Ready or not, 2017 is on the horizon. With a new year comes a fresh look at strategies and technologies that are paving the way for content marketing.
What will the trends be for the coming year? In some cases, it’s a matter of reinventing successful content to fit new platforms and mediums. There are a handful of innovations and strategies worth a look and a try as we sail into 2017.
Streaming gets serious through data.
HBO kicked off the addictive content tactic to boost ratings, but Netflix took it to another level. By studying behavioral and viewer data of current subscribers, Netflix was able to make a solid guess about their next big show when it came to casting and content.
The entertainment company was so sure about their data, they didn’t even invest in a pilot—and it paid off. “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey, bumped the paid subscriber base and remains a hit today. Now everybody wants a piece of that pie.
As more big brands tap into similar data with content on Amazon Prime, Netflix and perhaps even Apple, the shift from TV to online streaming just might change the game. One survey found that nearly 76% of Netflix subscribers think the platform could replace traditional television. The power of video and video streams is undeniable in the realm of marketing. Brands of all sizes can follow this model with an episodic series of content on an easily-accessible medium to boost loyalty and engagement.
With the ability to publish content on their own platforms, marketers can monitor everything much more efficiently—including subscriber behavior that drives production decisions. Brands like Marriott and Starbucks are already leading the pack with programs developed in their own studios, cutting back on costs and empowering in-house creativity.
Content uncovers a real purpose.
Companies are discovering that generating nonstop content just to get something out there can do more harm than good. They’re also learning that content highlighting the soul of a brand really engages prospective and current customers. Why? In the name of quality over quantity, consumers admire brands that stand for something and want to make the world a better place. American Express does this perfectly with its “Small Business Saturday” campaign.
Expect a few feel-good moments next year from other brands looking to hone in on that emotional connection with consumers. Not a bad thing to look forward to.
Mobile media finds a home on apps.
If your content isn’t mobile, it’s stagnant. Most content strategies incorporate some type of mobile engagement, but the focus should be on apps. According to Smart Insights, 89% of mobile media time is spent on apps, with 11% spent on mobile websites. With word-of-mouth attention on social up for grabs, ultra-engaging apps that feature enticing tech like AR and VR score big. And there’s something to be said about nostalgia that blends the old with the new.
Case in point: Pokémon Go. Not all apps will have people roaming the streets, but the idea of content that captivates through new technology is a universal winner.
The Pokémon Go phenomenon proves what a little viral, augmented reality content can do for an established brand like Nintendo. By August 2016, the app had 100 million downloads on Google Play, over 20 million daily active users and $268 million in total revenue. Brands that can move their engaging, inventive content onto mobile apps in 2017 will have a shot at success.
Spontaneous eye-to-eye connections inspire action.
2017 will be the year for true connections that put the audience front row center. Live streaming video that makes a brand’s story less of a story and more of a conversation is the next step in talking with (not to) consumers. Take Red Bull, for example. The brand uses video to reach out to audiences with a view of what their lives could be like if they chugged a little hyper-caffeination.
Red Bull TV’s blend of on-demand and live content offers balance with the opportunity for unpredictability, which is both unique and tempting for the right audience. Users can watch live music festivals or follow base jumpers on their first journey through the air.
Live, raw content is a boost of adrenaline, and when done correctly, it can drive buying decisions in the right direction. As Red Bull shows us, this isn’t the space for polished and rehearsed content. Spontaneity is the name of the game, so going with the flow is what will make this strategy a success.
Snapchat soars to continued success.
Although the two brands measure metrics in a slightly different way, Snapchat’s 10 billion daily video views is leading Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views. Beating Facebook isn’t an easy thing to do these days.
Snapchat has made itself a giant in the social world with brands uploading content geared towards a wide audience. French newspaper Le Monde is joining Snapchat Discover to deliver doses of reality, while big names like General Electric are throwing their personalities into the Snapchat arena.
Snapchat is low cost and quirky, offering that increasingly coveted characteristic of content marketing: personal. If you’re not ready to snap some great content, then you’re missing out on a major marketing opportunity.
Predictions for content marketing in 2017 are peppered with ingenuity and a thoughtful approach to consumer connection. By testing new techniques with mobile media—especially in the realm of apps and video content—brands have the opportunity to stay relevant and find a wider audience than ever before.