Many variations of content marketing will come to the forefront during 2013. Content fluency, the ease at which companies create and distribute content, may be influenced, even disrupted, by these evolving marketing trends. Are you ready?
Websites will offer more ways to interact that are far beyond Share buttons. Comment and review capabilities, share your story buttons with easy to fill out templates, and gamification strategies will all be used to engage an audience. Any industry can add some fun using a less serious tone in the content and easy interaction. Ease of use will allow sites to add content contributed by customers and curated by companies.
Coca Cola, the world’s most recognized brand, is shifting its efforts from “creative excellence to content excellence.” A video titled Coca Cola Content 2020 Part One shows how they plan to concentrate on brand stories told by the company and consumers. Stories will lead them to evoke, and participate in, conversations with customers. This they believe will connect them on a deeper emotional level with customers. I expect other companies will do the same, offering more personal brand experiences.
Technology is providing more and more data that needs to be segmented, monitored, analyzed and measured. People who can translate the data into information are highly valued. The result is a keen understanding of customer behavior. Content created for the customer needs to meet their needs, wants and expectations.
Visual content will be used in a more intimate way. Images and video can give a closer look at a company’s operations, values and people. Video company Vimeo is predicting 90% of Internet traffic will be video by 2014 and a no-text Internet will emerge soon. I think this is a ridiculous prediction, but visual content strategies are important.
Marketing Meets Sales
Data will bring these two departments together to form a more collaborative, cohesive group. Sharing information that is captured during every phase of the buying cycle will align their interests. Sales wants information from marketing and marketing needs information from sales to show return on investment.
Companies will need to be present across devices. Smartphones and tablets require different kinds of content than what’s on a website. Some content strategies are starting with the mobile device and building out from there. Mobile will become the hub from which everything else revolves.
A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute shows the most effective B2B marketers are spending a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing. White papers, case studies, webinars and infographics will need substantial authority to be heard above the noise. I like the idea of multi-discipline authorship for digital assets.
Building trusting relationships requires meeting face to face at some time. First impressions may be formed online, even first engagements on projects or purchases, but people still find pleasure in face time. That’s why conventions and seminars continue to draw crowds. Content fluency relies on quality and consistency. With a lot of changes occurring, don’t forget the familiar. Create a goal-oriented, multi-media content strategy. Use a variety of content formats on different channels depending on where your audience is. Content fluency occurs at this convergence, creating a positive brand experience.