As 2013 draws to a close, there has been lots of discussion about the big content marketing trends for 2014. Some of the leading voices of content marketing have published their predictions, and while there are a lot of varying angles, one thread weaves its way throughout – content marketing is growing up.
Beyond the buzzwords, opinions on big data, ROI and automation it is clear that the content marketing train is showing no signs of halting and the industry is set to become much more focused in 2014.
Here at White Horse, we think the trend for increasingly immersive experiences and better quality content, better outreach and understanding of how brands and bloggers can work together, along with a move towards a simpler language used by everyone.
So long, 2013
Before we look to the future, what trends will start to fade? We believe static infographics are a thing of the past as they reach saturation point. How many infographics exist anyway? A cursory Google search of this told me that there were a lot of alien civilisations out there) – so if you know the answer to this, please say!
We also believe (and hope) that the more marketers are learning from storytellers, the more we move to a pull not push way of working, and the more we learn to put our customers at the heart of what we do – that marketing speak will turn into something more simple and more real.
What the voices of the content marketing world say
A look around some of the leading content marketing publishers reveals:
The Guardian’s expert panel concludes that ‘we will see brands stop talking about ‘acting like a publisher’ and start acting like one.
This great article by Moz.com discussed how producing fresh content is no longer enough, businesses need a strategy to compete – indicating that quality content that has a clear purpose will top content directors lists.
Econsultancy have two good points in their article ‘2014: The Year Content Marketing Grows Up‘. The thought ‘ content marketing needs to be used for consumer insight’ and ‘content marketing needs be be personalised’ again show that we are becoming more focused about content marketing.
All these leading voices point to the same thing: content marketing is growing up.
1. More immersive experiences
As our digital experiences get richer and increasingly immersive, we simply expect a more interactive experience. We predict that motion graphics, video and interactive design will be big in 2014. As our TV, gaming, mobile and digital experiences converge we will demand the same levels of connection.
2. Multi brand content platforms as natural partnerships will grow better together
The old saying about being better together is as true in a content-driven world as anywhere. As brands look to provide credible content that is focused on their audiences, it makes sense to seek out natural partnerships that have one goal – to provide better content to people. These might be branded content sites that focus on a niche area, or video channels, or interactive portals.
2. Deeper blogger relationships
Brands are getting better at building up partnerships with bloggers, but it is still a bit of a muddy area for many. Really it’s fairly simple – brands can give reach, financial incentive and new exposure to bloggers in return for credible content that also has a focused social influence. The trick is for each to respect the other and realise that bloggers are driven to keep their credibility with their hard-won communities. No unfair requests. No blanket emails. You can read our guide to blogging outreach here for more.
3. We will move away from keywords to intent marketing
As SEO and web managers have gotten over the shock of keywords disappearing, we can think forward to a place where intent marketing is on the rise. According to the champions of Intent marketing, Darren Herman , Google has shown us that harnessing intent will lead to good outcomes for advertisers. It’s actually a real positive – intent marketing logic tells us that ROI and conversions will increase.
4. The importance of authorship & personal branding will increase
Google may not have yet implied that authorship will directly affect rankings, but according to Jason Hotham, SEO and content marketing controller at Victoria Plumb and responsible for their new inspiration centre. the search engines will see authors as a bridge between quality and more quality content, authorship will lead to better rankings. Aside from that, authorship and personal branding really figures. The publishing industry is borne out of the profiles of its contributors.
What do you think? Will infographics die in 2014? What are you planning to create better, more effective content? Tell us @whdigital