“Content marketing is a must-have. Content is how you reach today’s audience. Content is more valuable than advertising. Content is king!”
We’ve been beaten over the head with it. In business today, no matter B2B or B2C, you must be producing relevant, consistent and valuable content where your customers are searching for it.
We’ve all gotten the message loud and clear. We’ve listened so well, there has been a content explosion.
Content Produced in a Single Day:
- 4.6 billion pieces of online content produced.
- 4.75 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook.
- 2+ million blogs posted.
So how do you produce content in 2017 that is valuable and will get noticed by your customers and prospects? How does your content not get lost in the digital chaos and clutter?
Content Marketing Trends and Must-Haves in 2017
1. You must have a documented content strategy.
Don’t just randomly toss out content on the internet and your social media platforms because everyone else is doing it. You must have a strategy behind your content. Today’s consumers don’t have time for mediocre. They want -- and only stop -- for valuable content that meets their needs and what they are searching for, at that moment in the buyer’s journey.
According to Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs content marketing research, marketers with a documented content strategy are far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing and every tactic involved. They face fewer challenges and are able to justify a higher percentage of the marketing budget on content marketing.
Your documented content marketing strategy is not something to develop and put aside. It needs to be a “living” document that should be referred to and adapted as your consumers’ needs and the market changes.
2. Your content must have purpose.
There should be a purpose, a “why,” behind every piece of content you post. Ask yourself, why should I, as a consumer, spend a second of my time with this piece of content? Does it only talk about the company? What value will I, the consumer, gain from this?
Content must be customer-centric. Your audience wants to gain value and benefits from the content - not just see or read about the features of your product, service or brand. Does your content make a real impact on your customers and prospects? Does it have value, answer questions, solve problems? Why would I want it?
3. More video content.
People want authentic content. Video is real.
According to last year’s B2B Video Content Marketing Survey Results by the Web Video Marketing Council, “73 percent of the marketing, agency and management professionals surveyed confirm that video has positively impacted marketing results.” Video content today takes many formats, from webinars and video e-newsletters to live Facebook feeds and video testimonials.
4.Find your niche.
Several B2B and B2C marketers in a Business 2 Community article pointed to a re-evaluation of content output and more focus on niche content. It’s time-consuming to produce content, therefore, don’t waste time, effort, and money on content that isn’t targeted for a specific purpose and specific audience.
Instead of creating more content, focus on creating better content. Focus on narrower niches, personalized content, targeted channels. You’ll likely get lower volume, but higher quality engagement. The prospects you’re looking for will find you.
5. Introduce -- and integrate -- sales to content.
Your sales team needs to understand the what and why behind content marketing. They know customers and prospects are online every day, nearly every minute. But do they understand how your organization engages in the digital world?
Many sales teams, especially within B2B, still don’t understand how content marketing can be a value to them.
Produce Effective Content in 2017
According to B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 62% of B2B marketers say their organization's overall approach to content marketing has been much more or somewhat more successful than a year ago. A top reason they gave for it working -- they developed a content strategy.
Go into 2017 with a content strategy that meets the needs of your buyers where they are at in the buyer’s journey. Create valuable content that has purpose; the content your audience is searching for.