What content marketing for SMEs looks like in 2017

Digital360 on 4 July 2017

The content marketing landscape is in constant change. New content marketing trends, social media platforms and challenges emerge every year. It's important for marketing managers and business owners to be aware of these changes, and adapt their content marketing strategy to stay ahead of the curve.

So what's in store for content marketing in Australia? Here’s a snapshot of what content marketing for Australian SMEs looks like today, and how your business can keep up with the latest developments.

Current trends in content format, social media and mobile

For both B2B and B2C businesses, social media is becoming the driver for content marketing success. Certainly, businesses still see email campaigns as a great source for generating leads. Whether you’re sharing blog posts, newsletters, resources, or case studies, email remains an excellent content marketing channel for Australian SMEs.

However, social media is changing the game. There are now new visual content opportunities in imagery and video, through platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. And because mobile use is on the rise, mobile-friendly content will get you far with your target audience.

In this social media and mobile world, video content has grown in popularity. The format has proven effective in boosting awareness and engagement natively on social media platforms. These could be promotional videos, Q&As, product demonstrations or webinars. No matter the focus, recent studies show that great video content leads to success.

When it comes to platforms, Facebook can be great for both B2Cs. B2Bs. On the other hand, some businesses may see success on platforms like LinkedIn. It's a matter of experimenting with your content marketing strategy and discovering what works for your business and your industry.

What does consumer behaviour look like in 2017 and beyond?

In Australia, the last few years have seen rapid growth in social media and technology use. Mobile devices are only gaining more and more momentum. In fact, in most Australian markets, mobile engagement has overtaken desktop engagement.

More likely than not, the first time your customers engage with your brand will be on a mobile device.

With mobile now becoming the popular way to access the web, content marketers must develop specific strategies to engage with an audience on-the-go. Social media integration is of course essential, but how else can Australian SMEs prepare for more a mobile-first landscape? The long and the short of it: mobile optimisation.

Instead of thinking of mobile optimisation as secondary to your content strategy, make it a priority. More likely than not, the first time your customers engage with your brand will be on a mobile device. This means looking into both your copy and design, keeping in mind how your content is going to display on a smaller screen. It also means adapting your advertising to be less intrusive and more user-friendly.

What about new technology?

Considering the push toward mobile and social media engagement, it’s no surprise that content marketing in Australia is more innovative than ever. New trends in technology have forced content marketers to get creative. This means changes in social media, advertising, and developments in the mobile app market.

The rise in ad blocking software has had a large impact on advertising. This means content marketers are now looking at ‘native advertising’ over other methods. We know that intrusive mobile pop-ups are a no-go – unless you want to risk a Google penalty. Ad banners, meanwhile, are often listed as an annoying intrusion for the audience.

Instead, many content marketers are following Google’s lead by prioritising user experience. That means native advertising and content marketing often takes a more information-based approach. The content is useful and well-targeted, and less outwardly promotional.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also set to have a dramatic impact on the market. Machine-learning software – take Google’s RankBrain for example – has changed the way content marketers target their audience, and how they approach our content creation. In this AI algorithm-driven world, a quality user experience becomes the key to content marketing success.

Getting ahead in content marketing

In 2017, content marketing in Australia is all about innovation and keeping up with change. It can be difficult to keep on top of new trends – especially if you're focussed on running your business. Beyond that, content marketing trends, like all trends, can come and go in the blink of an eye – and not all of them are going to work with your specific content marketing strategy.

If you’re after content expertise tailored to your personal business goals, working with a digital agency may be your answer. By using best-practice content marketing services, you can keep your business ahead of new developments, ensuring that you’re at the forefront of content marketing for SMEs.

We’re a Melbourne digital agency dedicated to outcomes. Chat with one of our specialists today about your content marketing strategy.