How many times have you heard the generic phrase “content is king?”. We’ve always believed in the importance of content – but we’ve been hearing (and saying!) this even more since the Google Panda update in February 2011 and Penguin’s release in April 2012. Both algorithm changes have had a number of additional updates since their original releases, where Google has made it even more difficult to achieve high organic search engine placement.
Now, Google more than ever before, is looking for websites with fresh, quality content to serve up in their organic result pages. If you want to achieve and sustain good search engine rankings, having a solid content marketing strategy is a MUST.
2013 is drawing to a close, so many are wondering: what is content marketing going to look like in 2014?
Here are some of our predictions:
1. Many Websites Will (Finally) Become Online Publishers
Leading brands will stop talking about publishing and will start actually doing it. Smaller businesses will have to follow suit too. Websites will really become digital magazines where their readers can stay easily read and see what’s happening in the industry, at the company and with the company’s products and services.
Businesses will continue to need to blog regularly, but they will also have to promote the content and syndicate it across several important social media channels in order to ensure the content actually gets visibility.
Bigger businesses will have more job openings for things like “Content Director”, “Head of Content Marketing,” and so on.
If you are looking to implement a content marketing strategy for your website in 2014, you’re going to have to do more than just write. Your readers will remain more engaged (and are more apt to share your posts) if you include images, video, infographics, podcasts and other diverse forms of content. It’s tough to be consistently interesting online, but businesses of all sizes will have to continue to find more ways to do so, or risk taking a huge hit with their organic search engine visibility and website traffic.
2. More Businesses Will Experiment with Unique Content Mediums
Moz notes a mobile game called PopTopia that includes Pop Dangle, an attachment that actually releases the smell of popcorn as you play the game. How’s that for unique?
The major social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus are getting bloated with content and posts. There is so much digital noise, standing out is tougher than ever before. Moving into 2014 businesses are going to have to find new, innovative methods for marketing their content. We believe this year there will be a lot more innovation in content marketing, such as the PopTopia game.
Here are some additional examples of innovative content marketing approaches that might spark your creativity and give you some ideas on how you can help your business stand out next year:
- Marketo’s Big Activity Coloring Book – You can dress a marketer, complete a revenue cycle maze and play with a marketing automation mad lib.
- Uberflip’s Video Infographic – This video infographic helped promote their ability to distribute client content in unique ways:
- Levenfeld Pearlstein Profile Videos – This law firm created profile videos for its attorneys and went way beyond the boring standard stuff. Their attorneys talked about their first jobs, how they met their spouses and even eccentric topics like time travel:
3. Research Regarding Content Marketing Results will Intensify
Web metrics like click throughs, bounce rates and time spent on-page are important. But, what businesses really want to understand is the entire purchasing cycle for any customer.
While it’s tough to map out the entire purchase cycle involved in content marketing, businesses will nonetheless place a stronger emphasis on the process – and invest into tools that will help them track thing better. Once they have a better understanding, backed by data, they will map out the entire purchase cycle and design their content marketing strategies to maximize traffic and conversions.
This also means that businesses that focus on phone calls will need to start using call tracking tools to ensure they understand where their calls are coming from. If you are a call centric business it will be imperative that you purchase and use a form of call tracking metrics which, when installed and managed properly, can not only tell you where your calls are coming from, but track how much of your marketing dollars are being spent to get those calls – creating a way for you to truly track your entire lead to order life cycle. This information is invaluable and is the ONLY way to know if your content marketing dollars are being spent wisely.
What Are Your Content Marketing Plans for 2014?
We have really only begun to scratch the surface on what 2014 holds for content marketing. Content marketing is becoming incredibly complex, and we predict more businesses will start to see the value and take a more serious approach to the process in 2014. How do you plan to approach content marketing for your business in the next year?
Share some of your ideas in the comments: