New and Traditional Channels Take Center Stage in 2017
What else is trending in content marketing this year? As competition to deliver consistent high-quality, high-value content increases, companies are not just looking to new technologies to reach their markets. They’re also revisiting traditional platforms and finding new ways to leverage their messages and reach their targeted audiences. It’s still all about telling your brand’s story powerfully and effectively.
Thought leaders from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Forbes and Brandwatch.com and companies across the marketing spectrum all agree. As the media for delivery continues to expand along both innovative and traditional channels, it will be up to content marketers to harness their power in new and effective ways. Here are a few more trends worth considering in 2017.
Social Media Platforms. Facebook is still considered by many to be “king” in the social media environment when it comes to content consumption, sharing and discovery, especially for small businesses. However, changes in its algorithms and the trend to replace its organic reach with an increasingly “pay for play” approach created frustration in some of its customer base. The same is true for YouTube. One of the trends forecast for 2017 by CMI is that there will be more paid advertising on social media platforms in general. And some brands may opt to publish content on their own website and invest in paid promotions to grow. Consider how these shifts in social media will affect your content marketing programs in 2017
Increasing Mobile and App Power. This channel has been growing by leaps and bounds for some time. It’s now reported to have surpassed desktop as the means to transmit content. It’s a phenomenon that’s happening across the globe. Web designers have been adapting graphic and text formats from the desktop environment to fit handheld devices. They may have to shift to design specifically for mobile first. In the meantime, Google has introduced Accelerator Mobile Pages, a lighter version of a web page that will load ultra-fast on mobile.
In 2017 content creators will have to put mobile first and explore how to write more effectively for a hand held device. You can’t expect to download a white paper, but you can read blogs and articles written with mobile in mind. The next frontier is Apps. If your company doesn’t have one, it will before too long, and you’ll have to know how to write and market its content.
Email Resurgence. Now that social media channels are more focused on revenue, brands are returning to email as a way to grow and engage their target audiences. CMI reported that BuzzFeed added over a million email subscribers last year. And its joint study with MarketingProfs B2B revealed that email is now the top rated online channel for content marketing success (91% compared with 56% for YouTube and 39% for Facebook). News media companies are also following suit. The Washington Post has more than 75 e-newsletters, and the New York Times has a dedicated team for its e-newsletters as well as blogs by prominent columnists.
With increasingly sophisticated marketing automation tools for email at your disposal, you have the ability to tailor communications, capture lead intelligence, drive repeat purchasing, enhance the overall experience of your targeted audience, and much more. Be sure to factor in the impact that email messaging can have on your content marketing strategy in 2017.
The Return of Print. Not that print ever really left. After all, EarthColor lives to meet your communication print needs to promote your content. But, in the tradition of “everything old is new again,” a number of big brands are expected to launch targeted print magazines to help them stand out from the digital marketing crowd. Last year, hip NYC fashion boutique Vfiles launched their print magazine Womb. And Airbnb and Hearst recently published airbnb mag with plans to distribute it to Airbnb residences, showcasing content from people who provide and use this service. We hope to see much more. With advances in variable data printing technology, be sure to consider print as one element of your content marketing strategy in 2017.
The trends described here and in our previous blog represent several of the ones under discussion by thought leaders in the content marketing community, what trends in content marketing are you experiencing in your business in 2017? If you have questions or need help, please give our in-house experts a call. We would like to hear from you.