The New Year is always an opportune time to evaluate content marketing trends from the past year. Doing so prepares content marketers for the incoming year which, in 2014’s case, seems to promise several new innovations that will alter the landscape of content marketing.
While this is a landscape that is impossible to predict with absolute certainty, several trends from 2013 can tell us that following the tips below may ensure a productive new year of content marketing.
Pay Attention to Emerging Social Media Channels
Everyone already knows about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the like. Little is likely to change in 2014 for all these platforms, so you’re better off paying attention to emerging social media channels like SlideShare, a new way to share documents and presentations; Pheed, a video app that some are calling the long-form version of Vine; and Thumb, a voting-based phone app that already touts a very active user base. Identifying content marketing strategies for emerging social media channels like these can put you one step ahead of competitors when these channels do become more popular. Start building a following on these channels now.
Analyze Successful and Failed Strategies from 2013
It may sound like common sense to learn from wrongs, but there are a surprising number of content marketers that fail to note their poorly executed strategies in the past, so they can learn from them. Certainly, advances in 2014 may cause some strategies to work better than last year, such as incorporating the new social media channels above. But overall, the strategic reasoning for campaigns in 2014 will not alter much. Stick with what works, and revise what doesn’t. For example, you should continue to use social media to drive sales, but do not feel hesitant to tinker with strategies, such as modifying how you engage with audiences differently depending on their social media platform.
Capitalize on Concisely Effective Content
Some are calling 2013 the year of micro-content. Tweets, Vines and Instagrams all specialize in the type of material that seem practically catered to those with short attention spans. Whether it’s Vine’s six-second videos or Twitter’s 126 characters, a trend toward short yet accessible content is apparent. Be sure to keep this in mind when considering user trends. Implementing short and quick-loading videos on your business’ home page may increase your number of leads. Also, Vine and Instagram have options where you can cross-post content across various social media channels, so be sure to take advantage of it in your content marketing efforts.
Consider Sponsored Content
Rather than traditional impression-based ad platforms in the vein of CPM and CPC, many large web sites are opting for a more collaborative approach. Advertisers and publishers are beginning to create content together more frequently, keeping the interests of both parties in mind. The publisher still seeks engaging content that will attract readers, while the advertiser considers clever ways to get the word out about their product or service. Sponsored content seems to be increasing at a rapid pace, and by 2014 it may become the preferred ad format for larger web sites.
Engage with Followers in Real Time
Consumer expectations regarding customer support and general company interaction are increasing. This is due to large sites like Amazon that emphasize live chat options for their customers, so they can connect with a representative of the company in an instant. You should consider this if you sell a product or service. Similarly, if you run a content-driven site, offering real-time chat surrounding current events will result in improved bounce rates and visitor engagement on your web site. Real-time methods for conversing seem to increase in frequency every year, and 2014 may mark its widespread implementation.
These tips are formulated by analyzing past and current trends of 2013, with the most prominent existing throughout the year in their methodology, such as how Vine, Instagram, etc. share a specialization for short-form content that loads quickly and is easily shareable. Rather than identifying specific companies that are on the rise, analyzing their strategies and general aim may be even more beneficial for content marketers in 2014.