Image source: William Iven
Marketing is constantly evolving. Over the past few years, we’ve seen new social media platforms, new strategies, and new tactics. Everyone from entrepreneurs to experienced marketers/CEOs have had to rethink their strategies and tactics.
Among other changes, in 2016 we saw increasing interest in “content marketing” and a huge increase in noise on social media. The below graph from Google Trends shows that interest in content marketing flattened in the second half of 2016.
It seemed like everyone was writing about content marketing in 2016. We too wrote a few posts in 2016 on content marketing on the crowdSPRING blog: How To Create Content Marketing Unicorns, A Mile In Their Shoes: Framing Your Content Marketing Strategy, and Repurpose Great Writing With Visual Content Marketing.
And of course, everyone was content marketing. This created a lot of noise and many companies found themselves struggling to stand out.
2017 will bring a new set of marketing changes and opportunities. To learn more about what we’re going to see happen in marketing in 2017, we reached out to six marketing experts and asked them for their insights.
According to Harris, content marketing is going to continue to trend into 2017- expanding well beyond blog posts. Harris, the CEO of Elumynt, a digital marketing agency, thinks that it won’t be enough for companies to hire strong writers or have their own employees write from experience:
Every startup is trying to create an “epic” blog post, which is making it harder and harder to rank (and harder and harder to outdo each other). The savvy ones will need to bring on experts to help with their blog strategy, but they will also need to spend time creating many other forms of content — such as video, graphics, podcasts and more. Hiring a “writer” to be your content strategist simply won’t work in 2017.
We couldn’t agree more. Trying to write an “epic” blog post is like trying to become a Silicon Valley unicorn overnight. It’s the modern version of trying to create a viral video, five years ago, that would be seen by tens of millions.
Instead of focusing on the attention grabbing, potentially explosive content, companies should focus on creating high quality content that people will actually want to read. In 2017, your content will have to stand out on its own in a sea of tweets, posts, and emails.
Value Driven Marketing
When asked about the next year in marketing, Josh Steimle focused on three key points: influencer marketing, empathy, and speed. Ultimately, Steimle emphasizes the idea that marketing in 2017 will focus on empathy, because it’s the way that customers differentiate high quality and low quality content. In 2016, there was a lot of useless content being pushed to consumers every day. Low quality content quickly becomes annoying and turns people away from your brand. But Steimle says that 2017 will be different:
In 2017, one advantage great marketers have that will become more clear is empathy–the ability to truly understand consumers. Many marketers just don’t “get it” and they’re trying to push what worked in the past, the “interruption marketing” as Seth Godin has described it. The ultimate victory will belong not to marketers who figure out how to interrupt consumers and get in their face, but the winning marketers will provide what consumers want, the way consumers want it, and there will be more of a win-win mentality.” Great marketers are concerned less with protecting what they create, and more concerned with connecting with consumers in an authentic way and moving fast to maintain that connection so somebody else doesn’t take their spot.
Steimle believes that companies will need to have a more clear idea of why they are asking for something and how they are going to provide true value to their customer outside of the product. In 2017, consumers will become more picky and smarter.
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