24 Content Marketers Make Their 2014 Content Predictions
With its explosion in 2013, content marketing is part of almost every marketer’s 2014 plans.
For marketers, the challenge is ensuring that every piece of content is effectively presented and distributed to reach its maximum relevant audience encouraging them to take at least an initial step towards purchase.
Content marketing forecasts – 63 predictions by 24 Experts
Here are 63 Content Marketing Forecasts for 2014 made by 24 content marketing experts.
- Content marketing will continue to grow and, much like social media, will become a distinct and unique part of a company’s overall marketing plans. Organizations will finally grasp the importance of storytelling and the resultant content when it comes to rich brand identity and long-term marketing opportunities. Lindsay Bell – Arment Dietrich, Inc.
- Video will become the be-all/end-all of eyeball reaching in 2014. With the launch of Vine, then Instagram video and now Facebook video ads, organizations will buy into the appeal of these short form video formats, and begin to use them to their advantage in marketing. While personally, I think anything below at least a minute length in video is useless (I know, many will argue this fact) – brands will devise unique marketing opportunities using these short form video formats – and begin “micro storytelling” – whether I agree with the fad, or not. Lindsay Bell – Arment Dietrich, Inc.
- Large-form experiential campaigns (like “West Jet Christmas Presents” viral campaign) will become even more important. Consumers are getting used to this “what’s in it for me” style of marketing, and brands will be driven to be more, do more, plan more and spend more on these big league examples of how to grab consumers emotionally, and provide the largest “shock and awe” surprise and delight opportunities possible. Lindsay Bell – Arment Dietrich, Inc.
- Content marketing will continue to be a focus. Forward thinking brands will be integrating an inbound strategy. Connie Bensen – Dell
- More marketers will realize that they need to move beyond publishing in order for their content marketing efforts to be effective. Connie Bensen – Dell
- Companies will need technology that bridges silos and facilitates collaboration across content ideation, creation and publication. Connie Bensen – Dell
- Trojan Horses. Good content marketing is like a Trojan horse. The outside is attention getting, even useful, but the inside carries the brand or company along for the ride. Jonah Berger – Wharton Professor; author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On
- Brands start creating more personalized responses to consumers using multimedia, taking advantage of 2013 developments such as Facebook allowing photos in comments and Twitter making photos go in-stream. David Berkowitz – MRY
- Community managers either embrace content optimization tools that predict what kinds of content will perform best and when to post it, or find themselves in less demand. It’s John Henry versus the steam-powered hammer all over again. David Berkowitz – MRY
- Increasingly, marketers stop referring to content marketing and just refer to it as marketing, as they see everything that they do as content-driven. David Berkowitz – MRY
- Customer-centricity is a key cultural theme for content marketing in 2014. The main job of the CMO is to drive a customer-centric culture for marketing and the organization at large. Emotion beats promotion every time. Michael Brenner – SAP and B2B Marketing Insider
- Brands will begin to form real newsrooms and act like publishers by producing content their customers actually want to consume AND that converts those readers into subscribers and customers through earned trust. Michael Brenner – SAP and B2B Marketing Insider
- Visual storytelling will become the next battleground for content marketing. Whether it’s vines, slideshare or brand videos, marketers need to learn to tell stories in an emotional and visual way. Michael Brenner – SAP and B2B Marketing Insider
- There will be new thresholds for content marketing quality and quantity – both are important and one can’t live without the other in some cases. Lisa Buyer – Author of Social PR Secrets
- Company online newsrooms will become a function of marketers versus just PR departments. Lisa Buyer – Author of Social PR Secrets
- Content marketing will become less of a buzzword and more of a way of life. Lisa Buyer – Author of Social PR Secrets
- Global and Local are where my mind is focused. On one hand you’ve got to pay more attention to those customers just outside your door and creating content that will attract them. But, on the flipside, we live in a world without borders so why wouldn’t you start thinking about customers from around the globe. C.C. Chapman – YSN; author of Amazing Things Will Happen & co-author of Content Rules
- You’ll see this happening with the hiring of international community managers, storytellers and more. C.C. Chapman – YSN; author of Amazing Things Will Happen & co-author of Content Rules
- Google will fully roll out author rank. An author will build up authority similar to the way a website could build up authority. An author with a high authority rating will be very much in demand. Ian Cleary – Razor Social
- It will become increasingly difficult to attract an audience to your content as more people produce content so promotion of your content will be key. This will be through blogger and influencer outreach, social advertising, co-creation of content to get exposed to new audiences etc. Ian Cleary – Razor Social
- A content marketing strategy will be seen as important as a digital marketing strategy. Ian Cleary – Razor Social
- Think high value content. It’s not a matter of what the content costs to create but rather the value it delivers to your target audience. This is another way of assessing content quality. As a marketer, you must have a content marketing plan that provides a combination of short, easy-to-consume content as well as longer in-depth information across a variety of formats. Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide
- Content presentation and packaging is increasingly necessary to break through and attract an audience. Think Buzzfeed and Upworthy. This enables smart organizations to leverage a combination of content creation, curated content and user-generated content. Headlines matter. Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide
- Content distribution matters. You can’t just publish your content and hope that it will get found. This means a combination of owned, social media and third party. Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide
- There will be a march toward content quality and a step away from quantity for many marketers. A lot of marketers will pull back on their frequency a bit. Andy Crestodina – Orbit Media; author of Content Chemistry.
- There will be a surge of podcasts and other high production value content. Andy Crestodina – Orbit Media; author of Content Chemistry.
- Records will be set in attendance of live events. I expect some of the big conferences are going to double in size. Andy Crestodina – Orbit Media; author of Content Chemistry.
- As more marketers jump on board with content marketing, there’ll be a greater need to differentiate from each other. As a result, marketers will spend more time and effort to annotate content, add unique perspectives and value to the point where curated and created content become one and the same. Pawan Deshpande – Curata
- Belts loosen… even more for content marketing. As the shift from offline to digital marketing continues, marketers will continue to get more budget for hiring content marketing staff and a groups altogether — content marketing operations. Pawan Deshpande – Curata
- Brand properties go mainstream. By the end of 2014, as information consumers, one of the day-to-day mainstream go-to-online publications that we go to for content will be a brand property. Pawan Deshpande – Curata
- Quality content is the clarion call. In the past few years, we laughed when we heard someone was going to college to study journalism – it’s akin to opening a vinyl record shop on Main Street. But lately, we’re seeing those same journalists in high demand. Ric Dragon of Dragon Search; author of Social Marketology.
- DEEP investment in content is something we’re going to see more of. Let’s make the word DEEP bold, and increase the font size by 20 points. I’m not just talking about investing eight hours into a piece of content, but 80, or even 800. In fact, while you’re at it, hire a team of academics to conduct a study, the way Unilever did over a decade ago – and use that research to drive content creation for years. Ric Dragon of Dragon Search; author of Social Marketology.
- Brands are going to embrace the notion of passion-based marketing. While Red Bull is a great example with their focus on extreme living, even a brand like Capital One, in drawing the connection between “winning moments” and getting cash back on your credit card, shows that this idea has legs. Ric Dragon of Dragon Search; author of Social Marketology.
- You need to produce content that sets you apart from the crowd since there’s way too much content being produced today. This is tough, and will get even tougher in 2014. Emeric Ernoult – AgoraPulse
- The two keywords for content marketing success in 2014 will be “niche” and “data”. More than ever, people will want content that goes very deep in their niche topic and they want data (preferably unique). Emeric Ernoult – AgoraPulse
- Transparency and being open and personal will become more and more the norm. Companies like Buffer and GrooveHQ are a perfect example of that trend. And I think it’s great. Emeric Ernoult – AgoraPulse
- Brands sweat the small stuff, which (it turns out!) is the big stuff. They pay an increasing amount of attention to story, voice, language and writing — which defines their social and content presence in 2014 and beyond. Ann Handley – Marketing Profs; co-author of Content Rules
- Businesses using content marketing as part of their overall online strategy will have to ramp up the quality in 2014. With Google crushing sites that house low quality content, any business that is still purchasing $5 articles off of sites like Fiverr will find they are in big trouble. Kristi Hines – Blog Post Promotion
- As businesses start to invest in higher quality content, they will also see more of a need to promote it effectively. Especially for those businesses that are paying premium rates for experienced freelance writers, it doesn’t make sense to invest in the content and not invest in its promotion as to see the benefits of traffic, social engagement, and conversions. Kristi Hines – Blog Post Promotion
- Another thing that will be big in 2014 is Google Authorship / Author Rank. At Pubcon in Vegas, Matt Cutts talked about how Google is working on an algorithm to rank content based on the authority of the creator / publisher. This means that more businesses will be looking to build up the authority of their current writers and/or seeking out authoritative authors in their industry to contribute to their business blogs. Kristi Hines – Blog Post Promotion
- Marketers will go more visual and short. Visuals attract, are highly shareable and have more viral potential than written content. Companies and brands will shift resources from producing shorter, snack-able written content to producing a lot more shorter visual content such as GIFs, Vines and Instagram videos. Kelly Hungerford – Paper.li
- Higher demand for long-reads and long-form writers. As SEO demands more quality content in the written form, short posts will decline and long posts will shine. We will see an increase in good old fashioned, thought provoking “make my head hurt in a good way” articles that will provide search engines with more of what they love: strong quality content. Kelly Hungerford – Paper.li
- Marketers will co-create with their communities. Brands will use their most valuable resource as content creation partners. They will no longer create content for their community but instead tap into the thought leaders, creatives and content experts in their own community to create content that resonates. Kelly Hungerford – Paper.li
- More collaboration / more amplification / more automation. This blog post or series of posts is a perfect example. Heidi Cohen is a master of tapping into her network to seek out original thought and inspiration from marketing thought leaders. Nick Kellet – List.ly
- Collaborative content is on the rise. As a consequence, collaborative ownership is a logical next step. One person owning a video, a slidedeck, a list or a podcast does not make sense. Nick Kellet – List.ly
- Better content metrics and more content granularity. This will lead to more embedding, more reuse and less copying. There will be more tracking of the social life of information. Nick Kellet – Listly
- LinkedIn will become far and away the most important platform for short form and long form content marketing. Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local; author of Likeable Business & Likeable Social Media. [Editorial note: Kerpen was correct. LinkedIn Publishing was rollout out. Learn how to dominate LinkedIn Publishing.]
- There will be a big investment in mobile websites. According to Latitude, 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience. Smart businesses will gain a significant advantage in 2014 as they capitalize on the booming mobile trend by implementing mobile-based websites and content marketing strategies. With the rise of mobile device usage, GPS-enabled phones will increasingly use location and personal information to provide search results based on a user’s current location. While this technology already exists, it will become omnipresent by the end of the 2014. Brick-and-mortar businesses that fail to adopt location-based content marketing strategies will see sales erode as their competitors gain the advantage with location-based offers and content. Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures and author of Accelerate.
- We will see more regulations around native advertising. The use of editorial content for promotional or marketing purposes, is beginning to capture the attention of advertising regulators who are concerned that some content could be considered misleading to consumers. Pressure to create additional income has pushed many publishers to implement brand-sponsored content such as articles, video and images. Newspaper and magazine publishers have long run special ad sections, known as advertorials. But as the practice has shifted to the digital world, there are valid concerns that the lines between what is pure editorial content and what is advertising are increasingly blurred. Serious discussions are taking place and I believe they will begin to have an impact in 2014. Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures and author of Accelerate.
- We will see 108 more predictions that SEO is dead. I’ve been in the SEO world for more than 12 years now. I don’t think a year has gone by where someone has not proclaimed SEO is dead. It happens with major search engine algorithm updates, it happens with every major social media enhancement, it happens whenever Google slams a major brand. In my opinion, saying SEO is dead is just a failure to recognize it is an acronym not a methodology. SEO is marketing – for search engines. If you want your content to be found in the search results, you better “SEO” it. When search engines disappear, then I might finally go along with the idea that SEO is dead. Until then, I will continue to laugh at the novices trying to gain attention by adding that phrase to their next blog headline. Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures and author of Accelerate.
- Google Hummingbird will give digital marketers a much greater appreciation of good content marketers. Rob Peterson – BarnRaisers; contributor to Strategic Digital Marketing
- Shorter, quality content will be in demand due to Twitter, Vine and mobile. Rob Peterson – BarnRaisers; contributor to Strategic Digital Marketing
- The more screens, the better. Rob Peterson – BarnRaisers; contributor to Strategic Digital Marketing
- In 2014, we will start to see mid-sized and large brands start to purchase traditional media companies and blogging sites that target their customers. Why? Marketers actually have a choice if they want to build or buy (most don’t think they have the choice). Sometimes buying is the answer since building a loyal readership is incredibly difficult. Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute; author of Epic Content, Managing Content Marketing & Get Content Get Customers.
- There will be a number of “content marketing is dead” articles that flood the scene. Content marketing will finally make the big time 😉 Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute; author of Epic Content, Managing Content Marketing & Get Content Get Customers.
- B2B companies will move away from the static ebook and focus more on storytelling. B2C companies have long been telling compelling and emotional stories with their content marketing, and B2B brands will have to follow-suit. The traditional and boring ebook will no longer work as true thought leadership, so B2B companies will have to step it up and create content that focuses on human interest and the emotional connection between buyers and companies. Dayna Rothman – Marketo; author of Lead Generation for Dummies (Release: March 2014)
- 3D printing will move content marketing to the next level. Brands will look to connect with their customers through 3D printing to create user-generated content. Consumers will be able to personalize their content and have a hand in the creation process. Brands can also get more creative with the content they do create. Dayna Rothman – Marketo; author of Lead Generation for Dummies (Release: March 2014)
- The Chief Content Officer (CCO) will become an increasingly important marketing hire. As content continues to evolve and become increasingly paramount to a holistic marketing strategy, the CCO will become a necessary role for every business to drive content creation and the story behind the brand. Dayna Rothman – Marketo; author of Lead Generation for Dummies (Release: March 2014)
- Paid social becomes truly mainstream. Paid Social is one of the most under-utilized aspects of social media marketing but 2014 should see more companies utilizing paid advertising on more social networks to ensure they’re found by relevant audiences. While some companies still question the need to pay for social media advertising, Facebook’s recent announcement made it clear that without paying to play, your social media marketing’s ability to rise above the noise will be limited. Since social media was never free due to the time and resources needed, shift money into social advertisements to increase your social media program effectiveness. Neal Schaffer – Author of Maximize Your Social
- Companies will place more emphasis on content creation as opposed to content curation, community management, or other forms of engagement. At the end of the day, it’s unique branded content, regardless of form, that becomes a shareable corporate asset in social media. Unique content is the killer asset in 2014. Neal Schaffer – Author of Maximize Your Social
- The emergence of visual social media marketing will affect social networks in 2014. From changing the specifications of visuals in blog posts, producing more micro-videos, creating more visual memes, or simplifying presentations, 2014 will be the year to rethink and optimize all aspects of your visual social media marketing for maximum effectiveness. Neal Schaffer – Author of Maximize Your Social
- Podcasting will continue to grow substantially as more marketers begin to understand the value of reaching people while they are walking or driving via audio content. Podcast listeners average 20 minutes per episode (which roughly matches the average commute). Compare that to any other online channel and nothing matches up. If your business has not considered starting a podcast, now is the time. Mike Stelzner – Social Media Examiner; author of Launch
- Content marketing grows up. In 2014, the broader conversation is going to shift away from “Why you should do it” to “How it’s done” and “Who’s doing it well.” We’re going to see more established filmmakers, movie stars, and reality television producers partnering with brands to create “compelling” content people actually enjoy because all traditional media has been making great stuff for years. The shift towards Internet consumption wasn’t because the content wasn’t good, it’s because the delivery method (TV) was inconvenient. As a result, we’ll see more partnerships between marketing agencies and talent agencies. Brand will invest in branded content that would otherwise be indistinguishable from what you’d find during primetime drama or comedy timeslots. Tommy Walker – Online Marketing Strategist
Regardless of what marketing experts say about the future of content marketing, they all expect content quality will improve. This means integrating content into the core of marketing plans so that each piece provides useful, branded information for prospects, customers and the public when and where they want to access it. Underlying this forecast is the need for improved promotion of each piece of content.
What are your content marketing projections for 2014 and why do you think so?
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