As we near the end of 2016, it’s only natural to start thinking of new and innovative ways to take content marketing up a notch in the new year. Just about everyone from the realm of digital marketing benefits in some way shape or form from content marketing – impacting us all.
With the constant evolution of digital marketing and technology, content marketing is forced to keep up with new trends and re-innovate itself. What began as just words and sentences has now turned into ranking tools, relationship builders, and information on websites. This evolution continues as people look more and more to voice search for answers.
There’s quite a few predictions for how content marketing will change in 2017, especially with voice search. Regardless of what happens to content, here’s five tips from content pro’s that will help you survive the new content year and keep your fingers typing.
Re-Purpose Old Data to Create New Content
In 2017, more marketers should look to companies’ internal data to craft compelling content. Rather than creating content entirely from scratch, businesses should leverage their internal data and re-purpose it to create creative, industry-specific content that’s worthy of press and backlinks.
Some of our most successful campaigns recently have relied on existing sales data or customer behavior trends. We use tools like CARTO and Visage to turn raw numbers into beautiful, visually-enticing graphics so writers at top tier outlets have an asset worth sharing with their readers.
Create Intent-Driven Content
In 2016 content creators started to shift their focus from long-form content to shorter, intent-driven content. I see this trend continuing throughout 2017, as marketers put more emphasis on helping users find what they’re looking for in as few steps as possible.
Over time we’ve learned that exhaustive lists and guides aren’t always the answer. SEO is seeing a similar shift. Lately search engines tend to favor bite-sized nuggets of information that help users address specific problems, rather than comprehensive, in-depth articles.
For instance, if you’re looking for information on how to unclog a kitchen sink, you probably don’t want to read about the evolution of plumbing.
This is becoming especially important for mobile, since users are less likely to read through large blocks of text to find whatever it is they’re looking for.
Start Optimizing For Voice Search
If you want to stay ahead of the content marketing curve in 2017, prepare yourself for voice search. Voice search is on the rise, with no sign of slowing down.
Searching with your voice is faster than typing, and in a world where people want fast answers and are often using multiple devices at once, voice search is becoming the standard. According to comScore research, more than half of search queries will be conducted via voice search by 2020.
Digital marketing strategists need to adjust their content, then, for voice search. How do you win in a world of voice search? By optimizing for featured snippets. In voice search, Google returns a featured snippet more than 40 percent of the time when answering a query.
If you can earn a featured snippet, then, for your keywords or keyword phrases, you’re going to come out a winner. (Learn how to earn a featured snippet here.)
Bio: Kristi Kellogg is the social media editor and a content strategist at Bruce Clay, Inc., a critically acclaimed international digital marketing agency. She loves using social media and content to connect people with brands in meaningful ways.
Invest in Research and Data For Content
Over the years we’ve seen spend on content marketing increase and interest grow, so a prediction (and hope) for 2017 is that we see more focus on research and insight. Of course, everyone talks about it, but in practice, I see a lot less being done than you’d expect.
As more people settle in and gain more experience, I think the importance of sound data analysis and interpretation will become even more important skill to add to the toolkit of any content marketer. In the sea of content we have at the moment, these skills are essential to accurately understand and judge the performance of your content and proceed in the right direction.
Bio: Abra Miller has experience working client-side and in an agency setting for international and UK businesses and charities. For the last 5 years, Abra has focused on content analysis and developing data-driven content and SEO strategies.
Collaborate As a Team in 2017
Content marketing can get very siloed, but there’s much more value to content than one channel. Bringing this together, whether internal or client/agency relationships is hard, but essential to get the best results.
The start of the New Year is a great chance to get the team together, run a workshop and create your 2017 editorial calendar together. Once you’re all aligned, it’s a lot easier to get things moving in the right direction and receive the full value.
Bio: Kevin Gibbons is Managing Director at BlueGlass – he has been involved in digital marketing since 2003 and frequently speaks/writes at industry leading events and publications. Connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Do you have a tip or prediction of how to thrive in the world of content marketing in 2017? Comment below with your thoughts on how content marketing will develop in the new year.