Content marketing is so important that brands spend more on it than they do on television and radio ads – traditionally the most important marketing resources.

The right content can help brands establish their authority, engage their audience, and promote brand loyalty. And, of course, the right content strategy can help them increase leads and sales.

Content marketing is always changing, based on the latest online offerings and based on people’s changing preferences. It is important that you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices.

Here’s what’s in store for content marketing in 2017:

Storytelling

Content needs to engage to be successful, and one of the best ways to engage readers is to tell stories.

The right stories help readers to imagine themselves in a scenario – either finding success with the product or service you offer or overcoming an obstacle thanks to a solution you provide.

Stories also help people feel emotion, which automatically makes them feel more engaged. Whether they are angry, sad, happy, sentimental, inspired or even worried, they are engaged with the content. They are draw in by what you have to say.

Try to think of how you can convey the information you want to write about in a story. Can you make the same arguments by showing them through an anecdote instead? Can you share a tutorial by showing how a character you created did the work?

Explore all the ways to tell stories, not just in written form. You can create photo essays, videos, podcasts, even comic strips.

Chatbots

Chatbots are like personal digital assistants on social media.

They are like instant messages, but they are programmed to deliver specific content.

For example, a chatbot can be set up that allows users to ask questions about how a certain software package works or to buy add-ons for the suite. A small, fixed menu is included in the chatbot, and answers for frequently asked questions are at the ready.

People like chatbots because they provide a level of personal assistance without including the pressure of dealing with a real customer service representative, who will likely try to encourage an upsale.

Video

Video continues to be the king of content marketing.

Not only are Google and social media prioritizing video, but people also respond better to video, both in content marketing and in ads. Video is easier for many to consume on the go, and it engages people in a way that even the most well-written text does not.

You have dozens of options for producing and distributing video now, including Facebook Live, YouTube, and Vine. You can broadcast videos live, or you can create highly produced content that you distribute on various channels. You can create short videos that are only a few seconds long, or you can produce lengthy, in-depth videos that pursue a topic from multiple angles.

Try out your different video options to see what gets the best results with your audience.

Evergreen Content

Fresh content is always going to be important to your SEO, but evergreen content is also highly valuable to your content marketing strategy.

Evergreen content can be used again and again in your marketing efforts, including your social media posts, email newsletters, advertising and more. You can reframe that content again and again to reach new audiences and grow your reach.

Evergreen content is also typically more in-depth, authoritative content, which is going to help you rank higher in search also. Consider creating resources such as guides, lists, and authoritative articles on your site.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile users are quickly overtaking PC users. If you want your content marketing to be successful, you must create specific strategies for reaching mobile users.

Video is especially popular among mobile users because it can easily be consumed on the go, which is when most people are using their mobile devices. The number of plays for video went up 844 percent between 2012 and 2015. That’s a phenomenal growth rate that can’t be ignored.

Shorter videos tend to play best with mobile users, both in content and in advertising. Just make sure your videos are optimized to load quickly since mobile devices have less storage space and smaller bandwidth.

Content for mobile users tends to be shorter and to use lots of visual elements to make it easier to read, such as bolded words, bulleted lists, shorter sentences, and well-chosen photos and graphics. Content should get right to the point, and it should focus on providing solutions to common problems for your readers.

Other big trends for content marketing over 2017 will include visual and interactive content, as well as appeals to influencers.

Try to incorporate some or all of these trends into your content marketing in this year to get more traffic, more exposure for your brand, and more sales overall.

Marketing What to Expect for Content Marketing in 2017