Social media is full of memes and buzzwords, but ‘content marketing’ is not one of them. In 2013, content marketing defined how brands reached hearts and earned trust online. This year we expect content marketing to be bigger than ever. Here’s the scoop on what to expect, and how content marketing connects values and enjoyable stories to your products.
The fact of social media today is that it’s all connected. The question of what devices are used to access social matters less and less. While smartphones surely dominate, your content is likewise reachable on an excess of devices, from tablets to good ol’ desktops. Personally, I read, share, tweet and post on the same platforms everyday using multiple devices (and operating systems).
From a marketing perspective this means a renewed focus on content, and less concern on what devices people use to get it. Not to say a “mobile first” approach isn’t smart. But in short, today your content is more accessible than ever.
At the same time, ranking algorithms—like Facebook’s Edgerank and Google’s Hummingbird—grow in sophistication. They work behind the scenes to make sure the most engaging and useful content stays visible, and sink the rest. If marketers want to get the most for their ad spend (and that’s hardly an if), return on investment depends on great content.
So even from a technical point of view—quality is not recommended, it is required!
A final point (for now) on why content marketing matters: It respects the viewer. Yes, on social media the user has more power than ever to ignore you. So make your content relevant, entertaining, and use that opportunity to educate viewers on your brand’s values.
Above all, on social it’s content that people share—not ads. Your social advertising must be content in form, and advertising in function.
Brands are finding great success on social by connecting their products to big stories. We know that people are more likely to participate in something with which they identify emotionally, and share a common value.
On social media, people tell their own stories everyday, and brands must engage in a way that doesn’t infringe on this personal routine.
How do your products fit into the life stories of your audience? Tell them! Educate them with your story—a consistent, visual and compelling story that befits their interests.
Marketing through visual and compelling stories isn’t anything new. But today, social media is giving brands greater insight into what audiences want to see.
Knowing what stories and visual language will best resonate with your audience is a competitive edge on the ever crowded stage of newsfeeds and timelines. This isn’t news to the many savvy marketers out there—especially if you’ve been reading our blog—so we expect to see a rising focus on content performance metrics in 2014.
An analytics engine, like our Ad Analytics , gives marketers the ability to study their performance on social, make adjustments to their content and feedback into the creative process with insights. How many people are you reaching? How many act on your content, and what was most successful? How does the competition compare, and what can you learn from their successes and failures?
Answering these questions (and more with our platform!) and being able to report them to your marketing team will ensure your content stays fresh and in the newsfeed. Ultimately, you’ll get people to know and trust your brand.
In short, telling your story is not as important as telling the right story. With content marketing at the frontier of social advertising, we expect analytics to power the most successful campaigns—I mean stories.
Stay tuned to this blog for more on best practice, expert tips, and the inside scoop on content marketing in 2014.