Every year, the online snowball that’s content marketing seems to be getting bigger and rolling downhill faster. Next year will be no exception and if you’re gazing into the crystal ball to see where your content strategies need to go, you’ll see some familiar trends that are building out and some new ideas that are coming into their own. Remember the best Albuquerque content marketing is a quick and slippery animal that’s always changing and if you want to get that fish in your online boat, you need to keep apprised of all the trends as they develop.
A good strategy means you need to stop and think……
There is no doubt the Internet is a gaping maw always needing to be fed and while Content is still King, quality content is a lot like those carefully regurgitated worms mother birds feed their young. Those mommy birds take the time to make sure they feed their babies a quality meal that will help them to grow and stay strong.
Okay. Now that we’ve got that out of our system, here’s a few statistics about how important having a good content strategy really is. Recent research has shown that over 70% of marketers in the B2B arena are creating more content than they did last year, and a full 54% of those find it hard to produce the kind of engaging quality content that Google requires and customers crave. So, if the numbers are showing us that many of these marketers are putting the cart before the horse (sorry, couldn’t resist!) then what does a good content marketing strategy look like heading into the New Year?
1.Don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater.. Old habits like using metaphors die hard but not all of them are detrimental when it comes to content marketing. All indications are you should never miss an opportunity to use email wherever possible in any of your online marketing strategies going forward. Find it hard to believe that a technique so “Old School” can be so effective? Check out these numbers. Salesforce reports that 80% of business as reported in their 2015 State of Marketing Report they tied emails to their primary revenue.
2.Longer posts have a better reach. Don’t let the incessant demands of Internet marketing get inside your head and cause you to panic. There was a time where 200 word posts that relied heavily on keywords were the benchmark and standard everyone wrote to but, like everything else online, that standard has changed. It’s better to write posts that are over 1000 words long that will help you to pack that one/two punch of better search rankings and value to the reader. Today’s best practices are about creating interesting things to read for the people you want to entice to buy your goods and services. Trying to game the system with keyword stuffing and other black hat techniques will only put you on Google’s radar which has become almost instantaneous with the latest updates.
3.“Intelligent” content gets out in front of new eyeballs. As you might have already noticed there’s lots of catchphrases and new sayings cropping up every day when it comes to finding and putting together content strategy that works. If there’s one that’s more redundant than the rest, it has to be the whole notion behind intelligent content. Reason being, producing anything less is an insult to your target market and most of the people who are producing substandard content are trying to game the SEO system one way or another. Writing well and producing blogs and other types of text that have value and are grammatically correct is really a no-brainer if you have respect for the online system and your customers alike. Next year, you’ll hear a lot about getting your message out in front of new eyeballs but that’s really another word for the type of syndication that’s been around for years. The difference is in the online world it’s a good idea to make sure your guest blogging on sites that have good page rank/domain authority.
Building an audience is another important element that you need to take a good look at. Realistically, people who only tend to their business once in a while don’t make the money that someone who’s constantly tweaking and plugging away at their enterprise does. The same goes for writing and that trend will continue well into next year. Consider the fact a recent Hubspot survey found that a full 82% of business owners that had a daily blog on their website reported getting at least one customer for their efforts as opposed to the 57% that only blogged monthly.
What about innovation, you ask? Isn’t there anything new on the horizon for 2017 that will change the content marketing landscape forever?
Next year will be the year of mobile….no really!
While we’ve been hearing for several years now how critical and imminent it is that your website is mobile friendly, the cut off will be 2017. Don’t believe that? Say you’ve heard it all before? Well, then…. here’s a few more numbers you’ll need to pay attention to:
- Smart Insights is a research company that has a name like that for a very good reason. They’re telling us that 80% of Internet users have a smartphone. And we all know these smart phones are the way an entire generation communicates with each other and gets their information. When you look at it that way you can see right away how important it is to polish up your mobile content strategy.
- The same company tells us of 48% of consumers start looking for goods and services by using a search engine through their mobile phone. Don’t get left behind next year. The final little tidbit from this research bucket tells us that 68% of companies that responded to the survey have integrated of mobile technology into their overall marketing plans. Mobile is a content wave that’s growing and cresting right behind you so you need to grab your board and ride it out.
Video catches an even bigger wave next year, dude
There was a time not that long ago that people were predicting video would replace written text and find its place on the top of the content hill. While that never really happened because they work together and complement each other, video has dug in and firmly entrenched itself on the content marketing battlefield. Next year will see much more of the same as marketers tweak and adjust their strategies for this all important part of a complete marketing toolbox.
- An increase in video apps. All the numbers tell us that the 13 to 24-year-old crowd is coming up fast behind the Millennials and love visual content and apps. Smart companies that are looking at combining the two will make their goods and services more accessible to a whole new swath of consumers. Next year will definitely see more and better video apps working their way into the markets.
- More blurring of the lines between the value-added information and entertainment as far as video marketing goes. Consumers want to be entertained and informed at the same time and the recent trend that’s just emerged can accomplish both and will pick up steam next year
- Look for tag teaming between the old and the new. Here we’re talking about a new wave where email marketing and video work together and that only makes sense when you consider the new apps that are all allowing videos to be embedded more often. We are predicting next year will see email marketing make a strong push on the back of videos that will complement the text.
- Web design will get a video make over. There are lots of great places and there will be even more interesting new ways to post your videos online in 2017, but of course everything leads back to the website so, you’ll want to have videos front and center there too. One of the techniques we’re expecting to see more of are videos to start playing as soon as a prospect lands on a website. It’s a great way to try and snag visitors and turn them into conversions before they get a chance to click away.
New Years Resolution: Reputation Management
With an increased emphasis on quality content and the flood that it’s sure to bring, making sure the reputation of your company stays afloat like a raft on an ever deepening ocean will be important next year.
First piece of advice? Don’t get blindsided…..
There are still more than a few businesses out there that don’t understand the importance of being proactive when it comes to reputation management. Translation? They’re left sitting like a deer in the headlights in the middle of the tracks when someone comes to lay claim to their good name. So here’s what you’ll need to focus on:
Spread yourself out but not too thin…
The idea is to have a presence in all relevant social media sites that you are using for marketing. It’s not important to spread yourself out too thin but painting an even coat across the sites that matter to your industry will help you to stay proactive if your reputation is attacked. For example:
- LinkedIn is the place where professionals meet. This high-end water cooler is a site that carries a lot of weight in the corner office world and having a presence there gives you some much added weight.
- Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest are other social media sites that you should be establishing a beachhead on if your product needs to have a visual approach that you might need to protect.
- As we’ve already discussed in this article, video is going to become important and embedded in some new platforms in 2017, so you should be ready to defend your reputation through this medium too. There will undoubtedly be a new wave of apps that will help you to share those YouTube videos next year.
Just being there isn’t good enough
The more you interact with your customers the better your branding will be and the stronger your reputation. If you take your foot off the gas for any amount of time, any posts that you put up will be strong enough to outrank negative comments posted by your business enemies. You can keep an eye on your progress by checking on your followers and likes and interacting with the comments on your website to build the kind of online creds that will make a difference if you need it to.
Bang away at blogging because you can’t reinvent the wheel
You’ve probably been waiting for this one to crop up again in our predictions and trends for 2017 when it comes to content marketing, so we won’t disappoint. Although people have tried over the years, it’s really hard to reinvent the wheel. That’s the reason we want to draw focus on blogging is one of the things that you need to consider to get the best of content marketing next year.
While some of the foundations to your content marketing House will stay the same in 2017, other rooms will be adding extensions that will make them leaner and meaner. Next year it’ll pay off in spades for you to have a good content strategy and to put your nose to the grind stone and implemented consistently. Remember, it doesn’t matter what kind of tools the Internet comes up with the help you along, everything is still fuelled by consistent hard work.