The world wide web has completely changed since the internet went public 20 or so years ago. While back in the day it was exciting to go online to find out the answer to a question (remember Ask Jeeves?), now we use the internet for … well, nearly everything.
And though you may not give much thought as to what appears on each website or social media platform, there is a whole industry out there engineering the way you gain access to information over the web. So much has developed since the internet launched in 1989 (or about ten years later in my suburban household) that it’s no surprise there will be more changes again in the next 12 months.
If you want to find out what we think will be the biggest developments for content marketing in 2015, read on.
Companies wanting a return on investment won’t just be looking for the number of hits, Facebook likes or shares, they’ll be interested in how long visitors spend on their website, how often and if they revisit, and whether they have a strong engagement on their webpages.
Carefully choosing the right content for your site and having it written well will have far-reaching benefits – ones that businesses will be able to track on Google Analytics and other clever devices. Therefore, the importance of good-quality copywriters will grow next year, as companies begin to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to content marketers. For those of us who value (and produce) top-notch content, we have nothing to worry about. Phew.
When I say speedy content, I don’t mean to imply we’ve reverted to the days of banging out article after article just to keep content flowing on websites. Speed in this instance refers to reaction time. Brands are no longer faceless companies that just provide products or services to their customers. They now have a voice, and subsequently, when big things happen, they should have a reaction.
Whether these ‘big things’ are world events, industry changes or new trends, it doesn’t matter; what’s important is your business responds and responds quickly. This can be a Tweet, a Facebook post or a full story on your website. Whatever it is, you should say it quickly before talk of the subject dies down, and these days, that can be a mere 24 hours.
One great example of this was achieved by Simon Rimmer's Greens Restaurant in Manchester. The same day UKIP leader Nigel Farage made a booboo (ignore the pun) on the radio when he said breastfeeding mothers should sit in the corner of a restaurant, they released this message.
It captured the eatery’s opinion (giving it a ‘face’), as well as capturing the interest of over 7,000 people on Facebook alone. Having a reaction to things can be scary for a company, as they don’t want to alienate any clientele. However, 2015 is all about really knowing what a brand stands for, and that means saying what you think on some of the most talked about topics – that is, if you want to be talked about yourself.
Everyone’s been bleating on about the importance of social media for years, but you can’t really ignore it. It’s become an unstoppable force and one that continues to grow. Ten years ago, there were echoes of ‘Facebook’ in the corridors of my university. Now, 1.35 billion people actively use Facebook every month. That’s insane.
It isn’t just Facebook though – since 2004, the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more have launched, and people can’t get enough of them. That’s why it’s so integral to a company’s marketing strategy to have a presence on one, if not all, of these sites. (On a side note, feel free to look, like and share our Facebook page ;) ).
The way social media influences what we see on the web also means that content marketers have to work hard to make sure their pages are seen. How often do you go on a webpage and see a Facebook icon or a ‘share’ button? I’d say pretty much all the time. When you click on these buttons, social media remembers the sites you’ve been on and tailors the posts, adverts and content on your feed to your interests.
As a result of this, what you view on social media is narrowing, as it gets better at showing you just what you want to see. What does this mean for content marketing? Well, it means it’s vital to capture the interest of the user from the offset; this way they can remain on their social media feeds, instead of being the brands that fall by the way side.
Success in content marketing
The world of technology will continue to evolve, and who can say what the industry will be like in two or more years? One thing that will remain fundamental to the success of any website or brand though is the value of content. Without a website that attracts, entertains and engages people, none of the rest really matters.
Read my thoughts and ideas on the latest search engine updates and copywriting trends that could improve your business marketing plans.