After working within content marketing for the past few years and speaking at numerous industry conferences throughout 2016, I've been immersed in the issues that continue to impact content marketing trends. It has provided me with a unique perspective to highlight potential upcoming trends.
The following content marketing trends might have an effect on your own organization in the coming months:
1. Formal Content Marketing Strategies
As I've grown my organization, I've discovered the need for a formal 12-month strategy to document my content marketing plans, including themes, audience, platforms and topics. This appears to be on the minds of many other organizations as well, according to the Content Marketing Institute's B2B report for 2017.
Of the 1,102 North America-based B2B marketers surveyed for the report, 61 percent said having a "documented content marketing strategy" helped make their "organization's overall content marketing approach...extremely or very successful."
Having a formal strategy is a content marketing trend that can help you stay focused and increase the amount of content you produce. When doing this for your own company, consider tying all aspects of this strategy to a specific purpose so that you're covering everything content-marketing-related. You can also go back and compare the analytical data you collect on how that content marketing strategy performed throughout the year.
2. Greater Volume of Relevant Content
The voracity of content consumption is only growing as more businesses and consumers get used to accessing all types of information online—especially if it helps them tackle certain issues in business and in life. The aforementioned CMI report found that 70 percent of B2B marketers will generate more content in 2017 than they did in 2016, making this a content marketing trend that may be hard to ignore.
For your company, this may mean expanding the content you produce across various platforms, including your company blog. You can keep your content relevant by continuing to read and research any key topics and issues being discussed, as well as using reader comments as a gauge for what to write about.
3. Automated Content From Machine Learning for Enhanced Personalization
Machine learning can study what your audience engages with and responds to so that more of that type of content can be produced.
In seeing the increased use of bots and machine learning related to artificial intelligence, you can start testing how these applications might help you produce and automate more personalized content. This can also help provide a way to get even more relevant content out there to engage with the most specific targeted groups you have identified in your strategy.
4. Repurposing Content Into Video Content
Though there's nothing new about the fact that video content continues to grow, there can be plenty of value in purposing your content into video. This approach presents your audience with ideas in a more memorable way than just reading about them in an article or blog. It can also help you generate additional content without always having to produce something brand new.
5. Ephemeral Content
I think ephemeral, or temporary, content is one of the most interesting content marketing trends this year, thanks to Snapchat and similar platforms.
I believe we'll see this trend grow in 2017, as Snapchat videos reached 10 billion views daily last year. Depending on your industry, this may make it a key tactic to test in 2017.
6. Increased Email Marketing Content
Despite some companies' use of spam disguised as content, email is still a platform many consumers and businesses use for viewing content. This may be because it's easy to access on a mobile device.
While it may be easier to use email automation, it may not be the best approach as email is still a great way to reach customers in 2017. For now, you can continue to create rich, highly engaging email content and refine your email lists to become more targeted. You may want to consider testing any machine learning technology in the coming year to see if automation can still remain personalized without being construed as spam.
As someone who has watched the evolution of content marketing, I see 2017 and beyond as an exciting time. These aforementioned valuable tools can help add depth to the content we produce and experiences we provide to keep our audiences engaged.
John Rampton is the founder of Palo Alto, California-based Due, a free payments company specializing in helping businesses bill their clients easily online. He is also a member of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).
Read more articles on content marketing.