best of 2017, #ContentWritingChat

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Best of 2017 with Gini Dietrich & Madalyn Sklar

This week was the last #ContentWritingChat of 2017. *cue the tears*

We’ve had a tremendous year growing this community and connecting with so many amazing content creators from around the globe.

Throughout 2017, we’ve had amazing guests and topics week after week. And it’s only going to get better from here! However, before we move forward into 2018, we wanted to use this week’s chat to reflect on the past year.

So, let’s dive into the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Best of 2017 with Gini Dietrich & Madalyn Sklar

To wrap up the year, we wanted to make sure we brought on some powerhouse guests. Two ladies that came to mind were Gini Dietrich and Madalyn Sklar. Both of them have hosted #ContentWritingChat in the past and provided great value to the community. It only made sense to have them join us again!

Q1: Which content marketing and social media trends really stood out in 2017? What was worth the effort for brands to implement?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share the top trends they believed were worth the effort in 2017. Was it live video, podcasting, or something else? Here are a few responses we received:

Gini knows that video marketing and Facebook Live broadcasts really stood out in the past year. There’s no denying that this will continue to grow in popularity during 2018.

She also said there’s been a greater shift toward paid media. With the algorithms social media platforms have put in place, it’s almost become a requirement if you want your content to be seen.

Video, podcasting, and live streaming are the three trends that caught Madalyn’s attention this year.

Video was certainly one hot topic this year! As Andrea said, more brands started creating YouTube channels and sharing video content with their audience.

Besides YouTube channels, live streaming has been pretty popular. Brands started using tools like Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

But why was live streaming such a big deal? It’s a great way for brands to connect with their audience. If you haven’t tried it out, it’s worth it!

Brands were even using videos in their paid content on social media. And let’s face it, this isn’t going away anytime soon.

Doris said she’s noticed a shift in how brands communicate with their audience. Many have taken a more conversation appreciate instead of being stiff.

Q2: Were there any trends or platforms that kind of died off for you in the past year?

Was there anything you stopped doing in 2017? Were there any platforms you said goodbye to? Check out what a few of our chat participants ditched this year:

Madalyn said she stopped using Snapchat in 2017 and she isn’t alone.

Gini also dropped Snapchat this year.

Even Mike said that Snapchat dwindled for him as well. Although the platform is still active, many people have ditched it in favor of others. The “Stories” concept that Snapchat created has simply become more popular on Instagram.

Cristy said her team was pushing Snapchat and Geofilters at the beginning of the year, but realized it wasn’t worth it. As she pointed out, Instagram made major improvements which really stood out and drew more people in.

Organic posts on Facebook have taken a backseat due to their algorithm. Many brands have turned to live streaming on the platform as a way to expand their reach.

Facebook has become a difficult platform for many brands as of late. Many of its users are resorting to ads to get traction on their content.

Bill said he’s been able to show his clients that simply posting on platforms like Facebook isn’t a valuable strategy. You need to be focused on your audience to truly see results.

Producing generic content that is cross-posted to all social media platforms just won’t cut it. As Carla said, you need to create your content for a specific platform.

Andrea has scaled down efforts on LinkedIn.

Sarah also feels like LinkedIn just isn’t worth the hassle for her anymore.

Periscope was one of the platforms that really got people excited about live streaming. However, Facebook Live and Instagram Live have really taken over in the past year.

While influencer marketing is still a powerful tactic, Maria recognizes that many brands are focusing on micro-influencers instead of big celebrities.

Q3: What were your favorite publications to read and learn from this year?

Get your Feedly account ready! We asked everyone to share their favorite publications from the past year. So if you’re looking for some new resources to learn from, these are great suggestions to check out:

Madalyn’s list of favorites include Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, TechCrunch, Buffer, and more.

For Gini, she loves to read content from Andy Crestodina, Moz, and many other sources.

You can find Julia reading posts from Content Marketing Institute, Smart Blogger, CoSchedule, and NewsCred. She’s also turned to a few live shows to expand her knowledge as well.

Lexie’s go-to publications include Search Engine Journal, SEMrush, Social Media Today, Moz, and our team here at Express Writers!

Entrepreneur was one of Cheval’s must-read sites in the past year.

Neil Patel, Search Engine Land, and Moz were just a few of Sarah’s favorites!

Tony enjoyed reading content from TechCrunch, Social Media Today, Flipboard, and Pocket.

Warwick’s go-to has been Barry Feldman’s podcast.

And who doesn’t love a little Daily Vee from Gary Vaynerchuk?

Another great way to learn is through Twitter chats. Finding the chats in your industry will help you make connections online and learn tons of valuable information.

Q4: Share a piece of your best work from the past year!

To spread the love, we asked everyone to share their best work from 2017. It could be a blog post, podcast, or something else they were really proud of. Here are a few things that were shared with us:

It sounds like Gini is pretty proud of a book she and her team are launching!

Madalyn shared one of her favorite episodes of her #TwitterSmarter podcast with us.

Jason has previously interviewed both Julia McCoy and Madalyn Sklar on his podcast. He shared those episodes, so you’ll want to check them out.

It should come as no surprise that Julia shared her brand new book, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing! It’s truly an incredible book that every content creator should own.

This blog post on internal linking was a top performer for the team at ThinkSEM.

Cheval’s post on the pros and cons of BeLive.TV and BlueJeans Network was a hit with his audience.

Jeff shared an article he wrote on Pinterest. If you need some help on the platform, give this one a read.

Erika said you shouldn’t use apps to automatically follow and unfollow people on Twitter. She shared why in this article she linked to.

Jeff shared a link to his podcast, which is all about mental health.

Q5: What was your biggest struggle when it came to content creation in the past year?

We all have struggles when it comes to content creation, which is a nice reminder that we aren’t alone when things are challenging. These are a few things our chat participants had difficulty with in 2017:

It’s safe to say everyone can relate to Madalyn on this. Not having enough hours in the day is something that plagues each and every one of us.

Gini also knows that time is a big struggle when it comes to content creation. Sometimes we just feel as though there isn’t enough time to get everything done.

If you struggle to stay consistent with your content creation, you aren’t alone. Having an editorial calendar and planning out your content certainly helps though.

Sometimes the struggle is just getting it done. When you balance so many other tasks, it can be hard to find time and energy to create amazing content.

Lexie knows that it’s challenging to create quality content for your company and for clients. It’s time-consuming for anyone to take on.

Not to mention, you have other work responsibilities that cut into your writing time!

Rebecca knows the struggle of balancing content and other work responsibilities all too well. She takes on many different things, which can make it challenging.

To manage your tasks and content creation, Julia feels it’s all about finding your workflow.

For Ellie, it’s also about short turn around times on content. It can be challenging to get things done in a short period of time.

Finding your voice on a topic that many others are already talking about can surely be a struggle. This is something that Jeff has dealt with himself.

With so many platforms and so many content formats, it’s hard to know what to focus on. In the end, it all comes down to what works best for you and what your audience enjoys.

Idea burnout can definitely happen to content creators. Cristy’s advice is to get a second opinion on the ideas you have to determine what to move forward with.

Finding inspiration can be a struggle as well. As Jeff said, you need to find the ideas that you are passionate about.

And sometimes getting started with writing is the hard part. Many of us experience self-doubt that holds us back from creating something amazing.

Q6: Which brands have really done an amazing job with their content in 2017?

Have any brands stood out to you in 2017? These are the ones that caught the eye of our Twitter chat friends in the past year:

CoSchedule and Lee Odden are a couple brands that impressed Gini this year.

Madalyn very kindly shared her love for us here at Express Writers!

Jeff said he’s learned a lot from Julia, Madalyn, and Gini.

Between Buffer’s blog, their podcast, and their Twitter chat, they really do a tremendous job.

Some of Julia’s favorites include Madalyn, Content Marketing Institute, and CoSchedule.

Wendy’s is one of the brands that stood out on social media this year.

PooPourri created funny content that made many of us laugh this year, including Erika.

Q7: How are you preparing for your 2018 content? Do you have a process you follow?

With 2018 fast approaching, many of us have already been planning for the year ahead. When it comes to content creation, we asked how everyone is preparing and if they have a set process they use. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Madalyn ordered a large wall calendar to help her map out content. If you’re a visual person, this could help you out as well.

Gini is all about having themes for guest columnists and a proper editorial calendar. Not only that, but her team is also launching a podcast.

Erika follows Gini’s content planning process and plugs everything into her editorial calendar.

Conducting a reader survey will help you determine exactly what your audience needs from you.

Aleq is preparing for 2018 by observing audience trends. Then, it’s important to balance those ideas between video and blog content.

Updating older blog content and repurposing what you’ve created is a great way to see results in 2018.

Jason is planning to build a site for his brand. He’s also going to work on his planning and prioritization in the new year.

Cristy knows it’s smart to review reports from the past year to see what worked and what didn’t. This will help influence your plan for 2018.

Cheval plans to continue social listing to learn more about his audience. He also intends to continue writing twice a week on his blog.

Q8: What goals have you set for your content creation in 2018?

To wrap up the chat, we asked everyone to share some of their content creation goals for 2018. Read on to see a few of the responses we received. These just might inspire you to set a few goals of your own!

Madalyn’s goal is to focus more on videos and podcasts in the year ahead.

For Gini, it’s important to focus on business growth and revenue. You want to make sure you’re taking action on the things that’ll help you meet your goals.

Sarah’s goal is to do more of what works.

Lexie knows it’s important to keep your audience happy and engaged.

Consistency is something that many of us are aiming for next year.

Rebecca wants to create her schedule earlier and stick to it as much as possible.

Roselle said she plans to refresh, repurpose, and repackage content in 2018.

Doris has set a goal to get her sales teams more invested. She wants to show everyone the value of social media and setting goals.

For Jeremy, he’s focused on getting it done in 2018. He wants to jump in whenever inspiration strikes.

Cristy’s goal is to take more risks!

This was a fantastic way to end our 2017. We really enjoyed seeing everyone, and having two power influencers, Madalyn Sklar and Gini Dietrich, co-host Tuesday’s session. What a great hour!

Don’t Forget: #ContentWritingChat is Off Next Week! Merry Christmas!


Want to make Twitter chats part of your strategy for 2018? Join us for #ContentWritingChat every Tuesday at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss a thing!

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