Content marketing is becoming more important in affiliate marketing. The emergence of influencers, an expansion of content publishing options, and a demand for authenticity from consumers is giving content publishers more opportunities to make an impact than ever before. In 2017, consider trying some of these new content publishing strategies to grow and optimize your marketing efforts.

1. Try Live Video Content

If you’ve noticed advertising campaigns making a push for live video platforms, you’re not just imagining it – live video is expected to be one of the hottest trends in content publishing this coming calendar year. Facebook, in particular, has made a huge push into live video content with Facebook Live, making live video broadcasting available at the press of a button and only requiring a smartphone to utilize. Additionally, YouTube Live and SnapChat offer content creators additional opportunities for live streaming.

So far, content publishers have taken the idea of live video and run with it: there are tattoo artists who do live inkings, a beauty tips/wine drinking show, and a really popular pig. All of these series are highly popular among their audiences because of the authenticity these live videos have. According to an article on YourStory, live video helps publishers (and advertisers) achieve “higher conversion, engagement, and awareness among the viewers.” The main challenge of live video – that there are no “editing out” mistakes – adds to the appeal and authenticity.

If you’re looking to find new ways to expand your content offering or repurpose what you already have out there, while also taking advantage of the latest content publishing trend, look no further than live video.

2. Start Building Yourself to Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has generating tons of buzz during 2016, and you can expect action to be taken on this new trend in 2017. We’ve talked about influencer marketing a few times in the past, from how content publishers can get started as influencers to how brands have leveraged influencers during events like the Olympics, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for potential and opportunity.

Advertisers are recognizing this, and that’s why it’s constantly showing up in 2017 content publishing discussions. Leveraging influencers has become a strategic option for advertisers who are looking to reach specific customers, build better (and more personal) brand awareness, add credibility to their products or brand image. For content publishers, influencer marketing is a great way to add value to your efforts and increase conversions.

However, there are plenty of challenges that go along with the benefits to influencers. Look for more discussions on this topic in the coming months, and if you’re attending Rakuten Marketing’s Symposium Scottsdale this February, attend the influencer-focused Strategy Session that will feature a panel discussion with different influencers, advertisers, and strategic minds as they discuss several key topics in influencer marketing. Click the registration button at the bottom of this post if you’d like to register!

3. Make More Personalized Content

Trying to cast a wide net with content can be effective at reeling in visitors with many different types of interests. For example, if you write a blog post discussing “storytelling in video games over time” you can identify three types of people that would be interested: people interested in storytelling, people interested in video games, and people interested in changes over time for one or both of these topics. That’s a great reach to have, but in 2017 mix it up a bit and make your content more personal by focusing on categories of visitors!

What does this mean for your content? Following the above example, you might write a blog post focusing only on storytelling, or video games, or how something has changed over time, with the goal of attracting people who are interested in that one aspect of your original blog post to read that additional content. This is beneficial because, as more consumers pick and choose what content they’ll consume and how they consume it, they’ll want to feel more like the content was made with their interests in mind. No visitor will want to feel like they’re getting “billboard treatment” when they visit a content publisher’s platform – instead, they’ll want to feel that the content publisher is creating content that meets their needs.

If you haven’t started already, use 2017 as an opportunity to create more focused, personalized content that’s designed to reach specific parts of your followers!

4. Expand Your Touch Points

Think of 2017 as the year you should be optimizing your social media strategy to focus on engagement, as well as taking your “touch points” beyond social media and into other communities.

We’ve discussed this idea a bit and its relationship to influencers in the past, as well as above, but to quickly recap for you the idea is that you’re not just posting content you think is interesting and occasionally replying to messages, it’s that you’re taking an active and authoritative role within a community. Following the example of the previous point, say you’re a video game blogger: rather than just managing your blog, YouTube channel, and social media outlets, you may want to invest additional time in online forums and places like Reddit where communities can come together and talk about specific interests. Don’t think of this as a way to promote your content, think of it as a way to promote your voice.

5. Be Passionate in All the Right Ways

In many of the conversations I’ve had with influencers over the past week, there’s been one word universally used when discussing success: passion. No matter how big or small your audience, no matter how much of a niche your focus may be, you need to be passionate.

This is nothing new. Everyone wants to see content from the people who are passionate about it because visitors get swept up in that passion. Chances are, you’re probably already passionate about the topics you create content about. But is your passion in the right place? Are you being authentic in your passion?

This is a great chance for you to revisit all your touchpoints (social and content platforms) and really think about how you’re expressing your content. For example, you may be passionate on your blog posts, but if your video content is generic and just being recited from a sheet, can you really claim you’re being passionate? If you’re just tweeting your own content on Twitter, but not engaging with the community or sharing other interesting content you find, are you passionate or are you just promoting? There’s a crucial difference between the two, and in 2017 this is going to be a key identifier for successful content publishers. Don’t let the idea of passion be superficial for you – take the concept seriously and review your content in such a way, then make the adjustments you need to be passionate in all areas of your content publishing!

Want even more info on ways to improve your content publishing in 2017? Join us February 1-2 in Scottsdale, AZ for Symposium Scottsdale!