Market predictions are a dime a dozen this time of year, so you’re probably wondering how there could be anything left to say about content marketing in 2014.
With the amount of content we handle here at Influence & Co., I can’t help but add my two cents to the mix.
Content marketing is clearly no longer a trend— it’s here to stay.
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The way we receive and react to marketing messages has changed, and our expectation for brands to create valuable, entertaining content isn’t going anywhere but up.
Experts agree that content marketing will continue to grow this year. So, with that in mind, here are some trends and tactics to be aware of in 2014 that could make or break your content marketing strategy.
Notable Rising Trends
You can produce compelling, high-quality content that still doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t know what to do with it. Here’s how to help it make its mark.
1. Quality and effective targeting will matter more than quantity.
The companies that succeed in content marketing this year will be those that focus on quality over quantity. Less is more when it comes to developing content with a unique and decisive voice. Focus on getting attention from your target customers and the right sources.
2. Authors, not posts, will drive growth and take engagement to a new level.
The people behind content will become the most important part of a successful content strategy. If you want to engage and convert leads into partners, clients, or brand advocates, you need someone who not only creates great content but also constantly interacts with customers, building relationships and adding value to your audience.
3. Your distribution channels will determine the success of your content.
Plenty of companies will produce quality content, but few companies will know how to distribute it. Developing those channels is just as important as creating content.
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Whether you’re promoting content through email, apps, paid services, or social media, it needs to reach the right person through the right channel. What’s the use of creating amazing content if your audience never sees it?
4. Strategic repurposing will become increasingly important.
Effective marketers will repurpose content—not only to get the most bang for their content buck, but also to reach clients with different media tastes. Articles can be turned into video presentations, infographics, or bite-sized fragments to share on social media.
Your overall message is usually what takes the most time and strategy to develop. There’s no reason to do all that work and then stop short of reaping its full value in other content forms.
Trends to Avoid
It’s easy to become giddy with the buzz surrounding content. However, there are some pitfalls that you should be aware of as a marketer and consumer of content.
1. The line between journalism and marketing will grow thinner.
An unfortunate reality of brands becoming more connected to content and media is the dangerous blend of their personal marketing messages and journalistic integrity.
Larger brands are starting to report and, therefore, influence the news through content. This represents a clear conflict of interest when it comes to topics that could affect them negatively.
The companies that balance their promotional tendencies with a commitment to transparency and unbiased messaging will experience the most success in building long-term relationships with their clients.
2. Some brands will produce half-hearted content.
Brands that know content marketing is effective but don’t invest the necessary resources and time toward producing quality content won’t see significant returns. Effective content marketing requires a short- and long-term plan, in addition to qualified people and strategic distribution.
If you’re not ready to make a full investment and dive head-first into content marketing, I suggest putting your dollars elsewhere.
This year, we’ll still see businesses with integrity and a commitment to producing smart content find success. Make sure you’ve got a plan in place, but if you want my advice, don’t jinx it with any resolutions.
Post by Joshua Johnson.