‘Start with your team’ The best content advice from 2016

So, 2016 is coming to a close, and boy – what a year. From social media’s coverage of Brexit and Trump to the closure of Vine and the meteoric rise of Facebook Live, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of content, data-led social media marketing, video and everything in between.

Amidst it all we’ve had analysis and advice from the content experts to sharpen our own content strategies, and evolve alongside the changing face of digital communications. We’ve pulled together some of year’s most useful tips and interesting analysis here, so you can start 2017 as you mean to go on!

The three V’s: Viral, Video and Visual

Visual content exploded towards the end of 2015 so it’s no surprise that inbound marketing experts, HubSpot, had the inside track on visual content marketing analysis. Nearly 80% of marketers predicted that video content would increase, for example. Guess what? They were right.

Key takeaways:

  • 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, video, illustrations and infographics) are core to how their brand story is communicated
  • Syndacast predicts 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
  • Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content


Image credit: CMO council


AdWeek created this handy infographic to guide video production newbies on how consumers  view and interact with this content. When you consider that in 2016, 96% of B2B organisations used video in their marketing campaigns (in some capacity), it’s easy to understand its necessity in yours.

Key takeaways:

  • 84% of all marketing communications is predicted to be visual by 2018
  • By 2020 video will make up 80% of all web traffic
  • 50% of B2B marketers are prioritising visual marketing this year – and this will increase

The digital gurus at BuzzSumo analysed 100 million (yes, you read that right) posts to look for patterns in the most shared content. They found that lists, infographics, entertainment or narcissism (e.g. made the reader look smarter) topped the list.

Key takeaways:

  • Lists still rule! The accessibility of bitesize, quick-read listicles continues to be a draw, and their shareability is strong.
  • Enable user success – this is especially pertinent if you’re a B2B marketer and love LinkedIn. Titles with the word ‘success’ included present themselves as helpful content – cue lots of views, shares and engagement
  • Surprise people with research and data. Dig deeper into topics and share your findings – challenge perceived wisdom and you’ll attract a bigger audience


Expert advice and insider tips

It all starts with people. The makeup of your content marketing team is key, says Josh Ritchie of Column Five, in Forbes. “The better approach is to first build your team, identify your target audience, and then create your content…you need the right people in the right roles, and with the right responsibilities.”  The ideal team? It looks something like this:

  1. Driver (Vision/Strategy)
  2. Manager or Director (Strategy/Tactics)
  3. Creative Leader (Brand Advocate)
  4. Managing Editor (Quality/Workflow)
  5. SEO Analytics Expert (Reporting)
  6. PR/Communications Manager (Distribution)
  7. Customer Advocate (Reality Check – someone from outside the marketing squad)

If you’re a process person, then prepare to be amazed by the checklist to end all checklists from CoSchedule. It covers every content sensibility you’ll ever need (well, until the next big thing comes along). You’re welcome.

Key takeaways:

  • Projects: Define your objective, metrics, deadlines and budgets
  • Blogs: Define the angle, research keywords, research topic, write strong headlines, proof read!
  • E-marketing: string subject line, proof read, call to action, set up analytics, mobile optimisation

The personal nature of podcasts has won many fans – bring your brand to life, and read this ‘how to’ guide from the team at Digital Trends. From pre-production to themes and scripting, they’ve got it covered. And if you’re a podcast fan, then you should check out these marketing podcasts too!

What next?

What can we expect for 2017? In an industry that changes so rapidly, it’s hard to say – we know that video will be an increased focus for brands of all sizes, and that content marketing will continue to take a bigger wedge of the marketing budget.

The Content Marketing Institute predicts that – among others – native advertising, mobile and executive buy-in will be big themes in the coming year. And for more insight you should check out our look ahead to 2017 that offers top tips on how to plan for the new year.


Like this? Then check out our review of 2016’s marketing highlights

Jenny Morris heads up Formative Content’s PR team and specialises in campaign strategy and corporate communications.

You can follow Jenny on Twitter: @JennyContent

Formative Content is a UK based content marketing agency producing high quality content, live event coverage and strategic communications support for clients around the world.