Update: Read the Content Marketing trends for 2017 here.
Content Marketing took a big leap in 2014-2015, especially for us here in the Philippines. Locally, "SEO", "Social Media" and "Email Marketing" have always been the buzzwords when we talk about Online Marketing. Correct me if I'm wrong but it wasn't until maybe early 2014 that Online Marketing providers in the Philippines started offering Content Marketing as a separate service and a full-on marketing strategy.
Content Marketing in the Philippines
This is not to say that we haven't been creating content around here, we do. In fact, many foreign companies outsource their content creation and web copy writing requirements to the Philippines.
Back then, in an Online Marketing agency, we, the content people, were the introverted ones, typing away in our corner, trying to meet our word count quotas and doing our best to inject those high-traffic, long-tailed keywords into our paragraphs.
But now, the writers are in the limelight, and thank God we can finally write more meaningful and purposeful pieces of content, compared to the (robotic) "search engine friendly" articles we used to do back then.
The times have changed and Content Marketing is now at the core of every marketing strategy you can think of. This year, Content Marketing continues to grow and transform the way we do business, whether B2B or B2C, whether outsourced or in-house.
Here are 5 trends that will change the way we approach content marketing.
1. The continuous rise of Content Marketing specialists and professionals.
Moz's Rand Fishkin predicted in 2015 that resumes listing "content marketing" will grow faster than either SEO and Social Media Marketing, and true enough, US Linkedin profiles with "content marketing" in them grew by 227.5% from 30,000+ in June 2013 to 60,000+ in January 2015.
This made me curious to see what the scenario is like in the Philippines. In 2014, we saw 791 profiles in the Philippines which listed "content marketing" as a skill. Today, that list has grown to 19,669 local profiles, which is like a 2,300% increase! (say what?). We can only assume that this will continue to grow, an evidence that we have been adapting with the global trends in our industry.
Content Marketing has become in demand, which now gives content creators opportunities for growth. And this doesn't only involve writers and SEOs and Social Media experts, but also videographers, filmmakers, multimedia professionals, graphic designers, maybe even musicians and artists!
By the way, we're in constant look out for awesome people to add to our creative team. Contact us!
2. Mobile is the way to go.
Reports show that 80% of internet users own a smartphone, 48% of mobile users start their research with a search engine, and 71% of marketers believe that mobile marketing is core to their business.
That said, before launching any new content marketing strategy this year, make sure that your site is mobile responsive. Even better, invest in mobile interactive content and apps. This is serious business, people. This is very important, and I still don't get it sometimes why many sites are still not mobile responsive.
The tremendous changes in technology have changed the way people consume and share content. Because of this, content marketers have to create and distribute content that is shareable, accessible, and readable, in every platform, whenever, wherever.
3. Customer service and customer experience plays a big role in publishing content.
These days, it's not just about routinely publishing blog posts or sending email newsletters. It's about the holistic experience that we create for our target market. It's about offering a great product, providing exemplary customer service, building solid relationships and loyalty, and distributing content that customers will find useful and entertaining.
In the past, companies end at providing great service and great product. These days, we need to beef up our product and our customer service with valuable content that will help build loyalty with existing customers, win potential customers, and maybe even inspire random site visitors in the process.
Content marketing is not confined to your blog or weekly newsletters. It's a strategy that transcends customer service, branding, online reputation, social media, SEO, and even paid advertisement. Everything should be intertwined and attached at the seams, supporting each other to provide great customer experience and to achieve the necessary business goals.
4. Sponsored ads as a content distribution model.
This may be confusing to some of us, especially if we think of Content Marketing as a means to achieve (free) organic ranking. We've reached a point where publishing content is not anymore just an SEO tactic where we wait around for people to find our content through search. Content Marketing is an intentional approach where publishing content is just half the battle, and content distribution is the real game changer.
What does this mean for Content Marketers? This means we have to be more strategic in promoting our content and making sure it stands out from the millions of blog posts and articles that get published daily.
Many industry leaders agree that sponsored content placements, brand partnerships, and paid ads are the ways to do this. With a data-driven and strategic paid campaign, you get a bigger chance that your content reaches your target market in the most cost-efficient way possible.
5. SEO is not dead. (I mean, come on guys.)
Many have claimed that SEO is dead, and that there's no more value in optimizing websites for organic search. I think that's a lame excuse for not wanting to deal with the technical stuff.
While SEO has changed a lot over the years, Content Marketing is definitely not taking the place of SEO. There are many technical issues that most of us don't realize are killing our site's visibility, causing both short-term and long-term effects; and if you're not careful, can even lead to penalties. SEO fixes these issues and complements your Content Marketing efforts by making sure your content is visible for search keywords that matter.
This year, SEO will continue to play an important role, with tactics that are more technical and more hardcore. Schemy link building stuff ain't gonna win. Instead, SEOs will become more thorough in optimizing sites, more creative in building links, more vigilant in algorithmic changes, and more strategic in utilizing content to achieve organic rankings.