Prediction time is my favorite. As we near the end of each year, just like clockwork, marketers begin to share anticipated trends for the year ahead.
As an avid follower of these types of articles, the lure for me is the predictions that become reality and continue to gain momentum. I like to think of it as content that’s past, present and future. Below are three favorites I’ll be keeping a close pulse on:
1. Content strategy and storytelling will take the lead
Without a doubt, content will remain a key influencer. In the past, a common trend has been to force content development into specific buckets such as social, PR or digital.
In 2016, expect lines to become more blurred – in a good way. Content will continue to have a seat at the table, but likely in its own official capacity. The focus will be less on an isolated process of the past (“I need content for the web” or “I need content for a social media channel) but a much broader approach that not only considers but puts storytelling or content strategy at the forefront.
As one example, the Content Marketing Institute estimates that 80 percent of decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. It’s clear there’s a need.
A more defined process such as this also qualifies your content to reach the audience members you want to reach because it’s all things relevant, valuable and applicable.
2. Amplification of content will require more thought
Content creation is part of building a solid foundation in which your story can be continuously told and leveraged over time. The amplification of that content, thereafter, typically succeeds by way of sharing and targeted marketing, which propels your message faster, further with more reach. To be successful in the coming year, marketers will need to consider a more fine-tuned approach.
Skyword.com explores what’s next for content amplification in its article, “6 Content Marketing Trends to Help Plan Your 2016 Budget,” noting that most companies in the recent past had very little synergy between various social programs with strategy that was, well, uninformed.
As social channels continue to evolve, the article goes on to encourage [content marketers] to really understand his or her distribution method as a part of a larger content and amplification strategy. A message shared through targeted ad marketing, for example, should serve a purpose. What is the goal of the message? What action(s) are we asking the audience to take? Messaging should be written in a way that’s easily understood and internalized in a way that encourages the audience to take action. From there, we can evaluate metrics, learn from the findings and react appropriately.
3. Chapters or series of content will continue to reign supreme
Chapters, or series of content, that can be told over time – much like a digital flipbook – will continue to be excitable content and provide an outlet for long-term, cohesive storytelling. As Skyword.com points out in the very same article, this “episodic content,” provides marketers with an opportunity to identify patterns and trends as a way to draw results and inform future content.
Take for example, a product launch. Knowing many brands invest significant dollars in a new product’s launch to ensure success, the idea is not only to make a splash year one, but build upon and enhance the story in year two with good content that resonates and continues generating awareness and excitement.
Core Creative is a branding agency that specializes in telling the life-changing stories for mid-market healthcare systems and the emerging med-tech world.