Recently, we overviewed what some of the biggest trends in digital marketing strategy are this year—trends that will only grow in popularity and importance as 2015 moves into its second half.
What is also abundantly clear, and worth focused discussion, is the rising trend of content marketing (you’ve heard that buzzword by now), and what that means for content in the year ahead. Now that we are through the first quarter of 2015, there is a better understanding of what content marketing trends will continue to expand in importance and what will remain stagnant in coming months.
With that in mind, here is what you should know about content, and content marketing, in the year ahead.
Content is Not Just King; It is Also the Captain, Pilot, and Ruler of All
Disclaimer here, some may think this is a biased statement since the author of this article is a content manager…and arguably the loudest cheerleader for all things content at Gigasavvy. This is not bias (pinky swear); this is an objective fact. The year ahead will see content become less of a nice-to-do and more of a must-have tool for any digital marketing arsenal. But, and this is a biggie, it is the right kind of content that is essential.
So what is the right content? In the land of right, content is multifaceted and varied by industry. It is rich in context but easily absorbed. It is not only words that inform, but also stories that emote. The right content is specific to the brand and the people the brand aims to capture in their desired audience. It is smart but digestible. Superior but engaging. Creative but informative. Producing the right kinds of good content with the right content strategy is a recipe to win in the industry that will bleed into all areas of digital marketing this year.
Every Word Used Will Need to Rely on the Art of Writing
In the online world, you must recognize that all marketers are writers in some form (or they should be). Everybody writes, and that’s true whether you are the Chief Content Officer, Marketing VP, or Social Media Manager. Words are our currency—they tell the world who we are and why we are here. They can make us look intelligent, or they can make us look like the embodiment of the dullest tool in the toolbox. Word choice can make or break the smallest and most robust of digital marketing strategies, and being able to communicate with good writing isn’t just nice—it’s a necessity.
If you are sitting there thinking writing doesn’t matter in the visual video/photo/Instagram world, trust me, it matters more than you think. Good writing is like an iceberg—the best words are used to convey the depth under the surface. That means you have to choose words wisely and write with economy, style, and the end user in mind.
Photo and Video Will Be Key Players in Visual Storytelling
Due to the increase in digital noise, marketers will need to find a medium that enables their message to stand out from the crowd. Visual storytelling is it. Visuals are masterful aids for engaging and nurturing consumers and communities. If done right, visual storytelling can be employed to communicate the brand’s philosophy and esthetics in a rich and engaging way that customers would eat up.
Together with an overall increase in online video engagement, visual stories crafted for marketing purposes will be able to inspire emotions and spark viral movement, sending a clear message about the brand to its consumers and wider online audience. If done right, the virality of visuals can help define the brand against the surrounding surge of noise.
Between the billions on Facebook, a world in real-time on Twitter, citizen journalists, opinion bloggers, self-publishers, ADD information cycles, and brands looking to connect with consumers, the digital noise will only get louder as the year rolls on. What content can do, and what it will continue to do well, is help everyone, both brands and individuals, stand out from the infinite sea of data in our connected world.