[BizTrends 2016] Develop a solid content strategy

The art of predicting how content marketing will change, or which new technologies or channels we will need to adapt to and/or adopt in this day and age does not get any easier.

[BizTrends 2016] Develop a solid content strategyWhat is easy to predict, however, is that the presence of content marketing's well-known golden threads will be still weaving their magic... smiling knowingly as they go.

Just look at some of the quotes from the Content Marketing Association CMA Summit held in London on 3 December 2015.

"Content has to be good!" Anna Watkins, MD Guardian Labs

"I want the offline (real-world) experience in-store to match the content I get..." Allyson Stewart Allen, CEO International Marketing Partners

"It starts with engagement." Shaul Olmert - CEO, Playbuzz

"Brands should be more like publishers..." Michael Sadicario - Chief Revenue Officer, Storyful

Nothing new here, you say. Yes it's not, and that's the whole point! The foundation on which content marketing itself is based, is not going to change. What will always change however, is the new (and old) channel/screen competing for our attention.

With that in mind take Twitter, which is in the throes of allowing users to publish long-form content, and think of the fracas it will cause in an already volatile social space. Brands that left Twitter for Instagram, or are allocating large budget to Facebook, perhaps keeping a little aside for experimenting with Snapchat, will now be faced with yet another conundrum.

Video hubs

Trying to traverse the video market could be equated to being in the middle of a war zone. Facebook has been testing a hub that will host video content where users can browse all types of video material. They've just announced live broadcasting for all, giving Periscope a run for its money. YouTube on the other hand announced YouTube Red, an ad-free subscription service that will give users access to exclusive streaming and videos that can be saved and watched offline. Competition for Amazon Prime and Netflix, perhaps?

Not even Twitter will be left out in the cold. They recently made video far more integrated in its offering and so far they've seen a significant increase in native video views, up 150 times across Twitter, Vine and Periscope.

Serial and Invisibilia fans can rejoice, as the podcast is by no means dead. If you were not watching this space, I would highly advise... The Stockholm tech company Acast, has been chosen by Buzzfeed and the Financial Times to host and distribute their podcasts going forward (as its currently free), and Google is following in the footsteps of Spotify, by bringing podcasting to its Play Music hub - launch date still to be determined.

Content with purpose

With so many places to be, it's rather alarming to see in the Content Marketing Institute's 2016 Benchmarks Report fewer marketers have a documented content strategy than last year. Without a comprehensive strategy in place, you could well be creating content that might serve no purpose. Plus, by outlining a game plan, you will be in a far better position to decide on how (and why) to tackle new and shiny environments, similar to above.

So, if there's one thing you do in 2016, please take the time to develop a solid strategy, document it, and stay ahead of the curve.

About Sue Disler

Sue Disler has more than 25 years of experience in the advertising and marketing as a designer (and sometimes coder), art director and strategist, the last 20 largely dedicated to digital. Email her at moc.liamg@zideus, follow @suediz on Twitter or find out more on Linkedin.

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