While content marketing is arguably the most important piece of any modern inbound marketing strategy, it’s a growing and changing area - so what big trends should you be adopting this year?
Mobile finally becomes king
It’s long been predicted that 2014 is the year that mobile will overtake desktop usage. Not only did laptop sales fall by 10.1% last year, but the number of people accessing the internet using a mobile phone has doubled from 24% in 2010 to 53% in 2013.
Action plan: For businesses to stay current, it’s never been more important to have either a responsive website or one that’s optimised for mobile. However, it’s also crucial to create content that can be consumed ‘on the go’– shorter blog posts, images, videos and content that can be easily scanned.
Content gets bite-sized
2014 will be the year of bite-sized content, whether that’s sound, sight, motion or copy. Vine, an app that lets you create and share 6-second videos, saw its users jump from 13 million to 40 million this year when it launched its Android app, while 55 million photos are posted on Instagram daily.
Action plan: It’s no longer enough to prepare a 20-page white paper – now you need your content marketing strategy to be delivered in small, digestible bites. Short videos, quotes, status updates, infographics and images will now deliver a bigger audience and higher engagement.
The rise of video
Video continues its ascendency in 2014. Every minute 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, while a year’s worth of video footage was shared within just eight hours of the launch of Instagram’s video application.
Bespoke video is not only engaging content for your customers it also delivers impressive results. Embedding a video on your landing page for example increases conversions by 86%.
Action plan: Video has gone from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ for your content marketing strategy as customers view videos across a variety of screens and places. As users retain 58% more information of what they see compared to 10% of what they read, it’s time to rethink your content output – if it can be done in a video format, do it.
Hiring the right talent
As content marketing continues its ascendency, the role of the marketing team will start to change and evolve. Today’s marketer is spending just 28% of their time on content marketing due to time constraints with 74% of them struggling to create original content.
Action plan: If 2013 was the year that content marketing exploded, then 2014 is the year to get serious about acquiring the right team. Whether it’s restructuring, rolling out a training programme or hiring new staff, skillsets such as copywriting and designing will become even more important in marketing teams.
Quality not quantity
In the past, content marketing was about quantity but since Google rolled out its new Hummingbird algorithm, quality is key. The purpose of the release was to make search more human and provide relevant results – 90% of these results have apparently been affected so it’s important to stay ahead of the game.
Action plan: Quality content will not only help search rankings, interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media. Marketers need to create truly original, compelling and above all useful content that customers – both old and new – will want to engage with.