With a plethora of screens at their fingertips, urging interaction at every corner, customers are growing into voracious consumers of content. And, with very successive year, businesses face greater competition for customers’ attention as they become more distracted. Companies’ content marketing needs to stand out among the various 24/7 media feeds and become the source of content that customers seek to engage. Here are four key content marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2015.
Data adding value
Content marketing is making a move towards compelling data with added value. Much like the content marketing of yesteryear (for example, when packets of Jell-O came with additional recipes, which has expanded to a website with hundreds of recipes), content marketing will focus on how to engage and enrich customers’ lives. People are becoming increasingly selective of the things they read and “fluff” pieces that don’t add to their knowledge or connect with them emotionally only turn them away from the brand. Figure out what questions customers are asking, and answer in a concise and captivating way.
Word of mouth (and its social media equivalent, the ‘Share’) has always been a mainstay of marketing. To create share-worthy data, businesses are beginning to collect statistics about their consumers and create compelling, branded narratives that their market will enjoy reading or watching. So much the better if a company can convince a customer to receive exclusive content through their inboxes.
Increased interactivity and personalization
In an age that increasingly integrates social media with the real world, brands need to exude a community feel AND create a space for people to communicate with the brand on a one-to-one level. Last holiday season, REI asked customers to tweet their questions about gift-giving and REI staff members responded with personalized videos with gift suggestions. Their Youtube channel has received over 2.7 million views, appealing to not only the customer who tweeted, but also the average REI customer. While this level of personalization involves more resources than a smaller company may have, a timely tweet or Facebook comment in response to a customer will have the same effect, particularly responses to user-generated content. Making the customer feel heard by a large corporation will likely explode in 2015.
Additionally, more small businesses will take their marketing into their own hands to better portray their brand across the internet. By taking out the middle-man — the advertising firm– businesses will control their messages across all platforms. Tools such as Squarespace and Ceros are cropping to allow owners to produce their own content and bridge the business-to-consumer gap.
A heavier focus on visual content
A great visual can make a customer stop scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed or Twitter feed, whereas a wall of black-and-white text just blends into the background. Brands with easy-to-understand infographics, intriguing videos, and colorful images will be easily absorbed without requiring much time by the consumer. Thankfully, many social media sites are now optimized for this kind of content marketing. Eye-catching designs that can stand alone also allow a message to be easily spread through multi-channels campaigns.
Flawless brand integration
With mobile users surpassing desktop computers, a responsive mobile site is key to online marketing. However, mobile compatibility will be the least of what a website can do. Effective content marketing in 2015 will involve communicating the same branded themes across all platforms, be they social media, print media, or television. Immersing the advertising and sales within content marketing will create an equally immersive and engaging experience for the user.
In a society of constant over-stimulation, 2015 calls for heightened creativity to ensure your content is chosen over the deluge of information overwhelming the Internet. Whether it’s through increased customer interaction, more compelling visuals or more personalization, make sure your content marketing isn’t lagging and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can grow increase your customer base.
Matt Wellschlager is the Vice President of Marketing for Ceros. When Matt walked into SAP’s offices a decade ago he had no clue he’d grow to love business software. Matt’s career has taken him from large and mid-size software companies to one brilliant startup. Matt has a reputation for building marketing organizations around great content.