Video, video, and more video moved in the minds (and came out of the mouths) of industry pundits as one of the huge marketing trends of 2016—and it ain’t going away. The impact of video on conversion and engagement suggests that it’s a tool with persuasive power, and that millennial viewers are particularly hungry audiences. Many companies have YouTube channels with sophisticated video products, but with its Planet of the Apps show, Apple is even getting into original programming to expand its brand offerings. These aren’t your dad’s videos, either. However, when that trust is lost, the influence can go bust, and with it, your shiny association. Tell Me a Story Hmm, this “what’s old is new” thing might be a theme (or better yet, a marketing trend). And many brands are turning to storytelling as a key 2017 content strategy. Storytelling has a good shot at being a content strategy for the next 40,000 years—so start sprucing up your cave paintings. Still, there is some buzz that 2017 will be the year that the VR experience is normalized. The tools to tell your stories might change, but the fundamentals apply: the stories have to be good.
Nailing down marketing trends is targeting something that’s ever-moving. One day’s list might be topped with a push for bigger big data, the next insisting that more personalization is the thing, while the next declares that inbound, top-of-funnel crusades pave the road to conversion nirvana. Whatever the strategy du jour, narrowband hit-and-run tactics aren’t definitive enough for C-level execs who often need to map out blue-sky content strategies—ones with staying power.
So, say you’re the VP of marketing at an enterprise firm, and you’re looking at your company’s website traffic over the first quarter. You notice something: although your traffic is overall much higher than it was this time last year, things are stagnating, and, you’re disturbed to realize, taking a turn toward a decline. As a marketer, you know you need to be pushing the boundaries and engaging your audience in new ways, but you don’t know what to improve first.
You’re not alone. That’s why we’re looking here to survey the kind of trends for 2017 that have operational components—things that industry leaders are drafting into their master plans. And, just to make you wonder whether we’re going to say Windows 95 is back as well, let’s start out with one of the granddaddies: email.
This Isn’t Your Dad’s Email
Email—it will not die! With all the whiz-bang connectivity apps (and their advertising) burning consumers’ smartphone batteries these days, it seems ludicrous to claim that email is still one of the kings of content strategy. Yet, the inbox remains a sacred space—it’s the Rip Van Winkle of marketing trends.
The table-busting wealth of internet distractions finds consumers clicking then vaporizing in a nanosecond; in comparison, their inboxes are calm confines of sweet repose, where your message—if sticky (and storified) enough—might make its way to top of mind. Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute cited an email renaissance swelling subscription numbers at places like BuzzFeed and the Washington Post.
Pulizzi specifically cited targeted email newsletters as an audience-growing trend. Sumo Stories and MailChimp’s What’s In Store newsletter are good examples of companies expressing the basics of their brand—often using video and good graphics—with good humor and worthy information.
Ooh, Look—Pretty Pictures!
Video, video, and more video moved in the minds (and came out of the mouths) of industry pundits as one of the huge marketing trends of 2016—and it ain’t going away. Creatively composed imagery, as any moviegoer knows, has a way of slipping behind your rational mind and grabbing your gut. And these days, you don’t need a hushed audience and a darkened auditorium to reach your clients with video—as Facebook Live has shown, the right movie messages on their phones can equally tingle their spines.
The impact of video on conversion and engagement suggests that it’s a tool with persuasive power, and that millennial viewers are particularly hungry audiences. But soul-grabbing video content isn’t usually the result of a tossed-off iPhone capture. Producing solid and inviting video messages takes considerable skill and resource allocation—with more companies investing time in recording and production, the bar has been upped. Many companies have…