The great thing about content marketing trends in the year 2017 is that we have finally started to see some change. For years, people have been writing about the same trends, such as the massive popularity of Facebook, or the overuse of popup subscription ads. The current/established trends are still as popular as a cute picture of a kitten in a shoe, but we are seeing other trends creep in. What is more fun and useful is the fact that these trends are somewhat insidious. They are not as blindingly obvious as Twitter trending, viral marketing, or gorilla buzz marketing. You actually have to be a full-time content marketer to appreciate the power of the newest trends. This article covers some of these worst-kept secrets.
The Rise Of Google+
You may raise your eyebrows at the mention of this “meta” social media network. After all, with the big players such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram riding high on popularity scales, you may wonder what Google+ has to offer for your content marketing project. There are three big advantages that Google+ has that are becoming the worst-kept secrets in the content marketing industry. The first is that Google+ still rides high as the best place to publish viral-ready GIF animations. The second is that Google+ has a more adult following, which means you have far fewer kids trolling your posts or kicking up a fuss because your posts said “He or She” rather than mentioning every gender. Finally, one of the biggest benefits of Google+ is that it has a funny way of getting your content crawled by Google. If you have just produced a new web page, you simply need to share it on Google+ where two or three other people share your linked post. If others share your link on Google+ (assuming your post is not spammy), then your web page will appear on the Google search engine results within a space of two to twenty-four hours.
The Use Of Third-Party Writers
Large publishing companies and advertisers have been outsourcing writing services for years, but third-party writing services are now so cheap that even part-time bloggers are using them. The dramatic rise in the use of essay writing services has helped push the price down to the point where using them to write academic content is now a fraction of the cost that it was ten years ago. For example, if you need academic content written for a specific academic niche audience, you can use a company such as Assignment Masters and have an ex-professor write it for you. If you need something that appeals to the current nerd culture craze, then you may also try a freelance blogger. They often know more about things such as Marvel/DC movie plot lines than the people promoting the movies. For example, when Guardians of the Galaxy trailers first appeared, bloggers did a better job of explaining what it was all about than any of the big publishing companies did.
Email Automation With Double-Opt In And Targeted Offers
We all know about email automation, and it is still useful for things such as order confirmations and upsells, but the trend for email list acquisition is dying and double-opt in is growing. As a result of this, email automation campaigns have been forced to become more sophisticated. Even now, there are people buying email lists and blanket emailing people. But, companies such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and others are forcing content marketers to use clean lists where the user has double-opted in; where he or she had to click an activation link in an email to confirm an email subscription. This has led to far fewer companies having their emails blacklisted, and it has resulted in people reading newsletters and automated emails because they actually opted in to them. Ally this with the sophisticated methods that companies are using to target their offers, and you have a very effective automated email campaign. Using signals such as how a user uses a website, a user’s account use, purchase history, cookies and demographic information, content marketers are able to create hundreds of targeted marketing emails and ensure that the right ones get to the right people. It takes a lot of work, but it is a glorious new email marketing era, especially when you consider that just a few years ago the use of email marketing seemed to be becoming obsolete.
Virtual Reality Headsets – The Embers Are Still Glowing
Remember how VR technology was a “thing” for about two months before it died out. Virtual Reality headsets are an exciting new technology, but game developers, video publishers, and content marketers had a very hard time using the technology to great effect. VR is currently a novelty with no real-world use. Yet, there are still content marketers and advertisers who are fighting hard to find a use for the technology. We have seen virtual reality stores where people may peruse the shelves with their VR headsets. We have seen failed TV shows, failed VR games, and even failed attempts at VR porn. Yet, content marketers are trying their best to find ways to use it. VR tech may not be the tool of choice for content marketers today, but there are still companies working hard to use it to great effect – including Facebook. Some content marketers may have prematurely disregarded this technology; it may be worth setting aside a small budget for R&D regarding VR advertising and content marketing.
Sub-Branding Within A Certain Niche
Typically, a content marketer wants targeted traffic to visit a series of websites or online locations with the hopes that the traffic will convert in one way or another, or that the traffic will become repeat traffic. However, an odd and counter-insinuative trend has started to appear very slowly. Successful websites that are seeing over 100,000 visitors per month are starting to split their target audience. They are encouraging niches within niches. It has been happening for years in the gaming industry where it started with websites attracting traffic for one games console over another, but are now splitting their audiences into subsections, and some are even pitting them against each other. The trend has almost been personified in nerd culture cinema. Instead of fans rooting for DC or Marvel, they have DC fans rooting for Batman or Superman, or Marvel fans rooting for Iron Man or Captain America. Websites that have a strong following are splitting their target audiences so that they may sell to them and target them separately in what some are calling sub-niche branding or sub-branding within a certain niche.
William Grigsby is part of a writing circle that covers hundreds of different topics. Rick is best known for his academic essays, but he also writes about Social Media, SEO, and content marketing.