2013 is coming to a close, in a couple of short weeks we will be bidding it farewell and greeting 2014, but what changes and updates can we reasonably expect in the coming year? In today’s blog I will explore what 2014 may hold for content marketing and which trends that could prove both effective and popular in the coming weeks and months.
Content which encapsulates more than the written word
The internet provides us with the ability to share not only the written word but also imagery and videos, this method of content sharing is extremely popular and looks set to continue in 2014. Facebook reports that over 6 billion photos are uploaded per month, that’s over 200, 000 images per minute. Youtube is now commanding an audience of over one billion people per month, this is a stream of traffic you have to involve your business in. Youtube continues to be the most popular video sharing platform holding out for 82% of the market share while it’s a long way back to Vimeo at 8%.
Photo sharing platform Pinterest is the fastest growing platform for content sharing; it is closely followed closely by LinkedIn and Facebook. Content sharing on Pinterest jumped 19.2% in the latest quarter, and LinkedIn sharing grew 15.1%. Facebook saw content sharing rise 14.7%, while sharing on Twitter fell 7.6%.
The fact that video sharing will command 55% of all web traffic by 2016, alluded to the forecast that the demand for video will triple by the same date and that mobile video traffic will also see an increase eighteen fold by 2016 since 2011 all points towards the recent surge in video sharing being one of the hottest facets of content marketing next year.
Content can take many shapes and forms, it has so much more capabilities than the written word alone, there are many guises that it can take that include but are not restricted to:
• Email newsletters
• Digital magazines
• White papers
Content marketing automation
The internet is awash with content and as such it can be an intimidating not to mention time consuming job locating good quality, relevant content. In a world where time is becoming more and more of a precious commodity. These tools allow you to draw content from across the web and display them in an attractive way which relates to particular subjects and topics which can then be shared among consumers for their information. The use of content curation tools such as content hubs can aid marketers in not only the discovery of content but also its distribution.
Brands as publishers
We are now at a stage where brand publishing has overtaken traditional methods of advertising. Brands are now required to be ever more creative in order to acquire our attention; brand publishing is the intersection of storytelling, advertising and technology. It is a reflection on how technological advances in communication and the devices we use to pursue information has changed brands and companies approaches in this field.
Location-based content marketing
Although this technology is already present on marketer’s radars, 2014 should be the year that we see the approach to location based content stepped up a notch. Businesses will utilise this form of marketing increasingly taking advantage of the ability to target consumers with multi-media content based on their location using GPS technology within their smartphones. The fact that one in 5 people in the world now own a smartphone, it looks very likely that this area will receive some much deserved attention.
Google + and social media
Social media has positioned itself as a strong platform from which to share and distribute your content, Google + has accrued a huge number of users in the past year, somewhere in the region of 500 million + users are now registered with Google + putting it behind only Facebook in terms of monthly users and on a par with Twitter. (Figures quoted that Google + have over 300 million active monthly users opposed to Facebook’s gargantuan 1.15 billion).
Google + is also great for SEO, has many useful tools within the platform and is being actively promoted by Google themselves with perhaps the only grey are being how much time users actually spend on the platform. Google + is becoming ever more integrated with other Google services and products, the influence of this network for marketers in 2014 is likely to be significant.
The sheer volume of numbers on social media makes it an area which is impossible for marketers to avoid or ignore, some may well work better for certain types of content but what is clear is that all companies need to have some semblance of representation on at least a handful of social networks.
Social media is already a formidable force and this trend looks set to continue in 2014, companies and marketers that utilise social media to engage and interact with consumers based on the content they supply will see the greater return in 2014. The diversity of channels now on offer will also influence success rates for companies, while it is important to have a presence across social media it is important not to spread yourself too thin, if you have the resources then by all means share content on all platforms available to you but if not choose your social media platforms carefully, work out which will have the best return and which is best for your business and concentrate your efforts accordingly. The only thing worse than no presence is a dormant presence.
One last and fairly obvious point, but one which surprisingly hasn’t been embraced by all companies involved in content marketing is the ability to publish to any platform, this is absolutely crucial in this content anywhere, anytime world we inhabit. You can have the highest quality content in the world but if it isn’t mobile centric then you are going to lose a sizeable portion of your potential traffic from the off. Mobile phone ownership and in particular smartphone ownership has been on the rise steadily in this last few years, estimates state that as much as 40% of your online traffic is now mobile, there isn’t a business in the world that can sustain a 40% drop in their traffic so this is an avenue which should be explored carefully and catered for intrinsically. Analysts Morgan Stanley have even gone on record to state that while this new cycle is in its infancy it is still expected that mobile web browsing will, based on change and adoption habits to date, overtake desktop internet use by 2015.
Every minute of every single day more and more content is added to the internet; companies must refine and optimize their content marketing strategies approach to be heard amongst the noise. The time you have to grab the consumers attention is becoming ever more valuable, a few vital seconds is all you may have, make them count.