The content marketing has moved from text to matter and developed many different forms like pictures, videos and GIFs and now it has reached the level where the growth seems to come to an end but it isn’t the case. Marketers need knowing how they can optimize their content.
High-quality and high-value content is the minimum requirement but a good distribution network is also needed to support content marketing. New trends in content marketing keep popping from time-to-time and for this reason staying up-to-date with latest trends is also a plus for marketers. The trends show likes and dislikes of targeted audiences.
With latest trends in mind, here are 5 trends that will rule content marketing in 2017
Personalized & segmented content
Importance of segmenting audiences is well-known and this rule applies to content marketing as well. Treating audiences as a homogenous group could limit your reach and also create gaps in communication. But segmenting audiences for creating content can help in improving communication. For segmenting audiences, research your audiences using social intelligence and see what is engaging the visitors most.
Create segments in email marketing list, in-app messaging and also in paid advertising. A simple method to segment content is to use different content for different platforms like LinkeIn, Instagram, Faebook and Twitter; they have their own demographics and unwritten rules.
Increasing multimedia content
Now visual is also content. An image can optimize a piece of content and a visual is a complete content in itself. On Facebook, videos get 500 million hits every day. But video is only one of the many forms of visual media as marketers keep inventing new ways of visual content to suit to the changed needs of targeted audiences.
Giphy shows that GIFs can also attract attention and deliver message. It raised an additional $72m in funding through GIFs. Similarly, Pokemon Go revealed the potential of augmented reality. Facebook introduced 360-degree photo publishing last year and soon others will follow suit in starting new trends; YouTube and Instagram are experimenting with live video broadcast. Facebook will also allow its users to broadcast live video.
In the race to win content marketing, the early adopters of trends will certainly get an edge and stay ahead in competition.
The rise of paid promotion and the decline of organic reach
Paid ads are in vogue for quite some time and the trend is expected to strengthen in the coming years. Earlier in 2016, Instagram brought an algorithm based feed instead of the usual chronological one. It reasons that popularity of photo-sharing app has added an overwhelming amount of content and its result is that people miss what they want to see or they’re looking for.
By algorithm, the feed is directed to highlight the content Instagram believes its visitors are more interested in seeing. Instagram might be true in its reasoning as it wants to provide more engaging content to its audiences. But there is a dark side of the feed and it was first revealed when Facebook experimented with the same feed. The feed allows Instagram to prioritize what goes into the feed.
Algorithm based feed promotes paid content only and it is evident from the current data on paid promotion. Facebook was first to introduced changes in its feed and result is reduction in promotion of brands that don’t pay from 15% to 2%. Networks are facing demand for ROI and they will provide more options for advertisements and also they will expect brands to increase their ad spending.
Mobile first, second and third
The most debatable point in content marketing in recent years is mobile traffic surpassing desktops and laptops. The trend is continuing and is expected to gather pace with more people joining the force called Internet users. Access to mobile Internet has increased in developing countries and this contributed to the huge number of mobile customers.
The shift to mobile platforms became more visible when major players in Internet marketing started applying the trend in their processes. Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages and also announced that it is going to use mobile first index, a new database to index the entire web. Accelerated Mobile Pages is lighter version of a web page designed for faster loading on mobile platforms.
Today brands first think of mobile and the experience of viewing their sites on handheld devices before developing a strategy for content marketing.
The changing faces of influencers
Reduced organic reach has increased importance of influencers. The latest trend in influencer marketing is fast shifting from involving mega-celebrities that enjoy huge acceptability but has no relevance to businesses. Let’s understand the trend with an example. A celebrity associated with fashion will be more suitable for branding fashion products than insurance policies.
Brands have recognized how important influencers are for their businesses. Now the trend is to employ multiple micro-influencers with genuine relevance to the brands instead of investing on a mega-celebrity with little relevance. A relevant influencer can present a brand in an interesting manner and in this way becomes more engaging.
In coming years, influencer will continue to grow and become mature as brands struggle to reach out to the targeted audiences organically. Implementation of ad-blockers like algorithm feed will push brands towards influencers and use them as a crucial part of their distribution strategies.
Content marketing will keep growing in the coming years with more trends coming into practice. Now it is for the marketers to keep a close watch on the trends and try optimizing their strategies according to the trends. It isn’t difficult to understand the trends as they develop from past practices. Platforms want to prove their relevance for marketing and brands need more visibility and ROI.
Influencers will play a deciding role in content marketing in the new year but these will be micro-influencers. But it doesn’t mean that mega-celebrities will lose their relevance for marketing. The brands will be more choosy in employing mega-celebrities in brand promotion. Also, the spending on an online advertisement will increase in 2017.
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