Content, content, content. What does it even mean?
And should you care?
I admit it. I bang on about content. Content marketing, content strategies, content format….
But I’m in the business of developing content. And as a business owner, you’re in the business of creating relationships with customers. And how do you do that? With content. Your marketing spiels, your lead generation activities, your print collateral, your social media channels, your website, your SEO ranking… they all need content.
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” ~ Robert Rose
Now I know as avid readers of my “CONTENT” that you know the basics, but let’s take a look at the content trends for both B2C and B2B marketing to watch in 2017:
- Buying Influencers. Influencers don’t only bring their audience to your brand, they also bring their audience’s network. Influencers are effectively brand advocates, or niche promoters, who use their expertise, popularity, or reputation to influence the buying decisions of their audience.
- Live Streaming. Expected to grow in popularity, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and SnapChat are making it easier than ever to host live product briefings, tours, tutorials, product launch events, and more.
- User-generated Content. It’s not hard to believe that people trust content made by others more than they trust a brands’ content. So when it comes to user-generated content like social shares, reviews and comments – you better be paying attention!
- Email Newsletters. Of all the ways to grow an audience, email has emerged as the most critical. I know everyone likes to believe that email is dead, but you only have to look to the big guys for proof of consumers appetite for email. The Washington Post now has over 75 e-newsletters, and The New York Times has 12 people dedicated to newsletters! If you’re considering a newsletter to promote your brand, 2017 is probably a good time to launch.
- Print. On the flip side of email marketing, businesses looking to cut through the digital clutter are moving to print. Airbnb and publishing partner Hearst recently launched Airbnb mag. Despite a convincing email campaign, they’ll distribute their print magazine of content created and curated from people who provide and use the Airbnb service to Airbnb homes.
- Storytelling. The mainstay of any content marketing strategy, storytelling ensures that you’re not pushing content out for content’s sake. Simply blogging for no reason, or updating social media for the sake of it won’t cut it anymore. You need to engage with your audience and tell them a story.
- Visual Content. Fundamental to the web, entire social platforms are now dedicated to visual content. Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest aren’t just for retailers and the creative – a picture really is worth a thousand words.