In part one we looked at E-E-A-T, AI, purpose and a whole lot more. Now in part two we continue our deep dive into the trends that will shape content marketing in the year ahead. Balancing your paid and organic marketing strategies is essential for leveraging value from your content marketing output this year – and we look at the format types and effectiveness measures that will prime you for success.
6. Short form video
The importance of short form video will continue this year, especially on social, with the rise of TikTok, Instagram Stories, Reels and YouTube Shorts leading the way brands are addressing a shift in consumption, and scarcity of attention, with bite-sized content. According to Meltwater’s State of Social Media 2023, TikTok is at the centre of this as the fastest growing channel (+48%).
UGC will be central to this as well as co-marketing with champions, partners, and Influencers. Think about investment in asset capture and post-production but handheld, authentic content can help keep costs low and drive marketing budget effectiveness. Experimenting with formats, editing tools and effects with a test-and-learn approach to performance can help you analyse what your audience find engaging and inspiring.
Short-form video is also an effective strategy to repurpose and refresh content as well as providing brand consistency in engaging new formats. And if you have any doubts about popularity, Statista states there were an estimated 3.37 billion internet users consuming video content in 2022.
7. Influencer marketing & advocacy
The Influencer space has matured. A market that sometimes has felt a bit like the Wild West has settled down. It’s easier to source, assess and choose Influencers right for your brand. Platforms offer easier ways to collaborate and tag Influencers, and advertising standards bodies are becoming tougher at penalising creators not prepared to play by the rules.
For brands that can align themselves with a great influencer match, collabs on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok have huge potential. For content marketers, it’s important to recognise the full influencer spectrum available to brands from Mega Influencers to champions, partners, micro influencers, and employee advocates. A mix of brand ambassadors can help your brand reach beyond what the brand can do alone.
51% of marketers say influencer marketing helps them acquire better customers, according to Meltwater. You can also collaborate with your mix of Influencers and brand advocates on co-marketing content such as blog posts, special reports, and white papers. Including trusted partners in your content such as thought leadership will help amplify it and create engagement for both the brand and co-creator.
8. Paid & organic marketing
The synergy between Paid and Organic workstreams is often underused but the cost-of-living crisis is a tipping point for smart brands to capitalise on the rise of social and seek the benefits of integration. Organic marketing is an excellent way to share valuable and useful content in an authentic way with your target audience to increase awareness and engagement, while Paid helps augment and expand this.
Cross-channel planning and integrated reporting will tie together search keyword strategies and bidding strategy, while organic content optimisation can be compared against relevance and quality score. This can all help inform the landing page experience and messaging hierarchy and alignment.
If Paid and Organic marketing teams work together closely across social and web content, you will:
- Maximise the volume and efficiency of organic search performance
- Increase the effectiveness of Paid performance
- Optimise how you create and enhance web and social content.
9. Atomise & repurpose
As content channels proliferate, it’s more important than ever for content marketers to ‘atomise’ or repurpose and repackage content, so it can be broken down and work across multiple formats. A blog post can become several short-form videos, static images, or quotes for social, to amplify your story and help it resonate across channels and wherever your customers interact with you.
This can be resource efficient for teams but it’s important to make each story contextual and relevant for the platform – content should be consistent but not uniform.
For the web, this also means maintenance and governance – refreshing evergreen content to keep information relevant and accurate with current data, keywords, news, internal and external links. This kind of hygiene improves the user experience and ensures customers don’t get stuck on the paths you originally created. Having a content plan to optimise pages regularly and create new ones where necessary based on data, will pay huge dividends.
Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at adam&eve DDB, recently highlighted how he is noticing a positive shift from attribution modelling to econometrics, to include medium-long term effects. Binet cites Google and Facebook as two organisations he understands are moving towards econometrics. He believes this potentially has big implications as Econometrics can pick up the indirect effects that attribution can’t measure at all.
Binet sees the rise of attribution as one of the reasons marketing has become so short-term and ineffective, overestimating short-term, direct effects of marketing (direct response, promotions etc.) Econometrics is less skewed towards performance and reveals the importance of brand activity.
A more balanced approach is welcome, and we see this as a positive trend in 2023, while also advocating that brands consider the 60/40 Brand vs Sales approach based on the pioneering work of Binet and his long-term collaborator Peter Field.
For content creators looking at high-quality content and creative informed by SEO and data, this shift justifies a more holistic and sustainable approach to effectiveness.
That’s it for part two. Remember to come back for part three as we go even deeper into the content zone and look at how your marketing function should be responding to these trends. We’ll look at social commerce, the latest in UX, and how to respond to changes in your market in real-time.