5 Digital content and marketing trends for Philippine entrepreneurs in 2017

Content Marketing Trends for the Philippines in 2017

by Homerun Nievera | World Executives Digest |

It’s been more that 3 years since I first included the need for digital content marketing education during my talks around the Philippines.

Today, it’s gaining momentum and will soon hit the digital mainstream.

In early 2011, when I first came up with Negosentro.com as a blogazine (magazine-styled blog) for Filipino entrepreneurs making the shift to digital, I didn’t know then that there would be a need to expand my budding business. Admittedly, when that venture made its ROI in only 45 days from launch, I was thinking of how to make it grow through a major disruption. I looked to Yahoo for inspiration, knowing it had a confused identity of either being a search engine or a content portal.

By 2014, after selling off my shares in a US-based tech business, I started growing Negosentro.com by splitting its popular categories into separate blogazines. I got my first major investor then moved the blogazine group into my digital media holdings company Red Bus Digital Ventures — a partnership with my longtime buddy Zes Martinez. By early 2015, we went into a strategic joint venture with well-established Philippine advertising group and setup a separate entity (now Heartshaper Asia Inc.) to manage the core of blogazines and push digital content marketing services to the group’s old clients and beyond its roster.

Fast-forward to 2016, a lot of developments and trends in digital have leap-frogged Heartshaper Asia into a fully-equipped digital content marketing solutions provider, earning the company’s alias, HAI Media. The company has spearheaded the move to introduce SMEs to content marketing as a way to leverage digital media versus MNCs who have bigger budgets.

What’s to expect in digital content marketing in 2017 for Philippine entrepreneurs? The answer is in leveraging these 5 things that have worked so far for our clients. Read on…

#5 Long-form content stays

As we thought that the onset of shorter articles and that popularity of listicles will push long-form articles outside of the top 5, we were wrong. In fact, our blogger events have been a hit among our clients such that we have been ramping up on our digital influencer network to beef up our digital war chest for 2017. We have also seen the rise in popularity of long-form social media content brought about by the Facebook blog page He Said, She Said, which snapped up 20,000+ fans in less than 2 months. “He Said, She Said,” appeals to both Generations Y (millennials) and Z, with two opinions (male and female) on mostly relationship-based topics. Suprisingly, the FB Page’s (and site’s) main bloggers is a forty-ish couple, old enough to be the readers’ parents. Still, their long-form content and popularity soars off the charts.

The main reason for dishing out long-form content is the tightening algorhythm of Google on its search results. Organic traffic is seen to be driven by feature-style content as search engines defend their territories with popularly-searched key phrases than mere keywords.

#4 Blogs are still in, but…

Content is king — there’s no doubt about it. With the comeback of blogging in the past 3 years, it seems that social media giants are starting to adapt, rather than kill, blogs. How’s that? Blogs are close buddies of search engines because of their highly searchable content — thus, a huge money-making partner for the likes of Google which depends on adwords and adsense for revenue. Seeing that this phenomenon will not drop in the next 5 years, social media behemoths Linkedin and Facebook have released their blog versions with Pulse and Instant Articles, respectively. We don’t know yet where this is going, at least in Southeast Asia, but content resellers such as GetCraft have been slowly but surely regionalizing their services in SEA. This signals the stronger demand for blogs and content in general. Our recommendation? Watch out for shifts in audience and platform loyalty in 2017.

#3 Influencer Marketing

In today’s content-crazy world, it’s no longer important to just know what the message is, but more importantly, who is the messenger. Influencer marketing does the trick when it comes to brand positioning. Social media has actually created new influencers but content platforms and content marketing agencies in the Philippines have supported this trend. More sponsored posts will come out in 2017 in various forms and sizes. Catching this trend early will be more important since exclusive deals with content influencers will be the norm.

#2 Go Mobile or Die

The obvious trend today is in engagement economics which is primarily the use of mobile devices. As of January 2016, 45 million adults access the Internet mostly on mobile, according to data from We Are Social. In fact, all figures point towards a mobile-led economy in the next 10 years globally. There is no stopping this trend. What to do? Switch all digital marketing strategies towards mobile. Most of our campaigns this year have recorded very high engagement metrics on mobile devices. Roughly 80% of our Facebook content have been accessed on mobile devices. Multiple devices per individual have also been recorded. So there. Have a mobile strategy for your brand or risk its early demise.

#1 Real Integrated Content Marketing Strategy is a Must

It’s no longer true to just have a content marketing strategy. Brands need to integrate their content across communication platforms in 2017 or risk a disconnect with target audiences. In 2015, Generation Z has started working. This group of focused and over-loyal generation were born with cellphones n their midst. They were born to adapt to multi-screens and thus, know if there is a disconnect between branded content and social content. Their choices are formed early and use the power of community. So in 2017, if your content is not integrated across all your communications platforms, you’d start seeing the gory results in your bottomline by end year.

Other upcoming trends are emerging in content marketing strategy for 2017, but the foregoing 5 trends above resound the most to Philippine marketers.

In the meantime, rethink your total digital strategies. If you’re an SME, it’s worth re-examining as youd have the strongest leverage against the big boys.

Let’s talk soon!

About the Author

Homerun Nievera is a pioneer digital marketing evangelist in the Philippines since 1998. He was the former Global Head of Advertising Operations and Partnerships for both Friendster.com and Multiply.com before venturing into tech startups in the U.S. and the Philippines. He is currently the CEO of digital content marketing solutions provider Heartshaper Asia and is in the board of several tech and digital companies. Homer speaks on digital trends, passion-led entrepreneurship and servant leadership. Follow Homer on Facebook.