Content marketing is on the rise, with the sector having experienced double-digit growth for the past seven years.
In 2014, the sector was worth $144.81 billion. By 2019, it’s expected to have a net worth of $313 billion, according to the Global Content Marketing Forecast 2015–2019. As content marketing grows and evolves, you can expect the following strategies to define the industry in 2017.
Marketers Will Work With New Video Formats
Fewer than half of marketing agencies create interactive media or video, according to CopyPress’s white paper Current Content Ecosystem. With only 45 percent of agencies producing this type of content, it lags behind blog posts and website copy in prevalence. However, video should become a major content marketing force in 2017 owing to the adoption of new video formats.
Videos hosted on websites such as YouTube will continue dominating, according to Openview, but other video types will add diversity to this content marketing sector. In 2016, live streaming entered the mainstream, aided by faster global internet speeds and better integration with social media platforms. This trend will likely pick up even more speed in 2017 as companies look to imbue their brands with personality and authenticity.
Live videos aren’t the only ones you’ll find on social media. In 2017, increasing numbers of marketers will take a multi-platform approach to video content, using YouTube, websites, and social channels. Autoplay has helped make videos more valuable on social media, according to Twitter. The social media platform found that users are 14 percent better able to recall branded videos they’ve seen and 7 times more likely to watch them through to the end since Twitter introduced this feature.
Following in the footsteps of microblogging will come the rise of microvlogging. Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine have helped build audiences of people consuming videos that last less than 15 seconds, and brands will leverage this interest in 2017. The popularity of short videos comes with the growing practice of mobile browsing. With smartphone users consuming more short user-made clips than music videos and movie trailers, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, it’s little wonder that businesses are embracing this trend.
Marketers Will Encourage User-Generated Content
Marketers will leverage the popularity of user-generated clips, along with other types of user-generated content (UGC), in 2017. Salesforce reports that UGC improves the performance of marketing efforts in a variety of channels, as internet users spend 90 percent more time browsing websites that offer UGC galleries than those that do not.
People engage 50 percent more with social campaigns featuring UGC and click on web-based ads that feature UGC five times as often. Emails that incorporate UGC have 73 percent higher click-through rates. People are also 10 percent more likely to buy when there’s UGC in the online purchase pathway.
Along with user-made videos, UGC also includes reviews of products and services, comments on social media and blog posts, and social shares. With more marketers discovering UGC’s value, you’ll see increasing promotions and incentives designed to encourage users to create content for businesses in 2017.
Content Marketing Will Become More Episodic
Armando Roggio of Practical Ecommerce predicts that in 2017, more content marketers will discover the value of campaigns that are more episodic and less fractured. Videos inspired by YouTube programs are an obvious reference point, but audio content modeled after podcasts and even text-based stories in newsletters or on blogs might also come into play.
Episodic content has several key advantages. It forces content marketers to develop a clearer and more organized plan for their overall strategy. This puts more focus on how each piece of content fits into marketing efforts as a whole, leading to better and more successful campaigns.
Episodic content also helps build fan bases for businesses. When consumers become familiar with the type of content that the brand creates, they start anticipating the next installment. People subscribe to the business’s social profiles or email list to ensure that they learn about the next installment first. Word of mouth helps spread buzz, and content providers see more fans tuning into each episode.
This type of content marketing is also a powerful search engine optimization (SEO) tool. As the series develops, earlier episodes remain relevant as new fans go back to where it all began. Episodic content links together, which is ideal for SEO. Search engines also view the patterns of return users keen to view the next piece of episodic content.
Social Content Will Get an Expiry Date
Inspired by how Snapchat appeals to Generation Z, marketers will give content on other social media platforms an expiration date, too. They’re learning that young consumers are attracted to content with a limited time span, as Deep Patel writes in Entrepreneur. The urgency of viewing content while you can, cuts through a crowded online space, capturing the attention of all types of users and encouraging consumption.
Creating content with a limited shelf life can be tricky, but you should see more marketers honing this skill in 2017. The ones who do should see great success in the coming months and beyond.
Traditional Content Platforms Will Return to Focus
You’ve probably heard rumors of the death of email marketing and print publications, but it seems that these have been greatly exaggerated. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, notes that BuzzFeed added more than a million email subscribers in 2016. The same year, major online brands Airbnb, School of Doodle, and VFiles announced the launch of new affiliated magazines. These brands wouldn’t take such actions if the demand for print weren’t there.
There’s another key reason why brands gravitate toward email and print platforms. These methods allow marketers to control the message. Marketers will seize this opportunity in 2017 and spend time crafting targeted, relevant e-newsletters and print campaigns. In addition to launching new email and print content, they’ll evaluate how they already use these mediums and brainstorm improving them to create better user experiences. Print content will complement online content, including e-newsletters, social channels, and blogs, while providing value independent of the digital world.
Strategies such as these will aid content marketing’s growth in 2017 and shape the face of this marketing sector in the coming years.
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