Nine Content Marketing Principles and Trends for 2016

Content marketing is arguably the most dynamic field in marketing. It changes faster than any strategy available online as it is entirely dependent on the evolution of the internet, innovations in web-based platforms, and changes in other online marketing strategies.

Content creation changes when Google updates its algorithms, affecting search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Content presentation and relevant media change as new trends and technologies upgrade the entire social media hemisphere. No single content marketing tactic works within an extended period of time because all the platforms used with it also develop faster than humans can keep up.

Content marketing in 2016 will be no different. You can expect a lot of innovations, forced updates and upgrades, more compelling ideas, and more effective tactics.

Learn what to expect for the entire year so you can create more effective data-driven marketing tactics.

  • Video marketing becomes an integral part of content marketing, even for B2B marketing.

This is the year when video starts to dominate the content-as-product and product-as-content types of websites. Internet users seem to get lazier every year, so the demand for instant transfer of message is rising uncontrollably. Even videos crammed within six seconds turned out to be a big hit in 2015. You can expect more of that this year.

YouTube no longer monopolizes this segment when it comes to content marketing using social media platforms. Websites now have video on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook Live, Blab, and the immensely successful Vine to choose from. Even the B2B industry is expected to use video as content for brand marketing and presentations.

  • Content marketing points towards quality over quantity.

This has been the case for some years now, but the importance of personalized content cannot be overemphasized. Internet users want more specific data delivered straight to their channel of choice, whether it is email, social media or mobile. That means that websites have to narrow down their market even further, from their industry niches down to more specific demographic- and geographic-centric data.

  • Sender-to-receiver data actions become more relevant like when email marketing was still taking off.

Imagine a seller-to-buyer conversation done online. That is exactly the face of content marketing for 2016. It is no longer about saying something. It is all about convincing someone to believe something based on his own feedbacks. Feedbacks are not necessarily given voluntarily of course, so cookies and web tracking services will become more useful this year.

Most internet users seemed to have developed an instinct to automatically ignore unsolicited online ads popping on their sidebars and within web contents. At the same time, more people rely on ads in terms of brand acknowledgment to reduce researching whenever possible. They are indeed contradicting, but it only shows how open a new window is for online marketers.

People are becoming more conscious of the “why” than the “what,” regardless if what they are reading is straight information or half advertisement. Internet users want to be persuaded, not merely informed. Advertorials, reviews, inforgraphics and product intrusion will have more places in content marketing in 2016. They will not hurt as long as they stay straightforward and honest.

  • Media acquisitions by big brands dominate the acquisitions race to single out more lucrative niches for content marketing.

Experts predict that media acquisition is bound to become a trend for content marketing this year. Large local and multinational brands will start resorting to buying startup social media sites and niche websites to increase brand awareness and widen their reach without boarding outside of their niches. Review websites, in particular, will have more value due to the increased demand.

  • Mobile-specific websites start to flourish in 2016.

Google penalizes websites that are still not optimized for mobile use. This is to ensure that all websites become user-friendly regardless of the platform used. However, 2016 will start to see slight changes by mid-year in response to the growing demand for mobile internet access. Many websites will start to focus on the mobile platform to tap a bigger market without the hefty cost.

  • Native advertising becomes the new face of credibility, or close to it.

More media companies will start to embrace native advertising or sponsored content as part of their revenue stream. It is for a lot, but companies in the big league are still understandably reluctant about it. After all, content sponsorship is not frequently taken as honest and reliable content.

However, as product-as-content type of websites start to flourish and people start demanding for more specific answers, native advertising also becomes a great way to answer the “why” and “how” of people. Remember that persuading is the new way of informing.

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal start to show signs of more aggressive native advertising while Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Newsweek have already integrated this tactic to their content marketing plans.

  • The importance of having your own website slightly downgrades.

The importance of a business having its own website is still undeniably immense. However, as content marketing becomes more dynamic and it gets more reliant on other online marketing strategies, it also becomes less dependent on a single website.

As aforementioned, internet users will start looking to other media for more elaborate but concise information, such as review sites and others featuring sponsored contents. This will ultimately lead to the acquisition of media by large brands.

It is important for businesses to start investing on other media as well, be it through an acquisition or partnership.

  • Content marketing continues to look for a live medium for dissemination.

Content marketing can no longer be sustained simply by staying organic. Different types of live media are bound to become more important this year, and by that, it means live human media, mostly in the form of social media superstars.

Many online marketers did not expect the rise of sponsored content on Snapchat and Vine last year. Now they know that people do not simply want to watch content. They want to watch someone they follow to share content.

Vine superstars benefit from it the most. Creating a video six seconds long to earn hundreds of thousands is unprecedented even as some YouTube channels start earning more than $5 million a couple of years ago. The ongoing rate is 1,000 for every 100,000 followers. So with the most-followed Vine channel having more than 8,000,000 followers, the income acquired by sharing content through video is not less than $80,000 or $13,333 per second.

How to Develop a Relationship to Your Target Audience?

Online presence has become a crucial part of every business since the Internet was discovered. Having a niche for your product and services’ information is an effective way to attract clients. It can lead to a lasting relationship with your prospects, but how to develop this relationship in the first place is a step that must be carefully considered and mastered.

A good relationship with clients and prospects must be maintained for it is the backbone of every business endeavor. For newbies, and those who have been lagging behind, there is still hope for you. You can learn from the experiences of others and set your unique spot on the virtual page.

Here are some practical tips on how to establish a good relationship with your customers.

  • Be subtle. Oftentimes, you get distracted or even offended when people push you or force an issue on you. This approach is also deeply felt online. Majority of surfers are annoyed with pop ups and countless links to obvious advertising that they have installed certain extensions to block these things. In order to be appealing and friendly to your clients, your advertising should not be too obvious or offensive. Learn to focus on the audience’ needs and gently suggest that you can help them. When you are able to touch the core of your prospects’ need and when you are able to gain their trust, that’s the only time you can be assured of their support.
  • Be sincere. Along with simplicity comes sincerity. Do not promise something that you cannot really give. A lot of words can even bore the reader…Oh, by the way, people don’t usually read. They literally skim or look over the images in your ad and if nothing catches their attention, they just move on and never turn back. Employing multimodality and having omni-channel that informs by visual effects (videos, informatics, pictures, and the like) can effectively draw the audience once they see that you have truth in what you are offering. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and discover what your brand can offer and what your competitors are not able to do.
  • Be selective. Learn to know where the real clients are. Make a survey. Do research. Study the trend and ask. You would be wasting a lot of money and opportunities if you just copy others or stay where others have been “fishing.” Find your own niche and start there. The best place to start is with your friends. They can serve as your advocates and share the message around through likes, shares, follows. You will be amazed as to how swiftly your message can reach the prospects and you will be assured that these are people who are in one way or another are emotionally attached to each other, thus making it easier for you to convince them.
  • Be swift. In online marketing, there is no space for delays. You have to do it now or be dead. Make your mind and the minds below you process the information as quickly as possible. Concretize each concept in photos or videos and publish it immediately. Make use of the right channels. Go where the right prospects are and show them what you have. Do not underestimate a single-line tweet or post in social media networks. Although you may need some precise and factual explanations to prove your points later, these short and quick releases could pave the way for your prospects to the core of your message.
  • Be saleable. Having the right product or services with a number of benefits as well as an attractive packaging are not the only ways of making your brand sell. You have to convince your audience in a creative way that will move them to act now and choose your product over your competitors’ products. You can achieve this by making sales trailers. Yes, just like with movies, you have to let the clients have a sneak peek of what you can offer. This is an effective sampling technique that is used by the “masters.” Get down and make a story of what you have to offer in bits and nuggets and show these to the world. These short flicks will keep your audience guessing and wanting for more.
  • Be the solution. You may ask yourself, “How can I make a difference? I am not the only one selling this?” You are right, but you can be different and that mark will give you an edge over your competitors. The way you present your information – telling your prospects that you are “the solution,” not only “one of the solutions,” to their problems – is an art that you have to master. Point to the clients’ needs or problems and direct them to your solution. This can be the focus of your sales trailers, pictures, videos, and tweets or posts that you are sending across the globe through the Internet.

As you can see, these six suggestions of being subtle, sincere, selective, swift, saleable, and the solution are closely related to each other. You cannot simply handpick one that is convenient to you and employ it. In fact, to be subtle means to be sincere; while to be selective, you must be swift to act; and to be saleable, you must post or be the solution. In addition, sustaining a vital relationship with your customers and prospects is the bloodline of your business. Although these practical steps may take time and wisdom to put into action, you will be on your sure way to success if you employ them.

Looking at the example of successful businesses, it can be seen that it is always a wise decision to include the aspect of relating to your audience in the initial part of your planning and in the middle of the execution of your plans as well as in the evaluation process. In other words, since the audience is the twin of the success of your business, they must be given priority in every decision and action your company has to take.