I invited Dylan Brown to contribute a post today exploring potential trends in content marketing in 2014… over to you, Dylan!
Content Marketing Trends to Look Out For in 2014
Over the past few years content marketing has exploded in popularity, with businesses from all different industries fighting to grab the attention of online consumers.
It makes sense too, as brands with an effective content marketing strategy have the opportunity to form relationships with their target audience. This year we can expect content marketing to expand even more, especially as brands become more experienced and results-driven.
Search will become more localised
Last year Google took a major step toward making search more conversational by introducing its Hummingbird algorithm. Results now pick up on natural language and can answer simple questions.
Google also provides results based on your location. This year we will see smaller businesses develop a stronger local presence and begin to compete with larger, nationwide businesses, since they now have the opportunity to build relationships with consumers in their neighbourhoods.
Higher quality content
Millions of articles are published online every day and, as a result, consumers are looking for more specific content. Brands looking to keep these readers engaged need to produce content that is actually useful.
Plus, the Hummingbird algorithm supposedly ranks a site based on how useful its content is. Brands looking to stay ahead will need to understand their target audiences better and produce content that is relevant to them.
The rise of mobile marketing
The amount of smartphone users perusing the internet has skyrocketed. Recent statistics from Nielsen found 65 per cent of US mobile subscribers own a smartphone. However, the majority are only using their phones to research products but not to make purchases, according to a recent study by Marketing Land
This year will see marketers investing more time and energy to target these users, and in time we can expect consumers to rely on their smartphones more and more.
Social media will diversify
Although Facebook will continue to hold its place as the world’s largest social networking site, this year we will see social media users become more active on other sites such as Twitter and Pinterest.
Last year Facebook admitted to losing its younger users, with popular mobile apps like Instagram and Snapchat partly to blame. Brands that rely heavily on social media marketing will need to establish a strong online presence on multiple platforms if they want to keep the attention of younger users.
Bigger budgets, but also bigger expectations
As more brands realise how beneficial content marketing can be, we can expect businesses to become even more financially invested this year. Two recent studies by the Content Marketing Institute found that 60 per cent of B2C organisations plan to increase their budgets this year, while 58 per cent of B2B plan to do the same.
But with this bigger budget, we can also expect that content marketers will become more responsible for demonstrating a return on investment to those above them?
As the number of businesses producing online content continues to grow we can only expect the industry to grow, but brands looking to stay ahead of the rest will need to establish themselves as thought leaders, providing consumers with useful and engaging online content.
Dylan Brown is a Content Marketing Executive at Castleford Media, the leading content marketing business in Australia and New Zealand.