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5 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in Fall 2017

June 28, 2017
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Content Marketing

Successful content marketers have more than just a documented content strategy.  They are also aware of the latest content marketing trends that are causing a stir in the digital marketing world.

When it comes to content marketing trends, it pays to be in the know.  Being on the cutting edge of new or early trends not only establishes authority in your niche and improves the customer experience, but it can drive serious traffic, and ultimately, revenue to your website.

Of course, staying up-to-date on the next big thing can be difficult when you’re trying to run a business.  With summer in full swing, it’s time to begin planning for and implementing new content marketing strategies for the fall and winter season. 

Ready to make your content marketing succeed this fall?  Here are the trends that you should be keeping a close watch on:

Enhanced Personalization

Our ability to personalize the customer experience has grown significantly in the past few years.  With data collection and automated systems growing more sophisticated and affordable, online retailers of all sizes are able to provide unique and personalized experiences to their customers.

Just earlier this year, Burger King launched an ad that communicated with customers who had a Google Home system in their home. The result was mixed, but in the end, Burger King saw a lot of buzz with their unique and cutting edge commercial. If you didn’t see it, check it out here and let us know what you think in the comments.

Despite the growing importance of personalization, many online retailers still struggle to deliver.  According to McKinsey Research, 64 percent of retailers said that personalization was a top priority for 2017, but only 15 percent admitted to having fully implemented personalization into their marketing efforts.

As we head into fall, we will most likely see more content marketers using personalized content marketing.  More specifically, content marketers will be implementing smarter segmentation strategies to deliver targeted content to their audiences.

If you haven’t started personalizing your content marketing, now is a good time to start.  A good first step is to begin finding out more about your target audience.  Create customer personas that will help you visualize prospective customers and write content specifically for them.

Not only is this targeted content bound to be more engaging, but it can dramatically boost your marketing ROI.  Better yet, many of your competitors who have failed to personalize their content will fall behind, giving you an opportunity to snag more market share.

Optimizing Content for Google RankBrain

In the not-so-distant past, content marketers paid far less attention to how Google’s search algorithm worked and focused more simply on producing amazing content.  This worked well enough when Google’s algorithm wasn’t as advanced as it is now.

Today, Google uses RankBrain, a machine learning artificial intelligence system that delivers better search results for users.  Technically launched in 2015, we are only just now beginning to experience how RankBrain works and how it affects our content marketing efforts.

You can read a more in-depth analysis of RankBrain here, but the key takeaway for content marketers is that RankBrain matches quality content with user intent.  This means that you should continue creating high-quality content, but place more emphasis on using long-tail keywords and natural voice search language that will appease RankBrain.

Need help creating content using your audience’s natural language?  Browse through Q&A forums (such as Quora) related to your niche.  Users frequently ask questions there using natural language, which you can then use to build your content.

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Use of Native Advertising

The use of native advertising is on the rise.  In fact, Business Insider estimates that native display ad revenue will make up 74 percent of total display ad revenue by 2021.

Native advertising is a form of paid media that takes on the natural look of the platform on which it appears.  Unlike traditional online advertising, native ads are highly targeted and are designed to add to the user experience, rather than annoy them with irrelevant stories.

This form of advertising is known to be extremely effective at lifting brand content and driving targeted traffic to online stores, which is why more content marketers are turning to content distribution platforms such as Storylift to amplify their reach.  With our robust content targeting options, we promote your content based upon attitudinal behavior and demographic data to get more of the right audience reading your stories.

As brands continue to fight for visibility in a sea of content, leveraging advanced marketing platforms is key for fall 2017.  You can get started with Storylift to begin promoting your content and stay one step ahead of your competitors this year. 

Higher Emphasis on Building Trust

Consumers can be extremely distrustful of brands.  Graver news for brands is that last year’s politics and media made brand distrust worse than it has ever been

We live in an age of consumers who are naturally skeptical, which makes content marketing more important than ever for brands.  As a result, we can expect marketers to spend more time creating content that establishes trust and builds relationships with audiences. 

We are currently seeing this through the rise of influencer marketing, which relies on key leaders promoting your products and driving your brand’s message to a wider audience.  Brands are partnering with large and small influencers in their niche to build credibility in their business.

Similarly, we are also seeing content marketers be more engaging with their audience and taking the time to respond to comments on their content.  By showing an active interest in their audience, marketers can build stronger relationships with customers and can potentially turn them into brand evangelists for their business.

Experimenting with Video

We can safely say that 2016 was the year of video marketing.  Brand-made videos kept cropping up all over social media, on homepages, and even in our emails.

You probably know that video can be a powerful tool in your content marketing arsenal, but what does your video marketing strategy look like moving forward?  Now that brands have gotten used to video marketing, we predict that more of them will begin experimenting with video to tell their brand story in an entirely unique way.

There has certainly been a rise in brands experimenting with live video in recent months.  Small businesses are being bolder with their live video strategies, taking viewers behind the scenes and interviewing influencers for a doubly-effective marketing strategy.

Brands such as Dagoba Organic Chocolate are using video to reassure viewers that their products are made with organic cacao beans from locally sourced farms.  Their video (featured on their homepage) takes viewers inside the cacao farms and shows employees harvesting the beans.

This is a great video marketing tactic, but it is particularly effective for those who sell food products.  Consumers want to know that a business is ethical and honest, which Dagoba does in their videos.

Conclusion

If you haven’t started planning already, now is the time to be thinking about how to improve your content marketing strategy for fall 2017 and beyond.  I mean, it’s already the end of June!  How did that even happen?  Keeping a close watch on the latest content marketing trends will give you a leg up on your competition and help you maximize the ROI of your campaigns.

Remember that not every trend will be a good fit for your brand.  Play around with the trends listed above to see what sticks before you go all in!