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All Hail Content! Emperor of 2015

14 Jan 2015 Brandon Heagle

in Strategy


balloon 2015

The start of the year is always a popular time to start making predictions. As 2015 begins, there are several trends that are ready for the limelight. Having spent many hours discussing the state of the digital industry and its ever-changing evolutionary progression, it is clear that there is one dominant theme to focus on: not only is content the king of the digital domain, it is the emperor, the Kublai Khan. I have put together what I think are some of the top predictions for how content will continue to strengthen its grasp over digital marketing in 2015.

#1 – Brands will realize they need to become better publishers.

Most businesses are built to invent, create and sell some sort of goods or service. Guess what most businesses are not? Publishers. The types of staffing resources that businesses need to focus on their core business are not often aligned with content research, writers, artists, editors and publishers. Unfortunately for these businesses, the digital world continues to fragment, as people are spending more and more time online and are accessing content through search and social media (amongst other channels). In order to effectively reach their audiences and maximize the likelihood of winning customer allegiance, brands will eventually understand that they must produce more thoughtful content.

#2 – Paid amplification of content will start to rival “traditional” display ads.

Paid amplification will be on the rise in 2015. As brands continue to learn the importance of creating content, they are faced with the challenge of making sure that content reaches audiences who will respond. Social media impressions are through the stratosphere and social platforms are finding the delicate balance between content curation for user experience and maximizing revenues. All of this points towards an increased need for utilizing data to inform content ideas. We have already seen the power of utilizing better targeting data, and spending more money to put that content in front of the right audiences—and the importance of these things is only increasing. Marketers will continue to create and repurpose different content formats to reach niche audiences in various fragmented channels to ensure it resonates.

#3 – Tools to better manage the end-to-end content solution will start to appear.

There are plenty of workflow tools that help with the sourcing of content creators, but what is lacking is the ability to manage and analyze the usage and performance of content across all touch points of the customer journey. Again, as the world becomes more and more fragmented, and the number of data points to analyze increases, it will be imperative to have an end-to-end content solution to analyze and to harness the power of Big Data.

#4 - Content will become the top rainmaker for many companies.

Traditional sales efforts will always have their place, but will only continue to lose effectiveness as they compete with the increasing noise that exists in today’s world. Those companies that just sell and speak at their prospects will lose out to those who embrace content’s role in the sales process. By identifying the right pieces of content to serve customer needs, tailoring that content to resonate with its targeted audience, and nurturing the customer sales cycle with supplemental content, companies will turn their sales efforts from outbound to inbound.