Did you know that every day there are 4.6 billion pieces of new content produced and an incredible 83,000 blog posts published every hour? This says a lot about our abilities as a human race to work really hard, sometimes even tirelessly to produce more, more, more. Yet, our ability to work hard often isn’t met with our need to work smarter.
A startling 70% of this content produced goes unused. That’s right, 70 PERCENT! While this statistic may be deflating, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Recently, ion interactive, a web-based interactive content software platform (SaaS), hosted a webinar discussing 2017 interactive marketing trends. I found the webinar to be very eye-opening, easy to digest and put into practice. The questions for us content marketers to ask is this: how do we go forward and not waste any more of our precious resources on deaf ears? How do we learn to value quality vs. quantity?
First and foremost, ask yourself if your content
- Stands Out
- Gains Attention
- Demonstrates Results
If your content is even missing one of these essential filters, go back to the drawing board. Depending on what type of content you are creating, there are some researched trends that will guide your creative process and ensure your content does the above.
Let’s digest eight of these 2017 trends.
1. Interactive Content
Interactive content is mostly used for educating the audience, engagement, lead generation, creating brand awareness, and conversion. In fact, utilizing interactive content has been found to be 94% more effective at conversion, 60% more effective at differentiation, 33% more effective at educating buyers, and a whopping 120% more effective at being shared. Even more, many B2B marketers predict that over 10% of their content will be interactive within the next 12-24 months.
Assessments, calculators, contests, and quizzes are among some of the most popular types of content being created. 2017 will require marketers to have unique applications within these types of content.
Online video content is the fastest growing content marketing trend and is expected to make up 70% of all internet traffic in 2017. Over 43% of consumers are requesting to see more video from brands. Video content must not be ignored.
What’s really great for us marketers beyond significant ROI is that the use of interactive video opens up a whole world of data. The data collected can show where the consumer clicked, at what point they started and stopped watching, and can also be used for future advertising or email marketing efforts.
Interactive video is often used for brand awareness and lead generation. This could be an effective tool for your company to describe its history and values in a way that allows the consumer to become a part of your story.
These days it is an expectation that advertising be personalized and tailored to their audiences’ interest and habits. So often, this is where we miss the mark. It will be absolutely vital to understand at a customer-level the personas, needs, wants and preferences of your customer. Leveraging personalization within your interactive content will create a feeling of belonging for your audience.
4. Create Content That People Want to Engage With
Having a sense of humor and being lighthearted is desired in most content, even in B2B marketing. Understanding your audience will give you the direction you need in to incorporate this lighter approach. One way you can do this is to allow your forms to be fun, by copy or in design. Doing this allows your business to showcase a human touch to your content.
5. Account-Based Content
Having content that is based on an account allows for sales enablement, and ability to scale. For example, if you know that one of your customers experienced a problem specific to that industry, you should tailor your content to that specific problem that you solved for them. Account-based marketing is like harpoon fishing for your target accounts, as opposed to inbound marketing, which is like casting a net.
Storytelling allows you to humanize your brand, and if you humanize your brand, people will be able to relate to it. For example, imagine an Italian restaurant with roots in a small kitchen in the Bronx where the children of immigrant parents were able to turn family recipes into money-making dishes. Telling this story on an interactive website page can put the audience right there in that kitchen. This storytelling makes an audience want to experience the story and will ultimately bring them to the restaurant.
When utilizing storytelling, ensure that it accomplishes these elements:
- Highly Visual
- Motion through the Story
- Animation of Key Content
- Evoke Emotion or Feelings
- Soft sell or no sell
7. Data Visualization
When needing to showcase data, it would be a good idea to represent it visually. Adding these layers brings an extra level of richness to the data and helps to tell your story in a more meaningful way.
If you list out data in a bulleted format, you’re likely to give your reader something else to scan. If you add a graph or chart, they can see how the numbers relate to each other and they’re more likely to notice trends.
8. Ungate Content
They say “ungated content is the way to a customer’s heart.” This is true for your lead generation content. It is what the customer uses to form their opinion of your business. Your best content needs to be seen. Consider converting your best offers into webpages, or blog posts.
That being said, make sure you still have some gated content offerings. These eBooks, whitepapers, and other content can generate a consistent amount of Awareness -level leads that you can start nurturing through the sales pipeline with email marketing automated workflows.
That was a lot of trends to go over. Hopefully by now, you are feeling inspired to explore the world of interactive content in a deeper way. The key to being one-step ahead is not just to follow the trends, but to find unique ways to incorporate them. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to even start, remember to not put the cart in front of the horse. It is more than okay to take a step back and evaluate where you are. With all the ignored content out there, quality of content will always be king.