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Content is king in 2017! PHOTO: Shutterstock

2017 is all but over, but content is still king in the world of digital marketing. In fact, 90 percent of brands now engage in content marketing. The reason may have something to do with the fact that content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62 percent less. But before you review what content marketing trends will dominate 2018, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on the content marketing articles that mattered most to our readers in 2017.

10. The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Channels: Social Networks

Kicking off our list is one part of a three-part series from freelance reporter Kaya Ismail. The series lists and explains all major content marketing channels in 2017. 

Content marketing has become the backbone of every worthwhile B2C and B2B marketing strategy. The short explanation for that is that no other form of marketing allows a brand to deliver such high-value information at the same speed and scale. After all, you can’t converse with your audience or dish out advice through a banner ad.”

9. How to ACE Content Marketing in 2017

Contributing author Ian Truscott had a real ace up his sleeve with this article on the best way to approach content marketing in 2017.

Content marketing has matured from trend status to an established, must-do marketing discipline. But despite that maturity, we still see organizations running on a digital marketing hamster wheel, churning out "random acts of content." Perhaps 2017 can be the year we establish a content marketing strategy that delivers relevant audience engagement.

8. For Dynamic B2B Marketing, Break Out of the White Paper Rut

Planning a slew of whitepapers for 2018? Contributing author Aaron Dunn advises that brands diversify their B2B content marketing efforts.

If you’re a B2B marketer relying on the same old traditional campaign tactics that were successful in years past, you are falling short of your customer’s expectations. B2B buyers not only expect compelling content relevant to their specific needs, but are also increasingly turned off by campaigns that fail to speak.

7. 11 Cost-Effective Live Video Marketing Ideas

Coming in at number nine is freelance reporter Ismail, who listed some budget-friendly live video marketing strategies:

“The emergence of live video features on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter has changed the face of content marketing. But before we delve into the best ways to leverage a live stream, let’s take a look at why live video marketing is causing such a fuss.”

6. 5 Characteristics of Compelling Content Marketing

If you want to audit your own content, DNN’s Director of Content Marketing Dennis Shiao provides five characteristics to judge your content by.

“I spend a lot of my time finding good content, reading it and then selecting the best examples to share on social media. To provide value to people, I’m picky about what I share. If I were to assign letter grades to content, then I’d say I share the ‘A’ resources with my network and avoid sharing anything ‘B’ or below”

5. What 4 Content Marketers Learned From 4 Content Marketing Experiments

Dennis Shiao once again made the list with this compelling piece on content marketing experiments and the lessons derived from them.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how four content marketers were planning to experiment with different ways to make their content stand out from the crowd. Their goals ranged from implementing more effective search optimization, to attracting new customers, to finding ways to repurpose content, to increasing traffic and conversion rates.

4. Content Marketers: Ditch the Clickbait and Focus on User Needs

Contributing author Mike Tirone urges content marketers to stop producing clickbait content with this article, which came in at number six.

Although 88 percent of B2B marketers have adopted content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 B2B survey report, 70 percent of those marketers don’t believe that their strategies are effective. Organizations should be focusing on the needs to win the content marketing game.

3. How to Know if Your Content Is Actually Useful (and What to Do if It’s Not)

With number three on our list of content marketing hits, you can brush up on your content auditing skills with guidance from Simon Slade, CEO and Co-founder of Affilorama.

Any content creator knows objectivity can be a challenge. When you create something for your audience, you intend for it to be informative, interesting, and relevant, but sometimes you get so involved in the process you lose sight of the content’s purpose. Here is how to avoid those pitfalls.

2. How Machine Learning Might Just Make Marketing More Human

Wondering how artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact content marketing? Peter Cassidy, who leads the product vision for Stackla, explains, “Marketers have been swamped for years now with emerging technologies which help them better identify prospects, target and re-target them, personalize campaigns and squeeze every ounce of value out of every advertising dollar spent.”

1. Is Live Video The Future of Content Marketing?

Topping the list is Ismail once again, with a piece on how live video is set to change the face of content marketing.

In the weeks leading up to the launch of Facebook Live, reports circulated that Mark Zuckerberg was “obsessed” with live video. The fact that Zuckerberg pushed out live video on Facebook and Instagram within months of each other speaks to the truth in that story.

Content to Power Your Content

These CMSWire content marketing articles will give you and your marketing team food for thought going into 2018. Which content marketing article resonated with you the most?