Marketing Best Practices

5 Content Marketing Trends You Should Be Tapping

By Ashley Taylor Anderson October 6, 2015

In the new B2B Content Marketing: 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, 72% of content marketers rated their top goal for 2016 as “creating more engaging content.”

If you’re one of the 72% (I imagine most of us are), then this article is for you.

Marketing trend listicles tend to focus on the latest and greatest new tricks that brands are playing around with. Instead of taking that route, I’d rather walk the path of newish trends that have some social proof behind them.

Let’s explore 5 recent marketing trends you should be tapping in your content to drive an uplift in audience engagement.

Trend 1: UGC (User Generated Content)

content marketing trends - UGC

Why It’s Awesome

You get to tell stories collaboratively with your audience. This ensures that your content is highly relevant and interesting.

How It Benefits You

  1. You reap the benefit of great content that you didn’t have to create.
  2. You create a dialog with your followers and make them feel special.
  3. You learn what your audience gets excited about.

Who’s Doing It Well

  • IBM’s Instagram account does a really nice job of featuring employee photos like the one shown above.
  • PicMonkey often features client work on their Facebook page using hashtag #POTD.
  • On Pinterest, Canva features some of their favorite user projects on a dedicated Community board.

Trend 2:  Interactive Lead Gen Content

content marketing trend: Interactive Content

Why It’s Awesome

Pretty much every B2B company is creating eBooks, whitepapers, and other long-form content for lead generation. Making your lead gen content interactive can help you drive more engagement from prospects as you nurture them down the funnel with additional content.

How It Benefits You

  • Interactive content is way more interesting than PDFs.
  • It’s also more flexible in terms of how you generate leads. You can hide it behind a landing page, integrate a pop-up form a little ways in, or include CTAs inside of the content itself.
  • It gives you a lot more insight into how viewers interact with your assets, providing data you can use to optimize your approach.

Who’s Doing It Well

  • Maxymiser (now part of Oracle) incorporated a dedicated product lead gen section at the end of this interactive travel infographic (pictured above).
  • At the end of their Location Marketing playbook, xAd has a nice pop-up lead gen form for viewers interested in their geo-targeted ad solutions.

Trend 3: Branded Video Series

content marketing trends: Branded Video Series

Why It’s Awesome

Every content marketer knows that video content drives strong engagement. But an even better way to drive engagement is to hook viewers with serial content they can come back for on a regular basis.

How It Benefits You

  • A video series can help you completely step out of selling mode and have fun telling stories.
  • It can drive repeat viewership and engagement from your audience.
  • It can help you produce content you can break up and reuse in a variety of channels, including social media, your blog, and email.

Who’s Doing It Well

  • Moz’s Whiteboard Friday web series is incredibly useful while also being highly engaging and fun (mostly because Rand and his evil villain moustache are awesome).
  • Hiscox’s Leap Year web series is pure entertainment—and drove massive viewership in its first two seasons.
  • InVision just launched a webumentary called Design Disruptors featuring some fantastic design and UX folks from top brands.

Trend 4: Gifographics

Interactive Content marketing trend: Gifographic

Why It’s Awesome

Consumers are starting to get tired of the same old static infographics—and so are marketers and designers. Gifographics breathe new life into a common marketing format with animated content.

How It Benefits You

  • Interactive infographics can help your content stand out from your competitors.
  • Using animations to bring your data to life can make stats-heavy content a lot more interesting.
  • It only takes a bit more effort to create a gifographic than a regular infographic.

Who’s Doing It Well

Trend 5: Quizzes & Assessments

Content marketing trend #5: Interactive Quizzes

Why It’s Awesome

Quizzes and assessments are usually pretty easy to put together—and people go nuts for them. (Come on, you know you take at least 2 BuzzFeed quizzes a week, even if they’re totally ridiculous.)

How It Benefits You

  • You can learn more about your audience by tracking the results of your quiz content.
  • You can increase time on site and social sharing with more engaging, interactive content.
  • You can use assessments later in the funnel to qualify prospects for sales readiness.  

Who’s Doing It Well

  • HP has created a number of engaging pieces of microcontent for their blog, including this quiz on energy.  
  • HubSpot includes quizzes on their marketing blog pretty regularly. I particularly love this Mad Men character quiz. (In case you were wondering, I got Peggy.)
  • Uberflip also features fun quizzes on their hub frequently.

The Bottom Line

These content marketing trends are more than just a passing fancy—they’re here to stay, and they can have a big impact on your content’s efficacy.

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