It’s that time of year… the crystal ball is out and predictions for the coming year are being shared by key influencers in the content marketing industry all over the world.
Many ‘things’ drive and influence change – innovation, creativity, technology, the adoption of new devices, where mobile and tablet have changed not only how we consume media but the time of day we consume it. More recently it’s been the rise of social media discovery, where we see some channels maturing (Twitter) yet fragmentation continues to be a challenge.
In conjunction with change, consumer actions and attitudes continuously evolve. We believe it’s increasingly important for brands to focus on creating content that is distinctive and unique to them, this helps to build communities, attract fans, drive engagement and, of course, deliver sales.
So what does the future look like? We’ve outlined our key content marketing trends for 2015:
- Content works
That’s no secret. But when you do find a type of content that works, don’t just keep doing that. And only that. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life and that applies to content, too. 2015 will be the year that brands wake up to the fact (as publishers did a long time ago) that the law of diminishing returns applies to cookie cutter content.
- Quality beats quantity (at last)
Rewarding content producers for more was never a long-term strategy. And it’s a costly one. Finding your niche and producing targeted, consistent content will become even more important than ever in 2015. If you can’t be the best, go and play somewhere else.
So you’re making stunning content. Content that has real value to your audience. But no-one’s seeing it. Brands pay big money to create content, be that video, blog posts, social posts, or just great visual creative. But without the right distribution strategy, no-one is ever going to see it. In 2015, brands will realise they need an audience before they create the good stuff.
- Yes we have social channels
Lots of brands have big Facebook and Twitter followings. But they never reach them. Getting others to spread your word is the ultimate stamp of approval for your content. 2015 will be the year of getting content in front of the right people… but only If you’re prepared to pay to reach them.
- Emerging platforms will finally emerge
Instagram is now bigger than Twitter. Snapchat is being used by major brands as an alternative to the noise of more established networks. 2015 will see more activity on ‘emerging platforms’ than ever before. And that means they’ll wise up to their power, too. Let the pricing wars begin…
- Stop renting your audience
Playing rent-an-audience – whether that’s via social media channels or using propagation tools like Outbrain or Taboola – is a short-term game. Audiences will always be fickle, but never more so than when you’re paying for them and not delivering content that’s absolutely spot-on.
- But get them involved
Some of your customers will be your biggest advocates. They’ll have stories they want to tell. So let them tell their stories to your audience. The same goes for other brand ambassadors – like your own employees. Passion is the keyword here and they’ll have it in abundance.
- Advertising and marketing collide
Advertising, in whatever form, needs to marry up with consistent content/social strategy. 2015 will see brands finally marrying up their advertising, marketing teams and agencies in a proper, collaborative way. See the Old Spice ads/virals for an advertising gift that keeps on giving – everywhere.
- Content IS marketing
If marketers didn’t realise it before, content must now become an integral part of a company’s comms strategy. Even the simplest marketing idea should tie back to useful/shareable/entertaining content. And you must talk to people. One-way social conversations are so 2014…
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below. And if you need help with your brand’s content strategy, please get in contact – [email protected]