Content Marketing Trends for 2014

This is a guest post from Alicia Lawrence. 

Content marketing is alive and healthy in 2014 and it’s not leaving anytime soon. Content has matured as an industry ever since it exploded sometime around 2011. In fact, 92% of B2B marketers say they are budgeting for it, which is a sure sign that content marketing here to stay.

But how has it evolved? Here are seven of the biggest trends in content marketing that are gaining momentum in 2014.

1.    Content Marketing in Unexpected Places

While the world of public relations, search engine optimization and integrated marketing used to evolve around different strategies, everyone is getting on the content bandwagon. PRs are realizing that they can use content marketing to do a lot of their work for them. This is causing brand awareness campaigns to go viral, making their clients thought leaders in their respective industries, which also builds trust with their publics. SEOs are using content as linkbait. Marketers are using it to drive traffic and sales.

Because everyone is pursuing the same goals, brands are doing new and exciting things to stand out. They’re beginning to drive change and innovation in this already fast-paced industry.

2.    In-House Content Creation Teams

With such a focus on content, it is getting harder for companies to slap together stuff that can compete. This is due to their limited time, resources and manpower. Nevertheless, they realize that it’s worth the investment – 58% of B2B and 60% of B2C companies are increasing their content budgets over the next year. They are building teams of talented writers, designers, videographers and

Image Viktor Hanacek

more to make their content dreams a reality.

3.    User-Centric Content

Greg Secrist, from BKA Content, predicts that this year will see less content built specifically around search engine rankings and more content built around user’s needs. Instead of trying to manipulate rankings with keyword density and generic sales copy, businesses will focus on trying to help their potential customers find answers to their search queries.

4.    Responsive Design

It seems like these days, everyone’s got a smartphone, a tablet and a burning desire for every website to work perfectly on every device they own. In fact, there are already more active mobile devices than adults in the United States. Brands and businesses are not looking to disappoint and responsive web design is the answer.

5.    Skyscraper Content

It’s no secret that content on the web is getting longer. Not only are Internet users being conditioned to seek out longer content, but it’s actually helping brands rank higher on Google. According to serpIQ, the average number of words on the first Google result is over 2,400 and tenth place isn’t too far behind at around 2,000 words. This trend is making way for skyscraper content, high quality long-form content that tips the scales at around 1000-2000 words in length.

6.    Better Content Distribution

Companies are changing the way they promote their content and spread their message around the web. Among B2B companies, 87% are getting the word out on social media, 81% are using blogs and 80% are distributing their content via newsletters. These top three channels are far more engaging to their audience than old channels like press release sites, print sources and annual reports.

7.    Highest Quality Content

Google is fighting spam harder than ever before, especially with their new Hummingbird update. In a way, you can say that Hummingbird is forcing businesses to be innovative and come up with great content that works for their users and the search engines both (like schema markup). While quality has always been important, it’s never been as necessary as right now in 2014.

Develop these trends within your own company to help stay on top of the content marketing game.

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