Now that we’re getting towards the end of 2014, it’s time to take a look at the state of content marketing and assess what to expect over the next few months. Certain predictions have fizzled, while other trends have trickled into the industry that have caught even the well-seasoned experts off guard. It’s true that the foundation of great content won’t change, but the way we produce it will continue to evolve. So it makes sense to get the picture of what’s trending now and how to plan for the future.

The biggest challenge continues to be getting your target audience to engage with your content. Even when you create the most interesting, captivating material you can, there may still be problems with getting your prospects to interact with your brand. But practice makes perfect, and constant testing can help you figure out what words. Keep a close eye on your metrics, tweak a few things and stay current on content marketing trends in 2014 to get your target audience on board.

SEO is no longer top dog as the state of content marketing focuses on quality. Search used to be king before the search engines realized that providing quality was more important to the user experience. But SEO principles are not to be discounted, as they can help the great content you’ve worked so hard on get found by your target audience. Your best bet is to include trending keywords in your material if you want to move up the search engine results ladder.

Great content starts with a sound strategy. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if there’s no strategy behind it. The state of content marketing will shift in the direction of planning and idea cultivation, which will enable you to create the right content that your audience wants.

More companies are investing the majority of their advertising budgets on content marketing. Realizing the importance of an inbound approach, both B2B and B2C companies are increasing their investment in content marketing. Traditional strategies have less impact as consumers are turned off by sales-speak, especially since they can fast forward through TV ads and move away from music on the radio. Content marketing shows better ROI as the more effective way to reach out to prospects.

Content marketers are learning more every day. More and more companies are seeing success through content marketing efforts encouraging them to educate themselves on the latest tools and technologies. Businesses are learning that an inbound approach can help them target the right leads at certain stages of the sales funnel, and provide the information they need at that time. 

Curating content is just as essential as creating fresh material. Marketers know that posting high quality material often is their key to inbound success, but they’re just now catching on to the idea that content curation is a great way to achieve that goal. Finding the information that your customers want to know now and organizing it into a format they can easily absorb is very effective in getting them to interact with your brand.

Frequency needs to improve. You know that posting fresh content often is essential to online visibility, but many marketers are still missing the boat on frequency. Outsourcing is an option, if you find the right agency that has expertise in your industry and hits the other qualities that make a great content marketing firm.

Big data makes way for a more personalized experience. Having a ton of information about your target audience is great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the answers to the questions they’re asking. Big data is losing significance as companies realize that it won’t give the personalized experience that your prospects crave. It can serve the purpose of finding out what your potential customers are talking about, but putting yourself in their shoes has more impact. Try developing buyer personas to gain perspective on what they want.

What else are you seeing on the inbound marketing horizon? How will things be different in 2015? Drop us a note.



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