Byline by Dana Drissel, published by Chief Marketer
Content marketing has been a top priority on every marketer’s brain for the past year. It is the standard of marketing that successful companies utilize due to the downfall of traditional static marketing, which fails to deliver as technology changes. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), nine out of 10 B2B marketers are actively utilizing content marketing, regardless of their size or industry. Here are four trends that those 91% of marketers will begin implementing within the year.
1.) More Engaging Content
In 2015, the evolution of technology will make content marketing even more engaging because it allows for an added layer of interactivity and involvement. Put away your static collateral and boring PowerPoint presentations, because interactive content is becoming the primary method of attracting new customers.
One way that marketers are targeting customers and creating this engagement is by using drip-marketing campaigns via marketing automation tools. Drip marketing is a sequence of prefabricated email messages that are sent to contacts based on what their previous actions were, the customer’s needs, interests, or preferences. Essentially, they are ‘choosing their own adventure story’ by clicking on the content that will solve their business challenges.
Immersive interactive storytelling gives companies a means to strategically orchestrate an agile selling environment, empowering their customers to uncover the true value of a product/solution, while creating an emotional connection. This added level of engagement allows users to circumnavigate relevant materials and explore as in-depth as they deem necessary. Customers are now engaging with content and becoming part of the selling narrative by having the ability to influence the outcome and choose their own journey as they explore consistent marketing messages.
2.) Enhanced Levels of Personalization
Personalization will continue to make strides in 2015, especially with the continuing development of marketing automation tools that create more unique and relevant customer engagements. With an abundance of those tools available, companies can directly target customers based on specific needs/wants, which in turn helps marketers push specialized content to them. If customers are reading, comprehending and interacting with the meaningful content created and sent to them, then it will elevate their experience and provide them with greater knowledge retention, which translates into increased usage and sales. With 78% of the most successful marketers creating more content than they did a year ago, it only makes sense that the popularity of marketing automation will keep pace.
3.) Reusable Content
In a 2014 CMI survey, marketers were presented with a list of 28 content marketing initiatives and asked to indicate which ones they were “working on now” versus “plan to begin working on in 12 months.” Marketers reported that they are working on an average of 13 initiatives now — and are planning to begin working on an average of eight new initiatives this year.
69% of marketers surveyed said they wanted to “create more engaging content” while 86% of businesses said they were also looking for ways to repurpose content across new platformswithin the next 12-months, without recreating or reformatting it in any way.
Similar to responsive design, new marketing platforms are finally allowing for interactive content to be created once and deployed everywhere (mobile devices, tablets, desktops, websites, touch screens, etc.) This gives companies the ability to create one cost effective ‘user driven’ piece of content that can address multiple constituents within the buying ecosystem, across multiple selling environments (sales meetings, websites, trade shows, briefing centers, training, etc.). Same brand, same message, same value story.
4.) Utilization at In-Person Events
Did you know that 70% of companies list in-person events as their primary tactic for distributing content marketing? Interactive 3D product storytelling applications, on touch screens and mobile devices, allow customers to create their own buyer’s journey within a trade show booth, navigating how products operate together in a variety of real-world scenarios to solve their problems. By incorporating consistent marketing messages within these interactive digital experiences (via relevant notes and sales materials), companies can better tell their product/solution story in a branded user environment.