Let’s break down what will be hot in the year ahead.
Before we break down the nitty gritty of what’s predicted to be hot in 2017, let’s take a moment to discuss your company’s content marketing strategy. Wait—you don’t have one? Well that’s the first thing you have to address. Research from the folks at Content Marketing Institute has found that businesses that have a documented content strategy that they regularly review and update are much more likely to achieve measurable success.
That being said, don’t go at it willy nilly—you need to have a plan. Ask what your why is, and do you have a deeper purpose in mind. Now, on to the trends … drum roll please.
People access information more and more from their smartphones, not a computer. If you aren’t creating content that is visually appealing and easily accessible on these smaller screens you may be turning away valuable business.
The Zuckerberg has spoken, “I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” That probably explains the introduction of Facebook Live. Meanwhile, embrace imagery—social media has via Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.
Influencers/User Generated Content
We are some cynical folk. Which is why Adweek found that “85 percent of users surveyed find visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos, while only 65 percent of businesses believe the same.” On par with this trend is the rising impact of so-called influencers, which was big in 2016. So big that now instead of trying to get those influencers to hawk a business’s product, some companies are simply purchasing the influencer as CNN did.
Creation vs. Marketing
The months ahead should be less focused on content creation and more on content marketing. What’s the distinction? While content marketing was conceived as a way to refresh advertising, the goal has come full circle. Companies need to be using their content to advertise and promote their product. Explore ways to reformat, repost and otherwise refurbish your content to get the word out about you and your product.
No one wants to feel like a number, and content marketing has the power to offer greater personalization to your customers. Your mission is to find ways to sprinkle in more personal content recommendations and experiences so people feel you are taking directly, and only, to them.
No matter what you do in the year ahead, embrace all these trends or cast them aside, the one thing no company can afford to do is to ignore their audience. They are your bread and butter. Pay attention to what formats they gravitate to and what content they are most interested in. Let them guide you.