As we approach 2017, it's interesting to think about where we're headed in the coming year when it comes to marketing our business.
All business owners want to stay on top of their game by being prepared for what's ahead but in today's fast-changing world, what does that look like?
Below are some content marketing trends you'll want to prepare for when marketing your business in the coming year:
1) Incorporate More Social Media Graphics, Infographics, Visuals and Videos . Since your followers are 80 percent more likely to read your content if you use colored visuals, this area needs to be built up more across your social media channels.
The popularity of visual content will only increase, so you must be prepared. Using Facebook live is still a hot commodity so be sure to dive into that opportunity too!
2) Build a Team. 60 percent of marketers in one survey said content creation was their biggest challenge last year.
To overcome this obstacle, get a team of people to help make content development and publishing easy. This includes having a good writer and social media specialist.
3) Tap Into Influencers . 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations where only 33% trust ads.
Consumers have begun to tune out traditional ads and increasingly connect to their social networks to guide their buying decisions. That's why connecting with influencers is so important.
What is an influencer? "Influencers are people with significant networks (followers, readers, etc.) who can speak to a broad range of products and services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor." – Jess Estrada.
Identify influencers to reach out to in your industry. Follow them on social media and see where you can strike up a conversation.
4) Drive Content Marketing Leads into a Funnel. High value content is one thing, but if you do not build in a strategy that continues building rapport with prospects in the right way, you are leaving money on the table.
Content Marketing is a highly effective way to segment your audience and send them targeted follow-ups and offers, instead of adding them to your main email list.
Creating an Effective Content Marketing Plan for 2017
One of the biggest mistakes I have seen businesses make is they jump into content marketing without a strategy. While trying to appeal to their target market, they slap together a couple of eBooks and free offerings and hope it will be enough to drive sales.
The first step to making content marketing really work for you is to have a solid, smart content marketing plan in place.
Make sure you outline the following essentials in your content marketing plan:
• Understand Who You Are Marketing to. Before starting any kind of marketing strategy, it's vital you understand who your ideal target market is. There's no point in investing your time and money into marketing when you do not have a clear understanding of who you want to buy from you.
• A Comprehensive Review of Past Efforts. Review your past content marketing efforts and results from 2016. This helps you to see what was most effective, what was not, and develop a plan to improve for next year.
• Set Goals and Benchmarks to Determine Future Campaign Success . Having a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and what that will look like is important.
Do you want to develop awareness? Are you working to build brand loyalty? Are you educating prospects? Want to increase engagement with your tribe? Are you increasing sales and profitability?
• Develop Content Ideas that Align with Sales Goals . Here's some example sales goals:
o Boost sales of Mega Fit Bootcamp by 25%.
o Get 50 new leads a month into our sales funnel.
o Create an eBook on Sales Tips for People Who Hate to Sell to drive leads to the funnel.
• Plan a Content Marketing Calendar with Dates and Deadlines . Create an editorial calendar that clearly lays out your dates and deadlines so you can easily prioritize your efforts. This eliminates the "what do I write" problem.
It also makes it much easier to work ahead on content and delegate to team members.
I hope you'd enjoyed these highlights, stats, and facts to help you prepare for content marketing in the coming year.
I'm curious: What changes do you plan to make to your social media strategy in 2017?