content marketing trends Exec Digi

7 Content Marketing Trends You Should Be Following

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by Rosy Strategies

Twen­ty years ago, Bill Gates said that “con­tent is king.” His words turned into a glob­al mot­to for con­tent mar­keters, SEO experts, and social media specialists.

Are his words still valid today? We got rid of bad black hat link build­ing strate­gies. We focused on good, rel­e­vant, high qual­i­ty and share­able infor­ma­tion. Thus, con­tent as we know it is on top of its game.

The rise in tech­nol­o­gy put new mar­ket­ing tools and plat­forms with­in our reach. It led con­tent to become more than well-select­ed and well-pre­sent­ed words. It turned it into an instru­ment used to engage users, keep them close, and make them loy­al to your brand.

The Google Trends graph below shows the evo­lu­tion in time of link build­ing and con­tent mar­ket­ing. The con­clu­sion is sim­ple: mod­ern mar­keters need to earn their links. They also have to gen­er­ate con­tent to stay ahead of their com­peti­tors. That con­tent should be more than “infor­ma­tive, enter­tain­ing and thrilling.”

link building content marketing Exec Digi

Are there new con­tent mar­ket­ing trends this year we have to keep an eye on? Of course, there are! We will take a look today at sev­en of them. You might want to con­sid­er inte­grat­ing these trends into your mar­ket­ing strategies!

1. Video Content

We know a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words. Video con­tent mar­ket­ing is on the rise. We have now plen­ty of hot and inno­v­a­tive medi­ums to share this type of con­tent on. A 2014 report found that the amount of video from peo­ple and brands in Facebook’s news feed had increased 3.6 times. Accord­ing to spe­cial­ists, by 2017, 70% of all Inter­net traf­fic will be online videos.

visual content video Exec Digi

Video cap­tures the users’ inter­est instant­ly and keeps them engaged. Video con­tent is share­able and backed up by old and new plat­forms. If you want to step up your game this year think about this: seri­al­ized video con­tent! Series builds inter­est and antic­i­pa­tion as you unfold a par­tic­u­lar nar­ra­tive and makes it a must-fol­low trend this year.

Is it real­ly worth to con­sid­er using videos for pro­mot­ing your busi­ness? Do you have enough resources to study and apply video con­tent in your marketing?

The answer is sim­ple: Yes, it’s worth it. Not only because everyone’s doing it but because the video is one of the most ver­sa­tile and prof­itable dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tools out there. Here are 8 rea­sons why you should use video mar­ket­ing right now.

2. Live Streaming

Live stream­ing is a glob­al phe­nom­e­non, and you just have to browse Twitch to under­stand how big it is. Facebook’s live stream­ing fea­ture hasn’t ful­ly tak­en off yet. But accord­ing to spe­cial­ists in the field, it will be the hottest gig in the city by the end of the year. Here’s a map to dis­cov­er Face­book Live ses­sions all over the world:

facebook live map

Savvy mar­keters won’t use live stream­ing plat­forms to show users a bor­ing day at the office. They will keep them glued to the screen to see a live event. The advan­tages of com­pa­ny events’ live stream­ing are enor­mous. They build a greater audi­ence. They devel­op a feel­ing of urgency in users who feel priv­i­leged to see exclu­sive live shows. They cre­ate user engage­ment and social media buzz. And, most impor­tant­ly, they will make you stand out of the crowd.

3. User Generated Content (UGC)

Accord­ing to research con­duct­ed by Reevoo, users and cus­tomers are your best mar­keters. In fact, 70% of con­sumers place user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent above gener­ic writ­ten con­tent. User-gen­er­at­ed con­tent is:

  • reviews,
  • rec­om­men­da­tions,
  • blog posts,
  • rat­ings,
  • com­ments.

UGC makes sense: your tar­get audi­ence speaks about your com­pa­ny. They will earn the trust of future tar­get audi­ence members.

Attract your users to cre­ate con­tent for you! Dis­play it on your web­site, social media net­work and even store. The good old word of mouth took the dig­i­tal path, and it is work­ing at its full poten­tial. Peo­ple are more will­ing to trust oth­ers who offer heart­felt rec­om­men­da­tions. The Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” cam­paign worked. It enticed peo­ple to share their per­son­al­ized Cola bot­tles on social media. This pho­to shar­ing idea led to an increase of 2% in U.S. sales.

4. Interactive Storytelling

As mar­keters, we shouldn’t ever for­get to ask our­selves what peo­ple want. Accord­ing to recent data, they want to engage in a sto­ry. To become a part of some­thing larg­er. To be more than mere spec­ta­tors to who com­pa­nies sell stuff. It is an emo­tion­al and social game. The stakes grow high­er this year. Inter­ac­tive sto­ry­telling devel­ops deep­er con­nec­tions with your audi­ence. It builds brand rep­u­ta­tion. It engages users in a mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ship with your brand.

There are three points you need to focus on when you want to tell a thrilling sto­ry. They are emo­tion, mes­sage, and morale. One per­fect exam­ple of well-exe­cut­ed sto­ry­telling is an old­er 2013 Guin­ness wheel­chair bas­ket­ball cam­paign. More than sell­ing a prod­uct, Guin­ness remind­ed peo­ple how good it is to share a beer with friends – while help­ing some­one in need.

5. Bring in the Influencers

The endorse­ment is not new in brand­ing and mar­ket­ing. Con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­pelled by influ­encer mar­ket­ing will sky­rock­et this year. A McK­in­sey study showed the fol­low­ing: brands who used ambas­sadors had high­er reten­tion rate. In oth­er words, they got a 35% increase com­pared to paid adver­tise­ments. And they used influ­encers and trendsetters.

You can use social media to con­nect with impor­tant influ­encers in your field of inter­est. Use the same media to share with the world what the ambas­sadors have to say.

Blogs, social net­works, and live events are three of the most impor­tant means to fea­ture your brand influ­encers. They help you have peo­ple lis­ten to them. A recent exam­ple is LuMee’s part­ner­ship with Kim Kar­dashi­an West for pro­mot­ing their LED light­ing mobile phone cas­es. Her social media self­ies fea­ture the cas­es and she also talks about them in her blog.

6. New Social Media

Mar­keters have under­es­ti­mat­ed Insta­gram, Snapchat or Vine. Peo­ple see these plat­forms as per­son­al play­ing grounds. They are use­ful to peo­ple who share con­tent among them. Yet, Insta­gram offers attrac­tive ads and mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to busi­ness­es. And Snapchat is one of the most flex­i­ble and inter­est­ing plat­forms. When it comes to inno­v­a­tive con­tent cam­paigns, of course.

So, mix your SM strate­gies and pick the right mes­sage for the right plat­form. You have Snapchat Sto­ries, Face­book Instant Arti­cles, Google Hang­outs, LinkedIn, aggre­ga­tors and so on.

facebook instant articles

Let’s crunch some num­bers and make some pre­dic­tions.

Insta­gram

  • Insta­gram has around 400 mil­lion active users.
  • If you are a Face­book-ori­ent­ed mar­keter, you know you can run the same Face­book ads on Insta­gram as well. When oppor­tu­ni­ty knocks…
  • If your tar­get cus­tomers are ado­les­cents, you should know that 32% of US teens cite Insta­gram as their favorite social net­work, where­as almost 90% of Insta­gram users are younger than 35 years old.
  • If you have a busi­ness in the food indus­try, you should know that the favorite Insta­grammed food is pizza.
  • Speak­ing of video con­tent and stream­ing, don’t for­get that Insta­gram videos have an aver­age of shar­ing of 24 hours.

Pin­ter­est

  • As of 2015, Pin­ter­est accounts for approx­i­mate­ly 100 mil­lion active users
  • If your prod­ucts or ser­vices address most­ly the female pop­u­la­tion, Pin­ter­est is a plat­form favored by 42% of all online women all over the world.
  • If you haven’t explored this ter­ri­to­ry yet, you should know that an aver­age of 66 per­cent of all con­tent pinned by users belongs to brands.
  • Recent­ly, Pin­ter­est announced a new visu­al search fea­ture allow­ing users to click on an item on an image and open a new search. Visu­al search is per­fect for mar­keters who want to pro­mote and sell spe­cif­ic prod­ucts. If you sell cars and post a pic­ture of a busy street fea­tur­ing that car, users will be able to click on the actu­al car in the pho­to. The click will lead them to oth­er search results for the same prod­uct or sim­i­lar ones.

LinkedIn

  • Some say that if you don’t have a LinkedIn com­pa­ny page you don’t exist. This is anoth­er way of say­ing that over 3 mil­lion com­pa­nies have LinkedIn accounts. Yet, only 17% of US small busi­ness­es use LinkedIn at all.
  • LinkedIn uses the SlideShare app and the news read­er app Pulse since 2012.
  • They opened up their pub­lish­ing plat­form to all mem­bers since 2014.
  • A well designed LinkedIn com­pa­ny page improves search engine rank­ings and is SEO friendly.
  • Recent data shows that 50% of LinkedIn mem­bers are more open and will­ing to pur­chase from a com­pa­ny if they engaged with it on LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn allows you to like and share con­tent as a com­pa­ny; engage oth­er mem­bers; tar­get your mes­sage to a cus­tom audi­ence etc.

These are just some exam­ples on how old but under­used plat­forms can turn into ver­i­ta­ble har­bin­gers of com­pa­ny pres­ence, image, and smart branding.

7. Everything Is Mobile

Accord­ing to recent data, the num­ber of smart­phone users in the U.S. has reached almost 200 mil­lion. Mod­ern mar­keters can­not over­look the pow­er of mobile con­tent mar­ket­ing. If they want to still be in busi­ness. You will expe­ri­ence severe neg­a­tive effects if your web­site is not mobile-friendly.

The mobile world is adapt­able to all old, new and inno­v­a­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion medi­ums. You should adapt your con­tent to mobile users. You can think way beyond videos, pho­tos, and chat. You can tap into e-book read­ing, live streams, news, inter­ac­tive content.

L’Oréal’s eye­lin­er cam­paign on Snapchat is a great exam­ple. Users can take a self­ie and add a spon­sored graph­ic by using the app to take a front-fac­ing pho­to. They will be shown in the eye­lin­er ad as a result. That’s the per­fect inte­gra­tion of mobile and user-gen­er­at­ed content.

 

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