A new year means new trends in the world of Content Marketing. Recognising these trends and understanding them will separate your content from the overwhelming mass of content this is being produced by an increasing number of businesses of all sizes. Over the past year content production increased by over 300% with only 5% of online content having 10 or more shares. . We believe that the key to creating greater engagement is constantly monitor what’s appealing to audiences and to develop great content that informs rather than sells.
Here are the top 8 Content Marketing trends for 2017.
- Targeting Audiences
There will be a greater focus on content specialisation, appealing to niche audiences. Increased engagement here is directly linked to the value of the information contained in the content. Amanda Todorovich, Content Marketing Director Cleveland Clinic describes the approach as “right content on the right channel at the right time.”.
- Buying Influencers and their audience
Rather than building their own audience and media sites, businesses are purchasing an influencers media brand. This gives them a dedicated audience and an established voice for their content. The difference between purchasing an Influencer and a celebrity endorsement is authenticity, with brands being both able to fully purchase or partner with influencers there will be an increase in both to boost a brands credibility2. Musefind’s research supports this, with 88% of people trusting online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
- Mobile use
There is still a growing divide between the online use of mobile and desktop computers, with 65% percent of digital time spent on mobile devises compared to 35% on desktop. With this increasing trend content needs to be both accessible and appealing to mobile users and that means adjusting content length and sentence structure for easy reading.
Online content is being overproduced and consumers simply don’t have the time to wade through it all. Email newsletters deliver your content straight to interested and engaged subscribers. Email newsletters in 2017 are moving towards quality content to combat automated spam filters and to grow an audience. BuzzFeed is an example of the continued success of email with an increase of 1 million subscribers in the past year.
With media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat built on visual content and sharing, their increasing popularity is a callout for business to harness this trend and create content specific for these platforms. Having platform specific content will increase its uniqueness to consumers. With Snapchat surpassing Facebook in total video views its visual content is reaching customers in an inarguably efficient way. Instagram had a total of 600 million users in June 2016 and is still increasing. This visual content is largely mobile based, another trend that contributes to its content marketing success.
- Live video
With the introduction of Facebook Live, video streaming has become more accessible at a rapidly increasing rate. In this era of clickbait, fake news, and ‘post-truths’ there has been an increased demand in undoctored and authentic content. Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert stated that “the rise of live video …will cause brands to use documentary-style communication, warts and all.”2. Most live video streaming, allows for live audience reaction and interaction as well which them can further increase an audience but also lead to negative trolling.
- Hardcopy and print distribution
To combat the mass of online content businesses are returning to hardcopy print. With Zines still being a popular niche medium, businesses can harness this trend to further the impact of their content, and compliment their online presence. Publishing print magazines had hit a marketing low5 and the only way to go was up, as this is proving to be an effective way to stand out from the online crowd.
- More quality content
Sadly content marketing’s increasing popularity and relevance to success means that companies will continue to churn out content for the sake of creating content. This is contributing to consumer ‘content shock’ 5, where people simply don’t have the time or interest to wade through unnecessary and irrelevant publications. This particular trend means that businesses will need to focus on the trends that create a standout and effective content marketing strategy such as differing media platforms, and specific content for target audiences.
As content marketing is a moving feast we will continue to monitor these trends and use them to our advantage for our clients over the coming months.
 Beckon, (2016). Marketing truth or marketing hype?. 1st ed. [ebook] San Francisco: Beckon, pp.4-19. Available at: https://pages.beckon.com/rs/976-IET-418/images/Marketing-Truth-or-Marketing-Hype-Beckon-Report.pdf [Accessed 23 Jan. 2017].
 Pulizzi, J. (2016). 60+ Content Marketing Predictions for a Successful 2017 [New E-Book]. [online] Content Marketing Institute. Available at: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/12/content-marketing-predictions-2017/ [Accessed 19 Jan. 2017].
 Yemu Li, J. (2017). Why influencer marketing? – Influencer Marketing 101. [online] Medium. Available at: https://medium.com/influencer-marketing-101/why-influencer-marketing-7ced8c087dd9#.k3p86weu0 [Accessed 23 Jan. 2017].
 Sutter, B. (2016). Content Marketing Trends – What To Expect In 2017 And Beyond. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansutter/2016/12/02/8-trends-that-will-shape-content-marketing-in-2017/#69de33d42970 [Accessed 23 Jan. 2017].
 Pulizzi, J. (2016) Five Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017. [online] Content Marketing Institute. Available at: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/12/content-marketing-trends-watch/ [Accessed 19 Jan. 2017].
 Pulizzi, J. (2016) The Biggest Content Marketing Trends in 2017 [online] Content Marketing Institute. Available at: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/08/content-marketing-trends// [Accessed 19 Jan. 2017].