Content marketing has found a way to become an integral part of every digital marketing campaign in 2014 and is poised to become even more important in 2015. Both content creation as well as publication is paramount, and marketers are reallocating budgets towards content marketing efforts. According to statistics, about 69% of B2C marketers are creating more content now than they did a year ago and so focused are they on content marketing, that 45% of them are said to have a dedicated content marketing team in their organization.
Both creation of content and publication are two of the most vital components of a winning content marketing strategy. But many marketers today are not taking it a step forward and focusing, as they should be, on the distribution of their content. Research has revealed that currently, only 26% of marketers invest in content distribution. In the coming year, how content is strategically distributed will set some businesses apart from their competition. Marketers will resort to a few tried and tested ways to ensure that their content is distributed to the right audience, such as reaching out to influencers in their field, building relationships with branded publications and optimizing for mobile and search.
Native advertising has already shown its face with publishers such as Forbes, Buzzfeed and the New York Times. Banner ads are almost a thing of the past and don’t serve too much purpose other than to create brand visibility. What is going to be more popular in 2015 is the use of natie advertising such as sponsored content, advertorials, and branded content, which have been proved to be not only more effective, but also more popular. Rather than shouting out about advertisements, marketers will place advertisements strategically within valuable content. Advertisers will work in tandem with publishers to ensure that the user experience is heightened through paid content.
Businesses will start to distribute their content even more emphatically through social media sharing. In 2015, they will begin to truly embrace it as an amplifier to assist content distribution. According to statistics, 94% of marketers say that social media is a vital component in their marketing mix. In the coming year, more businesses will jump on the bandwagon. This focus on social media distribution will lead to increased paid social media advertising as well as increased organic usage. Marketers will increase their spend on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to broaden their content reach and to generate leads.
In 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts said that guest blogging was “done”, leading to many marketers ditching the strategy altogether. But Cutts later clarified that he only said what he did to discourage marketers from using guest blogging as a sole link building technique. He still professes the increased reach, branding, exposure and community building exercise that guest blogging is. Legitimate and valuable guest blogging initiatives will be adopted once again by intelligent content marketers, which will focus not on advertorials or article marketing, but on offering content that is high in quality and relevant to its readers. These marketers will finally recognize that guest blogging is much more than just a inbound link building exercise for SEO purposes.