As year 2016 has passed its halfway point, it is a good time to review the current trends in content marketing. If you feel your marketing efforts are not generating the desired results, it is not too late to turn the wheel in the right direction.
Last December, we published a blog about our social media forecasts for 2016. Read this for useful tips on understanding your audience better, creating great visuals and recycling content. While these trends are still extensively relevant, below we will guide you through the current and most relevant opportunities for making your content marketing more effective. These are the following: evolving social media technology and paid social, content personalization, and live streaming.
From owned to paid media
There is an algorithm-favouring shift in technology—they have become more influential than ever. Today, algorithms decide the fate of your content and can even create new content on their own, such as financial reports and product descriptions. It is becoming more and more difficult to gain visibility for organic posts which, on the other hand, has led to increases in paid advertising in social media. In 2015, Facebook ad sales increased by 80%, while ads on Twitter and LinkedIn grew by 75% and 65%, respectively.
“Many social media channels are indeed moving from the owned media category towards becoming paid media. As algorithms continue to evolve and become smarter, we can also expect paid advertising to keep on growing”, says our Head of Analytics Sanna Määttänen. For marketers this means that a set budget for paid social media is a must for reaching the right audiences with your content.
To be heard above the digital marketing buzz, you must personalize your content in order to make it interesting for your readers and to connect with the audience at a different level. As our social media feeds fill with an endless deluge of content, only the ones with personalized content will receive attention. Although you should always keep SEO in mind, the audience you are trying to reach are living people, not search engines.
Together with unique and fresh content, personalization and solid search engine optimization will guarantee your content more hits. For example, Nike’s “Better for it” campaign resonated with average athletes rather than celebrities and professionals. The campaign was a success because it spoke to regular women with insecurities, encouraging them to challenge themselves and ensuring that they can accomplish anything. The content was also personalized by using keyword targeting for women thinking about and doing exercise.
We live in a busy world, where people want everything fast and easy. This is where visuals enter the picture—people crave more instant forms of content that provide a clear view in just a few seconds. Text based social media content deceased years ago and even image-based content is starting to reach its saturation point in some channels—for example, today videos and embedded links outperform photos in Facebook organic reach.
One emerging form of video is live streaming video; apps like Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat, followed by Facebook Live have become extensively popular. Periscope reached the same number of users in five months that Instagram reached in a year. Even though the user base of live stream apps is still relatively small compared to other established social media platforms, companies are avidly discovering and testing the opportunities these apps offer for various businesses.
“Live streaming offers a more personal and engaging way to communicate with your audience”, says our Head of Video production Kalle Kaskinen, “Even though live streaming apps such as Periscope are designed for effortless use doesn’t mean the videos can not be well produced. For example, poor lighting or sound in a professional live broadcast can give a bad impression. Mobile content can be high quality when it is well prepared”.
Again, be sure to check out our previous post on content marketing trends in 2016 here. So far, 2016 has been an exciting time in social media, and we can’t wait to see what lies in store for the rest of the year.