Hard content metrics overtake soft
In 2014, we could see a shift away from soft engagement metrics such as likes, retweets and shares, in favour of harder metrics that look at content’s ability to generates sales.
Brands exist to make money and whilst engagement may make your marketing team feel warm and fuzzy inside, it counts for nought if your content marketing cannot be shown to demonstrably move the needle.
Content strategy goes mobile-first
Mobile devices are likely to continue to dominate next year, making mobile content strategy even more important.
It’s easy to measure information such as when, where and how content is being used, and such data tells us that mobile is growing. Lots of experts are predicting a mobile-first approach to content strategy to fall out of that data.
Central to strategy should be a usably responsive site with content correctly formatted so opportunities for engagement of the out-and-about consumer can be realised. Most brands must be persuaded to do much better and surely next year they will.
Crowd-sourced content marketing develops
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm rewards high-quality, original content over keywords. Could this lead to a broad shift in how people approach content marketing? Instead of targeting keywords, some brands are asking consumers what they want to read, and producing it to their users’ spec.
For example, in 2013, Coca-Cola crowd-sourced thousands of new ideas from the global online community for their future marketing activity.
Google’s continual changes to its algorithm to focus on useful content from a trusted author and its elimination of keyword data in Google Analytics will steer marketers toward creating content that is helpful and useful.
Google+ grows in influence
Thanks to its strong effect on search rankings, Google+ could become as key to your social strategy as LinkedIn or Twitter, perhaps overtaking them.
With the predicted growth of Google+ in the coming year, I expect we’ll see it become an even more important tool for content dissemination and social sharing.
Specific content-marketing job titles emerge
As companies place more and more value on what content marketing can do, some are predicting the growth of content-specific job titles such as ‘content officer’ and ‘content marketer’.
Content creation and dissemination could also receive a bigger chunk of the content budget.
Greater departmental and company-wide support will mean more of the budget being designated for content creation and dissemination, and companies being willing to invest in dedicated content marketing managers.