2017 The Year of Consumer Content Experts

Years ago, Seth Godin popularized the term “Attention Marketing” in his book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.

Attention Marketing grew out of the rise of social media and smartly suggests that rather than interrupting the consumer and using SEM, SEO, banner ads, mobile ads, etc., brands have an opportunity to utilize social media to capture consumer’s attention and channeling this attention to the brand’s products when the consumer has a genuine interest in buying.

Since the term Attention Marketing was coined, social media has continued to grow and platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest grow and new ones are developing like

But what all of these platforms have in common is that they rely on consumers to generate content. Why do users engage on these platforms? Because it’s about them. These are their stories. Or, as marketing/ad land puts it, their content. 



What has evolved rapidly over the recent past is the tools available for consumers to make their content, quite frankly, as compelling and interesting as agencies do.  

Brands have long known that recommendations from friends and family were the number 1 way to convince someone to buy a product or service. But now, brands have taken this a step further. They are featuring user-generated content in e-commerce sites right next to the “buy” button as they recognize how valuable this content is in converting interest to purchase amongst other consumers.  

So what type of user content will grow in 2017?

  • Video: User-generated video continues to be an extremely effective way for brands to communicate the story and benefit of their products and services to consumers. Influencers in the video space continue to grow their audiences and get better and better at created compelling brand-sponsored content. The other great benefit of video is that this content lives on and is always discoverable. By now, many brands have tested and worked with influencers in the video space. So, they recognize the potential of this media. In 2017, brands will start to look beyond just the immediate flighting and success of a video and understand the long tail value of video content. Many influencer videos rack up 50-100%+ more views after the campaign flighting and this is ongoing value that contributes to brands ROI for this content.
  • Live Video: Live video will be an increasing medium for brands in 2017. Live video provides an excellent opportunity for brands to directly engage with their consumers in real time, which is a unique way to build a relationship with a consumer. Since Live Video is a real-time dialogue, it provides brands with a "sticky" relationship builder that many did not have in the past.  Brands should take advantage of this opportunity in 2017 and explore the power of this interaction and reach vehicle. Because platforms like Facebook seek to increase their stronghold of Live Video, they will continue to prioritize this content higher and show it to large percentages of followers for a brand, influencer or individual.

2016 saw a continued evolution of social platforms. Snapchat exploded, Vine collapsed and powerful new social media platforms like burst onto the scene. What 2016 highlights is that the platforms and their popularity will continue to evolve at break-neck pace. What brands need to focus on is where the audience is and how to best bring their message to life for that audience.

Influencer Marketing experienced a huge surge of interest and budget in 2016. Brands have started to better understand the power of utilizing influencers and they are becoming more structured and focused on measurement and ROI of this channel. 

The bottom line is that the social platforms and influencers who excel on these platforms will continue to evolve. In 2017, smart brands will focus on one thing: Where is my target consumer? Then, they will determine the best platform, content and influencers to engage with to reach this audience and drive awareness and purchase. They will utilize the consumer and their opinions — their reviews, their stories of how a product or service enhances their lives as the most compelling form of gaining consumer attention.

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