The content marketing trends emerging in 2017

Linh Dao
Journalist

Only two months into 2017 and we have already seen many interesting developments in the content marketing world. Already we are starting to see the trends are shaping brands’ strategies.

Live streaming

Live videos are all over the Internet. So much so that during the Super Bowl this year, some brands filmed their ads live. 

The case of GM using Facebook Live to introduce their new electric car shows this format works for branded events too.

However, it’s worth noting that live streaming is “not a magic bullet that can hit every target. But it can hit the most important target, and it hits hard.” We can expect to see this format being incorporated more and more into brands’ content marketing arsenal.

Non-fiction storytelling

Linking from the live video trend, consumers seem to respond well to documentary-style videos that show how brands operate behind the scene.

With the fake news phenomenon, consumers are craving more unedited, truthful stories from brands.

Moreover, stories around corporate social responsibility, highlighting how brands contribute to sustainability, diversity and inclusion, or community involvement, are getting more popular. For instance, ride-sharing company Lyft, among others like Starbucks and Airbnb flaunted their good deeds in reaction to Trump’s immigration ban.

Interactive content

More creative content formats will be deployed to enhance brand engagement. Interactive polls, e.g. allowing the audience to use Facebook reactions to cast their vote, are gaining traction.

A live-video style of polling. Source: Facebook

A live-video style of polling. Source: Facebook

Remember the Pokemon Go phenomenon last year? Technologies such as VR and AR present new avenues for interactive content, although marketers may want to consider the user case on mobile first.

Pay-to-play

Facebook’s ad revenue has skyrocketed by 57%, with Instagram’s contribution speculated to surge by 96% year-on-year.  What it means for marketers is as these platforms grow in user base, organic reach might be too hard to attempt. Meanwhile, Facebook has been pushing more features to attract brand advertisers, such as the sound on option for video ads

Resurgence of email

Many sceptics have questioned the viability of this marketing channel but thanks to the growing popularity of mobile devices, email is still a worthwhile investment. Moreover, with the rise of ad blocking and decline in social media organic reach, it looks like marketers will not ditch email campaigns just yet. However, email relevancy is still a big issue, and marketers need to come up with more creative ways to spice up their emails.

Influencer marketing

Micro-influencers are poised to create big impact for brands not only in terms of reach, but also engagement. They are attractive because:

  • They are much more accessible than celebrity endorsers
  • They have vested interests in the communities they’ve cultivated

Battle between the platforms

Marketers need to keep a close watch on how the tech giants compete. Why? Better platforms will attract users, hence, eyeballs for your content.

Facebook and its subsidiaries (Instagram and WhatsApp) have been “copying” Snapchat’s features, to the tune of 17 times to date.

Snapchat has been making a lot of noise around its IPO and Spectacles introduction.

YouTube has recently introduced live streaming for content creators with over 10,000 subscribers, joining the live video craze.

Meanwhile, Twitter seems to struggle with sluggish growth, declining ad revenue and financial losses as well.


Linh Dao
Author

A content marketer with journalism background helping businesses tap the power of strategic storytelling.

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