We’ve all heard about content marketing. It’s another one of those buzzwords that’s so often thrown around in conversation at the office. Well, just to get it out the way, content marketing is a marketing technique that has gained a lot of traction in the last few years. It basically is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent online content (such as blogs, videos etc) that does not hard sell the brand. Instead, it’s aims is to target and retain a particular audience and stimulate interest amongst those people, in the brand’s products or services.
Content marketing takes various forms, shapes and sizes and there have been some great case studies of brands who’ve done it right. For example, the famous Oscar selfie of the star-studded front row at the red carpet in 2014 that went viral. It later turned out to be a marketing masterstroke by Samsung. They got over 40,000 brand mentions during the Oscars for that one selfie and over 2.1 million likes on Facebook. Samsung however, only retweeted the selfie once and yet enjoyed a major spike in the brands visibility.
Another great example of content marketing done right was Coke’s “Share A Coke” campaign. What Coke did was choose 150 of the most popular names in Australia and added a name to the side of each bottle. And well, people went nuts for it. Since then, the campaign has spread all over the world. What made this campaign so special you ask? Well, in one word: personalisation. It made you feel like it was YOUR bottle and this touch of personalisation is the crux of content marketing because it’s relevant and / or valuable to you.
Keeping these thoughts in mind, we aren’t saying that content marketing is a big boys game where only big brands with even bigger budgets play the field. Startups too can use content marketing to get themselves on the map.
In this post, let’s take a look at what’s in store for content marketing in 2017 as we’re sure those predictions can help you craft a content marketing strategy to jumpstart your brand.
1. Brands will experiment with various formats: So far content marketing has mainly seen marketers use written formats such as blogs more so than anything else. This year will see people get more creative with the formats they explore and exercise. Keeping in mind that search engines are getting better at analyzing images will only further push brands to explore other such formats.
2. Messaging will become more specific: It’s no myth that the internet is flooded with content across an array of topics. Hence, this year will see content become more specific and targeted. There’s no value in creating content on broad subjects that have been done to death. Instead, pick a very specific subject and elaborate on that if you want to stand out in the crowd of content flooding the internet.
3. Video will trump everything else: Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. With platforms like Facebook also making their feeds more video friendly and videos also helping with SEO, video shall definitely reign supreme this year.
4. Consistent engagement will be key: Marketers have so far cracked how to go about acquiring customers through content marketing but retaining them is yet to be figured out. Hence, things like measuring daily and weekly active users will be something brand’s focus on as every marketers aim is to have the customer keep coming back.
5. Content marketing will overshadow traditional advertising: Marketers have already taken to content marketing and have started spending more money on it as compared to traditional advertising and this trend will only continue through the course of 2017. This only makes sense as content marketing is a lot more cost effective as opposed to advertising and it also has a higher ROI and lower customer acquisition cost.
6. Buying influencers: Another trend we think is going to become big this year is brands bringing influencers onboard to help them market their product or service. Since YouTube influencers for example, already have very large followings, it only makes sense for brands to try and tap into those already established networks. This has been happening in 2016 as well though we think brands will now try to out and out buy influencers and their channels.
7. Email marketing will surge: People who want to grow their audience (which is basically everyone) will have to resort to email marketing as other social media platforms are moving towards revenue growth and do not allow brands to freely communicate with their customers. Emails will also start getting shorter in length in order to optimise for phone viewing and more casual and conversational in tone.
These are a few of the trends and predictions that we see coming through in 2017 in the field of content marketing. If you’ll have any additions, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.
We recently also conducted a two-day workshop on content marketing at our Noida hub. To stay in the loop of the various events taking place across our hubs across the country, check out our events calendar.
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