2015 has certainly set our industry up for an interesting year ahead – from new types of fraud popping up all over the shop to ad blockers going gang busters. We are, of course, going to continue to see these trends develop and influence our marketing strategies over the next year, but where I really think we’ll start to see the biggest change will be in content marketing.
With competition for audience attention reaching an all new height, brands are already starting to recognise the value of content in a way that hasn’t been done before – both in creating and distributing this content, driven by engagement rather than old school metrics. What does this all mean? Here’s what I think...
Prediction 1: Personalisation will drive content strategy
While almost every chief marketing officer recognises the importance of targeted, relevant experiences, few organisations have the mechanisms or human-power to implement personalised campaigns. Eventually, this dynamic will change. Companies will have the resources necessary to deliver quality, one-on-one experiences. What we’ll see, as a result, is more content – except that content will be targeted to very specific audience subsets. As the personalisation market matures, so will our benchmarks for measuring content ROI.
Tip 1: Make sure you are using metrics that truly matter, as content strategy evolves
Choosing the right metrics to measure KPIs is critical in getting an accurate evaluation of campaign success. You can’t fake higher funnel brand awareness, engagement and affinity and so turning to metrics like dwell time, page engagement, brand lift and consideration are pivotal to gauging success. These insights allow you to target messages better and track your engagement behaviour to understand where you’re spending your time and effort and if it’s working or can be improved.
Prediction 2: Programmatic targeting and distribution will become the new norm
The content marketplace is one that will soon be driven by the promise of programmatic. A new wave of vendors and technologies will emerge, providing marketers more opportunities than ever to deliver branded messages to their target audiences. Successful content amplification will rely on automation, and predictive analytics. Applying programmatic principals to campaign optimisation will be key in upholding an equal balance of quality and scale.
Tip 2: Reach consumers at scale by enlisting a healthy variety of distribution partners
Great content means nothing if it goes unseen. The growing number of channels in which one can consume media only adds to the complexity of getting brand messages to the right consumer at the right place, at the right time. Choosing the right distribution partners with audience targeting technology is a sure-fire way to hit your target at scale and in contextually relevant environments.
Prediction 3: Creativity will drive massive adoption of content marketing
Consumer demand to make advertising more engaging, entertaining and informative will without doubt be a real-life challenge for advertisers as we move into 2016. Ad blocking, banner fraud, and the rise of mobile means that advertisers need to find a better, more creative and engaging way to reach their audiences. Enter content marketing: a way to really drive high quality empathetic advertising that empowers brands to really capture the minds and imaginations of consumers while enabling publishers to bring their experiences to the table to shape, inform, and lead this step change and drive the market forward.
Tip 3: Get ahead of the game with native
Native advertising offers a different proposition by slipping into the stream of consumer’s actions, offering them branded content similar to what they’re already consuming. Rather than interrupt, it invites engagement on the user’s terms. By only appearing in contextual situations that jive with a consumer’s experience, marketers can make human nature pick up the slack where traditional targeting falls short. A consumer who encounters a native ad has essentially been self-selected, indicating the ad’s relevance by making the decision to navigate to related (likely editorial) content.
Gareth Shaw, VP Programmatic Operations EMEA, PulsePoint
Tel: +44 (0)203 574 4607