What’s the next big content marketing trend?
That’s the very question we posed over the last few to some of the brightest minds in inbound marketing. 2013 was the year when ephemeral content burst on the scene (thanks, Snapchat), and concepts like mobile and gamification became increasingly important. Integration, visuals, interactivity, and value seemed to be the responses we received most. Check out what’s next – and why these experts think it’s just around the corner.
1. Microvideo and Images
Fernando Cuscuela, Co-Founder @EveryPost
The top marketing trends for 2014 will be microvideo and images. For microvideo, we are going to see a surge of Vine and short video content and images, sites like SnapChat will push into the business world.*
2. Scroll-Stopable, Snackable, Shareable
Jake Athey, Marketing Manager @Widen Enterprises
Your content must intercept someone scrolling through their newsfeed or Twitter stream on
their mobile device. Catchy headlines and graphics make someone stop their scroll. Snackable content is consumed in quick bites. If it’s worth sharing, it’s all that matters.
3. Brands Sharing Fan Content
Justin Garrity, VP of Product & Marketing @Postano
This year we’ll be seeing more and more brands investing in fan content.. for authentic, quality content. Brands like Kenneth Cole have already adopted this approach, as seen in their recent #30yearsbold campaign were they asked fans to share their ‘bold moments,’ and the best content was curated by Kenneth Cole and highlighted on their microsite. Other examples of brands using fan content are Dunkin Donut’s vine commercial or the company Threadless, where the [user-generated content] is the product.
4. Customer Voice
Nichole Auston, Marketing Manager @ROI Innovation
In 2014 I expect to see more and more companies using voice of the customer in their content marketing tactics. Studies show peer-to-peer testimony is one of the most effective and preferred information sources with B2B buyers today. Thus I expect marketers will be leveraging video interviews with customers, customer testimonial quotes from review sites, increasing case study production, and more in their content marketing in greater volumes
than ever before this year.
5. No More “Top 5″ Lists
Carrie Baczewski, Content Strategist @Mint Advertising
I think there’s a mistaken belief that what we need to create MORE content or faster content, when really it’s about content that’s high quality and meaningful. That means the “25 reasons you should XYZ” and the “top 5 blah blah blahs” will give way to, or peacefully co-exist with, deeper dives into engaging subject matter. We’ll be ingesting thoughtful discourses on specific, targeted topics that interest us, rather than sifting through the clutter of brands and companies clamoring for our attention. And I think this will be supported by a demand for higher quality visual content as well.
6. Google+ Hangouts
Joshua Mackens, CEO @Tutelary Marketing
Google+ Hangouts are definitely going to start trending more and more. Not only because of high profile guests (Obama is having another Google+ Hangout soon) and the publicity that will give Google+ Hangouts but because Google+ Hangouts are fun, interactive, and highly valuable (if done properly). They’re also a departure from webinars. Webinars are getting a negative reputation now for providing less and less value. Google+ Hangouts don’t have that stigma…yet.
7. Ephemeral Content
Frank Riolo, Manager of Corporate Communications @Conversation
Brands should keep an eye on the use of “ephemeral” sites, such as Snapchat and Vine, when trying to define their content marketing strategy. We are seeing a migration from traditional social media sites to these short-form content sites among teenagers and young Millennials. One of the biggest reasons for this trend is this group’s placed value on privacy. Brands that can find a way to take advantage of these sites will likely see success in engagement.
8. Animated Gifs
Dave Rigotti, Marketing @Bizible
Without a doubt, one trend this year will be animated GIFs. Support for them has grown with Pinterest now showing animations and they are expanding into B2B. Just look at how Google used it in their recent Drive announcement.
9. Interactive Content
Michael Castellano, CEO @engajer
Consumers are becoming more savvy and are looking for content they can interact with and customize to their personal, unique interests. Interactive video will become the biggest content marketing trend of 2014 because it grabs consumers’ attention by giving them a personal connection to the content. Content that tailors itself to the viewer and requires interaction not only will lead to easier consumption for customers, but at engajer, we think that interactive video will also be helpful for businesses trying to do more with fewer resources.
10. Corporate Buy-In
Scott Yates, Co-Founder @BlogMutt
I think the biggest trend in 2014 is the recognition of the importance of content at all corporate levels. Today content is embraced by a chosen few within a company, but not everybody is on board. At some point it will become clear that without great content your company site simply won’t rank well. This bit of knowledge will eventually make it’s way up the corporate ladder until everyone is aware of it.
11. Alignment of Content with Social and Email
Justin Gray, Co-Founder & CEO @Lead MD
A major marketing trend we’re going to see in 2014 is the alignment of social with content and email strategy to form a true conversation. At this point, marketers need to envision demand generation, inbound, lead nurturing, content creation and sales enablement all as part of the same conversation.
12. Influencer Marketing
Ashley Kemper, Founder @Blue Fountain Media
“Let’s face it, consumers generally don’t trust brands. While giant conglomerates have a difficult time appealing to individuals, friendly-faced bloggers can make a much easier sell. But getting influencers to feature your products these days goes far beyond offering free products in return for reviews and mentions. When done right, influencer marketing benefits both parties involved and produces something that neither could achieve independently.
13. Automated Content Marketing
Brad O’Neill, CEO @Tech Validate
In 2014, savvy businesses will finally shift towards automating marketing content creation, traditionally one of the most resource-intensive activities for marketers. The reason: unrelenting demands for increasingly targeted content in their marketing funnel. While a majority of major tech brands are already seeing incredible value by utilizing a SaaS marketing content automation solution, it will be businesses of all sizes and across industries that have the most to gain from this emerging trend.”
14. Shortlist Marketing
Dave Anderson, Founder & President @JiSu
This new innovation is built upon consumer generated content – shoppers saving items across merchants into a central place. Shortlist marketing derives intelligence from the consumer content and provides a platform for merchants to present highly effective and personalized offers based on what the shopper is looking for.
15. Interactive Social Posts
Jeremy Ko, Social Media Strategist @The Social Firm
A big trend that we will see in 2014 is increasingly interactive social media posts. Ever since the introduction of Twitter cards (clickable images in Twitter), we are demanding higher levels of interactivity with social content. Another example of this would be Facebook’s video previews which start playing automatically (on mute) as you scroll past them. As Newsfeeds
become increasingly saturated, a social media post that the viewer can engage with directly will perform significantly better than one that requires you to click to another page.
16. Increased Investment in Content Marketing
Pawan Deshpande, CEO @Curata
71% of marketers are planning on increasing their investment in content marketing over the next year. Focused on building their content teams, developing a sustainable process and improving their in-house technology to support the effort. Specifically, 43% of organizations have an “executive” who leads content marketing strategy and 56% of folks are using some sort of marketing technology.
17. Expert Interviews
Salman Aslam, CMO @Omnicore
I think expert interviews and roundups will get bigger this year as it is an extremely effective strategy to get curate quality content and with less to no research involved and also the benefit that it gets shared a lot. I’ve witnessed many examples in industry where people were able to rank and drive traffic for competitive keywords through expert roundups.
What do you think is the next big trend in content marketing?
header image credit: graur codin/freedigitalphotos.net. All others used with permission.
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