I spent a little time this week reading articles and blog posts that offered up content marketing predictions for 2014. Some of it was insightful, but a lot of this genre consists of experts spraying buzzwords in the hope that something they say will turn out to be right.
Here’s a safer approach: a look back at three emerging trends we noticed during 2013. There were no tea leaves, crystal balls or pig entrails involved here — just real-world experience based on our own client engagements. That’s why we guarantee you’ll see a lot more of these trends during 2014.
1. Strategic repurposing. Lots of B2B marketers do the kind of content repurposing that involves dusting off old content assets, dressing them up with new formats and fresh data, and giving them a second or third run around the block. Today, however, our clients are thinking more in terms of repurposing from the very beginning of the content development process. We plan from the very beginning of a campaign to break up foundational assets, like white papers and e-books, into additional pieces that target multiple buyer profiles and delivery channels.
Buyers and prospects are happier because they’re getting content that works on their terms. Marketers are happier because they’re getting more content — and more effective content — from their investments. And when they’re happy, we’re happy.
2. Interactivity everywhere. Over the past few months, we’ve been developing a lot more interactive infographics for some of our more forward-looking clients. This doesn’t have to be rocket science, and in fact it shouldn’t be — a few well-placed interactive elements, such as pop-up data points, can have a dramatic impact on a static infographic layout.
At the same time, we’re seeing a lot more client interest in platforms such as Uberflip that turn a static white paper or e-book layout into something far more interesting with embedded video, shareable callouts and other elements. Here, too, the goal is to stand out from the crowd, give your buyers an interesting and engaging piece of content, and get it all done without busting your budget.
3. Adding assessments to the mix. Interactive assessments and quizzes are a great way to engage a reader and highlight particular business problems or pain points. Thanks to cloud-based platforms like SnapApp, these kinds of assessments are also a lot easier to build and deploy than they used to be.
The key to creating a good assessment is to keep them simple, direct, and closely tied to a potential buyer’s key triggers. A thoughtful three-question assessment can be a lot more useful than a 10-question assessment that tries too hard to do too much. It’s also important to have a solid call to action, including the right supporting content assets, to continue the conversation after a buyer completes a quiz or assessment.
Looking for a glimpse into the future of content marketing for 2014? There you have it. When you see marketers adopting, and succeeding with, these kinds of relatively new tactics, it’s not hard to figure out that the future holds more of the same.
Have a great holiday, and best wishes for 2014.