In the past, there was a clear difference between a marketer and a content marketer. The former focused on the promotional side of the equation, while the latter spent much of her time creating on behalf of the brand. As dollars began to shift to content strategy, content marketers earned respect from peers and began to take on new responsibilities. No longer were content marketers writing blog posts day-in and day-out—they had to factor in distribution, measurement, and much more.
Sophisticated content marketers have studied media traditionalists over the past eight months, picking up tricks of the distribution trade and modernizing them for inbound marketing. The industry has recognized simply creating content doesn’t build a leaned-in audience.
For the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2B and B2C trend reports, researchers asked for the first time about paid distribution. CMI found that the most advanced content marketers have organized amplification strategies, with a growing focus on paid social media ads, promoted posts, native content, and content discovery tools. You can see the B2B and B2C breakdown below:
As content marketers, we have only just begun to understand distribution as an invaluable component of content strategy, and we still need to partner and study the media industry before our digital publications will hit critical mass.
In 2016 content amplification and distribution will be the latest in the line of skills you’ll need to master if you want your content to be found, read, and internalized by a loyal audience. Yes, many brands have invested in amplification already, but their efforts have often missed the mark. No one is doing this well yet.
Furthermore, big players like Google have vested interests in content amplification, specifically native content. I spoke with Chad Pollitt, vice president of audience at Relevance.com about the future of amplification:
The media industry has evolved quickly over the past few years to remain relevant in consumers’ minds. Many publications have thrown out the purists in favor of entertainment writers and social marketers as a way of building and maintaining audiences. All of this work has been done to support media’s burgeoning sponsored content efforts, which now dominate revenue models for almost every top-tier player online.
In media, images have often taken center stage over editorial, despite many of these websites focusing on news and timely trends. In a Digiday sponsored post for GumGum, a few popular media sites were studied to determine the proportion of pixel real estate that was held by visual content this year. The data found that 21 percent of The New York Times‘ homepage was covered by photography or other visual elements. Websites like Mic (16 percent), POLITICO (31 percent), and Quartz (63 percent) were also designed for the visual eye.
In both media and brand marketing, visual and interactive stories that combine original photography, video, data visualizations, and editorial will play even bigger roles in how publishers engage and develop unique experiences for global audiences. Over the past few years there has been a siloed focus on the creation of video or the production of long-form editorial. In 2016 we will see the combination of many pieces and watch brand storytelling take on new shapes and sizes.
When brands start out with content marketing, whether by blogging on an owned hub or by developing long-form assets for lead generation, most marketers still think in terms of campaigns. There’s a lot of upfront work done to create and launch an eBook or publish a blog, and once that piece of content has served its purpose, it’s on to the next big push. read more at skyword.com