Content marketing is the most dynamic and valuable sector of the marketing industry. By creating and distributing relevant and consistent content – words, video and imagery – you’ll attract a clearly-defined audience to drive action from your customers. That’s old news.
But like all things online, the sector is moving quickly and the internet has become a content-saturated, data-driven space. In 2016, only the fittest will survive. Here’s what we predict will happen in 2016. Read on to make sure you’re up to speed, ahead of the pack, the best of the best… (you get our drift).
Native Content is King
This year calls for marketers to create native content (content that’s published exclusively on any given platform). Both LinkedIn and Facebook have introduced features that allow users to publish long-form, native content, and no doubt other platforms will be following suite.
LinkedIn introduced its publishing platform in 2014, and since, users have been expressing themselves in blog-style posts. Although companies themselves are unable to publish posts directly to their page, companies can share an individual’s post as an update to a page. Our advice to you: nominate a team of writers from various sectors of your company and ask them to write articles about their respective areas of expertise. This does two things: reaches that employee’s connections; and puts a name and a face to the words (people like to know who they’re talking to).
While LinkedIn’s publishing tool is individual-focused, Facebook’s brand new advertising format Canvas is a game-changer for brands. Although it hasn’t hit the shelves in New Zealand yet, the new immersive mobile advertising format will offer Facebook advertisers the opportunity to run seriously sophisticated creative. The ads will look like normal sponsored posts in the News Feed, but when tapped, they’ll open full screen and allow the view to flip and scroll through text, photos, videos and other content. The “canvas” will be similar to a web page, but it will load super fast and be more interactive because users won’t have to leave Facebook to consume it. It’s also worth noting that ads will only be served on tablet and mobile (just one more reason to get mobile-savvy, people). So start thinking about how you can paint your canvas (excuse the pun), because there’s an opportunity to do some seriously cool stuff here, guys.
Even Periscope and Twitter have jumped on board; this week, the two platforms announced a new feature that allows people to stream video within Twitter.
Expectations will soar
Mosh is all about finding a balance between content curation (sharing others’ engaging stories that your audience will love) and creation (producing your own stories that are relevant to your brand). It’s a balance that’s comparable to a first date. If you spend the night talking about yourself, it just gets awkward. But if you talk about topics that you’re both interested in, you’re in with a grin.
But as content marketing becomes more and more saturated by the day, consumers’ expectations will continue to soar. This calls for us to invest in extraordinary content creation. Be original and think about what tools are available to you (emerging advertising formats, emerging platforms and means of communication). Factor in audiences’ preference for video and image over text. Factor in their preference for entertainment over noise.
Robots will threaten copywriters
Crazy, we know, but it’s already happening. Simple stories are being written by robotic algorithms, and soon they’ll be capable of much more sophisticated tasks. Up until now, freelancers and contractors have been the most cost-effective means of content production, but this year they’ll start being replaced by journalistic algorithms. But don’t worry, copywriters; in the meantime more complicated, colourful pieces will still require the human hand.
This year is all about quality over quantity. Be original, be human and embrace new publishing capabilities and advertising formats because your audience has become a very, very fussy lot.