Customers expect, require, and demand more – in terms of service excellence, product benefits and in our digital age, brand content. Brands everywhere are responding to this need, with 70% creating more content today, than they did two years ago.
Here are some key global content trends to look for this year, aimed at creating a more personalized experience for your target market.
Content marketing budget
By now the market has identified the value and importance of content in current day marketing strategies, and like everything else in business, it comes with a price. Do the necessary research to ascertain the type of content that will best suit your industry – this will provide an estimation of the kind of costs involved in creating or acquiring the same. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of businesses plan to increase their investment in content creation in 2016, opening doors to several opportunities for brands everywhere.
The growth of social media
Instagram has grown 20% between 2013 and 2015 in the Middle East and is one of the fastest growing platforms in this region. With a variety of social media channels to choose from, consumers can be found all over the online marketing map, with each channel offering its own unique set of advantages and challenges. Businesses need to therefore determine and tailor their social content strategies to best suit their audiences and channels of choice. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue to be favourites with regular new content marketing options – Twitter’s Project Lightening promotes incorporated content and Facebook’s ‘Instant Articles’ gives brands better looking and faster loading mobile versions of articles and stories, versus the housing of content only on their own websites. That said businesses are also keenly exploring relatively newer channels like Periscope, Meerkat and Snapchat to reach their markets.
Interactive storytelling and series-based content
Brands around the world have successfully combined the hugely effective storytelling method (like Moma.org) with episodic content and while both work well individually, together they’re a powerful combination. Interactive storytelling is a creative way to showcase brand image, features and personality and thanks to technologies like Oculus Rift – user journeys are set to reach new highs. Similarly, content creation in series form builds interest, engagement, and entertainment as well. A strong example of this is Coca-Cola’s ‘Crossroads’ campaign.
Choice of visuals
Visual trends lead ahead of copy-based content, effectively driving traffic and increasing engagement. From strong, creative imagery and infographics (62% of marketers actively use infographic driven content) to the use of video, the social sphere is brimming over with visual content from either the brands themselves or of the user-generated variety. UGC is fast becoming a favorite element of the content marketing mix, with its many positives in terms of cost, availability, SEO capabilities and authenticity.
Social Media Examiner stated 92% of marketers reported social media as being an important component of marketing plans. A content framework is only as effective as its distribution plan and a targeted strategy promises considerably better results. Brands are now willing to examine the benefits of distribution whether paid, earned or owned, as this helps build credibility, drives traffic, and promote sales. Hubspot confirmed 71% of marketers looked forward to an increased content marketing budget.
With an all-encompassing content strategy, you can keep your brand in line with the latest global trends.
Karen Osman is the Managing Director of Travel Ink, a company which offers content writing and translation services covering industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality.