6 Tips for Content Marketing in 2015



Content marketing has become an essential marketing technique in 2014. This year there will be more spotlight on this as brands realize that their audience wants relevant and engaging content. To make it easier for brands and agencies I have selected my top tips for content marketing in 2015.

It is already dead

What this actually means is that we are starting to see a shift away from brands and agencies referring to content marketing as an activity. While creating valuable, timely content that focuses on customer needs is still vital to businesses who want to cut through the noise, we expect to see a shift in the next 12 months to a more integrated approach to customer engagement rather than just creating content and pushing it out.

There are already a few new buzzwords circulating, but the brands who own their story and understand their customers will be the ones who stand out from the crowd according to Search Engine Land

Tools will be huge!

In 2014 content marketing boomed, and partly due to brands having more insight into measurability of their activities through new tools. As well as massive improvements in analytics packages, being able to integrate additional content measurement and tracking tools means that brands can begin to really understand the value of the content they produce in hard numbers. The market is being bombarded with hundreds of tools that all aim to track and quantify the monetary value of customer engagement and next year we will start to see this become more scientific and accurate.

The ability to attribute cross channel

While attribution modeling is not a new concept, the ability to implement it effectively has been restricted to only a small minority of brands. With brands becoming more aware of the need to work across multiple channels, we will see attribution modeling become more mainstream and accessible for even small companies. Knowing how each channel contributes to a customer’s experience will be invaluable to brands who will need to get this right in order to compete in their marketplace.

The return of the infographic

Infographics have had a bit of  bad press in 2014 having been massively overused since they first hit our screens. However we’re seeing a bit of a comeback towards the end of this year and it’s a trend we expect to see continue into this year. Rather than ditching them completely, their value in communicating complex data and processes is giving them a more focused and useful purpose. And with easier access to design tools and templates, they can be created at a fraction of the cost as well as being easy to convert into interactive tools with little effort.

We may actually start using G+

As hard as it is to believe, the big questions on all our lips “what should we use G+ for?” may actually be answered in 2015. Google has been busy positioning the tools throughout 2014 and additional features have made it more useful not just for connecting with customers and contacts but also for collaboration, with some companies using it as their primary communication method. With the removal of Google authorship, linking G+ profiles to specific content pieces will now be considered the most viable option for many brands.

Mobile will overtake desktop

Mobile has been a huge area of growth in 2014 and we expect it to overtake desktop this year. With the increase in fast, reliable connectivity, the increased accessibility of smartphones and tablet devices, and the improved mobile experience that brands are investing in, mobile could become our primary method of searching and buying online. This could also lead to developments in mobile interactivity offline and technologies such as motion capture and VR becoming more commonplace in marketing strategies.


Creating Content that’s Worthy for News



Stop thinking copywriters – think influencers

Too many companies are still using copywriters for creating content when really users want to see knowledgeable influencers imparting information to them.

There are different kinds of influencers that fit different kinds of content campaigns, these can be categorized into 4 types:


Brand marketers – These are marketers who are there to illustrate data and updates from the brand. They represent the brand itself and creating content is very important.

Brand journalists – These are the frontline journalists who keep their ears to the ground to provide commentary on industry news and trends. Their job is to find the stories and relate them back to the brand’s audience.

Customers – if you’re not seeing your customers as influencers then you are definitely missing a trick! These are people who experience the products and are ingrained in your industry so listen to them and enable them as story tellers.

Influencers – your influencers are your experts. They may live external to your business but their job is to be utilized as brand advocates, writing content and inspiring your audience to your brand.


Understand what assets are available

As many will probably know, creating something from nothing is extremely difficult, which makes it highly important to fully understand what is available to you before you begin the creative process. Your assets can range from a number of things but data & knowledge will probably be the most valuable, these are great to leverage as you can use them to add credibility and perspective to the content you produce.

Data can be found in a number of places external to your business and it doesn’t necessarily have to be new.  Look at old studies and compare them with other datasets, pivot them to gain new insights or flip them on their head to say something different – the great thing about data is that it is so reusable! I was introduced to the ultimate tool for content insight & research: it’s called BuzzSumo and as of writing this I am on day 2 of my free trial (totally worth trying & buying).

Having said that, there is also a lot of value in other forms of assets as well. Being a particularly creative brand (or have particularly creative people) will enable you to create campaigns that are much more likely to go viral by focusing on the attention quality. Imagery & the facilities to get imagery can make your content much more emotional or credible whilst leveraging website coding abilities can make tools that have an impact on your audience. Be broad in your search for assets as they can turn up in the most unlikely of places.


Stay on top of the industry

This one is very process driven as new developments and stories will happen when you least expect it, and a good, process driven, marketing team will already have the strategy and frameworks in place to be able to jump on this with a minimal lead time.

Use Twitter & RSS feeds as much as you can, create targeted Twitter lists, use social media monitoring tools to listen and be ready to react when things happen.

You can also utilise media enquiry services such as HARO, Response Source or PR Newswire to keep connected with journalists but also take this further and meet people within the industry who are creating the stories – this means going to events outside of SEO and getting to know people who can turn to you as industry experts to add value to stories that they might break.


But be careful with newsjacking

Newsjacking can be a great way to get in on a conversation and tap in to a new audience, but if it’s done badly then you will either get lost in a lot of noise or worse, it will make you look foolish!

What you need to remember when conducting a newsjacking campaign is that you should leave the reporting to the newspapers. Instead make sure that you’re always adding to the conversation in a way that relates the story back to your audience. If you cannot sufficiently do this then question whether you should be covering the story at all as it may be best to stay quiet.


Create a dialogue with your customers

Your customers are a great source of newsworthy content as they are full of stories that revolve around your products. Customer stories, done well, can create awesome, credible content that other users can relate to because they too may be in similar situations, looking for a solution.

Create channels to converse with your customers so that you can find the ones with newsworthy stories. Use surveys, forums, CRM channels, UGC, Gamification, Social Media to talk to and respond to your users out there, and don’t just provide the platform, give uses a reason to engage!