Content marketing trends change in the blink of an eye so what worked in 2011 isn’t necessarily effective today. Every year, marketers and social media professionals pull out the crystal ball and try to predict what trends we’ll see in the coming year. Many times they’re right but sometimes educated guesses fall short. Let’s take a look at what content marketing predictions are dead wrong for 2015.
Google Authorship is king
When Google’s Authorship program launched in 2011, its goal was to reward companies that took the time to create authoritative content by placing it higher in search engine rankings. Once marketers wrapped their heads around the implications of Authorship, the race was on to develop content marketing campaigns around Google’s newest list of requirements for maximum visibility. For a combination of reasons, Google shuttered its Authorship program in August, 2014, leaving many companies scrambling to figure out what to do next. Although the program itself didn’t play out as expected, marketing pros learned a lot of valuable lessons about how to design ad campaigns that focus on providing strong, useful content and less on SEO and keywords.
Longform content will replace short messages
A scant few years ago, the idea that ad campaigns could be successful in 140-character bursts seemed like a fairytale. Now brands struggle to stay afloat and be heard in the firehose of Twitter and other micro-messaging platforms. Some marketers have suggested customers would soon yearn for the good old days of longform blog posts and more in-depth marketing content but, in fact, the opposite has occurred. The average attention span now hovers around eight seconds, making six-second Vine videos and impactful images the way to go if you want to capture your customer before they’re gone. There will always be a place for well-crafted, 500-word blog posts but longform content won’t be replacing quickly-consumed messages anytime soon.
Mobile-first is good enough
No sooner did marketers adapt to the concept of mobile-first than consumers threw them a curve ball. According to a recent study by xAD and Telemetrics, more than one-third of mobile shoppers use mobile devices exclusively during the buying cycle. Conversion rates are high, too — nearly two out of three mobile shoppers ultimately make a purchase. Today’s marketers must set aside the idea that optimizing web-based content is “good enough” and instead create content that’s designed for mobile consumption right from the start. Analysts at Altimeter Group say the march toward a mobile-only customer experience is inevitable and marketers would be wise to prepare.
Build it and they will come
For a time, common thinking dictated that the way to create a great content marketing campaign was to simply develop creative and informative messages around your brand and watch fans flock to your content platforms. Now the landscape has changed and companies need to swim out to followers, rather than wait for them to board your ship. Marketers must ensure content meets a growing litany of criteria that’s visually captivating, long on useful information, accessible from any device, and proactively provides actionable content before a customer comes looking for it. It’s a tough bar to meet but it’s what consumers want from the brands they love.
Consolidate everything on a single platform
Corralling all your marketing content into a single location is a good idea in theory but tough to execute in practice. Sticking with one content platform doesn’t fit today’s marketing strategies any more than one customer service access point successfully meets the need of every consumer. In an ideal world, a company website would be the central hub where communities are engaged, customers are served, and leads are generated. The reality is, your consumer base is spread far and wide across several social platforms that aren’t anywhere near your website. The good news is, social sites like Instagram and Twitter are fertile ground where you can plant all kinds of creative content to entice customers back to your website. Many organizations find value in establishing initial contact with consumers on traditional social media channels then building branded communities on the company website for deeper, more targeted engagement. Image: sboneham