The Most Valuable Content Marketing Trends for 2017

Content is not merely the written word anymore, and it shouldn’t only discuss your products. Content, whether it’s blog articles, videos, pictures, GIFs, emojis, or whatever else, has become a way to inform, entertain and educate your audience about everything that happens in and around your respective industry. Indeed, content is changing and so is the way it is being presented and marketed. Here are our picks for the hottest content marketing trends in 2017.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #1: Click Bait Will Cease To Exist

There isn’t a single person in the whole world who hasn’t been victimized by click bait. The catchy and intriguing headlines prompt us to click to see if anything new or interesting is there. Instead of that, we are bombed with ads, pop-ups and a page that seems impossible to navigate away from.

But there’s good news here that makes more one of the most relieving content marketing trends for 2017. Now social media platforms have realized that nobody is happy with this infinitely irritating ploy. In a recent CNN Money article, Facebook, perhaps the biggest social media giant, issued an earnest diktat to marketers: Stop creating click bait titles or we’ll put a blanket ban on you. Facebook is also working on a new algorithm to kill click bait headlines along with the provision to ban repeat offenders.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #2: Live Streaming Video

This is undoubtedly the most vital and dominant of content marketing trends for 2017, and there are plenty of reasons behind it. If we consider the overall consumption of all content formats, videos are a clear winner. Even if we talk about engagement, hardly any other content format beats video. That’s why many are predicting that video will comprise 70% of all internet traffic by 2017. Besides, videos don’t just ensure higher penetration and engagement. They positively affect the conversion rates and thus the bottom line too.

video conversion rates
As live streaming videos are unedited, authenticity naturally comes with them. Through videos, you can have a question-answer session with your customers, which is as interactive as anything. Sometimes, reading an article on mobile can be taxing and may repel people from your content. Consuming content via video is way too easy. Besides, you can often explain your product or service in a better and detailed manner with videos.

In short, live streaming videos satiate the basic needs of customers- authentic, interactive and easily digestible content. It is not at all surprising then that all social media platforms are developing live streaming capabilities to get ahead of the curve. Some are even going further by integrating niche live stream apps such as Twitch and Periscope. Just like Snapchat, Facebook is even testing advertising during live video broadcasts as well as live video filters. Indeed, the future is video.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #3: Native Advertisements

The biggest truth of modern advertisement is that people hate ads that are entirely salesy and interruptive. That’s why ad-blocker use is at an all time high. Users want a natural feeling in the ads they see. That is, the ad should match the form and function of the platform on which it appears. That’s what native advertisement is all about! The ability to keep the user experience untouched along with the smooth integration into its host environment has been the core reason why native advertising has been extremely successful. So much so that The New York Times has cited it as a singular reason for surviving in an ad-block-heavy digital environment, as companies like Buzzfeed are built on native advertising. The following Buzzfeed example explains how the native news feed ads work. These are promoted posts that show up next to real news in a publisher’s news feed like the one you can see here:

native ads
Even social media has embraced it with open arms. As you can see below, apart from the “Promoted by” text, a promoted tweet looks just like any other.

promoted tweet
Their non-interfering nature in the customer experience certainly enhances the chances of ad views…and that’s the beginning of any conversion process. Thus, upcoming times will see more of such ads, as well as new formats. Maybe we’ll see clickable promoted filters on Snapchat, ads inserted into Facebook comments, or something entirely different.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #4: Long Form Content Will Dominate SEO

Contrary to what many people think, the study conducted by Search Engine Land concluded that long form content not only gets read more, but gets ranked better, too.

longform content
But, it’s not at all surprising. When someone is looking for articles on the particular topic, he is in need of quality and relevant information. The length is not a hindrance if the content is able to fulfill the above-mentioned criteria. In fact, Google has mentioned the following advice in its Google Webmasters Blog: “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”

Not just that… Google is gratifying long form content writers and distributors with better saturation in their “Answers” features and enhanced rankings. As the green signal for long form content has come from Google itself, we can be assured that this trend is all set to shine. But Google is well known for the incessant introduction of algorithms to keep the content unique and relevant. As a marketer, you should keep a close eye on what Google does. This trend of long-form content  may not be a permanent thing!

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #5: How We Publish Will Continue To Evolve

This is a content marketing trend in 2017 that, well, will continue far past next year. The past few years have shown that your own website isn’t the only destination to publish your articles or blogs. Social media platforms have innovated themselves in terms of how marketers can publish content on them. For example, LinkedIn released Pulse – a native blogging platform in 2014 and in 2015, Facebook came up with Instant Articles – a feature to enable publishers to post interactive articles inside Facebook. The rationale here is very simple. Social media enjoy immense user base all across the globe.

The kind of reach that social media will give to your blogs is almost impossible to get by posting blogs solely on your website. Marketers, as well as social media leaders, have a complete realization of this fact. And allowing marketers to post the content on various social media platforms may become a simpler way to monetize the platform. Marketers will get maximum mass reach. Thus, it’s kind of a win-win scenario. It gives a reason to believe that more social media platforms and other digital platforms will be the places where content marketers like you might place more and more content.

This won’t just be a phenomenon on social media. Many retailers–whether they’re in the same or disparate industries–team up to do contests, one-off product lines, and more. Tons of merchants are also syndicating their Ratings and Reviews and should be syndicating their Visual Commerce. There will definitely be more and more content collaborations, guest posts, takeovers, and so on between different companies as well as influencers.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #6: Objective Algorithms Will See A Surge

Quality is highly subjective.  What is great content to you might be bad for someone else and vice-versa is also true. It can really be a great source of conflicts as it’s really hard to decide how to decide what actually quality content is. Thus, we will see that more and more publishers will rely on objective algorithms, similar to Facebook, to govern which content will get more attention on their sites. It will result in a focusing on true engagement and distribution rather than just getting more clicks to divert people on the content piece. Naturally, quantifiable measures like data on finish rates, time on site, readability, and engagement spans will get more prominence. It will affect the way marketers take efforts to publish their content on right platforms that have more traction and traffic.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #7: User Generated Content

With the easy availability of mobile phones and a plethora of social media and video sharing platforms, your customers are taking and uploading photos even of the least important events and happenings in their lives, as well as the most important. Thus, it’s a logical step to make use of such an authentic and easily available content to remain in the eyes of the people by using user customers’ photos. User generated content has thus got importance and it will go on increasing.

Truly, users and customers are your best marketers. In fact, 70% of consumers place user generated content above generic written content. UGC is not just about photos- it includes reviews, recommendations, comments, and questions and answers too. In short, UGC is like asking your customers to create content for you to display it on your website, social media networks and even in-store. People have 12 times more trust in such content as it is derived from the common lives of everyday  people. They relate to it more easily and naturally. Besides, it’s very difficult and time-consuming to come up with a fresh content on a daily basis.

To learn about the most exciting content marketing trends in 2017 specifically for UGC, check out this guide!  You might also find our Visual Commerce best practices ebook, our guide to Visual Commerce for Fashion, or our Ratings and Reviews FAQ sheet helpful!

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