What to Expect from the Upcoming Months in Content and Why They Will Make a Difference for Your Business

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JANUARY 2017

I’m going to say it right now. Content marketing is going to be huge for your business in 2017. Why? Because it generates 3X as many conversations as outbound marketing. And did I mention that it’s also cheaper? Who wouldn’t want to spend less and make more? Follow along as we talk about the top trends for content marketing in 2017 as well as some important statistics from last year. The goal is to guide you in your creation of your content marketing strategy for 2017.

Hopefully by now you’re at least a little intrigued about content marketing 2017 and wondering what effect it can have on your business this year. Let me start by going over the top 10 trends and models that you should be following in 2017.

  1. Relationship building. Customers want to feel like they know you and your business. They want to have a relationship with you. You must build trust with them. Once you do that, they’ll feel a lot more comfortable purchasing your product or service. Think about it for a minute. Imagine that you are looking to purchase a new stove for your kitchen. There are endless places you could buy this from. You could purchase it from a large department store, or you could buy it from your friend’s small business appliance store in your hometown. You do some research and find a stove you love at both places, but it’s $10 more at your friend’s store. Where do you purchase it? 9 times out of 10 you’re going to purchase it from your friend’s store, even though it costs slightly more. Why? Because you have a relationship with your friend and feel more comfortable buying from him. Customers want the same type of relationship with your business. By sharing good content with your customers, you are doing just that.
  1. Be Mobile. It’s no surprise here, but your content should be easy to view on mobile devices. This is because there is more traffic on the internet from phones or tablets than desktops. This is also true for email marketing. Over 50% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Again, this is not too surprising, but something important to keep in mind as the shift will continue to get greater throughout the year.
  1. Longer content. It used to be that short, sweet, and to the point was the way to be. Now, we’re seeing longer content become more and more popular. The average blog post was 1,050 words in 2016. That’s 19% longer than just one year prior. As long as your content has value, customers will engage in it. But remember, don’t just create content with long paragraphs. Readers will lose interest quickly. Put your content into bullet points to make it easier to read.
  1. Visual content. It’s important for your content to have some sort of visual aspect to it. Many people are visual learners, so they are more likely to remember your content if you include pictures or infographics. Visual content is also more likely to get shared on social media than just strictly written content. Who knows, maybe your visual content will go viral!
  1. Focus on the audience. This is probably the most important trend of all. Personalize your content for your audience. The most effective content creation in 2017 will be those that tailor their message to fit the likes and interests of their target audience. Having tailored content also increases the likelihood of people interacting with and sharing your content. This means more brand awareness for you! 
  1. Search engine optimization. Did you know that search engine optimization is the most effective way for companies to increase their online presence? We live in a world with a short online attention span, so it’s best for your company to be within the top 3 results on a Google search. Anything lower than that, and the amount of people clicking on your website is very little. Use SEO strategies to optimize your content so you will get noticed on Google. A simple way to do this is to create and publish consistent content. 
  1. Email marketing is not dead. Email marketing is still the second best marketing strategy out there, right behind search engine optimization. Email open rates are actually going up in some cases. According to Forbes magazine, email marketing has a 16% acquisition rate. That’s pretty significant if you compare it to Facebook’s 1%. 2017 is a good year to get on board with email newsletters and content. 
  1. Video marketing. Video marketing will continue to be popular this year. This is because people are viewing more and more media on their mobile devices and computers than on their TVs. This is especially true for millennials who grew up in a digital world.
  1. Although its use has declined a little bit in recent years, Facebook will still be beneficial for your company this year. Facebook is a huge platform for content sharing and discovery. If you want your content to be shared on this platform, make sure your business has a presence on it in 2017.
  1. Businesses will continue getting better at content marketing. Over 60% of content marketers say that they were much more effective with content marketing in 2016. That’s a huge increase from the year prior where only 30% of marketers thought their content creation was successful. The numbers will increase again this year as businesses develop new strategies and try new things. 

1111None of the above trends should be too big of a surprise to you. A lot of the trends are things we also did in 2016. The trick for 2017 is just to create more content. On average, about 70% of companies are going to be creating more content in 2017.

According to those statistics, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to increase your company’s content creation in 2017 in order to keep up with the competition.

Here are some other important statistics to keep in mind when shaping your content marketing 2017 strategies:

  • Of marketers using interactive content in 2016, 75% of them plan to increase their use of it in 2017. Since the content is highly engaging, businesses are able to gather valuable consumer insight to help them shape future strategies. Remember, you want to tailor your content to a specific audience!
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  • Email newsletters with personalized subject lines are over 25% more likely to get opened. People tend to weed out spam and advertisement emails that have generic titles. Personalize your subject line and more customers will open your emails.
  • Nearly 65% of marketers will outsource their content creation in 2017. With an increase in the need to publish content more frequently, many businesses are using teams of freelance writers to help them. This helps to free up time for their internal team and leaves content creation to the true experts.
  • 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content to publish each day. Consistency is the key here. If you want to grow your business, you need to create consistent and valuable content that consumers want to read and interact with. If done correctly, this can also help your search engine optimization.
  • Over 75% of CMOs believe custom content creation is the future of marketing. It’s important to spend some time getting to know your target audience. Check out blogs and social media where your prospects could be spending time. Take note of what they are discussing so you can tailor your content to them. This will help to generate new leads for your business and well as speak to your current customers.
  • For the most effective marketers, nearly 40% of the budget is spent on content creation. More and more businesses are discovering how beneficial it is to create valuable content so we predict this number will continue increasing. Consumers are looking for valuable content from businesses, so a good chunk of your budget should be spent creating this content.
  • 72% of marketers believe that content creation is more effective than magazine advertisements. Traditional advertising continues to decline as the focus shifts to the online marketing.
  • The average attention span for internet readers is only 37 seconds. Make sure to create content that is easy to read. Bullet points and bolded text is the best way to make important parts of your content stand out to readers. If you don’t, readers will lose interest before you even have a chance to capture their attention.
  • Over the past year, the need to include infographics has increased by 800%. The infographics are an easy way for readers to process a large amount of information. Also, readers are 3X more likely to share infographics on social media than they are just regular written content.
  • Long blog posts generate 9X more leads than short ones. They tend to go more in-depth which increases the educational value for the reader. It’s important to provide high quality content with your long blog posts because this builds a relationship with the reader, which then translates into sales.
  • Nearly 50% of marketers say blogging is their #1 content creation strategy for 2017. This is because it allows them to easily put out content, build relationships with their readers, and improve SEO efforts for their website.
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As you can see, content marketing in 2017 cannot be overlooked. If you don’t yet have a strategy in place, it’s never too late! Start brainstorming now so your business can reap the benefits this year.

You may be asking how you can get a budget together for content marketing 2017. The good news is that content marketing is cheaper than paid advertising. Quite a bit cheaper actually. And, you can reuse your content two or three different times. That’s definitely value added for your business. Currently, 18% of companies say that they are going to allocate 10% of their overall budget to content marketing. That’s a pretty significant amount of money. Businesses continue to recognize how beneficial content creation is for engaging with their targeted audience and generating new leads.

There you have it. That is a lot of content to soak up in a short amount of time. Let me summarize really quick for you:

  • Content marketing will be absolutely valuable in 2017 as people continue to block out paid advertising. More and more companies are making the shift to focus on SEO strategies and content creation.
  • Content marketing trends in 2017 include building relationships with your audience, creating mobile friendly content, longer valuable content with visual infographics, and focus on the audience. All of these trends will be essential to get on board with this year.
  • Create and publish content on a consistent basis to keep readers coming back for more.
  • The average attention span of an online reader is only 37 seconds. Make sure to grab their attention right away. Include infographics or other visuals to keep them interested.
  • Personalize your content to better fit with your specific audience.

Overall, if you follow the above trends and take notice of the statistics, you can have a successful content marketing strategy put in place this year. Take a few moments to brainstorm several ideas that would work for your audience. Research competitors and take notice on what your audience is interested in. Visit their social media sites. See what they are talking about. This will help you put together a strategy that will best suite them. If you do this, it will lead to sales for your business. That’s what we all want, right?

What if you need help along the way? Don’t worry! Iris Content is here to help you with all of your content marketing needs. Our friendly and dedicated group of content experts will create exceptional content for your business. Contact us to learn more. Whatever your needs are, we’re here to help. We’d love to help your business succeed in 2017!

Annie Ianko

Content Happiness Advisor

Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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