In 2014 Content was King but in 2015 Context will be its Queen

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Where is all this content-creation going and what can we look forward to in 2015 ?

This is a question that I am asked by businesses and brands  who are looking at their strategy for 2015. My answer is: .

In 2014 Content was King, but in 2015 Context will be its Queen:

2014 was all about experimentation. Brands and Businesses experimented with the new media “influencers” and therefore 2014  was the year that Bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammaer, Pintressters, Twitterers  and the like who became an important cog in the marketing wheel.  More Bloggers started to monetise their site, as Brands saw value in their community. As a result, a lot of independent content was created as Influencers tweeted, photographed, videoed and wrote all about their latest gadget/ device/ trip/ <insert cool stuff here>. The Hashtag became critical so Brands could track their marketing efforts.

imageIn 2015 we should see Brands continue to use Influencers however as budgets will be  even tighter and more strictly controlled, we should see Brands becoming even stricter about their Influencer selection as the pressure of Influencer-ROI will be even more  important.

With a tighter selection of Influencers, those chosen will be under pressure to produce even better content in order to maintain their status. The result is that information (Content) will be produced quicker therefore making it more relevant to the awaiting audience (Context). Those that focus their efforts on producing good content for their individual communities will be rewarded. Those that simple focus on PageViews will fall away (or try distance themselves by playing in the “news” space).

During 2014, a great amount of detailed data was gathered which in 2015 will allow Brands to hand pick niche audiences that are their perfect direct customers, verses simply looking at globular numbers and stats. Time spent engaging with content should finally become more of a priority compared to simply the number of times a page appeared for 15 seconds. Therefore, having the right content and having that content consistently will be critical.

2014 was the “stat/stop” of new-media as people become overnight bloggers and were shocked to discover that Brands were not dishing out free trips and products to anyone with a website address. Building Trust take time and in 2014, those who put genuine effort were rewarded with an audience and thereby Brand recognition. In 2015, this trust and professionalism will continue to be critical as Brands will be able to be very selecting about who they choose to work with.

According to the World Wide Worx & Fuseware SA Social Media Landscape 2015 study, there are over 7.2 millions South Africans using YouTube. The study goes on to say that:

A survey of 65 of South Africa’s biggest brands was included in the study. It revealed that most of the major brands are using Twitter and Facebook – respectively 95% and 92% – while YouTube and Instagram are likely to see the biggest first-time use by brands in 2015. Just over half of these brands – 51% – intend increasing their social media budgets in 2015. The biggest focus of social spend will be on content Marketing (73% of brands), followed by multimedia content (60%).

In 2015, video platforms such as YouTube and Instagram Video will become part of the Brand’s marketing strategy. However, few Brands will embrace the YouTube Video with TV-like budgets. In 2015, more Brands will begin to experiment with video by taking some traditional marketing budgets and spending these on YouTube initiatives to create content for their audience. Brand will ultimately  look for Influencers who have channels they could collaborate with and leverage  just like they did in 2014 on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Blogging sites.

Being able to tell a story in a human-way instead of churning mass content will be important asset to have in 2015. Brands understand that there is a place for traditional perfectly-written-press-releases, however there is also a world that prefers shorter video bites and posts that are real and not pitch-perfect. Live Streaming and downloadable Podcasts are the content marketing of the future as audience expects real information told by real people that they can engage with at any time. Pre-rehearsed exceptionally-executed news that marketing department produce  have their place in 2015, however “being real” is hard to fake and this is where influencers will become even more critical in the visual world of YouTube and the audio world of Podcasts.

Having Content about the Brand, its product and services was important in 2014, however the shift in 2015 will be that the content needs to have the right context. It would need to come from the right Influencers at the right time in order to drive value for the Brand. And so, the battle between traditional marketing, traditional journalism and new-media influencers will continue to rage on well into 2015 as all parties try to claim their piece of the budget.

 

Image from Shutterstock.com

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