It is a tremendous time to be involved in the digital marketing sector with almost half of the global population having access to the internet. However, the way consumers consume this content is rapidly evolving, and with that comes an interesting array of challenges and opportunities. Having a firm understanding of these upcoming trends is vital in laying the foundation for defining the content goals within an organization and deciding where resources will be allocated.
Knowledge regarding these four trends is paramount for those companies looking to succeed in both B2B and B2C communication going forward. Let’s take a look at the upcoming content trends of 2014.
Trend 1: Competition to Gain Consumers’ Attention Will Increase
Each day there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 92,000 new articles posted on the internet. This means that posting new, unique content regularly is not enough to drive traffic to your site. Digital media publishers have created systems to produce the greatest amount of content for the lowest price. Need an example? The Huffington Post produces at least 1,200 piece of content each day, while Forbes produces 400.
What can smaller businesses to do differentiate themselves when they are unable to compete based on sheer volume alone? This is where the development of a content strategy can come into play. It is incredibly important to understand a company’s unique value proposition, and if a company does not have one, you must understand where there is space to create one.
Are you marketing a “think” product that requires heavy consideration before purchase, or is it a “feel” product where emotion plays an important role in the buying process? You could be marketing a “high involvement” product, one where the consumer is heavily involved in the buying decision, or a “low involvement” product that is more likely purchased impulsively.
With high involvement/think products, the focus of your content should involve plenty of information on the product features, benefits of the product in addition to growing the product and brand awareness. This will make it easier for consumers to both discover and search for your product.
Low involvement/feel products should have a campaign focused on connecting with consumers and appealing to emotions. There should also be a focus on building brand loyalty and retention of customers for repeat purchases.
Trend 2: Determining Key Metrics to Measure Content’s Success Will be Important
Traffic and page views have long been the chosen metrics for gauging content success, but these statistics on their own can be misleading. More importantly, solely focusing on traffic can lead to an overemphasis on click-worthy headlines, overuse of keywords in a title and changing the focus from creating content for users to creating content for page views.
Whether you are using a combination of metrics to target and analyze (organic traffic, % returning visitors, changes in bounce rate and time on site), or gauging content by social metrics including Facebook likes and Twitter retweets, all of these activities can demonstrate the ability of a piece to gain a user’s attention, and that awareness is always worth something.
Trend 3: Increased Interest in Content Integration/Content Being Produced for Multiple Channels.
The most sizeable obstacles involved in content often times have nothing to do with the content itself, and everything to do with proper resource allocation. Whether this is lack of time to implement all goals, lack of budget to implement these strategies in an ideal way, or the constant battle with readjusting priorities, marketing becomes especially challenging. This is only enhanced as more and more channels develop and digital innovation advances so quickly.
There is no perfect solution to this problem, but one way to balance hard resource constraints with the constant need for innovation is to develop better integration methodologies. When a group of CMOs was polled by Forbes, they ranked integrated marketing communications ahead of effective advertising when it comes to the most important thing they want from an agency.
People are looking for that seamless retail experience, providing an on-brand, personalized, and consistent experience regardless of channel. This requires content to be heavily involved in the multitude of channels from online to in-person to provide potential and current customers with one consistent conversation.
Trend 4: Experimentation with Content in New Mediums
Did you know that approximately 60% of online devices are now smartphones or tablets? Technology and digital innovation are experiencing rapid increases in growth, causing PCs to become a smaller percentage of connected devices. As competition for attention increases, companies must be increasingly willing to experiment with content in new mediums including Smart TVs and connected wearables.
2014 will be an exciting time for the future of content. As technology evolves and competition for user attention increases, marketers need to be agile and adapt to the growing needs and expectations of their customers.