Content marketing costs 62 per cent less than traditional marketing but generates up to 3 times more leads, so it’s hardly surprising that everyone wants a piece. Taking a look at the existing content marketing space can provide insight into what’s going to be exploding in the coming year. Brands are being forced to get far more creative to gain audience engagement and this will be executed through the following methods.
The pop-culture cocktail
While influencer marketing is getting its expected boost, it’s frequently being leveraged with pop culture to craft content marketing that’s appealing and relevant to its audience.
Influencers want the exposure that marketers can provide, it is a mutually beneficial relationship that is only going to be capitalised upon further. The pop culture ingredient is often taken from popular Hollywood blockbusters or big small screen releases. TV shows are often utilised more so than film because they offer a longevity that film cannot provide, extending the relevance of the content.
In this piece for example, Strictly Come Dancing was mixed with insight from a dancing industry influencer and stayed relevant across the series run, making it interesting to the same audience every week. This combination is going to prove lethal in 2018 as more people engage with pop culture content on social media every day.
Augmented reality marketing
Virtual and augmented reality (AR) have had their foundations built, the future will see marketers utilise this to every possible extent.
AR allows users to give products a tangibility that is unparalleled. You can’t just walk into a shop and take home the product to measure it up in your home for free. That’s where AR is going to shine.
IKEA utilised this with an app that let users place furniture in their home through the AR capabilities. Not only did it provide a useful tool for potential customers, it gathered a lot of coverage due to it being a revolutionary way of marketing. AR and VR is going to enter the content marketing space in a big way.
See also: How augmented reality is revolutionising the way people shop – The development of AR in products and apps is revolutionising the way we shop by helping consumers ‘try on’ various outfits and products.
For a long time, stable image infographics have been the go-to for content marketing, however, as users become more impatient, interactive infographics are taking over.
Interactive infographics encourage users to tap, click and swipe through information about a particular, topic or trend. Often it simply is the infographic but reformatted to be more interesting to an increasingly mobile-orientated audience.
With this example about Instagram food trends, users swipe through information about what’s trending on Instagram in terms of content uploaded related to certain food types. The information updates in live time meaning the piece is further relevant as it constantly keeps itself updated. Stable infographics may always be a trusted tactic by marketers, but to engage the contemporary audience there will be a shift to more engaging content marketing.
Viral currency for user-generated content
Businesses encouraging users to create their own content for marketing purposes has been steadily increasing since social media made this incredibly easy to do, especially through Snapchat. Businesses have been gathering reviews, content of products in situ and genuine insight from their audience.
Now this is developing further. Opel International recently ran a campaign encouraging users to test drive one of their cars and film it. If a certain amount of views were reached, the user would be able to get a car for free. The views and potential virality were cashed in for products. YouTuber SpideyPlanet, took this brief and helped Opel achieve this goal with a Spider-Man themed car test drive.
Currently cruising at over 6 million views, this was a great success. Spidey and Opel have opened the door for more brands to utilise virality as payment. User-generated content marketing is going to entangle itself in forced virality in the coming years without a doubt.
Ultimately, 2018 is going to see audience interaction taken a step further. This will be achieved through interactive web content, inventive user-generated content strategies and further developments in accessible VR and AR. Couple this with content involving influencers and popular culture, content marketing is becoming more creative, relevant and engaging at a rapid pace.
George Driscoll is a content specialist at Impression
Creating killer marketing copy
Too often, marketing campaigns fail to elicit a market response. Don’t let yours be a statistic.
Writing clear and concise copy is essential if you want your marketing message to be heard and understood. Ensuring that you achieve the maximum return for your efforts requires extensive market research and a sound understanding of marketing techniques.
Your success will depend on your ability to produce copy that is pitched correctly for your target audience. Kursha Woodgate, managing director at marketing consultancy Mexia Communications, believes there are two things to consider: the type of client the copy is aimed at, and how or where they are going to read it.
Online retail catalogue network Catalink.com markets to a range of mail order businesses, selling them space to advertise their wares on its website.
‘In the early days it was an uphill struggle,’ says Ginna Clark, the company’s founder, ‘because there was a lot of scepticism about the internet in the industry, which is still present. We try to pitch what we’re doing so that it appeals to everyone, focusing on the benefits to our clients.’
Nigel Temple, author of How to Get Clients to Come to You, says: ‘If people aren’t buying from you, or if they aren’t buying in sufficient quantity, it may be because you haven’t thought enough about the unique selling point of your product or service. It can be tempting to focus on the technical side or unique features of your offering, but people respond better if you talk about what your product or service will do for them.’
Unless you are writing for an initiated technical audience, the use of jargon will make the copy more difficult to digest – TLAs (three-letter acronyms), for example, are confusing and remove focus from the body content. Just because you and your team are familiar with them, it doesn’t mean that your intended audience will be, especially if you’re trying to attract new customers.
Considering the format for your campaign is just as important as the body copy itself. A different approach is required when producing copy for different mediums. Press releases, for example, highlight the most newsworthy pieces of information to grab and, more importantly, hold the reader’s attention. The purpose of the marketing campaign will always inform the method.
‘As a general rule, it is better to keep copy short,’ says Woodgate. ‘The visual side of writing is as important as the copy itself, so breaking up the information into easily digestible chunks with sub-headings or bullet points will compel the reader to carry on.’
Clark agrees that reams of text can be pretty daunting: ‘A picture can speak 1,000 words and can help to complement what you’ve written with something visual. We try to keep the copy short to entice the client in the first instance, using images too, and then always follow the offer up with a call, which I think is very important.’