Last year may have seen more than one crystal ball find its way into the waste disposal, but how content marketing shaped up has thrown some light on what to expect in the coming year. Audiences are seeking ever-higher quality of content. Push marketing is definitely on its way out and Adblocker is in. The desire for greater levels of interaction continues to emerge. Also, content which is either live or accessible on demand will become predominant in marketing. Another element central to all content, regardless of media or message, remains the continued thirst for strong, cohesive narrative.
So, despite 2016 bucking any measure of predictability, here are the 5 major trends in content marketing I think you should watch for in 2017.
1. Live content
The demand for live content has been increasing steadily over the last few years. Live platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope and Mixlr offer the immediate dimension of now to content which audiences experience as fresh and intimate.
2. The audio revival continues
Last year saw podcasts like Jeff Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire and Freakonomics break records for downloads and revenue generation. Podcasts like The Black Tapes have started a revival in audio drama which shows every sign of continuing in the coming year. The opportunities for native marketing are manifold and early birds like Squarespace and Shudder are reaping the rewards.
3. Newsletters via email
Almost all MSM platforms are shifting to newsletters to try and moderate audience defection to alternative media. The fake news wars are upon us, with neither camp proving invulnerable to criticism as the opening salvos hit home. Your inbox may well become the next theatre of this war in 2017.
4. Narrative remains king
No matter the medium or subject, documentary or fiction, the story remains the thing. How inventive content creators prove themselves to be in mining seductive storylines will largely determine their success over the next 12 months. If you can identify the compelling narratives in your content and populate them with strong, authentic characters, then your audience will grow.
5. Interactive content
Oxford-based behavioural biologist Rupert Sheldrake is among the first scientists to be developing an app which allows anyone to participate in his research. Although some decry this as a populist gimmick, the strategy of encouraging interaction has struck a chord with an audience who are tired of just watching from the outside and who want to be involved. Questionnaires, quizzes vox pops and polls will all become prominent in the most successful campaigns of 2017.
So, these are my picks for hot trends in 2017. The next 12 months will tell how accurate this pundit proves to be. But after the major events of 2016 made asses of the most seasoned prognosticators, I’m just glad most content I deal with has nothing to do with politics.