17 Ideas for Your 2017 Content Marketing Strategy
2017 is right around the corner. So perhaps it’s time for you to add more tactics to your content marketing plan. It can be difficult to decide which type of content to focus on, so with the latest trends in digital marketing in mind, I have put together a list of 17 ideas for your 2017 content marketing strategy. It’s time to go all in.
1. Start A Video Series
Over the last few years there has been a major increase in video content on the web. In 2017 we will see the trend of video marketing skyrocket. A Brightcove study recently discovered that websites see a 157% increase in organic search web traffic when videos are used. Starting a video series for your company can become a blueprint for creating engaging video content on a schedule. It is important that you and your team create a theme for your video series. This will simplify the process of producing relevant content that consistently stays on brand. Shoot to create a video once a week and post on your website and social channels. Be sure not to focus solely on your business, services or product. Your audience will be excited to watch you talk about industry trends, tips, tricks and more. One of my favorite video series is “Will it Blend” by Blendtec (video below). Blendtec wanted to show how powerful it’s technology was by blending everyday items such as the iPhone in it’s blender. This YouTube channel went viral since it’s birth in 2007. 10 years later they are still making videos. In 2009, two years after they began creating these videos, Blendtec saw a 700% increase in retail sales. Although this was years ago, the same rules apply. If you create unique and entertaining content, people will find it and your business will reap the benefits!
2. Get Your Business On Snapchat
Snapchat started off as the disappearing photo app. One user would send another user a photo that would disappear after it was viewed. Now, Snapchat has “Stories”. Stories allow users to post a string of photos or videos that are viewable for 24 hours. Snapchat prides itself in having over 10 billion video views per day (Fortune). This surpasses Facebook’s 8 Billion. Snapchat is exciting for business because brands don’t need to spend any money producing expensive video content to reach their audience. You can stay in touch with your audience and build brand awareness right through your phone. Although Snapchat has mainly been used by millennials, data showed that in 2016, users in the 25+ age range is growing 2X the rate of users under 25 years old (mediakix). This is great news for brands because the audience is now wide enough to reach the 18-34 year old demographic at scale. Some quick ideas for Snapchat marketing would be…
- Behind the scenes in the office
- Quick employee spotlight pictures or videos
- 10 second short videos that tell a story about your brand
- If you want to go BIG, you can purchase a customized filter like Gatorade did for $450,000. Their campaign resulted in over 100 million views.
I personally feel that businesses are too worried about the sale, when they should be focusing just as much time and effort on brand awareness through platforms like Snapchat. Gary Vaynerchuk outlines this in depth in the video below.
3. Create An Instagram Strategy
Instagram allows users and brands to keep in touch with their audience through photos and videos. 55 percent of all Instagram users in the U.S. are 18 to 29 years old (Pew Research). The next largest demographic is at 28 percent and includes ages 30 to 49 years, followed by ages 50 to 64 years at 11 percent. Unlike Snapchat, this Facebook owned platform gives you the ability to spend a bit more time on your content.. You can add custom filters and edit your photos and videos right inside the app. Adobe, Wells Fargo and GE are just a few big brands that have a strong presence on Instagram. By creating an Instagram strategy, you will be able to produce relevant content on a schedule. At CGI Interactive we started a monthly employee spotlight to highlight the amazing team members we have. This helps our audience get a deeper look into our agency and the people behind it!
4. Try Out Facebook LIVE
Live Streaming is beginning to take off. Big Brands and media companies are adopting Facebook’s new feature and are seeing results. Facebook has reported that Facebook LIVE videos are being watched 3X longer than regular Facebook videos. I believe this is due to Facebook showing live videos higher in the news feed. CA Technologies recently livestreamed their entire CA World ‘16 event. I thought this was a great strategy! I go more into depth about Facebook video and Facebook LIVE here.
5. Create An Interactive Quiz Or Assessment
Rich media content like interactive quizzes and assessments allow you to engage your audience at a deeper level than an image or video will. By adding a quiz or assessment to your content strategy, you will give and receive more value by giving your audience the opportunity to either qualify, learn more or entertain themselves with your content while you learn more about them. CGI Interactive recently worked on an solution assessment for Dell EMC that allows users to see what product would be the best fit for their business. Try adding a lead form to the end of the quiz so your users can receive their results in their inbox and socialize them to decision makers. They receive a tool to inform others and you receive a greater ROI for your efforts. I go into depth about how large of an impact interactive content can have on your business along with some great examples you can use for inspiration.
6. Add Videos To Your Landing Pages
As marketers, landing pages are an important part of our content strategy but often we struggle to see the number of leads we yearn for. An effective way to increase the conversion rates on your landing page is by adding a video. According to Eyeview Digital, 80% more visitors are converted when videos were placed on a landing page. Take the extra time and create a short video that explains your offering. I guarantee you will see an increase in leads once you start doing this
7. Start Deploying Facebook Ads
If you have not jumped into advertising on Facebook, you should before it’s too late. Big brands are just starting to get into Facebook ads and the prices are beginning to rise. By the end of 2017, I predict prices will double from where they are now. Facebook owns massive amounts of data on their 1.8 billion users. This allows them to give very specific targeting abilities to advertisers. For example, if you want to target CTO’s at Fortune 500 companies in the United States, you can do this with ease. Costs vary depending on your industry and the competition. Here’s a great blog post that outlines the average cost for different industries. The best resource for learning more about Facebook ads is Jon Loomer’s website. As always the best way to learn is to experiment and test it for yourself!
8. Invest More Time Into Your Blog
Did you know that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published less than-4 monthly posts (HubSpot)? If you are going to run a blog, don’t have one foot in, go in 100%. You will see some incredible results if you publish enough valuable content. Join the 60% of marketers that have used blogging as their #1 method of inbound marketing in 2016. To do this effectively, have a number of employees in your company who regularly write for your blog on a schedule. Scheduling is key! By creating a blogging schedule you will never miss a post and you will be able to track the relation of traffic to how many blogs you are posting a month. Don’t have time to write? No worries, start a video blog! There’s no excuse for not creating valuable content for your prospects and customers.
9. Guest Blog On A Popular Website
Another way to grow your content strategy in 2017 while simultaneously building SEO is to guest blog. Guest blogging is when you write a blog post for another company that goes on their website. Reach out to companies that share your target audience or that have an audience demographic that you are trying to break into. Before you do this, it is important to already have an established blogging presence and have material to back up your knowledge on the subject you choose to write about. In order to build good domain authority and SEO, your website needs to be linked with other popular websites that have a large audience and show up high in search rankings. By blogging on popular websites that link back to your site, these links will help you rank higher in search results
10. Interview Industry Experts
By including others in your content you will reach a wider audience. Similar to building your audience through guest-blogging, interviewing experts in your industry will help your content reach their audiences as well. Video interviews are the best way to do this, but a blog will do just fine. Pick a subject that your customers and prospects care deeply about. It could be a common problem, a best practice or a new and upcoming trend! Pick a number of experts and reach out to ask them if they would be so kind to be interviewed on this subject. Often, industry experts are trying to grow their personal brand and will jump at the opportunity to have more content on the web with their name on it. A good practice is to pass a draft of your interview for their approval. Once published, be sure to email your experts with the link. On social media don’t forget to tag the industry expert and their company in your posts. This will help broaden your reach. The experts themselves will most likely share their interview as well. An industry expert interview will provide value for your audience while helping it grow at the same time!
11. Influencer Marketing
As 2016 comes to a close you may have been hearing a lot more about the rise of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is when a company uses a celebrity that their audience is familiar with to promote their product or service. Predominantly, influencer marketing has been used in the B2C market. Companies like Sour Patch kids, have successfully executed on influencer marketing campaigns via Instagram and Snapchat by teaming up with YouTube and Vine stars. Short Snapchat videos, Instagram posts and Snapchat takeovers were all used to create a major buzz. Once they began using influencer marketing as a major component of their content strategy, they increased revenue by $30 million between 2014 and 2015. The B2B ecosystem has started taking notice and it looks like 2017 is a great time to begin testing influencer content for your content strategy. Find industry experts or famous bloggers/vloggers in your community and reach out to them. Allow them to try out your product or service and see if they like it. Then collaborate with them to work out a deal. A great place to start would be to reach out to people who have popular podcasts that your audience listens to regularly.
12. Make Sure Your Website Is 100% Mobile Optimized
If your website is not 100% mobile optimized in 2016, you are behind the 8-ball! Get on that! We are living in a mobile-first world and your audience deserves to have a great experience on your site, wherever they may be. By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. (Marketing Land) Google will punish sites that are not mobile optimized, therefore putting you lower in the search results. This results in less traffic, less leads and less customers for YOU.
13. Create Better Content For Your Sales Team
Aligning your sales and marketing teams is essential if you want to effectively grow your business. The content you create as a marketer can be repurposed by your sales team for outreach and brand awareness. Make sure that your sales team has direct access to blog posts, ebooks, videos and any other important content that could be used to help drive prospects through the sales cycle. Meet with your sales team and ask them directly what they would like to have as a sales asset. Maybe it’s a particular blog post on a certain subject or a video with someone from your company that will resonate with a prospect. Keep these conversations active by having monthly meetings throughout the year. At CGI Interactive we create specialized microsites that are promoted through our social channels and email marketing efforts. That same microsite is used by our sales team for outreach and inspiration for our prospects and customers. By doing this, we repurpose content effectively while driving traffic at the same time!
14. Begin Adding Captions To Your Videos
According to several publishers, around 85 percent of videos on Facebook are watched in complete silence. Believe it or not, Facebook reports that captioning a video increases average video view time by 12%! I know, I know…creating captions is going to add a step. My tip is to choose your videos wisely and keep them short. This way when adding captioning, the workload is at a minimum. How to add captions to your video.
15. Personalize Your Content
Personalization is beginning to become a huge trend in the industry. Your audience wants content and messaging that is specific to them! No longer can we continue with a one size fits all content strategy. When you get started, it’s important to know your target audience’s demographics and then create specific content for these separate targets. By creating personalized content, your message will resonate more with your readers and viewers. Once you have your personalized content created, spend time to segment your email lists, Facebook Ad targets and any other lists you may have. This way you will be able to send your content to the right people. According to a recent study conducted by PWC’s Digital Services group, 94% of senior-level executives believe delivering personalization is critical or important to reaching customers.
16. Invest In A Full-Time Copywriter
As you can see from this list, powerful content takes a lot of time and effort. Creating blog posts, writing social media content and producing videos takes a full-time person to do effectively. If you are looking to create highly-engaging, relevant content for 2017, I suggest you look into investing in a full-time copywriter and preferably someone who is experienced in your industry. This way he or she will have a deep understanding of what your audience is interested in hearing and learning. Your marketing team is also a valuable source for new content. As they create new material, the lead copywriter will keep the brand voice in check by editing their copy.
17. Have More Fun!
Creating content can be tough. With that said, don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t take it too seriously! Sometimes you just need to have some fun. The content you are creating should mean something. You should be helping, educating and entertaining your audience! One thing that I have found that makes creating content, whether it’s a video a blog or an ebook a lot more fun is to share the experience with someone else. It could be a co-worker or someone from another company or industry. Team up and create something together! I guarantee you it will be a lot more fun and a truly unique piece of content. When you put a couple of minds together, great things will happen!