) of course it does bring some advantages along with it as well. If you diversify how you present your content, you won’t need to do quite as much work creating new content. Quite often, taking content that has proven successful in one medium can be put in a new jacket, updated and then shown again in another media form.
The reason this works so well is because most users have a preferred way to consume media. They might prefer video, audio or text. That means they will naturally select themselves into different groups, which means the vast majority won’t even notice that they’ve already seen that media before. Even those that do won’t mind so much, as you’ve got new ideas and are presenting information in a new way.
Competition is heating up
Of course, there is a downside to there being more and more content marketing out there and that is that if you want to compete, you’ve got to stay ahead of the pack. That means you can’t make do with mediocre content that doesn’t create more than a ‘meh’ response.
It means finding new information that users weren’t aware of and that they are actually interested in. For this to be effective, one of the best strategies is to find more content internally. That means not just having a content marketing team creating content, but getting people from within the firm involved as well. What new observations can they make? What new processes have they noticed?
Only these behind the scenes looks are likely to keep your audience interested in the long haul.
That isn’t all, though. For the gems that you dig up need to presented in ever better quality. After all, as content marketing continues to grow, so do marketing budgets. That means that you can expect the quality of other content marketers to continue to rise.
The only way you can compete with that is to make sure that you’re producing high-quality content. Don’t be afraid to bring in more freelancers, or to get academic help to boost content to the next level. After all, not every article has to be a hit, but some articles do have to be for your strategy to be effective.
User generated content
Here’s an impressive statistic: 85% of people trust content made by other users. That’s a lot and that is something that you want to take advantage of. How do you do that? By creating the potential for your users to create their own content to share on your site.
This has a huge number of advantages.
- As long as it is largely positive, it will impress new arrivals.
- It will give your users the feeling that they’re being listened to and heard.
- It will create a community.
- It will give you content for free!
In other words, it is an awesome way to draw you audience deeper into your website, by giving them new content that they are particularly interested in and particularly likely to trust. What’s more, once people have discussions and relationships going on the website that you’re running, they’ll come back to see their friends and hear what they’ve got to say.
This is a strategy that Harley Davidson used to lethal effect and has weathered every storm that came their way because of it. Why not take a page from their book and apply the same system to your content marketing campaign?
The field of content marketing is maturing. It was inevitable. The thing is, that you have to make sure that your company’s content marketing campaign and strategy is maturing along with it. That means it has the budget it needs and it is suitably integrated with the rest of your company so that it can be as effective as it can be.
After all, unlike other marketing campaigns, content marketing is something that takes time. It needs to be noticed. People have to come to trust that you’ve got something interesting to say and that it is worth listening. Only if you can do that will your content marketing campaign be successful. Unfortunately, as the field gets more crowded, that’s going to become harder to do. So start retooling now so that you can stay ahead – otherwise, you might just find that you’ve been left behind.