As part of our blog series on Inbound Marketing Trends, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to predict what the future holds for inbound marketing and its many facets in 2014. Last week we heard from Kuno Creative leaders Chris Knipper and John McTigue on trends in inbound marketing. We continue the series today by exploring my favorite discipline: content.
Kuno Creative Content Director Brianne Rush has some ideas about what we should expect from content marketers in 2014. We asked her to share her predictions on content marketing in the New Year, as well as tips to make sure your content strategy is up to par with inbound marketing trends.
We saw a huge push to be more visual with content in 2013. Memes are a great example: they rose to the top in early 2013 as a popular tool for “snackable” content, but fell off the map just as fast due to poor quality. This proved visual content is valuable, but it still has to be quality stuff.
That brings me to the most important lesson that hit home for anyone trying to be successful in content marketing—quality over quantity. This is all anyone talked about last year because it presented a different mindset for many content marketers, so it has to be mentioned here again.
Deep Content: Content is going to have to become much deeper. It’s going to be more in-depth, better researched and more personalized for the audience. We know that’s what Google is demanding, so smart companies are really going to be focusing on quality over quantity in the form of well-researched, in-depth content. Brands like Colgate and GE are already leading the way in terms of high-quality, in-depth articles accompanied by stunning imagery and videos.
Content Advertising: This is going to be another new focus for businesses in 2014. The old adage of “if you build it, they will come” isn’t true anymore. Companies are going to have to start putting money behind content to help audiences find it through paid avenues like Facebook ads and sponsored posts.
Content Delivery: Marketers are going to have to start thinking outside the box with their content, as well as new ways to deliver it. For example, infographics were the new and exciting way to deliver content the past few years. In 2014, content marketers are going to have to stretch the limits and come up with the next “infographic.” We will start to see more content apps and branded content tools as creative ways to get more eyeballs on content.
Content Personalization: Personalization in emails, on websites and in your engagement strategy will be the norm this year. Everything from confirmation pages to thank you emails and even homepage content are all going to be personalized. If you visit a website, for instance, and fill out a form, the next time you visit, the website will present content as if it already knows you. The same can go for industry verticals—personalization will guide users on the homepage and throughout the site with content that pertains to the industry they care about most.
Content in the C Suite: Last, but not least, more brands and companies will start hiring chief content officers in 2014. This person will be responsible for guiding the brand’s story across the company and aligning sales with marketing with the right messaging through every stage of customer engagement.
Storytelling Tools: Storify and Prezi are two great sites to check out—Storify lets you pull different elements from around the web and integrate them into one online story, and Prezi gives you the ability to create visually captivating presentations.
Brand Journalists: Looking for great writers and content creators? Contently gives you access to writers, editors and content gurus from all over.
Organization: Trello is the ultimate organization tool that’s easy to use and share for team collaboration.
Imagination: As cheesy as it may sound, imagination is what it’s going to take to be more creative content marketers in 2014!
It’s time to market smarter—no longer should you just rely on one form of marketing. You don’t just want to do inbound, and you don’t just want to do outbound. You don’t just want to do one thing and put all your eggs in that basket. You want to do what “works” and figure that out by trying new things and measuring the results.
Take a "back to basics" approach with your content marketing efforts, as well. Ask yourself, “Are we speaking to the reader? Are we solving his problems? Are we being creative?” In short, be open to trying different things. Figure out what works best and delivers results, and use that to develop a data-driven marketing strategy.
This month, we’ll be discussing inbound marketing trends for 2014 in areas such as sales, design and web development with experts from the Kuno Creative team. Subscribe to the Brand & Capture blog now so you don’t miss these exclusive Q&A discussions with some of the brightest minds in inbound marketing.
What changes do you anticipate for content marketing in 2014? Share your predictions below!