With 2016 virtually on its way out and 2017 just around the corner, what better time than now to think about the path content marketing will take over the next 12 months.
So, without further ado, here are my top content marketing predictions for the year ahead:
Prediction # 1: Demand for visual content will hit new heights
As search engines get better at recognising and indexing images, demand for visual content will continue to rise. You only have to take a look at the explosion in video marketing and the rate in which the likes of Pinterest and Instagram are growing, to see how massive visual content is right now, and that’s just videos.
Content marketers will be looking to mix up their content formats by producing more visual content, such as infographics, memes and social postcards, alongside their more bread and butter copy, such as blogs, eguides and white papers.
Prediction # 2: Lights, camera, action! Live video will lead the way
While some businesses are still only tuning into the importance of video marketing, even though it’s been a buzz phrase that’s been banded around for the last few years now, video will be ramped up a gear next year.
Facebook Live, Tumblr launching live video by integrating with existing live video solutions and Instagram’s recent live video rollout to its US users (the list goes on) will take video marketing to a whole new level next year.
Yes, videos will continue to be important next year, however we’ll increasingly start to see standard footage being overshadowed by the need to capture more interactive ‘here and now’ moments.
Prediction # 3: Things will become a whole lot more personal
The focus will shift from producing more content in different formats to producing the right type of content for the target audience.
During the last year in particular, there’s been a steady growth in the use of predictive marketing and creation of more personalised content that provides readers with highly targeted content based on their buying behaviour. This will undoubtedly continue into 2017 and most probably well beyond that too.
Prediction #4: Mobile optimisation will become more of a factor than ever
Producing mobile-optimised content is nothing new. But what is new, is that the fact that it’s becoming more important by the day. According to BrightLocal, 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from mobile-optimised websites while figures produced by SiteWit reveal that 53% of PPC clicks come from mobile.
Mobile-optimisation is here to stay and the importance of optimising content for mobiles, tablets and other devices will continue well into 2017.
Prediction #5: Virtual reality will start to become more of a reality
Just like video marketing has been steadily growing in significance year-on-year, virtual reality will do the same, starting next year.
The success of Pokemon Go earlier this year is a clear indicator of how users are ready to embrace new technology. While augmented and virtual reality might not be an option for some businesses just yet, it’s an option that will still be explored over the next 12 months.
So, next year will be the year where content firmly continues to remain king. It’s the year when visual content will reign supreme, demand to capture more vicarious experiences will rise, mobile optimisation really kicks in and people start to delve deeper into the world of virtual reality.