You are already doing content marketing if you write blog posts, upload presentations, create case studies and distribute these through various channels. It is time that you do it right and in a structured manner.
According to the Pew Research Center, 85 percent adults are using the Internet in America. Based on the survey conducted in 2012, 59 percent of these people use the Internet to look up information and roughly 50 percent spend time on social networking sites.
So it is no secret that people use the Internet to find information and it is quite likely that they share this information across social networking sites. However, social networking sites are now overloaded with messages and your message can easily miss the mark. To counter this problem, other channels of engagement must be used to share the information.
Other similar trends such as explosion in the use of smart phones and mobile devices have changed user behavior. Something Google took a note of and introduced the Hummingbird update among other things, to make it easy for users to search in natural language instead of defining the complex queries with logical operators (AND, NOT). It takes into consideration that people with smartphones will increasingly use voice search over typing queries in their browsers.
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Here are some of the trends that experts in content marketing expect will shape the content marketing landscape in 2014.
Almost everyone agrees on this one. 2013 has seen a sharp spike in content marketing. Most large organizations are planning to increase their content marketing budgets as they plan to bring the function in-house. According to MarketingProfs, as many as 58 percent plan to invest more in content marketing efforts.
If you plan to stay ahead in the game, investment in content management is inescapable. Content is the fuel that powers the sales and marketing machine – traditional or digital. Formulating a content strategy can save you money and help you engage the right audience.
Quality Over Quantity
This diktat seems obvious, why would anyone create bad content? As content marketing became popular in 2013, everyone started churning out enormous content in forms of blog posts and for microblogs. However, initial gains soon faded as people were overwhelmed with content. Kieran Flanagan of Hubspot believes that “The massive growth in content is its own biggest threat” and predicts that the quality of content will trump quantity in the coming year.
This sentiment is echoed by Heidi Cohen, who suggests that storytelling can better engage audience and enhance the content by making the concepts easy to understand. Taylor Hawes argues that content quality is intangible and subjective. He observes that content on current trends and news is not attractive to readers anymore. Instead, detailed case studies and answers to specific problems will engage readers and build readership.
More Distribution Channels
You can never have too many impressions. The social media networks are saturated and you might never catch that elusive glance from the target audience for days. A recent study by Incapsula reported that almost 61 percent of web traffic is made up of bots. A simialr study conducted by Marco Camisani Calzolari, a professor of corporate communications and digital languages at Milan’s IULM University, found that 10 to 50 percent of followers on Twitter are bots.
In this scenario, Sherice Jacobs predicts that adding traditional ways of content distribution such as live events and branded content tools will provide more value than inundating the social media networks.
Mobile Device Support
Most people now access the Internet on multiple devices. People read news, search addresses, and access social media networks using smartphones and tablets. Jayson DeMers believes not addressing mobile content requirements in your content marketing strategy will be a huge mistake.
Have you formulated your content strategy yet? Every business is different and there is no blanket approach to reaching out to your audience. A detailed blog content audit and social media audit can help you determine what worked for you in the past year and allow you to adjust our content strategy for 2014.