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  • Writer's pictureJames Cullen

3 Creative Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate Digital Marketing in 2017

We're nearly 3 full months away from 2016 and still the distance seems too small to get away from the stench of the worst year since 1927 (the last year before we had the bread slicing machine).

What better way to ditch the old and welcome the new than by shaking up the creative content marketing strategies to reflect time gone by. Join me as I count down the 3 creative content marketing trends that will boom in 2017.

3. Make Way, Celebrity Endorsements, Influencer Marketing Wears the Crown Now

Brands, relying heavily on the old ways of advertising and even direct marketing, have long been sneered at by consumers, too savvy to their sharp practices. A tactic brands then moved onto was using celebrity endorsements. The celebrity moniker stretches those on the red carpet, to those working part time selling red carpets at Mike's Carpets. And these celebrities advertised everything from hair care products to teeth whitening kits. Adverts spanned both social media and traditional media. And by 2016, 70% of consumers were reported to no longer trust these celebrity endorsements.

The growing nature of social media, and those who thrive within the digital sphere, led us to trust those who were known for being known. 92% of people, in fact, trusted influencer marketing - that is social media influencer marketing (e.g. Zoella, right) - over brands. In fact, PR Week even found that consumers were more likely to trust brands again over celebrity endorsements. Only 17% found celebrity endorsements trustworthy. This rule isn't hard and fast, however, and can be highlighted with GAME's use of Jay from The Inbetweeners. Arguably, despite James Buckley acting as the celebrity endorsement, really it is Jay we trust as the influencer marketing poster boy. Check out my Case Study on GAME's breaking the fourth wall for further proof of how GAME have nailed creative content marketing campaigns.

2. Once Upon a Time... Storytelling Content Marketing is Key and Will Stay That Way

Once upon a time - forgive me if you've heard this one before - but marketers stumbled upon a cottage in the woods, the cottage held the secrets of creative content marketing: going into the story. Examples can already be seen in 2017 with deeper stories associated with products and brands. Tesco's food love stories, Sainsbury's food dancing, and Morrisons's 'Love, Morrisons makes it' all showcase how the content created around the buying of food is really pulling at the emotions. Emotive marketing that elicits a positive emotion from a consumer is genius, especially when the positive emotion is linked to a product or brand. There really is no better strategy coming into 2017 than to immerse your brand in a story and build the creative content marketing campaign around the story. (Check out how I can help boost your storytelling in your creative content marketing campaign to encapsulate your brand or business to really go into the story.)

1. SEO: Siri Engine Optimization - Voice Activated Searches Will Affect SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, for those who haven't used it yet, refers to the manipulation of a website in order to achieve high, organic rankings on search engines. SEO works by the search engine reading the webpage and ranking it based on the content involved. And as we are talking about content marketing, that content should be a rich field of terms and tricks for the search engine to digest. But now we have our heads around SEO, something else looks ready to cause havoc in the mix: Siri. Or Cortana. Or Alexa. Whichever conversational user interface you use, all are set to change the way we use SEO.

According to Branded3, who have pulled together all the stats relevant to how voice search on a conversational user interface will affect digital marketing strategies and SEO, 40% of adults now use voice search at least once a day. That's probably not a lot of asking Siri where to bury the body, or what the meaning of life is, but key questions that they would have typed before. And therefore this is a key segment that should be mined for digital marketing strategies onwards.

But what exactly does the rise in conversational user interfaces and voice search actually mean for SEO? Well imagine searching for, say a gym in north Leeds. You would type 'gym north leeds' and possibly 'cheap' or 'crossfit' or something specific. But imagine asking Siri. You would probably say "Siri, where is the cheapest gym in north Leeds without membership fees." SEO would have previously worked on the keywords of gym north Leeds and brought up results that reflected this. But the additional words added through speaking in full sentences change this. Bearing in mind that voice activation is getting more and more intelligent, can interpret direct object pronouns from previous searches, can interpret location etc. The HTML of data will change and the context of content will need to be more clearly defined to aid with the voice search. Readability of location and services will also need to be amended. And long tail keywords will become increasingly more important (as if they weren't already). The voice search marketing strategy will definitely become the standard by the end of the year, especially with increases in the technology that it provides.

Make sure that your creative content marketing strategy in 2017 reflects the positive changes in digital marketing trends and don't be left without the perfect story and the perfect way to get that story to your prospective consumers.

Are you struggling to find the perfect story for your brand, get in touch to see how I can help weave a rich narrative to create the perfect creative content marketing strategy.

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