The following is a guest post by Oscar Waterworth. Oscar is a writer from Sydney and one of the editors at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys reading and writing about the latest news in the tech, marketing, and business industries. To stay updated with Oscar’s latest posts, you can follow him on Twitter.
Content marketing has managed to stay one of the hottest topics in the marketing industry, year after year; however, it is still an area where many marketers and businesses struggle. And as it seems, things are not getting any better. For instance, according to this year’s research by the Content Marketing Institute, noticeably fewer marketers (32%) have a documented marketing strategy in comparison to the previous year (35%).
What is more, many companies still do not know how to create quality content or an effective content marketing strategy. The same CMI report revealed that 55% of marketers do not know what a successful content marketing program looks like. Seeing how content marketing is still one of the biggest challenges for CMOs and how the industry can do anything but sit still, you need to stay on top of the latest industry trends.
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Here are the most important content marketing trends for 2017:
As you probably know, content production is an all-time high, which includes everything from short Instagram videos to thorough reports, years in the making. Even five years ago, we had more than 27 million pieces of content shared every day (according to an AOL study).
These days, we have around 2 million blog posts published on a daily basis, which means we have over 7 million pieces of new content every year– and we are only talking about one type of content. That is why you have to start utilizing content intelligence, which will allow you analyze the unstructured data and produce more engaging, relevant, and useful content. Of course, you will have to present this content to a large audience, which leads us to our next major trend- influencer marketing.
We are more surrounded with paid advertising than ever before, so it is not surprising that consumers trust these types of advertisements less and less. As a matter of fact, since 2007, consumer trust in paid advertising has decreased by more than 20%, and according to Nielsen, consumer confidence in influencer and word-of-mouth advertising is skyrocketing.
Today, more than 90% of consumers trust recommendations from trusted authorities. So it would be in your interest to find some of the biggest influencers in your niche, incentivize them and try to maintain an ongoing relationship. The fact is that you have to collaborate and besides external collaboration, marketing team have to work with other departments as well.
Integrating Sales and Content
While many people seem to forget this, the fact is, content marketing works best when it is not dictated entirely by a team of marketers. And this means that you need to involve your sales team in the content creation process as much as possible.
As we mentioned above, consumers trust authority figures, and there is no better way for your sales team to establish credibility than through content. Also, even if you have hired a content marketing agency to handle a part of your content load, you should try to get your team as involved as you can. This is especially important when it comes to video content, and it can best be utilized to create compelling company culture videos that will help the HR department the most.
Video Will Continue to Reign Supreme
I am sure you have heard about video content enough in the past two years, but you still cannot deny the power of video. In fact, according to the Invodo research, more than 55% of marketers agree that video content brings in the highest ROI.
Furthermore, having video content also improves your SEO efforts, as Google favors them in search results. Finally, as Cisco reports, video already accounts for more than 70% of all consumer traffic online and as time goes by, the number will only continue to grow, with the content becoming increasingly personalized.
In order to capture the consumers’ attention, your content needs to be engaging. And recent research has shown that if you really want to connect with your customers, you will have to start personalizing your content.
This July, Forrester surveyed a group of top marketing executives from the United States and Europe about their approach to personalized content. More than 65% of them plan to start developing content based on insights and emotions, using behavior based-data.
Personal branding and thought leadership were once reserved for PR, but now we see a major shift of these practices to the marketing departments and teams. This is due to the fact that these practices evidently generate leads, create opportunities, and enhance communication with the audience.
This is why companies now encourage multiple employees to become thought leaders so that the brand’s personality resonates even more with the target audience. Now let us take a look at how departments other than marketing can leverage content to their advantage.
Content Marketing Spreads Across Multiple Departments
Many marketing departments have achieved incredible success with content marketing over the last couple of years. These results are backed by the positive ROI. That is why a lot of companies started to encourage other departments to jump on the content marketing bandwagon as well.
For now, this is most evident in the HR departments. HR departments can leverage content marketing on multiple levels to attract, retain, and engage their employees. Content marketing is heavily used for promoting positive company culture, which in effect attracts the right employees.
Recruitment marketing is also on the rise, and it has to be backed with informative and helpful content. So far, HR departments have seen immeasurable success, as they are now able to spread positive news regarding their company, workplace, and the job positions more efficiently than ever before.
Final Thoughts On Content Marketing Trends
Last but not least, it is crucial that your content actually resonates with your target audience, so leveraging data on consumer behavior and habits should be a good starting point. In addition, we examined 5 four major trends that will be dominating content marketing during the next year, and it would be wise to at least pick one of these and experiment with it. Your choice, of course, depends on your budget, resources and skill level, but if you put in the effort, you will definitely see the results by the end of 2017.
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