Content Marketing Trends: A 2017 Forecast

 Start planning  – These trends are set to define the coming year.

New year, new goals; As the year comes to a close, its once again time for content marketers to think about content strategies for the upcoming year.

While 2016 saw a growing focus on interactive and video content, user-generated content and a need for personalisation, what can brands expect in 2017? Will today’s content maintain its relevance, or will audiences crave for something new?

As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm; Likewise, content that adapts to changing needs and technology will have a bigger impact on consumers. So, start planning, and take a look at 3 content trends that we believe will define the next year.

1. Human Content

Following the popularity of user-generated content, there will be a continued focus on creating authentic, personable content. It is no longer about the crafted persona of a brand; Consumers want to know the culture and people behind it, and how a the brand is impacting daily lives. 

Word-of-mouth thus remains a big influence on consumer behaviour; After all, a recommendation from a friendly face is always more convincing than a self-promoting ad. Authentic, everyday content that’s fronted by real people is set to deliver a bigger impact in 2017. 

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A Screenshot of Skyscanner Jen’s Amazing Customer Service Response on Facebook. 

Also, when it comes to communicating with customers, think Skyscanner Jen, whose entertaining Facebook replies to customers delivered the travel company a huge PR/Marketing win. Using a lighthearted, funny and personal voice that’s helpful and tactful will charm consumers more than a formal, clipped tone.

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Example of user generated content on Instagram. 

In addition, there will be a demand for audience participation. As consumers shift from being passive receivers to active partners, more users will appreciate avenues where they can show their side of the brand story; A platform where they can share how they feel a brand/product has impacted their lives. 

2. Automated Content

As the content market saturates with new and old players, writers will need to create faster, better quality works to stay in the game. The coming year will thus see a shift in the way content creation is handled; Automated, bot-writing softwares like Automated Insights and Narrative Science will play an important role in improving content scale and efficiency.

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An bot-generated AP article by Automated Insights (AI) 

These platforms are already adopted by news agencies like the Associated Press to generate statistical reports. Using algorithms to extract key details, automated programs are able to compose content that’s eerily coherent and human. In fact, many content creators have begun to use it to repurpose their written content as well.

As a result, 2017 will see increased usage of such technologies; Marketers can soon focus on writing detailed quality pieces for various platforms, without the hassle of rewriting from scratch for different formats. For example, automated programmes can be used to break down a lengthy article into simpler text for blogs, infographics or videos.

Though this trend may seem like bad news for writers everywhere, fret not. Content creators stand to benefit, as they will be able to dedicate more time on planning content offerings or designing and developing better content.

3. Live Video Formats

While the demand for traditional video sees no signs of stopping, emphasis will also shift to live-video formats following 2017.

Stable technology, better features and a bigger audience contribute to this rising trend; With the introduction of Facebook Live and the popularity of Periscope, more people are exposed to the medium than ever before, making it an attractive avenue for marketers.

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Screenshot of Buzzfeed’s Facebook Live Event. 

Like our previously mentioned trends, live video’s appeal lies in its ability to deliver ‘transparent’ content that audiences crave. Consumers get to be ‘in the moment’ with brands, see real, behind-the-scene workings and interact instantly with them, giving them the feeling of face-to-face, human engagement. Furthermore, the responsive nature of live video builds trust and allows viewers to feel as if they ‘played a part’ in shaping the brand story.

The coming year will see more people consuming and expecting such content from brands. Live-video will prove to be an amazing tool for promoting events or simply connecting and communicating with fans.

What other content marketing trends do you think will impact brands in the future? Share with us in our comments section!

Written by: (www.script.com.sg) 

Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd

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