Ever since content marketing hit the scene a few years back, it has become the must-have for a successful business — both online and on the sales floor.
To stay ahead of the game and keep their audiences engaged, smart businesses are constantly adjusting their campaigns and adopting new strategies, but the New Year comes with new demands. Now is the time to revamp your content marketing plan to ensure your efforts don’t go unnoticed in 2014.
Take a look at these 8 new content marketing trends for 2014 and learn how you can improve and build upon your current strategy to help you make the most of your content marketing in the New Year.
1. Trust and Quality
Today’s customers demand high quality content. Rather than blatant self-promotion that doesn’t resonate, or saying the same thing that everyone else in your space is saying, content marketers should focus on creating copy that genuinely addresses customer pain-points and takes a different spin on key topics. Quantity vs. quality will be a major topic of debate in the coming year, so making sure that your content is not only well-written, but can also perform based on its merits and relevance in a competitive content environment. Generating valuable content will not only position you as a thought-leader in your field, but it will also receive the audience’s trust, attention and business.
2. Ideation and Topic Research
With the introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm and the latest changes to Google Analytics’ “(not provided)” policy, the keyword-centric approach and general SEO best practices aren’t cutting it anymore. With many content marketers doing the same thing (publishing lots and lots of content), the competition has gotten fierce. Now, during the ideation process, writers must factor in what content themes and topics are not only most likely to read well, but also to perform well in searches. In the New Year, content marketers must become more informed on how their websites can compete in the crowded content world and what writing topics will be most effective in driving performance. Topic research will be a huge focus in 2014.
3. Responsive Delivery
Delivering content in the right places, at the right times and on the right platforms is key in order for your quality content to be consumed by the right audiences and maximize ROI. To make your content marketing efforts most effective, be sure to brush up on the principles of “intelligent content” in order to best adapt your content strategy for publishing to all the latest devices and channels. If you want to learn more about intelligent content, attend the 6th Annual Intelligent Content Conference (February 26-28, 2014) and be sure to sit in on the Web Laws of Nature panel at 4:15 pm on Feb. 27 for insights from InboundWriter CEO, Skip Besthoff!
4. Performance and Measurement
Tracking content performance will continue to be critical to understanding which topics, formats and types of material hit home with your readers say data experts KissMetrics. However, while content marketing can be extremely powerful when done right, our research shows, the subjective, ‘hit or miss’ approach is a ‘miss’ 80-90% of the time! So, be strategic, measure results and know where your content can compete.
5. New Marketing Jobs
As businesses across all fields and industries continue to achieve a greater awareness of the importance of content marketing, it is no doubt marketers will experience job growth in 2014. In fact, Forbes predicts that increased focus, support and budget to marketing departments will result in new job titles, with “Director of Content” making the top of the list.
6. Editorial Homepages
Smart businesses are already using their homepages to push branded editorial content, and there are many who predict that this trend will continue on into the New Year. By positioning editorial content front and center, audiences are immediately focused on your content rather than your business offerings. While this may sound counter-intuitive to lead generation, keep in mind that valuable content converts readers into buyers – 87% of consumers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection.
Making your content desirable and sought-after by creating exclusive content will continue to be important in 2014. Whether it’s a special infographic for your newsletter subscribers or a detailed how-to for those loyal customers who follow you on Facebook, only allowing a select audience to view some content will create a sense of added value. By creating scarcity, content marketers are able to build stronger relationships with their current customer-base, as well as attract new consumers.
Sharing valuable information across different social media platforms, blogs, home pages, newsletters, etc. will remain as important as ever and the marketing professionals at Business2Community suggest that in 2014, content marketers will continue to search for more social platforms to reach customers. Providing a comprehensive experience is sure to delight your readers — just be sure to tailor the outgoing message for each outlet and audience!
Now that you have the knowledge on what’s in store for 2014, it’s time to customize your content marketing strategy to meet your goals. Are ready to take on the New Year? Share your thoughts, concerns and content marketing predictions for the year ahead with us on our social networks – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+.