Content marketing is constantly changing, which means it can be difficult to stay on top of what’s going on. Don’t worry though – get your head start this year with this list of five resolutions all content marketers should make for 2017.
1. Take Advantage of Live Video
Live video has very recently begun to progress from a rarity to a marketing staple. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are promoting it heavily, and brands from news sites and car manufacturers to sporting events are taking advantage of it.
74% of respondents in a Vidyard survey said that video led to the highest conversion rates of any type of content. According to Facebook, live video works even better.
Customers seek out meaningful, authentic interactions with brands, and live video gives them that. There’s little that’s more authentic than seeing exactly what’s happening in the moment, and interacting with a company in real-time creates a meaningful connection. Live video also outperforms other forms of media in terms of timeliness. Live video can provide literally instantaneous updates.
Live video is especially useful for promoting events, as location no longer acts as a barrier. People can virtually attend your event from anywhere in the world. Live streaming also converts to real attendance. Digitell found that 30% of live video viewers attended the event the next year.
2. Give Semantic Search the Attention It Deserves
Search is getting smarter, and it’s important for marketers to keep up with those changes.
Keyword rankings are important, but there’s so much more that search engines now take into account. When a search engine uses these various resources to produce search results, it’s called semantic search.
Semantic search tries to figure out what results you want, as opposed to just the meaning of the words you search. We don’t know exactly what search engines like Google use to do this, but past searches and location are likely contributing factors.
Semantic search is better for users because of its improved accuracy. It allows for features such as conversational search results, autocorrection and location-specific results.
In order to take advantage of semantic search, content marketers should focus less on specific keywords and more on a keyword ecosystem. They’re still important, but other factors should take center stage. Focus more on the meaning, as Google does. Ensure that your content has an obvious focus, so search engines know what it’s about and who to show it to.
Focus also on quality content that gives people what they’re looking for. Your content should match their intention, not just the exact words they search.
3. Get Ready for RankBrain
Artificial intelligence is changing the game when it comes to search. Are you ready for AI, or as Google calls it, “deep learning,” to be a part of the Google algorithm?
Internet users have an incredible amount of content to choose from, and all of that content is competing with yours for their limited attention. Search engines like Google want to serve up the best possible content to their users that they can, but there is a neverending supply of content out there to scan and rank. Google created a tool called RankBrain to solve this problem.
AI can scan the mountains of internet content in a specific area and identify trending topics. It can actually “learn” by analyzing a series of queries and drawing out user intent. And it can do all of this exceptionally quickly.
So how can you optimize for RankBrain? Larry Kim has a few ideas, but it all revolves around one idea: do content better. Rank for the right user intent, optimize your titles and metas to be something people with that intent will actually want to click on, and then convert those visitors. Easy right? Well, it’s still something worth having in the back of your mind as you create your content.
Google has made their bet on AI obvious by making their head of machine learning, John Giannandrea, the head of Google search. You can bet that RankBrain and AI search are only going to become more important in the years to come.
4. Reach Your Audience with Content Recommendation Platforms
Content recommendation platforms are one of the top strategies for content marketers to embrace this year. Algorithms similar to the ones YouTube uses to recommend videos can be used for content marketing, too.
Companies like Taboola and Outbrain post links to recommended content on blog posts and articles around the web. By partnering with companies like these, marketers can get their content seen by potential customers.
Content recommendation platforms try to show people content they think will be interesting to them. Recommendation services use a variety of factors to determine what to show someone. It might be based on the page they’re viewing at the time, or on their search and browsing history.
Taking advantage of content recommendation platforms can help your content get to the people who will be most interested in it. It’s one of many ways to get your material to the right people at the right time.
5. Build Loyalty Through Episodic Content Marketing
You know that feeling you get when you’re watching your favorite show on Netflix and the episode ends in a cliffhanger? These suspenseful shows leave you wanting to know what happens next. You can hardly wait for the next episode!
You can apply that same strategy to your content marketing. Episodic content — content with multiple installments that follow a certain theme — performs better than standalone pieces. One study found that episodic content led to 124.3% more page views.
Episodic content creates loyalty by promising people more. It breaks content into easily digestible chunks and gives readers, viewers or listeners an enticing reason to come back. Take advantage of this form of content by placing calls-to-action to subscribe throughout your content, so that your readers have a way to come back to you.
2017 is a brand new year. We’ll see new trends in online marketing and lots of exciting new ways to reach potential customers. Now that you know what you have to look forward to, why not make 2017 your best content marketing year yet?
What resolutions are you making for your content marketing this year?
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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com