5 More Content Marketing Trends for 2017
Outbrain’s Head of Marketing APAC, Isabella Barbato, reveals the content marketing trends she sees coming to fruition in 2017.
PQ Media’s Global Content Marketing Forecast 2015-19 estimates content marketing will become a US$313 billion industry by 2019. Not surprisingly, savvy marketers are taking notice of content marketing and adopting it as part of the marketing mix, faster than ever.
#1 Bigger Budgets
Content marketing budgets are set to move from experimental to mainstream in 2017. As the question for marketers changes from, “Do you have a content marketing strategy?” to “What is your content marketing strategy?”, we anticipate an increased number of marketers investing in the channel - with bigger budgets.
Despite the enormous rise of content marketing, for many brands, budgets for both creation and distribution of content have still been experimental or treated as one off projects. Likewise, there has been a lack of ownership and dysfunction between teams and agencies. In 2017, we are set to see in-house marketers take more ownership of content, resulting in an increase in dedicated content budgets, allowing brands to fully invest in their own resources.
We expect brands that have previously only dipped a toe in the content marketing waters, to return with increased commitment and investment to the channel in 2017. For those that haven’t made the plunge as yet, 2017 provides them with an opportunity to do this.
#2 Mobile Engagement Becomes Measurable
One challenge brands faced this year was the fragmentation of consumers and the wide ranging platforms they are on. With a growing number of devices and content platforms, mobile engagement is set to increase further throughout 2017.
I envisage content marketers will focus more on the quality rather than the volume of the content that they produce
While desktop content is of course still relevant, content consumption on mobile has truly skyrocketed and overtaken desktop as the most used platform, at least in more mature markets such as Australia. This is likely to continue in 2017 with the global ubiquity of mobile phones. We can, as such, speculate on how the mobile app market will develop to enable improvements to content engagement.
Having an integrated strategy that ensures you reach targeted consumers wherever they consume content is a must for marketers. This is particularly true for mobile, where the smaller screen format means that traditionally banner advertising feels out of place and delivers a poorer user experience.
#3 Video Playing a Bigger Part
Video-wrapped content has often been a source of frustration for its buffering times, but will become more popular as these new devices speed up and performance continues to improve.
The gaining momentum of mobile has strengthened the lead for video viewing, and as a medium, video is engaging, shareable, cross-device and has huge potential reach – a perfect combination for content marketing. It will account for 69% of all consumer web traffic by 2017, according to Cisco. Consequently, the importance of video for content consumption cannot be understated.
Studies show that around 50 per cent of the global brands are already incorporating video into their content marketing and broader digital strategies, and we would expect that to increase substantially in 2017.
#4 Quality over Quantity
As brands look to measuring value with deeper metrics such as time spent on site, and share-ability, I envisage content marketers will focus more on the quality rather than the volume of the content that they produce.
We should see a reduction in marketers creating large amounts of low quality content and blasting it out haphazardly without sufficient targeting.
In line with the move to measurability, the biggest gains will be made by those who craft their content to hit their campaign goals and then investing in quality content distribution and amplification channels such as Outbrain to get that content in front of the target reader.
#5 Publishers and Agencies will Become Competitors
The rise of content marketing and native advertising has changed digital landscape. The boundaries between brands, publishers and agencies have been blurring for some time, but 2017 is set to be the year that publishers and agencies will go head-to-head for brand dollars. The growth of publisher content studios means publishers can now directly pitch to brands, offering to both develop and distribute relevant content - thus cutting out the middleman.
Publishers have always known how to create engaging content and build audiences and are now using this, and the fact they already have a developed distribution channel to their advantage.
Will publishers become the new one-stop shop for content creation and distribution in 2017? How exactly are publishers doing this and what do agencies need to do to keep up with this new and emerging competition? The roles of both agencies and publishers are changing, and the next stage in this evolution will likely be publisher to publisher native advertising where large and small publishers partner on distribution for exclusive stories.