Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Of 2016 So Far
Can you believe we’re more than half way through 2016 already? It feels like just yesterday when we were making our 2016 content marketing predictions last year.
In 2015, 88% of marketers said content marketing was core to their overall marketing strategy. Their top five priorities included creating more engaging content, developing a better understanding of their audience and what content is effective (and isn’t) for them, finding more and better ways to repurpose content, creating visual content and becoming better storytellers.
According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 76% of marketers surveyed said they had planned to produce more content in 2016, in order to drive more brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, lead nurturing and sales – the top five content marketing goals marketers said were most important to their organizations.
So what are marketers doing in 2016 to achieve these goals? This Business 2 Community post looks at five of the top content marketing trends we have seen so far this year:
- Content Personalization
With so many marketers and brands around the world creating new content every day, it’s not enough to just create good content anymore. Just like the rest of us, today’s consumers are pressed for time, and so when they want to read content they will only want to see what is valuable and relevant to them.
To do so, many brands have started creating more personalized content tailored to their target audience’s needs and interests. Personalized content that helps solve a customer’s biggest pain point or answer a tough question they have is key to standing out from the flood of content that is out there today, to win your target audience’s attention, increase reach and engagement and ultimately convert them into sales.
Here is an example of effective content personalization. According to the Business 2 Community blog, this e-commerce company Clymb was able to increase their sales by 12% by personalizing the products shown on the homescreen when users visit the site.
To get started, here are some helpful tips you’ll want to know to develop a successful content personalization strategy.
- Visual Content
Today’s audience needs more plain text to engage them. They want valuable content that not only educates and informs but also entertains them.
And that’s where visual content can help. According to this HubSpot article, research has found that visuals help increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by a whopping 80%! What’s more, people remember visuals six times more than plain text. An average reader also remembers 60% more of what they see compared to what they read.
It’s no wonder then that nearly two-thirds of marketers believe visual content is core to how they communicate their brand story, and that it is a top priority for marketers as the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs study has shown.
With YouTube becoming the second largest search engine and third most visited site on the web, and the rising popularity of visual-focused platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, brands need to incorporate visual marketing into their content strategy if they haven’t already.
Here are 15+ best practices and tools to help you create effective visual content your target audience will love.
- Interactive Content
With so much content and so little time, coupled with shorter attention span, it’s becoming harder and harder to reach and engage today’s consumers. This is why some brands are turning to interactive content to make a lasting impression on their target audience and to drive more engagement.
Interactive content, at its core, drives two-way conversations, and allows the audience to actively participate in the content rather than passively consuming it as with static content. Content types like quizzes, tests, calculators, polls or surveys allow consumers to gain tailored results or insights on a topic they care about or a challenge or problem they are facing, and have fun in the process of viewing and interacting with the piece of content.
Tourism Australia’s official website, for example, uses a variety of compelling interactive content to better engage potential tourists and convert. Its series of 360-degree virtual reality video tours, which can be watched with a VR headset, allows individuals to truly immerse themselves and virtually experience various stunning adventure spots in Australia, from swimming with whale sharks to climbing up the country’s highest building SkyPoint Climb for its breathtaking view of the Gold Coast.
- Influencer Marketing
One of the ways to cut through the content clutter and differentiate your brand today is through influencers. Influencers are individuals in your industry who have an engaged following on social (an audience that you want to target), and can help promote and amplify your content.
According to a McKinsey study, campaigns that used influencer marketing generated more than double the sales of paid ads, and had 35% higher customer retention rate.
Here are 4 helpful tips to get you started with developing and driving a successful influencer marketing campaign.
- Mobile-first Content Marketing
Smartphone and tablet usage accounted for 60% of all digital media time spent, according to a comScore report last year. It also reported that smartphone and tablet usage are up by a whopping 394% and 1721%!
With mobile quickly becoming the go-to device for everyday digital media consumption and services, many brands have started exploring new tactics and technologies, such a mobile apps, to create and deliver content that is mobile-first.
IKEA, for example, created a catalogue mobile app that offers customers exclusive features they would not be able to get with a printed catalogue copy. The mobile catalogue gives customers access to enhanced content, such as additional product information and videos. Another useful (and fun) feature of the app allows customers to virtually place IKEA products in their room using the camera of their mobile phone, so they can get a preview of what an item would look like in their home.
I hope these content marketing trends will inspire you with new ideas to help your brand stand out from the crowd. If you have any other content marketing ideas or strategies that you think your marketing peers should know about, please share them below!
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