As we enter 2014 and 2013 has come to an end, marketers now look forward to try to predict what the following year has in store for them. For many within digital marketing, 2014 will be the year of content marketing.
But before we look ahead it’s important to recognise the scale of content marketing activities in 2013. WebDAM found that last year “78% of CMO’s think custom content marketing is the future of marketing” and by the end of 2013 “50% of all companies have content marketing strategies”. If we look specifically at B2C marketers, 86% now use content marketing (Content Marketing Institute)! So what does 2014 have in store for content marketing? What predictions can we make?
Defining Content Marketing
Marketing blogger and Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers believes that for some marketers (including those who currently utilize content marketing as part of their marketing strategy) content marketing remains a somewhat ambiguous concept that still requires a recognised definition. In 2014 marketers will be able to “explain what content marketing is and how it aligns with their larger business goals.”
With desktop computer usage in decline we are switching to mobile devices like tablets and smart phones to access the internet. In 2014 we can expect to see a greater drive towards mobile friendly content. Search engines already position non –mobile friendly sites lower down their result pages. Mobile friendly content will be a necessity.
“Don’t let brilliant content and amazing design be undone by a poor interface” says Neal Anderson, Digital Director of London based marketing firm in an interview with The Guardian. The term “quality not quantity” is not a new phrase associated with content marketing, but in 2014 as the volume of content increases this will ring truer than ever before. Expect to see more focus on the user experience as a way to differentiate your content from the rest.
Content Consumption Analysis
OK so we all know quality is essential in content marketing but how do you know if you’re really producing content that’s engaging your audience? It can be tricky enough for content marketers to create content that engages with their audience but on top of that challenge they must also figure out which tactics give them the best return. Content analytics are vital for marketers to understand the effectiveness of their content and to adequately understand their audience. In 2014 gathering information from content consumption will increase in importance. Econsultancy believes in 2014 tracking content consumption habits will tell marketers a lot more about ourselves than relying only on “historic demographic, transactional or social data”.
Emerging Digital Platforms
This year there has been a huge rise in the use of visual content. Short-form media like Vine, Instagram and Snapchat have become popular with marketers and these emerging platforms will continue to grow in importance in 2014 as marketers seek to hold the ever-shortening attention span of customers and prospects.
Digital marketers will need to understand the changing distributions platforms of the New Year. Previous methods of content marketing revolved around using “destination sites” as the hub for your content. The new model will be based on integrated, distributed content across earned, owned and paid platforms.
Roll on 2014!
It’s a great time to be a content creator. In 2014 we will see a comprehensive shift from single channel to multi-channel media experiences and brands will need to respond to this shift by having content across multiple platforms. Next year content marketing is going to be bigger and better, expect to see a greater increase in video content and heavier investment from big brands. Make sure you’re ready for 2014; create strategies for the effective distribution of your content now.
By Sam Shedden