2013 saw some pretty interesting changes in the world of online content marketing.
Possibly the largest was the rolling out of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm in August (possibly the biggest change in search since 2001), hurting many ‘black hat’ marketers, while at the same time, serving to elevate niche websites within the SERPs; creating an even playing field between what some have compared to ‘good vs evil’.
But besides upgrades and amendments to Hummingbird, what does 2014 have in store for the world of content marketing?
1. Video Content is going to take off in a big way
Though we’ve got just about all that we can out of the likes of infographics, the mainstream emergence of apps such as Vine and even Snapchat is somewhere things are looking to grow – which is especially great for marketers who rely on visual media to connect with their audiences.
To add to this, many agencies are beginning to realise that video marketing isn’t as expensive as it used to be, and if done right, it can be sent and well received through almost any channel.
2. Whether you like it or not, Google+ is about to get bigger
Though the significance and worth of Google+ is currently up for debate, the world’s second largest technology company isn’t about to drop its bone yet.
In terms of outreach, social media is basically mandatory via Twitter etc. anyway, but technology experts are predicting a greater reliance on what is deemed to be the second largest social networking site after Facebook.
Largely due to advancements with Google Authorship (though it doesn’t help rankings yet), Google+ is set to be one of the defining elements of social and content outreach by the end of next year. Indeed, if marketers don’t want to be left behind, then forgetting about Google+ could be deadly.
3. In some sectors, content will become more exclusive to certain people
Although for the moment, people are pretty much free to consume as much content as they want (besides those who read The Times and other subscription based media), marketers are expected to incorporate select audiences for their brands – incorporating the idea that exclusive content is better content, and therefore, far more valuable for both the audience and the brand.
By providing exclusives such as articles, offers, games and videos to only a privileged few (thousand), marketers will be looking to heighten trust signals, quality and value during 2014 on this basis.
4. The area is going to grow massively next year.
If someone was to say that there would be only a marginal growth to be had in 2014, they would probably be wrong. In the United States, 60 per cent of businesses already use some form of content marketing as part of their overall strategy.
And this is set to increase to the point where the overused and increasingly stale motto of ‘content is king’ will not be just a buzz phrase on internet blogs, but a mandatory and widely accepted fact.
In addition to this, according to a survey by the Marketing Institute, 48% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets into 2014.
Amidst fierce competition, getting it right will be imperative.
5. The job market for content creation is set to explode
Whether in-house or agency based, one of the top marketing jobs of 2014 is tipped to be ‘Director of Content, with many writing, video and editing jobs set to open up as the year continues.
Indeed, in HubSpot’s Fifth Annual Review of Inbound Marketing, the company states that the top marketing job of 2014 may well be Director of Content, and they aren’t the only ones making the claim.