It’s the time of year again. Between the festivities and shopping, we’re all trying to find time to contemplate the following year.
Many of you have thought about this for a while, Naturally. You may have already had your 2017 plans in place in August. You’ve already submitted your marketing plan for 2017 in September. You’ve already completed the majority of your taxes.
The majority among us may not be all that far.
If you’re not planning each of your 2017 marketing tasks, I suggest that you look at these trends. Even if you’ve completed an editorial calendar, have time to look. Content marketing is changing fast (it’s digital, and fast is an accepted fact). Building not just for the next year but also for 2018 and beyond is imperative.
- We’re getting better at content marketing.
First, good news: 62 percent of B2B content marketers are “much more” or “somewhat more” effective in marketing their content than in the past. 63% of B2Cers believe the same. It’s a change from last year when only 30 percent of marketers affirmed that their content marketing was successful.
Caption: Content marketers generally claim to be more successful than last year.
This is positive. But there are some consequences to be aware of. As content marketing becomes more popular, it’ll attract more budget funds and more staff. It will become more competitive with other kinds of marketing. It will be surprising to see some competition among the marketing departments while your company rethinks how it can promote its brand.
CxO: CXO news, analysis, and tips to top decision-makers straight directly to your inbox of yours.
I’m going to sound like I’m a broken record, and it’s not repeated enough: More users on the internet using mobile devices than desktops. More users are accessing your content via phones than desktops.
Have you viewed your content on a mobile or tablet recently? Have you downloaded whitepapers, requested sales representatives to contact you, or browsed a post from your blog? There’s an issue if you notice yourself looking at your eyes or locking your jaw as you read.
It’s wise to review how your business communicates via mobile devices thoroughly. Bonus points if you know the performance of your competitors in doing this, too.
You’re aware of the direction this mobile device is going. Apps. Have you got an app?
“Facebook is eating the internet.” You’ve heard this; you’ve listened to it. I’m at a crossroads about this, but I know this for sure: Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla of content consumption, sharing, and content discovery.
In our report, the WASP’s 2016 State of Small Business Report, we discovered that Facebook remains the most used social media platform by small-sized businesses, even though its usage has decreased in the past year.
Some people would like to be more thrilled with Facebook’s dominance. Publishers (including brand publishers) have embraced the Instant Articles feature of Facebook with mixed outcomes. There’s also the ever-dwindling organic reach issue. Then there’s the fact that it’s becoming more of a “pay-to-play” platform.
If you don’t like it, you should pay attention to Facebook at your own risk, even if you’re in B2B.
Images have become essential for the web, and we’ve created several social platforms whose lingua franca are images, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Caption: Instagram’s not just for creatives and retailers. This account is for the WASP Barcode account – we’re an inventory management company for B2B.
If you’re not using photographs in marketing (and use them frequently), is it time to?
How do you begin? Find a professional photographer who can shoot a couple hundred images of your business, products, and customers (stock images won’t do it). You can then sign up for a Canva or Stencil account. Also, if the team you work with has zero design experience? Check out Design Pickle, Brand Strong, or UnDullify.
Moving images here. As with photos, videos are essential to the online experience that all platforms have developed in response to the format. YouTube. Snapchat. (RIP, Vine). Facebook Live and Twitter’s video options are their efforts to stay ahead. Zuckerburg himself has stated, “I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.”
Caption: The majority of web traffic from consumers is video.
Content created by users
Here’s a statistic to stick onto your bathroom mirror: 85% of people can trust content produced by others in more significant proportion than the brands and their content.
Trust is the main ingredient in content marketing. That’s the reason we have content marketing in the first place – to create trust. So if the user-generated content is much more effective in establishing trust than our content marketing strategies are… then it’s time to switch plans.
Content created by users (“UGC,” as cool kids call it) is as reviews, social shares, comments, and YouTube videos. It could be something completely new. However, it’s not. It’s influencer marketing, except for the massive crowds and influencers with authority.
Every client you’ve ever had is now an influencer micro-sized. Ta-da!