If you follow marketing topics like social media, content, and inbound, you know how every December through January your newsfeed on all social media seems to fill up with articles with titles like, “Ultimate Content Marketing Plan for 20XX” or “Trends for Social Media Marketing that Payoff in 20XX“, you get the idea.
It’s the end of July and someone shared an infographic about the coming content marketing trends for 2016. The share wasn’t getting a lot of engagement obviously because we’re on the downhill slide to 2017, shouldn’t we be thinking about that? If you’re like me, you’re already planning content for Halloween, thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and how to end 2016 on a high note for inbound marketing. What you might be missing is the value in that older piece of content in terms of seeing what they got right about it. What trends were predicted correctly? What methods for content marketing were implemented in 2016?
The infographic was large and had a lot of information. Some trends were not so well predicted, like AI being a huge factor in 2016 content marketing. I don’t see artificial intelligence creating engaging content for readers, at least not yet. We all saw that AI that went full on Nazi weirdo on Twitter. I think AI will have a place in the future, but it is going to be difficult to replace the human to human engagement.
One thing that will always be useful is informational/educational content about what your brand does and why you do it. Being transparent and genuine with your content about those two aspects will vault your brand forward faster than writing about how much bigger, better, cheaper, quality your product or service is. Big deal, why should someone trust you? Are you an expert in your market? Can a prospect trust you to solve their problem or relieve their pain point? That’s some of the things your content should be giving anyone that lands on your site content-wise. No one wants to read an ad or an instruction manual.
One thing that was predicted correctly was the explosion of the mobile market. That market segment is another aspect many people who have been marketing for years are missing out on. Making your site mobile-friendly just meant it doesn’t display wonky on various devices. You have to gear your content for mobile users in short bites and rich images/interesting video. Interesting tip I just read from ThinkwithGoogle.com stated,”87% of Millenials have smartphones at their side, day and night.” That’s huge. It means you need to leverage that for your marketing starting NOW. Think about social media, it’s fast moving. You need short blurbs, rich images, and video if you want to stay competitive.
87% of Millenials have smartphones at their side, day and night.”-ThinkwithGoogle.com
The one constant in content marketing is it must be well done. There definitely is not a one-size-fits-all approach that works. After hitting the mark for engaging content, all kinds of tweaks and unique things will be needed to fit your brand. That’s where you have to do regular checkups and see what is working.