It's not all about Facebook anymore. Use these tools to leap frog your competition.
And even if you have filled out your editorial calendars, you’ll still want to take a look.
It’s no surprise that content marketing is evolving fast. We need to be building not just for next year, but for the next three years and beyond.
Good news is, we’re getting better at content marketing.
In fact, 62% of B2B content marketers are more successful with their content marketing than they were last year. 63% of B2C marketers say the same. That’s a shift from the year prior, where only 30% of marketers were saying their content marketing was effective.
Clearly, this is a good thing. But it’s got some significant consequences that you should be prepared for.
As content marketing gets more successful, it’s going to get a bigger budget and bigger staffs from your competitors. It’ll become more competitive with other types of marketing. So don’t be surprised if there’s a little rivalry around the corner in your industry.
Let’s take a look at the top content marketing trends that I think you should fiddle with during 2017.
Here they are…
#1: Personalized Content
As content marketing becomes more successful, it’s also going to become more competitive. Or rather, hyper competitive. “Content overload” has already caused us to create far more more content than our audiences can consume. But that was just level one competition.
Now, we’re all looking for a new edge. Personalization is going to be it.
This means way more than just sprinkling first names in here and there. I’m talking about hyper personalized content recommendations and a “choose your own adventure” style experience for buyers.
Consumers know we’ve got their info and they expect us to use it to their benefit.
#2: Mobile Content
As you may already know, there’s far more traffic on the Internet from mobile than from desktop. Which means, there are more people accessing “your” content on mobile devices than on desktop computers.
Have you looked at your content from a mobile phone or tablet recently?
Have you tried to read your content, ask for a demo, or even try to purchase? If you found yourself clenching your jaw while you did it, that’s a problem.
I recommend taking time to run a full-fledged audit of how well your brand communicates with mobile users. Extra credit if you know how well your competitors are doing as well.
#3: Facebook Content
Facebook is dominating the Internet. You’ve heard that, right?
Well, I’m still on the fence about that one, but I do know one thing for sure: Facebook is the elephant in the room when it comes to content consumption, content sharing, and content discovery.
Not everybody’s thrilled about Facebook’s dominance.
Brands and businesses have all noticed an ever-declining organic reach problem. And the reality that it’s increasingly a “pay to play” platform.
Like it or not, ignore Facebook at your risk. Even if you’re in B2B.
#4: Visual Content
Visual content has become so fundamental to the web that we now have entire social platforms who’s core revolves around images. Like Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest.
If you are not extensively using images in your content marketing, it’s time.
Where do you begin?
Hire a great photographer to spend a few hours doing a photoshop of your company, products and customers. Then get yourself a Canva account. Or if you have no design skills whatsoever, then check out Design Pickle to help you out. Time is money!
#5: Video Content
Now let’s talk about moving pictures.
Like images, video becoming the core of the Internet that entire platforms have evolved from the format.
YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook Live are their attempts to try to keep up.
Mark Zuckerburg has even said, “I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.”
#6: User-Generated Content
Here’s a stat to glue to your bedroom mirror: 85% of people trust content made by others more than they trust content from a company.
You see, trust is the secret sauce of content marketing.
It’s why we do content marketing at all – to build trust.
So if user generated content is more effective at building trust than our own content marketing efforts are… well, then it’s time to focus on your users.
UGC comes in the form of social shares, comments, reviews, and even YouTube videos.
It might seem like a completely new trend, but it’s really not. It’s just influencer marketing, minus the large audiences.
Consider every customer you’ve got is a micro-influencer. How’s that for an “Ah Ha!” moment.
#7: Promotional Content
It took some time, but content marketers are finally making promoting their content a priority. They’re setting up systems to either reformat past content, republish it, or both.
In other words, you’re not alone.
We’re all catching up to getting around to doing content marketing, as opposed to just content creation.
It’s a good thing… and contributes to why content marketers are more successful.
Don’t forget paid promotion either. I know, it’s a little weird to think how we started content marketing because ads weren’t working, and now we’re back to using ads to promote our content, because just creating content wasn’t working.
Strange or not, it’s working right now.
The most successful content marketers all pay to promote their content.