In 2013, businesses experienced a tremendous influx of emerging digital marketing trends, practices, and technologies that is shaping how Internet marketing will look in the very near future. There have been many updates and changes that affected how businesses market their brands, products and services online, with Google’s algorithm updates making the biggest waves in terms of SEO impact. Mobile marketing is also on the upsurge, with the onset of newer and better tablets, smartphones and other Internet-capable devices.
But one area of focus for digital marketing that is still making headlines up to now is content marketing and is undoubtedly one of the hottest trends in 2014 as outlined in the Digital Marketing Philippines article on “Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out This 2014”. Businesses have come to realize the importance of content in their overall marketing strategy and will be a critical piece in their road to success this 2014. Only content marketing can deliver the right kind of information that is focused on your audience – your targeted customers – and the following pronouncements will provide you with a content marketing outlook for 2014.
The infographic (click to zoom):
1. Businesses Will Create More Original Content that Customers Read
In 2013, original and quality content paved the way for better user engagement, and consequently better revenues for businesses. Relevancy was the key to success in 2013 and this year will not be an exception. Businesses have come to realize that success in engaging with targeted customers means providing them with good, quality content that is relevant and useful for their needs.
As more and more businesses adopt content marketing in their overall digital marketing strategy, many will focus more in creating original content that targeted customers will most likely read, like, comment on, and share. These include content that are written or produced with high quality by reputable authors, and are intended as expanded answers to frequently asked questions that targeted audiences may have. The better the original content will be, the more viral it can become, reaching not only your existing readership or subscription base, but their networks as well.
In the latest B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends researched and produced by Brightcove, MarketingProfs’ and the Content Marketing Institute, it was reported that up to 73% of digital marketers focusing in the B2B arena will be producing and creating more original content this year. The report also mentioned that up to 58% of these digital marketers are planning on funneling more of their budget to content marketing – trends other businesses should likewise consider if they’re aiming for greater success this 2014.
2. Businesses Will Place Content Marketing in a Bigger Role
Many businesses have come to understand and appreciate the importance of content marketing in their overall digital marketing strategy. That is why many, if not most, will consider placing content marketing in an even bigger role not only in their marketing efforts, but in their organization as well. Many will be transitioning their content marketing strategies away from agencies or third-party providers and will focus their efforts from within the organization – creating an entirely new section or department with content marketing as its primary purpose.
The idea of creating a new department headed by a Director of Content or a Content Marketing Manager would be a wise business decision, as confirmed by different studies including the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report from HubSpot. The report indicates that companies with clearly defined content marketing roles spend less in their customer acquisition efforts than those who do not. With a solid and clearly defined content marketing structure, the planning, creation and distribution of content will be more effective and with better tangible results.
3. Businesses Using Mobile Content Marketing Will Lead the Pack
Mobile marketing is still a very strong force to be reckoned with in digital marketing, so it is just logical that it will overtake other channels when it comes to content marketing distribution. This is confirmed in a report released by analysts from Morgan Stanley forecasting mobile web adoption will overtake all other channels including desktop computing by the year 2015. This would be a very likely scenario, considering the proliferation and exponential growth of web-enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, and even home appliances.
This trend is reinforced by the fact that mobile web technology has improved tremendously in recent years, outpacing other computing technologies and producing devices that are cheaper, more reliable and more useful services, providing customers with access to quality content even while on the go. Knowing this, businesses should plan on designing their overall content marketing framework using responsive designs that cater to the latest trend in mobile web technologies.
4. Businesses Will Use New Social Media Channels for Content Marketing
With the advent of several digital marketing channels available, businesses have learned to adopt several tactics in their digital marketing arsenal, particularly in the distribution of new and original content. Social media platforms that are different from blogs lead the pack at a high 87%, as confirmed in the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research from the Content Marketing Institute. Among the various platforms, Google+ reflected the biggest rise in usage at 55%, followed by SlideShare at 40% and Instagram at 22%.
The website remains the main repository of relevant articles about a brand, product or service, but businesses are also using other staging points to distribute content such as blogs, newsletters and of course, social media. The report also mentioned that most of these businesses and marketers using social media for distributing content will be using at least six social media platforms on the average, up from an average of five platforms from last year.
5. Businesses with Brick-and-Mortar Establishments Will Get Better ROI with Location-Based Content Marketing
In the “Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out This 2014” article from Digital Marketing Philippines, location-based digital marketing will be a strong focus for many businesses and will most likely use this channel primarily for content marketing. This is also driven by the proliferation of GPS-enabled devices like smartphones and tablets, providing targeted customers with relevant content based on their location at that particular point in time.
This trend will be most beneficial for businesses targeting customers not only in the virtual hemisphere but also through their existing brick-and-mortar establishments, connecting much more intuitively and effectively from a geographical perspective with potential customers. With an influx of more customer traffic right into their doorsteps, businesses can expect a better return for all their marketing investments in lesser time than expected.
6. Businesses Will Make Use of More Visual Content in Marketing
Visual content is projected to create more impact in engaging customers not only last year but more so in 2014 and beyond. The 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research from the Content Marketing Institute pointed at the use of infographics as a stand-out tactic that B2B businesses and marketers use, with a 51% increase in usage. The use of video for content marketing is expected to continue making waves in 2014, with 73% of B2B businesses and marketers taking this route to distribute relevant content to their targeted audiences.
With advancements in online technologies, marketers are finding more ways of distributing content with visual elements, going beyond mere pictures and graphics and opting for more visual and more interactive channels that will make engagement with targeted customers much more effective – and delivering better results than ever.
There are more trends in content marketing that will make their presence felt in 2014, but this listing above provided by Digital Marketing Philippines will provide businesses with a good overview and outlook on what they can expect for this year. It is important to reiterate the effectiveness of content marketing not only from a digital marketing perspective, but in your overall marketing and sales efforts. As proven time and time again, effective engagement with targeted customers will bring in profitable results – and content marketing is the proper course and channel to take for this to take place.
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