Like everything else online, content marketing continues to evolve. Every serious business needs to pay attention just to keep up. Here are a few big trends we don’t want you missing out on.

It’s halfway through 2016 and content trends have been taking full effect this year. The only way to stay competitive in the digital world and keep customers interested in what your business has to say is to know the trends and implement them into your content strategy. Here are four of 2016’s  biggest content trends that your company should start leveraging now to stay ahead of the competition the rest of the year.

1. User-Generated Content Counts as Much or More Than Your Content

The first trend comes from Jeff Bullas and is nothing new or monumental. It started with Amazon-like product reviews and blog commenting. Who do you think prospects and customers trust more, other customers or the business itself? According to The Guardian, 70% of customers place more importance on reviews than on the business-generated writing. User-
generated content is inherently more trustworthy because it’s an endorsement coming from a third-party perspective and people trust their peers; it’s that simple. They automatically discount anything positive businesses say about their own product or service. Consumers don’t even view testimonials as that trustworthy anymore, because they know companies pick and choose the best ones to display on their websites. They understand no business will post an unfavorable opinion by a dissatisfied customer. Therefore, reviews written online directly by customers carry the most weight.

2. New Publishing Options on Social Media Sites

Who gets more traffic? Your web site with all its articles and blog posts or Facebook? When Facebook realized most companies’ articles received more engagement on Facebook than they did on the company’s own website, they created the feature “Instant Articles.” This offers you the chance to publish your articles directly to Facebook. According to Forbes, Google is coming out with its own version, so others will undoubtedly follow.

3. Content for People, Not Search Engines

According to Business 2 Community, 82% of companies are developing content more to attract people than to get the best ranking possible in search engines. Of course, traditionally, that’s amounted to much the same thing. However, visitors have never really appreciated content generated to meet an SEO algorithm instead of their own need for information. Content creators still use keywords, but focus on those thatinform the visitors first and foremost.

4. Leverage Influencers

Influencers are key people who become highly popular on social media, have large followings, and as a company, you want to enlist them as brand endorsers. It takes time to look for them in your niche, but can be extremely profitable. A new tool to help get influencers’ attention is Famebit, a platform that lists a lot of influencers with a large YouTube following who’ll be glad to make videos about you and your products, and, so far, it’s inexpensive.

For help with making your own content marketing in 2016, come talk to us! We provide digital marketing solutions that matter.

Image by Izabela Wasilewska via Flickr CC