How was last year for your marketing goals? Did you achieve everything you wanted? The turning of the year is a great time to take stock of progress, to raise your head and look at how the landscape is changing, how you might need to adjust tactics. If you want to generate more traffic, get better quality leads and therefore more sales, take a look at your progress in the context of emerging 2017 content trends, and how you might use these to drive better business results.
2017 content trends
1. Visual content
Increasingly visual content has more impact, and video in particular is set to dominate in unprecedented ways. With images and video prompting more engagement, and a reduced bar to creation by the release of tools such as Facebook Live, now is the time to experiment with how video resonates with your own audience.
While video on Facebook accounted last year for only 0.9% of the traffic, it enjoyed 7.15% of the reach, a share that will only keep on growing. More immediate content – live streaming as opposed to scheduled posts – shows how users are looking for an experience that is more immediate and “real”, and is something to bear in mind whatever format your content takes.
If you would like more detail on this, see Social Media Today’s Video Trends 2017 Article.
2. Mobile first, Social first
With Google pursuing a mobile-first policy, you need to be sure that your website and emails work on just as well, if not better, on mobile as well as on PC.
Facebook recently released a report on mobile shopping which shows that people take less time to decide and purchase online on mobile as opposed to pc, and that increasingly online shopping can start and finish on mobile.
Social is becoming the new front door to your company, with a definite trend in some audience segments to complete a whole discovery phase for a product or service on social and on mobile. While older users may still start with traditional search, younger audiences are much more likely to take recommendations from friends or influencers via social as a starting point.
Along with this increasingly social discovery phase, social commerce is becoming more important and more successful. To support your online information and to lead an audience along the purchasing path you will need to make sure that not only your core, but also your supporting content such as case studies. reviews and recommendations are all visible via social.
This might prompt questions about the value and positioning of your website at the heart of your online strategy – is it time to experiment with bypassing your website and going straight to social?
85% of mobile activity is in apps, and 82% of content shared on mobile is done privately through private messenger apps, email etc. And while the website has been called dead as many times as the book and still survives, you might want to start exploring the relationships between your different online activities and adjust where you are putting your best efforts.
3. Focus, Focus, Focus
While keeping up with new developments is important, companies are exercising caution when asked to invest in new technologies when they can’t necessarily demonstrate the return on investment of existing activities.
There seems to be a consolidation coming, where companies are looking at how current content is working and how to measure the effectiveness of what is already there. This will lead to a greater focus on understanding ROI and refining activities until they can be shown to be adding value.
By getting very clear on what you are doing, and by focusing on a small number of priorities that you want to do so well they will underpin your business success, you will be able to demonstrate and enjoy the bottom line impact they are having.
4. Quality over quantity
How much content do you need to get across your key company messages? Content should be valuable and useful to your audience, but engagement should be the goal, as opposed to masses of less focused information.
Data is essential to your strategy, and will help you to understand what your audience responds to, but by focusing a the point of creation on the quality of your content at the same time as writing it so that it can be re-purposed and reused on multiple channels means that you will get more value from the time you spend creating.
In an increasingly overcrowded environment, shouting louder won’t cut it. Instead, providing real in-depth education or entertainment will be the way to achieve cut-through.
Test out different types of content, focus on what your customers care about, how you might get attention and engender trust. Being authentic, and allowing your own personality to come through, will be more important than ever. And involving your audience, allowing them to feel part of your story, will incentivise greater trust and a better likelihood of those readers sharing your content and broadening your market reach.
The more things change: what stays the same?
It’s good to take a look at these emerging 2017 content trends, but you should keep a clear head on what things won’t be changing any time soon. While absorbing the impact that changing needs and trends have on your business, keep the following in mind:
- Know your audience
- Invest time in planning
- Use measurement to track your progress
With these core tenets at the heart of your content activity you can take advantage of 2017 content trends without derailing ongoing and consistent efforts.
If you need support in any of these areas, please get in touch for a no obligation discussion around how we can help you better achieve your content marketing goals – call us on 01491 614404, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.