There’s a good reason 93% of B2B marketers rely on content marketing, it works. This is especially true when the content is strong and weaves naturally into a company’s brand. It is also valuable when it understands the competition and current trends. For example, businesses that blog regularly generate 67% more leads than those that choose not to.
So it’s not surprising that companies are committing more than ¼ of their total marketing budgets to content marketing. What’s surprising is that only 1 in 3 believe their companies are effective at content marketing, more than half say they don’t know what content marketing success looks like, and less than 1 in 3 claim to have a formal content marketing strategy.
That’s a lot of money to spend on something about which so many marketers are still fuzzy. Fortunately, the leading digital marketing agencies do know what’s changing, what works, and how to generate more leads and boost sales with solid content marketing strategies.
Here are eight content marketing trends which work and which will dominate in 2017:
1. More companies will view content marketing as an effective SEO strategy: the majority of marketers (72%) list content marketing as their most effective SEO strategy, although many don’t fully understand the relationship between the two. As Neil Patel points out, SEO and content marketing are inextricably intertwined. Content which is authoritative and trustworthy, for example, tends to be more successful as a marketing strategy, but it’s also the case that search engines like posts which are authoritative and trustworthy. In 2017, B2B marketers will deepen their understanding of the relationship between the two and look for innovative strategies to make them mutually beneficial.
2. Companies will find more effective ways of linking sales and content marketing: nearly 90% of consumers like companies which send them content, but nearly half are turned off by pushy sales approaches. The goal of content creation is sales, of course, but that fact can’t be blatant or easily detected by the buyer. Increasingly, bloggers will look for better, more subtle ways of integrating their sales message into their content.
3. Content marketers and advertisers will begin to work more closely together: in a related vein, the lines which separate traditional divisions within marketing agencies will start to blur. Content marketers will need to find less obvious ways of inserting sales messages into their content, and advertisers will need to subject those messages to the imperative of delivering quality content.
4. The need for local content will continue to grow: as the popularity of content marketing expands and is embraced by an increasing number of small businesses and the SEO value of local content is better understood, content marketers will need to create larger amounts of such content. Expertise in local markets will become an increasing requirement for marketing agencies to leverage this growing demand. This could mean increasing the number of staff writers as well as relying more on guest writers from local markets.
5. Content will become more segmented and more personalized: software innovations which permit more nuanced market segmentation will lead to more a personalized (and more effective) content distribution. Companies will become increasingly adept at targeting personalized messages to meet the needs of individual consumers.
6. Marketers will spend more time, and expend more budget, on content distribution: more than half of marketers understand the importance of having a solid content distribution plan, but only 1 in 4 includes distribution in their marketing budget. As Jayson Demers notes in Forbes: “Strategic distribution of content is what will set businesses apart in this hyper-competitive landscape. Optimizing for search and mobile, building relationships with branded publications, and reaching out to influencers in your field are just a few ways to make sure your content reaches your target market.”
7. Marketers will find new ways to integrate content and social media marketing: marketers are already aware that social media present a unique opportunity to distribute content. As that understanding grows, companies will dedicate more resources to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Marketers will increase expenditures on organic and paid social media campaigns to expand their content marketing efforts.
8. Content marketing budgets will continue to grow, and with them, the diversity of content: more than half of businesses intend to increase content marketing budgets, and about 1 in 10 plan to make a significant increase. Budgetary increases will give marketers an opportunity to increase the types of content they create and distribute, including blogs, white papers, video and case studies, among others.
Content marketing isn’t the only resource available to digital marketers, but it is unquestionably among the most important and effective, and increasingly so. Businesses are learning that content marketing works and increasing content marketing budgets to create and deliver more personalized and better content that helps consumers solve problems by using their products and services. They are also learning that achieving a high ROI on the content they create requires expertise, attention to detail, keeping up with trends, and a commitment to creating excellent content.
Results Driven Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency with an experienced team of marketing professionals. Our professionals take the time to understand the unique needs of each client and provide exceptional customer support. If need help with content marketing or other services, or simply want to learn more about how we can help you achieve your business goals with customized marketing solutions, contact us today. You can call us at 215-393-8700 or reach out to us via our site’s chat agent that is available 24/7.