14 Trends in 2017 Content Marketing to Drive your Results

14 Trends in 2017 Content Marketing to Drive your Results

The Evolution of Content Marketing

We’re all trying to connect with customers and build our Sales funnel. 2017 doesn’t hold anything new in that regard, yet more and more businesses are getting into Social Media and producing more Content. Since Search Engines started, and back in 1999 when some of us first were hit with the ‘Digital Bug’, the expression “content is king” became popular.

The reality is this moniker still holds true and thus Content Marketing has gone through an evolution. Initially, around 2000-2002 it was about writing articles that were keyword focused and posting these into article directories. SEO was all about this as the directories counted as links back to your website which you could list in the author’s signature. From 2002 to about 2006 the Search Engines, especially Google, caught onto this and Content Marketing became more about writing to connect with an audience. So long form content came back and the savvy (and those who could afford it) hired copywriters.

Somewhere in 2006-7 Facebook started to hit its stride and Google took notice by changing its algorithm to reward ‘Social Proof.’ This meant now getting your content shared via Social Media was a key signal to Search Engines your content was good. Infographics started to become very popular, cementing the fact an image can convey a 1,000 words, and starting the deterioration of our attention spans. While copywriters still touted long form content worked well to capture Sales, it was become more difficult to use long form to capture Awareness and especially Shares. Think about, many of us and especially younger audiences are famous for texting TLDNR – or for the more time crunched the TLDR – “Too Long; Did Not Read.”

2017 Trends in Content Marketing

From this point Content Marketing evolution raced ahead and even today you still have facts Digital Marketers have known for years becoming written about in mainstream media. Are the masses that unaware or is it a sub-conscious reality we’re in similar to walking into a dining room and knowing there’s a table & chairs, but not noticing how many chairs or if the table had steel or wood legs?

The 8 Trends that Forbes points out and the 6 Steps to get content shared Entrepreneur writes about are nothing new. We are all so fully aware of these things we forget their impact and importance.

The Entrepreneur steps seem almost banal because these aspects of Content Marketing are already so ingrained they are ubiquitous!

  1. Only create content worth sharing
  2. Use images
  3. Use Social Sharing plugins
  4. Ask people to share the content (a key one which so many of us don’t do)
  5. Mention people by name (aren’t you tired of seeing the subscriptions emailed to you opening with your name, even though underlying good feeling of being recognized)
  6. Write good headlines (such an dominant trend there’s a whole industry of Native Content making millions getting people to click on “Sponsored Content” often found on sites like the Daily Mail, ESPN and so many others)

The Forbes article only highlights what we already know and are bombarded with everyday.

  1. Facebook (the new king of how people are connecting not just with friends & families but news stories, products. Word of Mouth has gone digital)
  2. Mobile (how often are we looking at our phones and using them as the first point of contact?)
  3. Visual content (images, the rise of Instagram)
  4. Video Content (yes, we all are seeing this on a daily basis as video has taken over our Facebook feeds and “YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine)
  5. User Generated Content (often called UGC it’s why every big brand, and local shop, wants people to be sharing their experiences via Snapchat stories, Instagram posts, Facebook, YouTube…heck, everyone is doing it and this Hubspot list from 2015 shows you it really isn’t hard. Just start to ask, and like Starbucks #3 on the list, all you may have to do is giveaway a simple product)
  6. Promotion matters (really! has nobody noticed how over the years Facebook has whittled down our organic posts and the only true way to connect with more than the customers who may come to your page is to use Facebook advertising? Media agencies, even with the messy landscape of WPP’s MEC and Maxus merger, are raking in huge amounts of money on this shift alone. Who hasn’t heard about how much money TV is losing as more & more goes into Digital Marketing…and what’s leading that shift Content Marketing!)
  7. Personalization (the right message, to the right customer, at the right time. That’s modern marketing in a nutshell!)

You can see we are both in love and at times frustrated by Content Marketing. The articles linked to from here underscore how everything is Content and some of the ways it is being marketed. It’s not hard to do, but it is time consuming as no business ever thought they would have to be a publisher on top of all the day to day things you do. But, that’s the situation and you can either sit back and watch your competition do it, or you can move forward and start producing content. If it helps, we’re always here and happy to share our thoughts on how best to get results from your content marketing.