2015 is shaping up to to be one of the best years yet for content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s annual state-of-the-industry survey, 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, 69% of SMB’s are producing more content than they were a year ago, and 59% of those surveyed are planning to increase their content marketing budget in the next year.
71% say they still spend most of their marketing budget on traditional print and other offline marketing promotions, yet only 46% of those think it’s effective, with 57% saying SEO content marketing shows better results. The survey also shows that content marketing is still in it’s infancy, with companies struggling to decide which content works best for them, the best ways to produce that content, and how to measure its effectiveness.
So it’s an exciting time for content marketing, ripe with opportunities for those willing to employ innovation, new technologies, and new marketing strategies. The gurus have weighed in with their forecasts, and here are five content marketing trends to keep an eye on over the coming year and beyond.
#1 Social media will become even more important for content distribution. Most SMB’s already realize the importance of having a strong social media presence, but the way content is used is changing, and there’s a lot of competition out there. Look for more emphasis on paid advertising and promoted posts, and believe it or not new social media platforms. Yes, they’re cooking up even more ways to waste time, but that’s good news for content marketers.
#2 Personalized and targeted content will increase. Content designed using data on an individual’s online preferences, physical location, time spent online, and viewing devices used is proving to be a powerful tool for increasing customer engagement, and those embracing this still underused marketing strategy will have an advantage. It can be complicated and use a lot of resources to produce personalized content, but several automated solutions will make their debut in the coming months that promise to make the job much easier. (hint: RocketResponder helps make this one easy)
#3 The use of hyperlocal content will grow considerably. Hyperlocal content is targeted towards consumers in a relatively small geographic area, such as a city or town. It’s often produced by people familiar with the area. Service providers like plumbers and mechanics, car dealerships, local restaurants, and retail outlets benefit from hyperlocal content, especially if it’s friendly to mobile devices. Google looks favorably on hyperlocal content too.
#4 Multimedia will continue its upward trend. With the ever increasing ease of creating high quality videos, infographics, podcasts, and photographic content, SMB’s will increasingly take advantage of the effectiveness of delivering content utilizing a variety of media.
#5 New marketing measurement software will make a big impact. Just 21% of respondents to the aforementioned survey reported having success tracking the results of their content marketing strategy, and another 15% said they don’t even try. Software developers have taken note of this and will be stepping in to address the need with new marketing measurement solutions.