For any business with an online presence, content marketing is an irreplaceable tool for the marketing plan. Long-term success for these companies will rely even more heavily on content marketing in 2014.
With upwards of 70 percent of companies planning to increase their content marketing budget, staying ahead of the changes and being proactive will be vital. From last year, we learned that the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing, meaning that simply participating in it won’t make your business successful. Instead, understanding where content marketing is headed and how to become proficient at it may determine how well your company’s entire marketing strategy works.
With that in mind, here are five content marketing trends for 2014:
- Journalists replacing marketers
- Custom content streams
- Design strategy enhancement
- End of keyword overload
- Director of content positions
1) Journalists Replacing Marketers
As content marketing evolves, the upcoming year will see the influx of journalists into the marketing realm. With good, interesting content becoming more important than pushing out SEO-centric copy, those with a background in storytelling and writing will naturally be better prepared to carry out the tasks necessary to build a strong content marketing plan.
Creating new, quality stories that will both entice interest from readers and give readers information that will help them will begin to dominate the content marketing landscape, raises the value of journalists who will start to replace marketers. For companies, it will be easier to teach a journalist the marketing skills than to teach a marketer how to be a journalist. In fact, the first evidence of such a move has been done by Yahoo by bringing in journalist Katie Couric as part of a content strategy to provide unique reasons for people to visit the site.
Yahoo has moved forward with the idea that they know what their audience cares about, so being able to provide interesting and resonating stories about those things will make their marketing more successful.
2) Custom Content Streams
The biggest trend of 2014 might be providing more value to customers through the creation of custom content streams. At its core, creating custom content streams involves the curating of engaging content from multiple sites and putting it all together in a consumption-friendly way. This form of content marketing would help audiences digest content better by giving them easy access to the most popular forms of content marketing, including:
- Social media
- And podcasts
In 2014, custom content streams will become a large part of content marketing by enticing bigger audiences through the packaging together of appealing stories and information in different forms.
One of the most recent trends for medium sized businesses trying to expand and reach “large business” status is to translate all of their content. By doing so they can reach international markets. Consider doing an analysis of your business model and content and determining whether a translation service is the next big move your company needs.
3) Design Strategy Enhancement
In this day and age, mobile strategies and content marketing are no longer additions to the core marketing plan for companies. Instead, a successful marketing plan will include every aspect possible in order to prepare for, and encourage maximum consumption. A major trend of 2014 will be the inclusion of mobile and content marketing in the overall marketing plans out of the necessity for a larger reach for companies looking to grow.
In order to provide audiences with more informative and appealing content, businesses will enhance design strategies by making sure that every new piece of content—whether it’s a blog post, email, podcast, social media post or any other type of content marketing—is tested on every platform.
Although the initial cost of such an investment may take a significant part of the budget, companies looking to grow in 2014 will spend the money so that their content will be easier to discover, accessible by every device and more profitable in the long run.
Most sites, even big sites like Amazon, just have an online chat system and phone number. This is the essential customer support set up, but that means it’s not a trend, just a standard. Mosquito Magnet has integrated a personalized trap service, giving customers direct access to experts. Imagine if every eCommerce site had on-demand experts to help us whenever we needed them.
4) End of Keyword Overload
Due to the Hummingbird update from Google, the way people search online is beginning to change, which means that content marketing will also change in 2014. Thanks to Hummingbird, keyword-overloaded content will be buried while good, interesting content with conversational language will be ranked higher in Google’s pages.
With synonyms being included in the search equation, SEO terms won’t overflow the internet and drown the quality content. Instead, better-written and more-engaging copy will be the bread and butter of successful content marketing strategies. With the content marketing industry already having become a $44 billion dollar industry, better content and searching will see it grow even more.
For those companies that want a slice of the growing, multi-billion dollar industry, creating interesting, informative and relevant copy will replace poorly-written, keyword-heavy content.
5) Director of Content Positions
The final trend of 2014 is the addition of director of content positions on marketing teams throughout the country.
By pursuing online content marketing projects and measuring their impact, the director of content will drive marketing strategies forward. With good communication skills, an analytical mind and a mix of journalism and marketing skills, this person would be able to keep everyone aware of the company’s content marketing strategy while lowering acquisition costs.
The director of content will keep everything in place, from people to projects, and has the potential to greatly improve a company’s content marketing strategy.