Do you know what type of content your customers really want to consume? Do you know what engages them and influences them to buy from you? If you don’t, then it’s time to find out, and soon.
2016 was all about personalized content and social media content. While those trends will continue in 2017, there are some other trends to keep your eyes on too.
Here’s what’s critical to your content marketing strategy in 2017:
* Understanding Customer Behavior
* Immersive Content
Check out more on each below.
Understanding Customer Behavior
For the last few years you’ve heard how important having a mobile marketing strategy is. If you’ve been on the fence about it, here are some stats from 2016 that might sway your decision to start implementing a mobile content marketing strategy.
- Over 50% of searches are completed on mobile.
- 80% of Facebook ad revenue is on mobile.
- 90% of mobile media time is spent in apps
(source: Smart Insights)
Customers are beginning to spend more and more time on their mobile devices, so it’s imperative to understand this behavior and provide the content that’s relevant to them. You can expect new options for paid media in messaging apps, particularly Facebook Messenger, Snap Chat, and WeChat.
While this trend has been on the upswing for a while, native ads will be important in 2017 since customers by and large do not respond to conventional “in-your-face” forms of advertising. Here is a great article with examples of native ads and how they work. In 2017, you can expect to see even better content included in sponsored and branded posts and media.
Customer Data & Analytics
The best way to understand your customers’ behavior is to know what type of content they are clicking on, where and how they found it, when they found it, and how often they are consuming it.
Whether you need Google Analytics or a larger platform, it’s now easier and more inexpensive than ever to get a snapshot of your customers’ online history and behavior. Here are some options you might want to explore if you haven’t started yet. Big data and analytics is no longer just for big corporations. And if you truly want to have a snapshot of what type of content your audience is truly engaging with, it’s a necessity.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
When Pokémon Go hit the market in 2016, no one predicted that it would generate millions of dollars in revenue each day. It firmly set the stage for augmented reality (AR) technology that content marketers will pay attention to in 2017 and years to come. AR offers a new way to immerse your audience in experiences that are relevant to their interests and location. And, it’s fun.
Content writers can also begin to write scripts for augmented reality experiences, and will be given opportunities to bring experiences to life. Imagine virtually experiencing a cruise before ever stepping foot onto a ship’s deck.
Live and 360 Videos
After Facebook Live launched, video content creation and consumption has exponentially increased. Content consumers expect and are beginning to demand more “in-the-moment” content. They want to be immersed in an experience or story that’s relevant to them or the brand telling it.
Videos offer real-time and authentic content that can capture everything from 360 views of real estate property to a team building a robot. An important thing to remember is that most videos are viewed through social media outlets on mobile devices, and that they add a sense of transparency and authenticity that consumers are beginning to expect.
Story-Based, Niche, and Higher Quality Content
Story-based content engages audiences and makes them want to share it with others. You can use Storify (which is free for non-enterprises) to get a campaign off the ground.
Niche content will be more popular as the Internet continues to become more saturated with content in 2017. Marketers will need content that is geared toward and personalized for their particular industry niche. For instance, writing content for organic makeup is a specific niche within the overall cosmetics and beauty industry.
The debate about whether you should create more content or higher quality content to see a higher return on investment has been out there for quite some time. The truth is, if you really understand your customers and your product or service, you’ll know what content is valuable to them and how often they want to see it. Knowing this and incorporating it into your content will in turn make the qualitative value of your content higher. And if you understand your customers, you probably already understand your niche and the relevant stories that your niche will want to engage with too.
There will be an increase in demand for quality content experts in 2017. Copywriters and content experts who assess and address customer data to understand what customers want and value, and who understand that quality and personalization matter, will be essential to the success of any content strategy.
Check out some of the content services I offer, here.
Email marketing is not dead. However, sending spam emails is starting to become mostly dead. It is becoming more and more unacceptable to send emails to individuals who have not shown any type of interest in your brand, or a product or service that it offers. Email automation allows you to automatically follow up with customers who have shown interest in something you offer.
Email marketing automation makes it easier to segment your funnels. It also makes it easier to follow up with leads from your website or social media channels. And it offers more opt-ins for your subscribers, among a long list of other possibilities. The best part is that it does all those things automatically. You should use automated emails to distribute dynamic and custom content to your customers, based on their real-time behavior online.
Automated and Intelligent Content
You must develop structured content that you can reuse to meet the constantly changing content needs of your customers and prospects, and the devices and platforms they view it on. Each piece of content should be enhanced with metadata and strengthened by intelligent content technologies. You want to do this so that you can easily re-purpose content without simply re-posting or rewriting the exact same content, just in another channel.
For instance, if you create a webinar, you can then transcribe it into an e-book or white paper, or share slides as social media posts to generate interest in a recording you have available. When you receive questions or comments about it from your audience, you can turn these into blog posts that your audience has already suggested (or blatantly stated) they want to read. Once you receive feedback on these blogs, you can post the questions or comments you receive about them on social media to start a conversation and use an image from your webinar series.
If your tags and metadata are structured and organized, then you can easily add or edit out information based on the type of content you are creating and sharing. Your content must be structured in such a way that it is easy to add or edit out information from it. This is an easier process for content creators and ensures relevant, timely, and non-redundant content for your audience.
The above content marketing trends can be simplified in one sentence.
If you want to succeed with content marketing in 2017, provide content that is engaging and geared toward your customers’ behavior, using automated structures and technology.
It takes a well-defined content strategy and knowledge of verified content techniques that get results.
Hire a content expert who cares about getting you the results you want!
Want to add something to the list of trends highlighted above? Share them in the comments below!