The content marketing trends emerging in 2017

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.

Source: Social Media Today
Source: Social Media Today

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.


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.

Source: Business Insider
Source: Business Insider

How the gig economy is developing in 2017

On this week’s episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast, Rakhal is joined by FreeeUp Founder, Nathan Hirsch to talk about the emergence of the gig economy and how brands like his help freelancers find work.

FreeeUp is a freelancer solution for brands searching for reliable workers in the eCommerce industry. They work with both clients and freelancers to create the perfect fit for projects.

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

Download the episode here

In this episode:

– How brands like FreeeUp are giving millennials the option to choose the hours they work. 

– How using freelancers can enable brands to have a global approach to storytelling.

About the guest:

Nathan Hirsch founded FreeeUp in 2015 to enable businesses to hire remote workers for eCommerce solutions. 


How the gig economy will change in 2017 – Fast Company

Infographic: The Gig Economy is growing at a ridiculous pace – Contently

3 things you should forget when creating content for 2017 – FreeeUp

10 reasons why you should start hiring remote workers – FreeeUp

The dotcom entrepreneur doing it for love not money

If anyone’s Wikipedia page should make for accurate reading, it’s that of Jimmy Donal “Jimbo” Wales, who is the co-founder and promoter of the open-access online encyclopaedia.

Wikipedia was launched by Wales, Lawrence Mark “Larry” Sanger and others in 2001, in reaction to the slow moving ‘safe encyclopaedias’, such as Britannica. Wales and Sanger sought to democratise knowledge and did so by allowing anyone at all to edit and upload entries online.

While Sanger lamented Wikipedia’s “lack of respect for expertise”, Wales saw the project as a vessel for offering the world free access to the sum of human knowledge.

He’s not your usual billionaire dotcom entrepreneur, in that he isn’t a billionaire, even after founding the 5th most popular website in the world his net worth was estimated at $1 million by the New York Times in 2013.

Wales started his career as a trader at Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm. He accumulated enough wealth, by speculating on interest rate and foreign currency fluctuations, to leave financial trading and become an entrepreneur.

As it seems with many dotcom entrepreneurs, Wales’ obsession with the internet led to his success. In graduate school, Wales’s interest in open-source software, allowing programmers to collaborate online, piqued and an obsession to create an online encyclopaedia anyone could edit began.

In 1996 he cofounded search engine, Bomis with Tim Shell and Michael Davis who later formed the initial three-member Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

Bomis was a success, in the short term at least, and turned enough profits to finance Wikipedia’s predecessor. Nupedia had some distinct differences to Wikipedia, but most importantly it relied on peer-reviewed entries written by experts and academics, rather than a broader community of contributors. Bomis kept growing, but Nupedia struggled.

It’s been Wales’ job for many years to campaign and ask the public for money to support Wikipedia in the hope he can prevent the organisation becoming a commercial operation.

Only Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft get more visitors. There are 30 million registered users (137,000 of which have performed an action in the last 30 days), 5.3 million content pages, almost 900 million page edits since Wikipedia was set up and 1275 administrators.

The scale of the operation must make commercialisation tempting, but Wales has stuck to his guns, not considering himself a benevolent dictator, but a constitutional monarch, without any actual power, other than waving.

His early success with Wikipedia saw him become a household name. Bono invited him to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he was named a Young Global Leader. Time Magazine named him one of its 100 Most Influential People of 2006.

Wales is now driven to speak at major forums and events about the threats and opportunities in a globally connected world. He advocates for organisations’ need to innovate in a world that is more open and collaborative than ever before.


Newsmodo is a proud sponsor of the World Business Forum 2017. The 2-day event will see thought-leaders and innovators from around the world gather to share their knowledge and passion for business.

To secure an exclusive 10% off your ticket purchase, quote NEWSMODO10 at checkout.

How Collective Campus is helping brands grow in 2017

Brand innovation is set to take another giant leap in 2017 as we continue to build upon the strides made in previous years. Augmented reality, 3D technology, on-demand television and new gaming platforms are just the tip of the iceberg for the ever evolving tech pipeline. 

The tools available to brands has enabled them to innovate with increasing creativity to find their industry niche. We were joined on the Brand Storytelling podcast by Steve Glaveski, CEO and co-founder of Collective Campus, a hub of innovation and education that enables brands to adopt the mindset and methods needed to thrive in an era of rapid change. 

We talk with Steve about the strategies and tools he uses to start innovating with brands, how content marketing can help them to compete against established brands and his podcast Future².

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

Download the episode here


In this episode:

– How Collective Campus works with brands to bring them into the new world of technology and innovation. 

– Steve’s career of disruption and the brands he has worked with along the way including Westpac, Macquarie Bank and HOTDESK.


About the guest:

Steve Glaveski is the CEO and co-founder of Collective Campus and host of the Future² podcast.



Why you should disrupt yourself – and how I didSteve Glaveski, Collective Campus

Like and follow Collective Campus on Facebook

Five exciting startup trends to watch in 2017

Squarespace Vs WordPress – The definitive guide

“27% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online.” That shows credibility and reach. Meanwhile, Squarespace just ran their 4th Super Bowl ad.

These two popular website building tools have their own strengths and shortcomings. But which one should you use?

Note: There’re two ways you can get WordPress (via the .org or .com site). Mostly, they have the same characteristics with some differences to be mentioned as they arise.


Flexibility and ease of use

WordPress has a bit of a steeper learning curve. As an open source platform, you can customise as much as you want.

Source: WordPress
Source: WordPress

There are thousands of plug-ins (or features) to enhance your website’s functionality on However, it can be hard to determine which one is of good quality, much like the thousands of browser extensions, or millions of mobile apps out there.

Moreover, if the plug-ins are not frequently updated by their creators, you risk running into security problems. The same could happen if you forget to update your site to the latest WordPress version.

These problems are minimised on as there’s actually an in-house team working to develop features for the service.

Squarespace is more intuitive, with what-you-see-is-what-you-get, drag-and-drop interface.

This makes it easy for newbies or those without a technical knowledge to get started, as they don’t have to set up their own domain and hosting.

Their features are fully developed and supported in-house, so users don’t have to browse through thousands of plug-ins like in WordPress. Hence, it’s better for those who don’t have an internal technical team to support their website.

Source: Squarespace
Source: Squarespace



Both website building platforms support multiple purposes: business website, blog, eCommerce, portfolio etc. with various integrations with third-party services (such as cloud storage, email).

There are also built-in social media sharing, analytics and SEO.



The amount of themes on WordPress is comparable to the number of their plug-ins. That means if you are big on customisation and don’t mind paying extra for premium themes, WordPress is better.

Source: WordPress
Source: WordPress

Squarespace offers under 100 themes with some customisation. You also need to have top quality, beautiful images in order to maximise these themes’ features.




Both platforms have mobile apps to manage and publish posts. Squarespace also has extra apps such as Analytics, Note, and Commerce to help users enhance their experience.  


While Squarespace doesn’t run ads on your site without your permission, only has ad-free versions when you use the paid plans.

Monetisation is available on Squarespace, but you can only get that with the Premium and Business plans on, or install monetisation plug-ins on



Squarespace doesn’t have a free version for you to try out. There are 4 different pricing levels for Personal and Business; Websites and Online stores. is free but you have to pay for hosting, domain, and premium themes or plug-ins. That’s not to mention hiring costs for external technical support if needed. This can work out to be quite expensive ($200 – $15,000 according to this source)., however, seems more competitive with pricing similar to Squarespace.

Source: WordPress
Source: WordPress


Overall evaluation

WordPress seems to be more content-focused as they are used by several famous news sites or blogs around the world, whereas Squarespace seems more suited to eCommerce and small businesses.

Squarespace targets design-conscious users and businesses that desire a modern look and feel without compromising simplicity. WordPress, on the other hand, is about customisation and creating highly functional or sophisticated sites.

Thus, it all comes down to what you need for your business or personal use.

How Explainify simplifies brand storytelling to generate leads

On this week’s Brand Storytelling podcast, we are joined by the founder of Explainify, Eric Hinson to discuss how they turn complex information into engaging video content. 

Brands can often struggle to explain their services to prospective clients which can hinder their ability to recognise growth. Explainify builds captivating, animated stories that simplify the product or service on offer. 

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

Download the episode here

In this episode: 

–  How quality storytelling can translate into genuine leads for your brand. 

–  The key ingredients to a successful video production.

About the guest:

Eric Hinson is the founder of Explainify and the author of Diamond in a Haystacka guide for individuals looking to harness the power of storytelling. Follow the link to receive the first 2 chapters free.


Explainify – About 

Brand Storytelling your entire organisation can believe in

The Startup Junkie – EP.74: Finding the diamond in the Haystack with Eric Hinson

The best Australian marketing events in 2017

We are entering the busiest time of year for marketing events in Australia. With so many options across so many different aspects of marketing, it can be difficult to determine which events you should put your pennies towards. 

If you work in content production or marketing, the following events are where you need to be. They provide invaluable networking opportunities and are one of the best ways to learn about the most successful businesses and people in the industry.

These events take place around Australia, predominately in Melbourne and Sydney (plus a few outstanding overseas additions). 



Brand Forum

When: February 22-23

Where: Sydney


As Australia’s only executive-level event dedicated purely to brand marketing, the forum tackles the complexities of brand marketing in an era defined by digital media, content, data, analytics, startups and innovation. There will be keynotes from 35+ speakers and networking opportunities for marketing executives from all sectors.




When: March 14-15

Where: Sydney


This is an annual gathering of marketing, technology and media communities. Adtech’s global network means there is always speakers from global brands. The two-day conference also helps marketers make sense of the vast pool of technologies out there to engage with consumers.



Search Marketing Summit

When: May 1-2

Where: Sydney


If you have intermediate to advanced levels of search marketing experience, this is Australia’s only dedicated search engine marketing conference. Packed with practical insights from 40+ sessions and keynotes, the event lets you learn from international and local experts to improve SEM, SEO and social media techniques.

B2B Marketing Leaders Forum APAC

When: May 16-18

Where: Sydney


Dedicated to B2B marketing, the event returns for the second time this year along with around 250 attendees. Speaker line-up includes senior executives from top global and Australian brands. There’s also a Content Marketing Workshop with the Content Marketing Institute’s Robert Rose with limited seats.

Adobe Symposium

When: May 23-24

Where: Sydney


With pre-conference training, keynotes and breakout sessions, the event has a focus on digital elements.

Millenials Marketing Conference

When: May 25

Where: Melbourne


As Australia’s only platform for mastering engagement with the largest and most influential generation of consumers ever, the conference discusses insights, trends and marketing secrets by leading experts in the fast-paced world of millennial marketing.

World Business Forum

When: May 31 – June 1

Where: Sydney


The fourth edition of this event is expected to host 2,000+ business leaders from around the world. This year’s theme is around being agile and adapting to change in a world where new technologies emerge at pace.

Speaker line-up and topics include:

  •  Arianna Huffington – New Management
  • Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence
  • Jimmy Wales – Technology
  • Rosabeth Moss Canter – Strategy
  • Mohanbir Sawhney – Innovation
  • Randi Zuckerberg – Digital Transformation
  • Ken Segall – Marketing
  • Ian Williamson – Leadership



Mumbrella 360

When: June 6-8

Where: Sydney


Awarded Australia’s best conference in 2016, this three-day event is back with international and national top speakers in media and marketing. Nearly 2,000 people attend the conference, described as a mixture of “rock concert” and “university lectures.” There’re also formal and informal networking sessions.



Digital Summit

When: July 19 and July 21

Where: Melbourne and Brisbane


The event is suitable for digital marketers from entry to experienced levels of expertise and features case studies, content and strategies from a range of industries. There will be two international keynotes as well as local speakers.



CXO Leaders

When: August 9-10

Where: Sydney


This invitation-only event spans over two days and targets Australia’s most senior marketing & customer experience leaders. Some past and present high-profile speakers include those from global brands such as Google, Uber and Facebook.

ADMA Global Forum

When: August 24-26

Where: Sydney


Spanning over two days, this is the region’s only conference that brings together 60+ global and local influencers in data-driven



iMedia Brand Summit

When: September 11-13

Where: Gold Coast


This is an invitation-only event for up to 125 senior brand marketers around Australia to discuss major strategic issues they face. There is also a nice balance between marketers and suppliers to “have meaningful dialogue.” iMedia has run similar annual summits around the world.

Content Marketing World

When: September 8-11

Where: Ohio, US


Content Marketing World, established by the Content Marketing Institute, is the biggest content marketing event of the year. Here you can learn from the biggest and brightest in the industry. 


Annual Brand Leadership Summit

When: October 6 & 7

Where: California, USA


The Annual Brand Leadership Summit is all about brands that are influencing culture as we know it. Working with the world’s top brand marketers who reveal their real-world learning and insights, you’ll discover how to harness the power of strategic storytelling, community architecture, and the latest social and mobile technologies to lead business, shape culture and better our world.




When: November 5

Where: Sydney


Australia’s only branded content and entertainment festival, BeFEest will bring you the best branded content of the year. Learn about the brands or agencies who created it, and why they were successful. 

Follow her on Twitter: @LinhContent

Building a media empire with Randi Zuckerberg

With a litany of diverse achievements to her name, it’s hard to know where to start with Randi Zuckerberg.

Randi has run her own media company, written books, hosted a radio show, produced children’s TV, spoken at forums and conferences, performed on broadway and sung in a band. She has a lot of fingers firmly planted in a lot of pies.

Calling her an entrepreneur does not do justice to her range of successes.

Starting out in account executive roles at Ogilvy & Mather and Forbes, Inc., Randi’s big break came when her little brother, Mark Zuckerberg, founded Facebook.

After joining he marketing team in October 2005, Randi became an influential figure at Facebook. Over six years she led groundbreaking projects that have shaped Facebook’s involvement in social movements and politics including, the CNN Inauguration Partnership, the ABC News Presidential Primary Debates in 2008, President Obama’s Facebook Town Hall, and the evolution of Facebook Live.

With a burning desire to start her own social media firm, Randi announced her departure from Facebook and the launch of Zuckerberg Media, in 2011. Labelling her new company a boutique marketing firm and production company, Randi began working with companies, such as Cirque du Soleil, The Clinton Global Initiative, Conde Nast, PayPal, and Celebrity Cruises.

Now a household name, Randi began exploring other passions.

In 2013, she released two books. Dot Complicated tells the story of Randi’s experiences during the early days of Facebook, and approaches our relationship with technology with humour. The title became a New York Times Bestseller, before Randi, harnessing the success of the book, created an eponymous online community aimed at “untangling our modern lives”, as well as a weekly radio show on SiriusXM Business Radio.

Released on the same day as Dot Complicated, Randi’s children’s book, Dot., about a tech-savvy girl who sets off on an interactive adventure, has now been turned into a TV show and is being aired on Sprout. As Executive Producer, Randi wants the show to have strong educational aspects and hopes the show will inspire the next generation of tech-loving girls.

Before working at Facebook, Randi cut her media teeth as a panelist on Forbes on Fox, now she is an ‘investor and mentor’ on new show, Quit Your Day Job.

Randi realised a lifelong dream in 2014 when she was approached to appear on Broadway. It all stemmed from a TED talk she gave about Broadway and digital media that was seen by the producers of Broadway show, “Rock of Ages”. They wanted to call her in as a consultant, but when they saw a video of her singing with her band, Feedbomb, they asked her to be in the show. She performed in the evenings and worked during the day. 

With her insights into the workings of Facebook and the wealth of her varied experiences since she left, Randi has become a sought after public speaker. Her one-hour talk about Facebook, the Silicon Valley, tech trends and the balance of technology in our professional and personal lives has received praise from many quarters, including from Head of NBC International who said her presentation was “one of the most enjoyable and interesting presentations I have ever seen”.

At just 34, Randi Zuckerberg still has a lot to offer having left the Silicon Valley, she now lives in New York with her husband and child.

Newsmodo is a proud sponsor of the World Business Forum 2017. The 2-day event will see thought-leaders and innovators from around the world gather to share their knowledge and passion for business.

To secure an exclusive 10% off your ticket purchase, quote NEWSMODO10 at checkout.

How to move your storytelling beyond the brand

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, we are joined by Ben Shipley, Managing Director at Spectrum Group. We talk with Ben about how brands can start to reinvent their storytelling and create an authentic dialogue with their audiences. 

Brands are already branching outside the box to do this. Lego created the Lego Movie which was a smash hit with fans new and old with sales skyrocketing as a result. 

So how can other brands seek to mimic this? How can they tell their story a different way? 

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

Download the episode here


In this episode: 

– What technology brands are using to connect with their audiences. 

– How to get creative with your strategy to become an industry leader.

About the guest:


Ben Shipley is the Managing Director at Spectrum Group, a communications team that enables brands to connect their technology story to a well-defined audience. 



Luke Skywalker? No, your brand needs to be more like Yoda

24 Hours With… Ben Shipley, managing director Spectrum Group – Mumbrella

Lego Movie Helps Full-Year Revenue Growth Beat Rivals

What brands are doing to get ROI with Super Bowl 51

The Super Bowl is considered the biggest day in advertising, where brands can potentially reach more than 100 million viewers. It’s one of the rare moments when “people really want to see the ads, they’re not skipping over them, they’re watching them in real time and engaged.”

Moreover, Super Bowl commercials are viewed by a growing international audience. 

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

But with the climbing prices for TV spots during the Super Bowl, can brands justify their spending?


The challenges

A study found that nearly 8 out of 10 Super Bowl fans watch the ads for entertainment, and another research showed that less than 1% of fans watch to influence any kind of purchasing

Ads keep getting more expensive to buy
Ads keep getting more expensive to buy

The average production cost for a Super Bowl ad in recent years hovered over the $1 million mark, while the average cost of broadcasting it is $5 million. 

Against that backdrop is this year’s NFL TV ratings drop by an average of 8%. Nonetheless, many said this could be due to the US presidential election coverage. 


The “drumbeat” approach

Brands tend to spend an additional budget (extra 25% or more) on promoting the ads, like some sort of pre-ad advertisement.

Social media platforms “have caught on and have monetized all the extensions around the Super Bowl.” Advertisers wishing to build pre-game excitement mean big wins for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and certainly Google, who runs search and display ads. 

Thanks to the trend of releasing TV spots early or teasers on YouTube, the platform reported a 200% growth in the share of Super Bowl ads before game day from 2008 to 2016.

Companies also wish to get earned media through various PR tactics, such as giving exclusive previews to media companies.


Live videos for higher engagement

Wix – a cloud based web development platform – launched their teaser ads on YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

The company wants to get ready for those who watch the game through online channels rather than TV, but insists the live platforms are only small ingredients of the whole meal.

Another advertiser to capitalise on the growth of live platforms is Hyundai, whose Super Bowl objectives are to “win ad meter, and lift brand awareness numbers.”

The automaker will film and air a 90-second live documentary-style ad during the first commercial break.

Teaser ad. Source: Hyundai
Teaser ad. Source: Hyundai

Snickers is also airing a live 30-second ad, supported by streams of live content such as behind-the-scenes footage from social influencers in the lead up to Super Bowl.


Lack of call-to-actions?

Some have pointed out the lack of action-oriented objectives for Super Bowl ads. Advertisers seem to only show ads without asking viewers to do anything. 

Source: Salesforce
Source: Salesforce

Pre-game ads on YouTube tend to drive more conversions. Hence, brands can see a spike in subscriptions during February, often accounting for nearly 30% of the annual new subscriber number.

Turbo Tax, for instance, was adept at keeping the momentum going before, during and beyond their Super Bowl ad:

  • Social media war room on game day to engage in real-time conversations
  • Giveaways to get people excited
  • Showing the ad online post-game to drive website traffic.

Follow her on Twitter: @LinhContent