Marketing Trends for 2017
In 2017, content will continue to be one of the most
important marketing tactics for ecommerce
businesses. Look for content marketers to produce
a greater number of videos, focus on mobile media
consumption, spend more money promoting
content, produce more shows rather than
standalone posts, and use technology to an
Content marketing is the act of creating,
distributing, and promoting content, such as blog
posts, articles, podcasts, and videos with the aim of
attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. For
ecommerce marketers, content can be a way of
building a relationship with a shopper, which in
turn will allow an online store to compete not on
price or delivery speed, but on experience.
What follows are five trends that could impact
content marketing in 2017.
1. Video Will Begin to Dominate
A recent comScore and YouTube study found that
about 35 percent of millennials preferred to watch
YouTube compared to about 18 percent that
preferred traditional television programming.
What’s more, some 74 percent of those millennials
said they liked to watch videos that brands,
companies, or institutions had uploaded. It is not
much of a stretch to say that some 74 percent of
these millennials like content marketing.
In 2017, content marketers, who already recognize
this trend, will increasingly produce videos. In fact,
expect video to begin to become a dominant form
for some large ecommerce operations.
2. Mobile-friendly Formats
According to various reports, somewhere between
65 percent and 75 percent of all Internet use will
come from mobile devices in 2017. Again,
depending on who one asks, this might mean that
a typical person will spend three hours a day on a
smartphone or tablet.
While ecommerce sales will still skew a bit more
toward desktop devices, shoppers are increasingly
likely to consume content on a mobile device.
Thus, don’t be surprised when savvy content
marketers start to focus on mobile-friendly content
formats. This might mean employing accelerated
mobile pages or creating mobile apps.
3. Increased Content Investment
As online marketers, particular sales-oriented
ecommerce marketers, become more comfortable
with and confident in content marketing, they will
also become more likely to increase how much
they invest in content development and promotion.
About 63 percent of B2BC marketers surveyed for a
recent MarketingProfs and Content Marketing
Institute study believed that their organization’s
content marketing was either somewhat more
successful or much more successful than it had
been a year ago.
This increased confidence in content marketing
should translate into an increase in its activity in
2017. Specifically, it may mean that some
ecommerce marketers, or marketers more
generally, will invest more in content promotion.
According to some estimates, a typical business
will invest about 80 percent of its content
marketing budget into content creation, allocating
about 20 percent of that same budget to promote
or advertise content. This may shift somewhat
Don’t be surprised in 2017 if you see more digital
ads, like YouTube pre-roll commercials, Pandora
ads, or even search engine ads promoting content.
In early December 2016, a brick-and-click retailer
in the northwestern United States was busy
planning the editorial calendar for its new podcast
and radio show. The company recently hired a
professional host, had an editor working with the
retailer’s various departments for story ideas, and
began selling co-op advertising to its suppliers,
who want a chance to be featured on the show.
This retailer understands that entertainment and
information is an important part of content
marketing. If you can consistently provide an
audience with entertaining information, you can
build a relationship with that audience, which in
turn may result in sales and profit.
In 2017, marketers who admire the success of
popular YouTube shows or podcasts may begin to
release their own, episode-based content.
According to Ted Karczewski, content marketing
manager at Skyword, a content platform provider,
episodes have at least two distinct advantages.
First, the need to develop an ongoing series of
episodes will force the content marketing team to
develop a better, clearer, and more organized
content plan. This increased focus should lead to
Second, “your audience grows accustomed to the
style of information you’ll be providing…that
expectation sticks out in their memories. The more
[episodes] you produce around a series, the higher
[number of] returning visitors you’ll see
month-over-month,” Karczewski wrote.
5. Artificial Intelligence
In 2016, some content marketers began to
experiment with machine-generated content.
These innovators were, for example, trying to
produce product descriptions from a list of product
While this is still far from taking hold, it was a
significant topic of discussion at important industry
events. Next year, look for machine-generated
content to continue to evolve under the heading of
Artificial Intelligence could take several forms as it
relates to ecommerce content marketing, including
automated translation, predicting what to write
about, or even offering personalized content