First, some encouraging data about Content Marketing. Per this report, 62% of B2B marketers feel that their Content Marketing is more successful this year as compared to last year 2015.
The marketers feel there are primarily three reasons for this performance improvement.
- More efficient content creation (85%)*
- Strategy development (72%)*
- Excellent commitment to marketing (53%)*
(*percentage of respondents who marked it as the reason)
And the top five channels for it are:
- Email (91%)**
- LinkedIn (71%)**
- Print (58%)**
- YouTube (56%)**
- Twitter (55%)**
(**percentage of respondents who marked it as the channel)
For a long time in spite of technological advances, Email Marketing is still the best channel to drive engagement and conversions through Content Marketing. Read our blog to know more details.
How Should You Strategize Your Content Marketing?
Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.
With just a little more than a month to step into 2017, now is the time to start thinking about your content marketing strategy for 2017 so as to maximise its effectiveness, study all the new possibilities for brand/product promotion and get the maximum out of your efforts.
Emphasis on video for increased ROI: There is no doubt that video is an important component of effective Content Marketing strategies. Per The Firebrand Group survey, 85% 0f marketers has seen positive ROI from video efforts. This trend will continue in 2017, and hence the first action that content marketers should incorporate is to have video in their content efforts. This will improve ROI and most importantly, brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Videos are the most consumed content: This is a corollary to the first point above. The thumb rule in Content Marketing is to keep visitors hooked to your website. Research has found that videos are the most consumed piece of content in a website by prospective customers, followed by social media posts, news articles and research content.
Content process should be on the right track: One of the key challenges of Content Marketing is to track performance of the efforts. So companies should make sure they have the technologies, talent, and personnel to keep the content process on the right track.
Regular content creation is not the only solution for success: A recent research by Writtent states that most inbound marketers (almost 96%) are creating content almost on a weekly basis. Experts say that mere content creation – daily or weekly – is not sufficient for content success. What is required is that content marketers comprehend competition and include innovations, unique strategies and marketing in the process.
Social Media will continue to be an important strategy for content promotion: With Social Media identified as an ‘indispensable’ channel for content distribution in 2016, this will prevail in 2017 as well. Content marketers should identify the audience that are best for their services/products and accordingly create and distribute content to them. They should monitor and analyze performance metrics like website visitors, social media followers and email subscribers.
SEO best practices should not be ignored: Content marketers should adhere to SEO best practices, including avoiding duplicate content or adding alt tags etc. Read our blog to know about different techniques to improve the rankings of your website.
Content is sales teams’ best friend as well: Content marketers should closely work with the sales team to improve the quality of customer conversations. Content is meant not only for prospective customers but also for internal sales and marketing team to pitch in more sales.
More demand for personalised content: Storytelling and other customized content is in vogue now. Marketers should emphasise on writing content that speaks directly to buyer’s plus points – be it through blog posts, webinars, product videos or other formats.
Investing in Content Talent: Last but not the least, every company should have a well-structured experienced team of Content Marketing professionals as without processes, staff and management, content strategies simply cannot be successful.
Above, we have discussed the tenets of Content Marketing today. But what will be the formats? Read on.
Content Marketing Trends for 2017
Popularity of Live Streaming: Along with recorded videos, Live Streaming will be very popular. The three upcoming live streaming platforms now are Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and SnapChat. Live streaming is very effective for hosting live product briefings, product launch events, tours, tutorials, etc.
Virtual/Augmented Reality for Content Marketing: The concept of Virtual and/or Augmented Reality is still in its infancy stage but will soon be an important aspect of digital Content Marketing. The success of ‘Pokemon Go’ in 2016 is a clear indication of how users are ready to adopt new technology. Very soon, as a part of Content Marketing strategy, you can see more brands using VR/AR games and ads to promote premium products. The technique is no doubt expensive but very popular to showcase products and services. In 2017, this trend will be followed by big businesses, and once the technology becomes cheaper, its proliferation will be seen in small and medium sized businesses as well.
Storytelling: For a more engaging audience, mere blogging or Social Media Marketing will not be enough in 2017. Marketers are now focusing on storytelling to engage more with the audience.
Native Advertising: Native advertising is not new but this marketing trend will continue and become even more popular in 2017. It is one of the most effective and easy way by which a product or service gets natural-looking visibility and consumers’ attention when placed in website content. Read our blog to know more details on Native Advertising.
Influencer Marketing: Influencer Marketing, a popular trend seen in 2016 will continue in 2017 in Content Marketing. In this form of marketing, key leaders are used to promote your brand’s message to the larger market. However, the focus should not be restricted to whether the influencers have enough followers but also on their relevance to the target audience. With time, the trend will broaden to include influencers from different backgrounds like bloggers, reviewers and real customers.
Content Marketing will always remain an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Like in any other channel, the key however, is that it is done well.