If you want to continue to be successful with your content marketing, you need to keep up with the latest movements in the market. What worked for your content marketing strategy last year may not work this year.

As we are coming up on another new year (already?), it is important that you start planning your content marketing strategy now so that you have it ready to go. Here are some of the top trends you should try for your content marketing strategy for 2017:

Content Automation

Keeping up with the steady supply of content that is needed for your marketing strategy can be demanding and overwhelming.

Thanks to technology, you may not need to anymore.

Content automation is becoming possible thanks to highly intelligent systems that can produce basic news stories and other articles. The options are currently limited, but they will only grow as the technology becomes smarter and more common.

Expect to see a lot more marketers using content automation in 2017.

Storytelling

User engagement should always be at the forefront of your content marketing efforts. One of the best ways to make users more engaged is to tell stories.

Storytelling helps to make an issue more real for people. Instead of being an abstract concept about a hypothetical situation, it becomes more personal, even if it is being illustrated through a fictional story.

Storytelling also helps readers feel more emotionally connected to the content – whether it makes them happy, sad, frustrated, inspired or entertained. If they are feeling anything at all, they are more engaged and more likely to read through to the end of the content or to click on your other articles.

Use real stories in your content if you can, such as anecdotes about your customers or employees or stories inspired by real-life events.

Live Video

Video has continued to be a major player in content marketing as it is an easier way for people to access information when they are crunched for time. Video is also more engaging and offers more opportunities for you to personally connect with users.

Now, live video is the next big thing. So far, the best option for it is Facebook, though other services are available, like Periscope. With live video, you can create a direct user interaction with people who live anywhere around the world. People can comment in real time, and you can respond on camera.

Explore the different options for live video content to find what works best for your brand. You might create a live video demonstrating one of your products, interviewing an expert in your field, and showing people how to do something.

Webinars

Webinars are a form of live video that have been around for a while. But they are growing more popular as marketers learn that they are one of the best ways to generate leads.

Narrow the focus of your webinar as much as possible. So instead of hosting a webinar about successful social media marketing strategies, you might host a webinar about marketing on LinkedIn or how to effectively use live video on Facebook.

Advertise your webinar widely, and make sure you have something to sell. That might just be a course you are promoting, or it might be a specific product that is related to the topic.

Even if you have nothing to sell, you need to promote your email list or other lead-nurturing strategy.

Influencer Marketing

You can only do so much to market your own brand. At some point, you will need to have customers who are willing to tout your brand for you.

Known as influencer marketing, getting others to promote your brand can help you get much more exposure and gain credibility. After all, what do you pay attention to more – a brand’s ad or a friend who is raving about a business they just love?

People listen more to other customers who have had experience with a brand and are so impressed with the product or service that they want to spread the word. Think about how you can get your own customers to spread the good word about you.

Native Advertising

Ad blockers are on the rise, and they are only becoming more popular. Native advertising is one way to avoid detection by ad blockers and reach the audience you want.

Native advertising can take the form of guest posts, sponsored reviews or other sponsored content. The content appears on another blog just like all the rest of its content, but it either includes a link to your website or promotes your brand.

The right native advertising on the right site can help you reach your target audience and get the leads and sales you need.

Consider adding some or all of these strategies to your content marketing plan for the new year. You’ll stay one step ahead of your competitors and more effectively meet your goals.

Marketing Content Marketing Strategy for 2017