The 6th Day of Online Marketing: Content Marketing

content marketing
It’s day 6 of Uptick’s 12 Days of Online Marketing, and I’m here to give you the scoop on what 2017 has to bring in terms of content. Over the past few years, we have seen content marketing slowly become the most trusted medium of promotion among the world’s consumers.
Why? It’s simple –  we no longer live in a world where we have to walk 5 miles to work, in the snow, uphill, both ways. Technology is moving at a freaky fast pace (faster than Jimmy Johns can deliver you a speedy sub!). Today, we can record and fast forward through commercials, we can read the news on our phones or tablets, and with the advent of artificial intelligence, we are beginning to be able to ask machines questions – and get immediate answers. It’s no wonder we, as consumers, are discovering businesses and products in new ways as well! Business owners are taking note – they know that content marketing plays a major role in keeping their products or services relevant, and they are finally willing to invest.
What might their investments look like for 2017? Let’s take a look.

#1: Video!

Videos currently drive more engagement than any other kind of content creation around. It’s compelling, and it demands attention! Over the last few years, video has exploded in terms of popularity as platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat pave the way.
Snapchat and Instagram both introduced video stories. These are videos that let businesses and individuals share a glimpse of their world for 24 hours. Facebook introduced Facebook Live, which is now the the most immediate and popular way to connect with consumers or friends immediately, in present time. The world has fallen in love with all of its new video capabilities, and it’s time businesses start investing before they get left behind!

#2: Visuals

Videos are visual, sure, but other visuals (like memes, gifs, pictures, etc.) are still incredibly important. Don’t rule them out. Consumers are consuming content faster than ever before. That means you really have to focus on catching their eye if you want your content to be seen. Trust us – stun them with creative visuals and you won’t be disappointed.

#3: Influencer Marketing

As a slightly obsessive dog lover, I follow hundreds of cute pups on Instagram (no, I’m not exaggerating…hundreds). One thing I see quite frequently are insta-famous pups promoting products like the newest subscription boxes for dogs, organic treats, glow in the dark collars, etc.
These famous dogs are also influencers, and influencers are everywhere. Don’t believe me? Right now, look up your favorite D-list reality TV star on instagram. Do you see any pictures of them promoting a product? SEE! Told you. They are everywhere – and the good news is, not all influencers are untouchable celebrities. With hard work, you can find influencers on even the smallest local level and 2017 will be about finding these influencers and trying to use them as a marketing tool for you business.

#4: Stay Mobile

2050 will be the year that we all head to the chiropractor to relieve our neck pain from looking down at our mobile devices, but until then – you can bet on the fact that people’s eyes will remain glued to their phones. Google has recognized this trend, and is working to create a faster mobile experience for us all. They are called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), and as businesses begin optimizing their websites to utilize them, consumers attentions spans will shrink even more. Stay within your consumer’s reach by investing in a faster mobile experience.
(For more on AMP pages, see The 1st Day of Online Marketing)

#5: Trendy Tech

It’s nearly impossible to guess the kind of gains we could expect to see in technology within the upcoming year, but in order to keep an edge on your competition, you need to try to stay on top of the trending technologies! What we saw with Pokemon Go in 2016 is the perfect example of how staying alert on these trends can help a business make some serious dough. Businesses who recognized their address was a part of the Pokemon Go experience were able to use it to bring customers into their store before the game lost its popularity – and it WORKED. Keep your eyes peeled on the newest technologies that occupy people’s time.
Where are people staring? THAT’S where you want to be. My guess is that in 2017 we will begin to see marketers create interactive content for virtual reality experiences, and I personally can’t WAIT to try it!

#6: Content May Become the Product

My last content marketing prediction is more of a long term guess, but as content continues to flood our newsfeeds, I have a feeling consumers will eventually want to filter through the madness. News outlets are already starting to require subscriptions for their content, but I suspect that one day, in the far distant future, business content might become a product in itself (via subscriptions) – especially if it’s high quality, valuable, or entertaining. So, ask yourself, is my content quality enough that I could begin to ask consumers to pay for it? If not, you may need to start figuring out a way to make that happen!
Well, that’s it for my 2017 predictions! I hope I was able to show you not only how exciting and fun the future of content marketing looks, but also how crucial it has become for businesses across the country. Stay tuned for Day 7 of Online Marketing: Ad Retargeting!