From January to December – the biggest content marketing trends of 2017

With the year almost over, we thought we’d take this opportunity to give you a run-down of the biggest content marketing trends 2017 had to offer.

So, sit back with a well-earned mulled wine and take a leisurely look at our annual round-up of key industry trends!

What were the biggest content marketing trends of 2017?

Biggest content marketing trends in Q1: January – March

Relevant content could be the top Google ranking factor:Google Ranking Factors

Google is understandably cagey about revealing its ranking factors.

But, having analysed the latest research from SearchMetrics, Backlinko, and SEO PowerSuite, Search Engine Journal’s (SEJ) Aleh Barysevich gave his take on the top four. Needless to say, content claimed the top spot.

Research and data are top performers in content marketing:

Content marketing is complicated, and it helps to know where to direct your efforts.

According to a study from Clutch, original research and data are the top-performing content types, having been cited as such by around one-fifth of the 300-strong sample group.

Spotted in the news…

The Brexit referendum and US election made 2016 a crazy cognitive carousel (and, 2017 hasn’t turned out much better).

In the wake of such tumultuous decisions, around two thirds of us liberal content marketing types were left scratching our heads about whether we truly understand our target audiences.

Biggest content marketing trends in Q2: April – June

Relevant content is trustworthy no matter where it’s from:brand awareness

In the past, brands have been put off content marketing because they wrongly believe they’ll be eclipsed by bigger voices in their sector.

This myth was dispelled when Outbrain published the results of a new study. This revealed that 60% of consumer respondents trusted relevant content even when published by an unfamiliar brand.

Blog posts remain top dog for qualified leads:

Despite new content marketing formats coming to the fore, the old order still appeared intact during Q2.

SEJ’s ‘2017 State of Digital Marketing’ report found that 41% of content marketers believe good old blog posts are best for obtaining qualified leads, with long-form articles and white papers following behind.

Spotted in the news…

Titans of the web were all aflutter over fact checking during Q2.

Having dabbled during 2016, Google announced plans to roll out its fact checker across the main search results in April (12/04 edition).

In the same month, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched ‘Wikitribune’. The publication is geared towards providing “factual and neutral” news that can be adapted by the public.

Biggest content marketing trends in Q3: July – September

Premium content marketing freelancers offer better value:

We’ve always known that with content marketing you get what you pay for.

So, we were hardly surprised to see the results of a new study from ClearVoice in August. The study found that expert content marketing freelancers added value both in terms of delivery and composition.

Branded content gets over half of consumers on-board:

Only a small fraction of people who see a traditional ad will purchase the advertised product.

But, a study from Ipsos Connect published in August found that a mighty 51% of consumers would purchase from a company after indulging themselves in its branded content.

Spotted in the news…

As already mentioned, Google likes to play its cards close to its chest.

Surprisingly, the search giant released a new analytical tool back in September. Handily for content marketers, the site lists the 10 most popular search terms relating to a huge range of topics.

Biggest content marketing trends in Q4: October – December

Organic content is great for charities (and retailers):Organic content

Industries are getting stuck into content marketing at varying speeds.

Content marketers will have been heartened to hear back in November just how effective content marketing has already proven for charities. The research also showed how potent it is in retail.

Content marketing gets 3x more leads than paid search:

The debate over content marketing vs paid search was finally put to bed in 2017.

Kapost and Eloqua found that businesses generated three times more leads for every pound spent on content marketing compared to paid search.

Also, an honourable mention should go to Econsultancy for its research into the effects of GDPR, which we wrote about in the same edition. 75% of your data will be rendered useless when this comes into effect!

Spotted in the news…

The US congress authorised the FCC to repeal net neutrality laws in November.

This will effectively create a pay-to-play system for businesses with an online presence in the US. It could also cross the pond at some point soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

That’s our round-up of the biggest content marketing trends in 2017. But, there’s so much more for you to explore! Dive deeper into our trend articles, or take a look at our innovative tips and insight articles to make sure you start 2018 on the right foot.

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