Before we begin exploring the top content marketing trends of 2016, let’s just start with the basics. For those of you who are not clear on the concept of content marketing, the simplest definition would be, as stated by Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
You must be familiar with the much-popularized phrase “Content is King”. While many experts still debate over the accuracy of that statement, it is undeniable that content has become an intrinsic part of SEO and online marketing. You should, however, note that content marketing is a lot different than the other types of online marketing such as SEO or social media marketing. And without content, SEOs will have nothing to optimize for the search engines, and SMM experts will have nothing to post on the various social media platforms.
What are the different types of content that are used in content marketing?
When you talk about content marketing, people automatically assume that you are talking about written contents such as articles and blogs. But content marketing is far more expansive, and it includes all kinds of contents. Every email, social media post, article, blog, video, image, or webpage that you may come across qualify as content, and they are all part of content marketing. As a content marketer, you will find numerous types of marketing opportunities, and different types of contents to experiment with. The most popular types of contents that marketers use include:
- Articles and blogs
There are much more. But these are the most basic types of content that you can begin your marketing efforts with.
What does content marketing mean in 2016?
Gone are the days when content marketing and SEO used to be treated as separate concepts. Now, the former is an integral part of the latter. Online businesses around the world are relying on content marketing to give their SEO efforts a massive boost. Ironically, this has led to what many call “content fatigue.” The Internet is filled with content. Every time you Google something, you are offered a long list of articles. While some are useful, others are just a waste of time. Besides, no one has the time to go through the myriad of articles, blogs, and social media content that are posted every day!
Does this mean you should give up on content marketing? The answer would be a resounding “NO”! Content marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years. When done right, it can build authority, drive traffic, and boost sales. However, the only way to make it happen in 2016 and beyond is to move past the infamous content fatigue and to keep impressing, informing and delighting the audience. You can do that by challenging yourself to think creatively about content marketing.
What are the up and coming content marketing trends in 2016?
Content marketers need to think more creatively about their strategies from this point onward. They need to adapt to modern technologies and analyze possible outcomes before moving forward with a plan. It’s fair to assume that the game is going to get more complex. And the only way you can stay ahead of your competition is by staying prepared to deal with the changes that will follow. Here are few of the key trends that need mentioning:
Marketers will need to think beyond the daily blog post:
Blog posts give you the opportunity to offer quick and succinct information to your audience. They are convenient too. People can browse through blog posts while commuting or standing in line at the supermarket! However, the traditional 500 to 800-word blog post does not do the trick anymore. As a content marketer, you need think beyond and bigger than simply publishing blogs on your website every week. Each blog post must serve a purpose. Consider the life and evolution of the content, and think about how you can promote it and re-use it in different ways such as social media updates, graphics, eBooks, and emails.
Social media platforms offers advanced publishing options:
Facebook pioneered this trend by introducing “Instant Articles”. The social media giant may have realized that the contents that are shared through this platform usually generate more views and get more recognition than the actual website where they are posted. To put an end to this conflict, Facebook came up with the brilliant idea that lets users publish contents directly on the social media platform. Seeing the popularity of the Instant Articles, Google is now working on its version. So, you may expect the other social media sites and other digital mediums to follow suit.
Interactive contents continues to be in demand:
Users are slowly getting used to the convenience and advantages of custom search results and tailored newsfeeds. Pretty soon, the same will need to be applied to different forms of content as well. Meeting user expectation is the stepping stone to success in this domain. Since modern users prefer contents that respond or shift to their prompts, interactive content will gain massive exposure. Experts believe that the unveiling of the much awaited Oculus Rift and various other virtual reality gadgets will give marketers the push to consider interactivity and customizability as practical mediums for the various types of content.
Visual contents such as infographics and videos steals the show:
Visual contents will continue to grab the attention of the audience. As Internet connections keep getting better, and wireless connectivity becomes commonplace, more and more people will have access to videos, high-quality graphics, and images while on the go. Since the area of the written content is becoming more and more saturated (refer to content fatigue), visual contents are being taken more seriously. Besides, users are growing more impatient by the day. With their busy lifestyle, they don’t have the time to read for hours. They are happy with instant form of communication. Visual content is much easier to digest. So, they are in high demand!
The year 2016 marked the beginning of a new era in content marketing. Features such as Google’s instant answers and Knowledge Graph may pose a challenge for marketers. Also, take advantage of all the different social media publishing options that are easily adaptable to your needs. So, get ready to revamp your strategies and get going!