Change is the only constant in the content marketing industry. And for marketers, change isn’t always pretty.

In 2017, experts predict that the content marketing industry will get even harder than before.

“Content marketers are going to have to be more unique with the types of content they create,” says Rand Fishkin of Moz. “They’re going to have to get higher quality, and I think they’re going to have more niche – serving smaller and smaller interest groups, but doing a better job of serving each of those.”

Although no one can be 100% sure on what to expect, it’s important to prepare by understanding the current trends. Without further ado, here are the top content marketing trends you should be aware of this 2017:

1. The Competition is Getting Better

2017 benchmarks show that 62% of marketers have more success with content marketing than they had last year.

While this is a good sign at the surface, new brands who are yet to establish an online presence may have to invest more time, effort, and money to cut through the noise.

It’s going to be incredibly challenging, but it’ll all be worth it if you succeed.

2. Influencer Marketing Continues to Grow

Have you noticed anything lately when reading articles that cite “authoritative” sources and statistics? You often see the same brands being linked to – whether it’s a popular industry news site or a famous blogger.

This makes sense because everybody wants a link from these sites for SEO.

Truth be told, overtaking the authority of thought leaders and popular publications is nigh impossible. So if you can’t beat them, you better join them and get linked to by them. Maybe this guide on influencer marketing from Traackr can help.

3. Video may Rise to the Top

Videos are everything that’s great about online content. They are engaging, can capture the audience’s attention, and can communicate information more efficiently than most standard blog posts.

According to experienced marketers, they also have the best ROI among content types.

If you plan to leverage growing platforms like Facebook Live and distribution networks like Instagram and YouTube, you should seriously consider getting a high-definition camera and practice your speaking skills.

4. Facebook is Still Dominant

In case you forgot, Facebook is still the biggest social media network as of today.

Depending on how you designed your social media strategy, this news may come to you as either good or bad. Make sure you already know how to use features such as Facebook’s Instant Articles for promoting content.

It’s also a good time to test out Facebook Ads and see if you can turn your marketing dollars into revenue.

5. Content Shock

Mark Schaefer describes “Content Shock” as the scenario wherein the amount of available online content has far exceeded the online audience’s collective ability to consume them.

While there are several solid arguments that can debunk this, it’s obvious that content marketers need to step up their game if they want to survive.

There are several things you can do like looking at new tech for profitable niche ideas, personalizing your content voice, and being a more relentless content promoter. If the content shock phenomenon is indeed true, then it only means great content will rise to the top, so there should be no more room for mediocre ideas in your strategy.

6. Infographics Rule the Social Space

Statistics show that infographics and other original visual content have the highest engagement in social media – and they could be your secret weapon to slicing through the content shock.

Being neither cheap nor extravagantly expensive, infographics offer small-medium businesses a chance to spice up their content marketing strategy with decent ROI. Since most infographics are long in format, they are also perfect for mobile users.

7. Repackaging Content into Ebooks

Neil Patel did an interesting study on the current content marketing trends. In one of his points, he discussed how famous bloggers would repackage their blog content into well-designed eBooks and sold them for passive income.

The best part about his findings is that the strategy works, that is, if you provide highly educational content in your blog.

The key takeaway is that users are ready to pay for educational content whether it’s an eBook or an online course. On your quest to attain thought leadership in your niche, why not design and sell your own course to your target audience?

8. VR, AR, UGC, and SnapChat

VR (Virtual Reality) for content marketing may not be applicable for all industries, but social media networks like SnapChat have taken advantage of AR (Augmented Reality) to stimulate engagement.

With on-demand Geofilters, any brand can leverage SnapChat’s growing user base to extend their social presence. It works by providing an exclusive in-app filter to users in a specific location.

In addition to audience engagement, on-demand Geofilters is also a great way for brands to leverage user-generated content.

Conclusion

To wrap up, content marketers need to be more creative, driven, and resilient with their strategies to remain effective in 2017. Take note that the trends above are merely guidelines. The most important thing is to be adaptive and flexible when it comes to optimizing your content marketing strategy.

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David Jones
David is a content marketer from the UK based in Bangkok, Thailand.