5 trends in content marketing for 2017

Digital Strategic Planner, Content Strategist

april 18, 2017

The year 2016 was a big one for content marketing: 360⁰ video and virtual reality truly took off, Facebook became established as a major profitable player in content consumption and sharing, and more. As a result, today, almost 65% of marketers consider content marketing a direct route to success, and 76% hope to invest a lot more in it this year. To kick off 2017, here are five major trends to watch.

1. Storytelling and brand credibility

These days, brands are considered credible sources of information, as credible as the news and social media. One of these brands is Wayfair. By producing a television series on interior design, it has established its expertise in its field, in addition to giving viewers the chance to buy its products at the end of the show. With Lego and Intel creating feature films, and Ikea educating shoppers about the fallout of the war in Syria, in 2017, we will see more brands discussing issues and narrowing the already fine line between brands and the media.

Credits Ikea Red Cross

2. Visual language

Did you know that in 2019, 80% of content viewed online will be videos?

As such, Internet users’ enthusiasm for live and streaming video should be no surprise. BuzzFeed drew 800,000 people to watch a watermelon being blown up live, while Barack Obama’s farewell address, shown live in 360⁰ on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, attracted record audiences. These examples, which are growing in number, are testimony to the continued momentum of video, with the addition of emojis, animated gifs, filters and other visuals. These codes of communication have come to be expected.

Credits BuzzFeed

3. Robotic content

... with a friendly, human tone. According to one study, users spend as much time, and potentially even more, on messenging apps as on social media. This relates to the emergence of conversation robots, which are always available and often integrated to Facebook Messenger. The result is personalized, relevant and interactive content, as the incredible Walk With Yeshi campaign shows. Voice recognition and artificial intelligence round out this trend. Can we use an algorithm to create a new Rembrandt four centuries after his death? Yes. The bank ING did just it.

4. The rise of the ad-blocking filter

Eighty-six million people will have installed AdBlock software at the end of 2017, a number that keeps rising year after year. This is a long way from presaging the death of online advertising, but to convert, it needs to be creative and targeted. With its expertise in data analysis, Netflix developed a YouTube ad campaign for the launch of the series Friends. It made users’ search intentions the heart of its media strategy. It’s clever and funny. Questioning the traditional advertising model goes hand in hand with the rise – and normalization – of influence marketing, which cultivates relationships between the influencer, the audience and the brand. The influencer can even be an Instagram celebrity dog, as shown by the superb 360⁰ video made by Loki The Wolf Dog, or, rather, by his master, in cooperation with Mercedes.

Credits Mspfilms

5. Content personalization

With the flood of content and proliferating platforms, the most important battle in content marketing will be waged in the area of personalization. The right content, at the right time, for the right audience: the mantra makes even more sense when you understand the target and the points of contact throughout the ecosystem. Using the right technology, we can tap into the data collected to enhance the content experience. There are many personalization tactics, as eMarketer points out; the key to success lies in identifying the right content strategy, launching pilot projects, doing data analysis, but particularly learning and optimization.

These changes herald a fascinating future for content marketers thirsting for innovation and creativity.

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