Which hot content marketing trends of 2014 are still relevant in 2015? We'll tell you.Each new year brings evaluation. We take time to reflect on the choices we made the year previous to celebrate our achievements and learn from our failures.
This makes today the perfect time to look back on 2014, to identify content marketing
trends that are still relevant in 2015. From quality content to revolutionary SEO updates, these five trends are still worth your time.See also: 5 Ways to Succeed In 2015 With a Content Writing Service
1. Brand Mentions Instead of Links
Google's routine and secretive algorithmic changes means SEO experts interpret subtle hints dropped like breadcrumbs from the search giant. Last year brought a patent filed
by Google, which was the source of intense speculation
, as it seemed to imply a fundamental change in how Google interprets links.
The patent outlined two types of links: "expressed" and "implied." Expressed links are what we commonly understand as links; hyperlinked keywords -- Scripted
-- or naked links in text -- scripted.com
. Implied links, however, represent a massive change; these are explicit mentions of a brand or website without links. Google is now associating a website's authority with how often others discuss it online.What this means for you:
Link building still seems to be an influential factor in Google's measurement of authority, but the measurement of mentions can give a boost to smaller sites that lack an enormous volume of links.To do:
There's no established rule for a ratio of expressed to implied links, but having a high ratio of hyperlinks to mentions generally denotes spam-like content.
2. Throw Out the Kitchen Sink Social Media Approach
The prevailing wisdom over the past two years has emphasized "being everywhere" in social media. This means having a comprehensive social media strategy for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. Sound overwhelming? It is.
Regardless, content marketers followed suit in 2014. A recent survey
of B2B content marketers last year found the average marketer used six social media accounts on average, up from five the prior year. Despite this herculean effort by content marketers, recent evidence on social media's influence on content traffic suggests little gain from this approach.
In an analysis of the one million most shared
articles of 2014, Marketingland found only five publishers earned enough shares to have a significant impact on more than one social media network. This is on top of a wave of advice
from social media experts this year echoing the same message.See also: Social Media: Why It's Best to Rock at One Channel, Not AllWhat this means for you:
Stick to one or two social media platforms and develop content that compliments those platforms strengths and addresses its weaknesses.To do:
There are endless volumes of advice available for those looking to narrow their social media strategy. We like Wishpoint's guide
3. High-Quality Content
talking about it, SEO experts
are talking about it and even social media gurus
are discussing it: quality content is a trend that's here to stay. The idea is simple: devote content marketing resources to producing content that customers actually want to read, as opposed to blog posts written exclusively for search engines.
This trend has been backed by Google's search algorithm updates, which prioritize search results with quality content rather than popularity. To compete, many companies are investing in brand newsrooms
, or a staff of professional writers and content creators to generate news and engaging content around their brand.What this means for you:
This trend makes content marketers' work more difficult and simple. Quality content in Google's eyes takes more time to produce, but it means marketers only need to focus on pleasing readers, not search engines.To do:
Quality content requires a thorough plan. If you need help outlining a content strategy, see The Content Marketing Institute's guide
.See also: How to Identify Quality Content Without a Writing Background
4. Smarter Application of Marketing Budgets
Good content needs extensive research, clear writing, expert editing and should incorporate multimedia whenever possible. That's a tremendous amount of work.
Since the aforementioned trend of quality content is here to stay, this means marketers are devoting more and more resources to content writing, making it an increasingly competitive field. In fact, in 2013, polled B2B businesses reported
that content marketing ate up a whopping 33 percent of marketing budgets -- up from 24 percent the previous year.What this means for you:
Increasingly competitive content requires marketing departments to make more efficient use of marketing budgets. Marketers are increasingly opting for content writing services
to cut costs without compromising content quality. These companies allow users to navigate a simple marketplace to order content like blog posts, white papers, infographics and video.To do:
Check out Scripted's guide
to the content writing service
industry to learn which content service is right for your needs.
5. Mobile-Ready Content
Mobile is no longer niche. In fact, 56 percent
of content was consumed on mobile devices last year, according to Millennial Media. Adoption of mobile devices is picking up enormous speed as well, growing at nine times the rate of desktop computer adoption.
And while the prevailing wisdom
recommended content creators produce short, bite-sized posts for mobile consumption, evidence is showing mobile readers are game
for long-form content. That means you don't need to worry about creating content specifically tailored for mobile devices, aside from ensuring your site is mobile-friendly.What this means for you:
Be sure your content is properly optimized for mobile content. Don't be dissuaded from advice telling you to create wildly different content for mobile devices.To do:
Curious to see if your site is properly mobile optimized? Check out Moz' easy-to-follow
Content marketing trends come and go, but with each year the industry learns true, life-long lessons that makes our lives easier and our work better. Knowing the difference between a fad and true advancement is hard, but these tips won't go out of style.What trends from 2014 will you keep practicing this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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