Guest post by Ardelia Lee at ArdeliaLee.com

Top 5 Content Trends to Watch in 2017

Each year brings with it a slew of new trends, some of which are more helpful than others. The online marketing world is no different. However, the top 5 content trends to watch in 2017 are all amazing, I’m pleased to say.

These are trends that need to remain long after 2017 says goodbye. They’re long-term trends that will help your business establish a solid online presence, so get ready to change your content marketing and really welcome in the new year.

Top 5 Content Trends to Watch in 2017

Diversify Your Content

In years past, blogging has been the cornerstone of many businesses’ online presence. Now, however, that’s changing. Blogging is still important, and it’s still a great idea to maintain a business blog. You’ll just need to add more content formats into the mix.

Diversifying is the name of the game now. Instead of just publishing blog posts, try blog posts with a mix of video content or some podcast episodes. People consume content in so many different ways that by just using one content format, you miss out on other audiences.

More content formats doesn’t necessarily need to equal more content. If you’re used to publishing four blog posts a month, make one or two of those blog posts into a video or audio format. It may take a while for you to become comfortable with a new content format, so start now.

Look at your editorial calendar and decide which topics lend themselves well to either video or audio, and then plan out your script. Using content beyond blog posts helps your audience connects with you on a deeper level, which leads into the next content trend to watch in 2017.

Build Relationships Through Content

It seems like 2017 is the year of the coffee chat, and that’s an awesome thing. The online business world has started to place more of an emphasis on growing relationships, and that emphasis is going to carry over into content.

Connecting with your audience through your content is possible, especially if you’re really authentic and honest with them. Use your personal story where you can, and don’t be shy about letting them know that you struggle with a particular part of your business.

Perhaps the medium that helps you build relationships the fastest is live video. You can’t edit live video, so your audience gets to see you in the moment. They’ll be able to tell if your knowledge is genuine and if your energy and heart are in what you do.

Once you get comfortable with video, try doing some live videos in the form of quick tips or a Q+A style video. They’ll let your audience get to know you even more, and they’ll feel more connected to the real you.

Make It a Game

Gamification is going to take the online business world by storm. (Gamification is where you take the principles of a game – like levels, points, etc. – and apply them to a course or challenge.)

Making your courses or challenges more game-like can help you increase participation and completion levels. Plus, it’s just plain fun to have a slightly competitive element to things. How can you apply gamification to your challenges or courses?

Think about creating a point system. If someone performs an action, like hitting reply and answering your questions or submitting their module quiz, then they get 5 points. Those points can add up to a badge or a level. Each week, you can post the names of the top students and what level they are on a class scoreboard. That offers a little incentive for students to do the work. You can also consider offering prizes to those who get the highest score in the class.

Implement this trend before the rest of the world catches on. It won’t be long before gamification is all the rage.

Long Content Is Staying

Those of you who hate writing long blog posts may be disappointed to learn that long-form content is here to stay, at least for 2017. It’s hard to beat the value that you can put into long-form content, which is why it’s so popular with readers, search engines, and businesses.

If you want to be seen as an authority in your niche, are you going to write a 300-word blog post on a topic? Probably not. You’re more likely going to write blog posts that offer an insane amount of detail and really help your readers understand the topic at hand.

People generally share content they find useful, so if you want to fall into that category, write enough to cover the topic well.

Content Planning Is Taking Center Stage

There will be more of an emphasis on actually planning your content out this year for several reasons. First, the online marketplace is so crowded that you absolutely must have a clear, specific plan for your content, or you won’t get anywhere.

If your efforts aren’t coordinated across social media and your various content platforms, you’re going to have a hard time getting your message across. You’ll also have a difficult time launching a new product or service if you don’t carefully plan out your content.

Look at the goals you’ve set for your business this year. Do you have a clear content plan that will help you achieve those goals? Do you have your steps mapped out and aligned with specific content? If you don’t, it’s time to get down to content planning.

These top 5 content trends to watch in 2017 are going to make the online business world a much more exciting place this year. Which trend are you most excited about? Which one are you planning on incorporating the most into your marketing plan? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Ardelia Lee is a content roadmap engineer and copywriter who helps small business owners create intentional, goal-oriented content that supports long-term business growth. Want to learn how she creates + manages content strategies in Trello? Click here to get her Content Strategy Trello Board plus two video walkthroughs that show you how to use it. She’d love it if you connected with her on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, too!
You can find her on:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArdeliaMLee
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ardelialee/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ardeliamlee/

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