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Patricia O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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6 Statistics Illustrating the Biggest Changes to Content Marketing This Year

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: 2017 is the year of content marketing. Previously, content marketing tended to hover on the radar of the digital industry; now, it’s starting to claim dominance.

As this corner of the marketing landscape continues to take over, it is also naturally evolving. Marketers are filtering out failed strategies, testing out new ones and investing in those that have proven fruitful.

To help give you a glimpse into this perpetually-adapting phenomenon, we’re putting a microscope on the latest content marketing stats for 2017 and providing tips on how to strengthen your current strategy.

1. The length of blog posts has increased by about 19%, now averaging around 1,050 words per post.

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Long-form blog posts are gaining more and more traction among users. The buzzing online arena is usually the first place people go to source information nowadays, therefore articles that pack a weighty educational punch are becoming uber-popular: we’re talking in-depth pieces that provide a good amount of value to the reader, helping to establish a strong foundation for customer loyalty and brand trustworthiness.

2. Around 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices.

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The mobile revolution is well and truly here, with users preferring to access information via their smartphones and tablets over clunky old desktops. Makes sense, considering the convenience of tapping, pinching and scrolling while on-the-go. With more than half of emails now being opened on mobile devices, you want to make sure any EDMs, digital newsletters or other content marketing materials you send to customers are mobile-friendly. Furthermore, if they end up clicking through to your website, you’ll want to make sure that’s optimised for smaller screens, too – lest they bounce in favour of a competitor who can give them the online experience they’re looking for.

3. 49% of marketers are finding ways to align their content with the buyer’s journey.

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The idea of stringing out content just for the sake of it is obsolete. Sure, amplifying your presence helps you gain a strong foothold in the competitive online realm, but ensuring there is a strategy behind your content is becoming increasingly vital. Marketers are now taking the time to investigate which stage of the purchase process a prospective customer is up to, then structuring content to help engage that final trigger. Content for sales (e.g. whitepapers, value-packed blog posts, case studies, testimonials and interactive content) has a far better chance at boosting that ROI.

4. The demand for infographics has increased by a whopping 800% in the past year.

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People LOVE infographics. It’s the fastest way to communicate a whole lot of information at once. Breaking data down into colourful, easy-to-digest diagrams quickly illustrates your message and taps into your reader’s psyche. In fact, further research shows that infographics are liked and shared on social media platforms three times as much as any other form of content. Add a few interactive elements to your infographic and you’re pretty much set for reeling in a super-engaged audience.

5. 81% of marketers reported seeing increased traffic by devoting just six hours into their social media presence each week.

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We’re all aware that social media is powering ahead at an unstoppable rate, and the latest stats certainly haven’t gone unnoticed by content marketers. Channels like  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are prime arenas for sharing your blog posts and subsequently widening your audience reach. When you can show that you are on top of industry trends, you effectively build your presence as a thought leader.

6. Users trust what other people have to say about a brand by as much as 92%.

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While it’s vital to get your own voice heard, having your message spruiked through external, unbiased forces is undeniably effective. Funnily enough, the public isn’t as swayed by advertising as it may have been in the days of blatant propaganda posters, meaning you need to build their trust over time. There are ways to do this of your own accord, but another way to leap-frog competitors and really hone in on your consumers is by generating an authentic conversation.

So, what should I do to turbo-charge my content marketing campaigns?

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If you haven’t already implemented content marketing into your current business ventures, you may want to rethink where your advertising budget is being allocated. If you have, congrats – here’s what you need to do to take it that next step further:

  • Undertake hefty research and write blog posts that are driven by the need to answer your customers’ questions. Focus on using free tools such as Buzzsumo, Scoop.it and Google Trends, where you can check out what users are specifically searching for in relation to your industry. Other tools like Google’s Keyword Tool and Moz further enable you to better comprehend what your customers want.
  • Identify unmet information during the buyer’s journey, and use this to leverage the context of your content. Google Analytics helps you to track, monitor and measure your customers’ experience of your online presence. There are four key stages of the customer journey which you should pay attention to:
  1. Discovery – how customers are finding your business (often where many businesses pour most of the advertising budget into).
  2. Engagement – understanding your customer’s wants and needs, and catering to them in a way they respond positively to.
  3. Transaction – how you are successfully converting users into paying customers.
  4. Advocacy – retaining your customers (this is often overlooked, but highly important: the probability of selling to an existing customer is 14 times more likely than the probability of selling to a new one).
  • Ensure your content is mobile-friendly – or better yet, mobile-first. According to Google, 61% of users will give up on a site if it isn’t mobile-responsive. These days, customers expect to be able to access information via their smartphones, and quickly get frustrated when they can’t, thus it’s crucial that your marketing materials are tailored to this canvas.
  • Get on-board influencer content to drive relevancy and trust. Capitalise on prominent connections you have already established with existing customers by asking them to promote your brand on their own digital channels. Take the time to also pay attention to your press releases – when your brand is mentioned on news platforms or within industry publications, you instantly acquire a sense of credibility.
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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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