Eric van Hall from Mediaweb in the Netherlands has a very interesting vision on SEO and Content Marketing.

On the Dutch Emerce.nl Eric gave his vision on the Content Marketing trends for 2016.

Eric mentioned about the content shock is an important topic in the US but in Europe it will take few years before the content shock will start. So an extra opportunity to start or assign more budget to Content Marketing.

grafiek-content-shock

Then the 16 content marketing trends for 2016:

1) Artificial intelligence
Software that is able to track the web in search of information and add them together into a complete article for a mass audience. We see this trend already in highly structured information, such as stock quotes and weather reports.

2) Outsource
As more companies begin to see content marketing as an attractive alternative to traditional forms of marketing, so it means more production and distribution. Often the most flexible solution is to outsource the work.

As most organizations do not have its experience more widely and regularly producing editorial content. And especially after the numerous reorganizations in recent years, many marketing departments already quite understaffed. They are not waiting for additional work in the form of content creation.

If you create and distribute content in certain industries, there is a nice opertunity

3) Content Curation is getting more important
Curators will be important because of the abundance of information. People, but especially software, which pick up the things that are interesting to nich e audiences from all that information. Think of Twitter moments or scoop.it.

Content curation, it yourself for your own target audience find interesting content, possibly annotate, and share, is also a good strategy to start with content marketing.

4) Mobile users are getting more demanding
The time people spend consuming content on their smartphones is increasing rapidly. But consuming content on a smartphone has its own dynamics, as compared to desktops and tablets. Because notifications of e-mail, Facebook and many other apps distract you quickly.

On April 21, 2015 Google gave for that matter a clear signal: Mobilegeddon. An update to their algorithm which meant a major reshuffle of the mobile search results. Websites that are not compatible with smartphones now feel painful in their ranking.

5) Longer is better
The emergence of virtual assistants as Google Now, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana and the strong expansion of Google Knowledge Graph search engines give more and more immediate answers to many questions.

This means that the common short blog post that provides a concise answer to a frequently asked question, disappear from search results.

In 2016 smart content marketers will more often choose to create longer, more in-depth content.

Another advantage is that longer articles arguably more shares and receive backlinks than shorter articles. And that’s good for the find ability.

Personal I doubt that this will be really long term because since when the (average) Internet user prefers longer articles in stead of concise answers. Internet is a fast medium.

6) Content as product
With the shift from large budgets from traditional forms of advertising to content marketing, so do the opportunities to promote the own content.

The content marketer of 2016 being mainly engaged in producing content. It also creates opportunities to give more attention and resources to paid promotion of that content.

This can be by buying a wide range via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn ads.

In addition, Google is working on a native advertising network that advertisers will soon enable to publish their content on known blogs and other online publications.

Smart content marketers treat their content in 2016 as a product. This includes increasing the range by both paid and unpaid promotion.

7) Acquisitions and Partnerships
If companies have the budget they may buy well running blogs, video blogs, podcasts, etc. Besides of that companies can start partnerships. As far as I know in the pharmaceutic industry this is already very common for years.

8) Integration with sociale media
What can I say. Post your content to be shared and likes. Other way is to create for example summaries on LinkedIn publishing.

In general Social Media will be more and more paid to promote well. As soon as there is something new (like LinkedIn Publishing) it becomes crowded after some time and the effect is that the competition reduce the reach and visibility.

9) Visual content will be more important
Here we go… Right format (for right audience on the right time). Format will be more and more important. Most obvious it will be visual content for mobile devices.

10) Content will be more interactive
In the battle for the attention of the visitor will play a larger role in 2016 interaction. By visitors from passive to active movement, you increase the commitment to the content.

Personally I like the interactive data visualization. But to see what works you need to experiment.

11) Quality makes the difference
The more competition the more the quality will be important. Quality wins from quantity.

12) Efficiency: republishing, repurposing
Re-use your content. For example

You can use your timeless blog posts do more than recycle. Below is a brief overview of what you can do with it further still:

  • Newsletter. Write a summary of some of the older blog posts for your newsletter.
  • Presentation / webinar. Make a presentation (SlideShare / Prezi) of an older blog post. You can then also create a webinar.
  • E-book. Bundle a number of blog posts on the same subject for an e-book. Excellent as a lead magnet.
  • Infographic. Create an infographic based on a previous blog post.
  • Pictures. Use quotes from older blog posts for inspiring visual social media updates.
  • Video / audio. Create videos and / or podcasts an older blog posts.
  • Guest Blogs / syndication. Publish your better blog posts on other websites. Always go for larger than yourself and circumstances constitute canonical tag to the original for your SEO.
  • Overviews. Make ‘most popular’ summary pages for different categories. Examples: Hubspot.

13) No more bullshit
Your message must therefore be VALUABLE and catchy and reach your audience WHERE, WHEN and HOW they want. No more bullshit

This expect your target audience:

  • Makes this content myself smarter?
  • Does it gives me something to talk about?
  • Does it serve my interests?
  • Does it have an element of surprise or humor?
  • Does it inspire me?

When content is everything, how do you make it magnetic, attractive and engaging to your audience?

Good content is:

  • Narrative (what’s the story?)
  • Usable and findable.
  • Current and catchy.
  • Flexible and easy to share.

14) More focus on results
What do you do with content marketing? Surely to generate business for your company? Or another tangible result for your organization?

The target needs to be clear. In general direct selling content doesn’t work on the other site nice content without target is also not what a company wants. Here is the big challenge for content marketing!

15) Influencers are getting more important
Influencer marketing is in itself nothing new. But with the growing consumer demand for reliable filters the flood of content, the importance of influencers increases.

People will content recommended by people they trust rather than viewing content that is not recommended.

It only work on the long term if the influencers are not only influencing for the money they will earn with it. But coming time most people don’t even recognize that influencers are often paid.

16) Content in episodes (series)
Many content marketers think currently strong in terms of ‘campaigns’. A legacy from the days of traditional marketing. But in 2016 smart content marketers will learn from Netflix that his audience knows how to bind with their own series like House of Cards and Breaking Bad.

Smart content marketers will try to weave a thread through their content, with the aim to fascinate their audience over a longer period. A story with a beginning, middle and end, told over a longer period in the form of several episodes.

It is coming back where it starts, stories and story telling

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