As we bid adieu to 2016, we gear up for (what we hope) will be an incredible 2017, we take a look at what content marketing looked like in 2016. At the heart of it, content marketing is all about zeroing in on your exact target audience and giving it something it wants. Conversely, it content marketing can also be about creating something extraordinary and marketing it to the appropriate audience. Whichever way you look at it, it’s all about giving people what they want. Companies, both big and small, are vying for consumer attention and trying to uncover new and improved ways of connecting with their audiences. In 2016, companies finally awoke to the importance of quality content over mass produced content. Let’s see how content marketing will shape up in 2017.
Video floodgates have finally opened!
In 2016, Snapchat, Periscope and Vine made it right to the top of the content marketing charts. One of the most versatile marketing tactics in the market today, videos can range anywhere between six seconds to full length films and are far more immersive than say, written content, as long as they pertain to the marketing goals. Now this is really important. Whether you want to live stream an event, or give a 6-second sneak peek into behind-the-scenes action, your video messaging must, at all times, pertain to your marketing goals. Quick tips on how to use video: leverage video content to market your product with detailed or brief product walk-throughs, tutorials, demos or even product unveilings. Personally, I hope to see more user-generated content in 2017. It’s, without doubt, one of the best ways to engage your customers, while generating new and interesting content.
Educate, don’t sell
Since time immemorial, “marketing” pretty much meant product marketing; listing out product features, thereby increasing the products saleability. But things have changed since and in 2017, companies will focus on providing value first, rather than trying to hard-sell their products. Let me illustrate with an example. Marketers, for the longest time, have focused all their marketing efforts towards selling a product to those who know what they’re looking for. But what about those who don’t know what they’re looking for? What about the people who weren’t even aware they had a problem to begin with? That, right there, ought to become your starting point. Start with the problem and work your way up to the solution, rather than going out there and saying, “Hey! Here’s a product that will solve all your problems!” Instead, think of it as saying, “Hey! Don’t you hate it when this happens? Perhaps this could help.”
Find influencers to build your community
Influencer marketing is the next big thing in the world of content marketing. Think of it as a brand endorsement, if you will. Now think back to all the things you’ve ever bought. Chances are most of your purchases were made through recommendations by people you trust or reading