The Content Marketing Trends To Keep An Eye On

Like the social world it lives in, online marketing is a rapidly evolving and an ever-changing beast. As Google, Facebook, and other entities update the algorithms that make them function, online marketing trends will continue to shift. However, one common denominator will always exist: providing high quality and original content online should be the core of every online marketing strategy.

We’re half way through 2014; we’ve broken down some of the most trending and ground breaking marketing trends in the social sphere. Check out these 5 exciting trends that we’re keeping an eye on for the rest of the year.

Real Time Marketing

It’s no secret that social media moves fast. Real time marketing matches the fast pace of social media with the even faster pace of events in real life. Oreo and the 2013 Super Bowl is a prime textbook example of successful real time marketing. When the lights went out at the Superdome during the 2013 Superbowl Game between our San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, Oreo tweeted what would be the most talked about ad of the evening: a simple picture that featured only an Oreo cookie with the copy “You can still dunk in the dark”.

Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC

— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013

The single tweet was an instant hit, being retweeted over 10,000 times in just one hour and still being referenced in blogs today just like this one.

JCPenney is another notable brand that has taken a stab at real-time marketing during the Super Bowl. When things got cold at the 2014 Super Bowl in New York, JCPenney took the opportunity to market their Team USA Winter Olympic mittens.

Who kkmew theis was ghiong tob e a baweball ghamle. #lowsscorinh 5_0

— JCPenney (@jcpenney) February 2, 2014

The only problem: it at first appeared to be a case of drunk tweeting. Was it on purpose? If it was, that is some genius real time Superbowl-like tweeting skills.

Oops…Sorry for the typos. We were #TweetingWithMittens. Wasn’t it supposed to be colder? Enjoy the game! #GoTeamUSA pic.twitter.com/e8GvnTiEGl

— JCPenney (@jcpenney) February 3, 2014

Partnering with Influencers

Internet communities have given rise to a new form of celebrity: the social media celebrity. This social media influencer has a strong following of engaged users in a particular niche, like travel, street photography, food or fashion. Brands who choose to partner with a social media influencer, as opposed to a mainstream celebrity will receive interactions from users who are far more engaged on social media, than fans of a movie star. These social media influencers have become so popular due to the sheer fact that they are good at drawing people into their own personal world and keeping them close, real close.

Amtrak is a fine example of a brand that has successfully used social media influencers to spread their message. A newly launched Amtrak Residency program puts writers (often a highly active group on social) on one of their trains for an extended trip. You can only imagine how much quality earned media content something like this produces in the form of blogs, Instagram selfies, and so much more.

As if this ongoing program wasn’t enough, Amtrak took this form of marketing to the next level for SXSW 2014 when they took 30 social media influencers from Los Angeles, CA to Austin, TX for the Interactive portion of the annual festival. This event, dubbed #AmtrakLIVE, generated scores of positive press, original content and it even featured a Reddit AMA Amtrak session with the influencers while they were onboard. Working with influencers is a marketing trend that will generate highly engaged followers.

Focus on Instagram

Facebook’s algorithm is making it increasingly difficult to organically build a following through the network and brands are starting to become aware that they don’t need to rely solely on Facebook for online marketing.

Instagram, for example, is quickly becoming a favorite social network among brands for content marketing. A milestone reason is because Instagram photos show up on feeds not based on popularity, but based on pure timing. It’s much easier to control who will see your message on Instagram as opposed to Facebook.

One of the best brands using Instagram is General Electric.

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GE has turned to Instagram to tell their story through very high quality images and intriguing captions. Peruse their feed and you’ll see that GE has mastered the art of storytelling on the popular photoblogging smartphone app.

Instead of funneling dollars into Facebook advertising, take a page out of GE’s book and use the trending network to broadcast to your audience exactly who your brand is!

Content Marketing IS King

Creating and sharing high quality original content still is one of the best online marketing strategies you can adopt. If the content is entertaining enough and connects with your audience on a deep level, your content will generate shares and gain virality. And that is something you can not pay for!

Red Bull has one of the best content marketing strategies around. So good that we sometimes forget they are selling liquid energy. The energy drink has been able to have their name associated with high-profile events and names that are popular among their target market like The X-Games. For example, the Red Bull Media House puts out highly viral action sports videos that no other brand can match and always generates loads of shares.

Aside from creating incredible movies for YouTube and commercial distribution, like The Art of Flight, Red Bull regularly features extreme photographs on their Twitter and Instagram accounts taken by their team of athletes doing what they do and representing Red Bull along the way.

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Red Bull has taken content marketing to a level that most simply can’t afford. But there is something valuable to learn from them. If you can properly align your product with your target market’s key interests through high quality content creation, you will gain a more devoted fanbase than you could have previously imagined!

User Generated Content

One of the most unique, rewarding and effective forms of marketing is to take advantage of the era of the smartphone. Your own fans and audience is your best content creators.

Take GoPro for example, which has made user generated content the backbone of their marketing strategy. Look over their Twitter feed and you will see almost nothing but photos and videos taken by real life GoPro users.

Who doesn’t love donuts? Dunkin’ Donuts is aware of this sugary phenomenon and have molded their popular #mydunkin campaign around it.

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The #mydunkin campaign asks fans of the tasty baked treats to share content that expresses their love for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. After thousands of entries were submitted on Twitter and Facebook, Dunkin’ Donuts sorted through it all and decided picked winners to be featured in real commercials. How’s that for user generated content?

Coming up with a campaign that creatively involves your fans’ content can do great things if executed correctly. Use user generated content to share directly to your social media channels, like GoPro does, or hold a contest with user generated content that will have your fans (and your product) shining!

The best marketing strategies so far in 2014 are the ones that seek to create and share valuable content. Whether it be content the brand is creating, its fans are creating, an influencer is creating, or whatever, give audiences on social media something to tweet about! It doesn’t take an epic film crew like Red Bull, just a little craft and understanding of your target audience.

 

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