Content Marketing Trends in 2015
Did you know 70% of brands claim to be creating more content with each passing year? In light of this, we have nailed down five content marketing trends that every brand should be employing as part of their arsenal this year.
- 24-hour Engagement
The most successful way that brands connect with people is through behaving like them, and reacting to the surrounding world as things happen. In doing so they must be instinctive, natural, and creative. As content becomes available more and more quickly, the timeframe for responding decreases. Brands therefore need to be ready to jump in with the right piece of content for whatever trend or news is occurring within only minutes before it becomes stale.
To accomplish this convincingly, a brand has to have a strong following and understanding amongst its team and audience alike. Team members and employees at all levels need to have the confidence and empowerment to act on the brand’s behalf regardless of context at any moment.
- Measuring ROI
As the shift continues to occur from traditional paid media to content marketing, proving its value is becoming more important than ever. Brands and content marketing partners alike are becoming more strategic in how they measure the ROI when it comes to their content. Once it was fans and likes, now it’s pageviews and social reach, but it is quickly becoming all about deep engagement and attention from brand audiences and how they impact the company’s sales and reputation on a fundamental level.
- Focus on User Experience
Readers are becoming increasingly connected to personalized streams of content with the rise of mobile, largely through using social apps. With the internet in our pockets, we have the ability to dip in and out, sampling content across dozens of sites in just a few minutes. It is important to understand that people do not simply “read” anymore, they “snack”, “scan” and “monitor”, making decisions in mere fractions of a moment as to whether a piece of content is valuable, how much time they should devote to it, and most importantly whether they will share it.
The result requires the brand to fragment its digital presence across as many points of contact as possible. The brand has to create experiences that are conducive to the environment in which readers will discover, read, and share it. Digital expert Mary Meeker describes this as the Three C’s: content, community, and commerce. Enabling powerful forums and social extentions, and fostering a sense of community establishes a digital environment around the brand and bolstering it with great, relevant content positions the brand as a trusted partner.
In forging the correct pathway to commerce, or the product or service your brand provides, you can shift community reactions from “ugh, great, more advertising” to “ah, that’s what I was looking for!”.
- Rise of Branded Content
This year branded content has been on the rise, with agencies staffing up and social media platforms all making a move to monetize themselves. A growing horde of talented creatives have been accepting the challenging task of making great, unique content for brands.
Many brands are now applying this strategy and creativity that they would have spent on a 15-second TV spot into making content that people will want to dedicate their time to instead. In seeing these brands producing their own content, we are seeing a shift from them piggy-backing on other blogs such as Vice and Buzzfeed, and instead creating their own voice in the editorial world with interesting things to say. We have also been seeing a shift to native brand adoption by YouTubers and actors, such as in John Favreau’s critically acclaimed movie ‘Chef” and the involvement of Twitter as an integral part of the plot narrative.
- Serialization and Stacking
The media world has continued to converge across different formats, genres, and lengths of content. Netflix has moved into short-form content with their original series, and Vice & Buzzfeed have been experimenting with long forms such as documentaries. Building a community and retaining an audience with deep relationships is as critical as ever, but data shows conflicting behaviors, leaving brands in a tough position. While one weekend may be perfect for a marathon viewing of your favorite show, another you may only have enough time for a short, yet powerful documentary on one of your most passionate interests. They are both valuable, and as a brand it is important to create content in various forms and lengths to allow the consumer more choices. How brands decide to take advantage of these distribution models to foster deeper engagement with their consumers has been extremely important this year.
Sources: The Guardian
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