As one year ends and a new one begins, there has been a surge of predictions for what 2014 has in store for marketing and social media. Here are five trends in video content marketing that we think are set to dominate in 2014.
With more information available today than ever before, consumers and decision makers are deciding where to spend their money based on what they know about the company or brand. Speaking to Marketing Week, Martin Riley, chief marketing officer of Pernod Ricard, explained consumers will "want to know more about the brand or service in question - where it comes from, how it's made, what makes it different, how it brings a benefit and what the brand or company stands for."
Companies will need to assess whether their marketing efforts are meeting this rising demand, and content marketing will continue to be an ideal strategy to fulfil it.
Firstly, marketers must begin to think visually to maximise brand recall. She writes: "We must jump on photo and video marketing and embrace the power it has to persuade and impress our communities."
Her second prediction is based on "snippet story telling": "concise messaging, consistent branding and emotional content will be laced in everything we do." The results will be "a flood of brilliant stories told in new mediums." The shift from pushing one piece of promotional material to ongoing content over a period of time looks set to continue.
When I bought my first mobile phone ten years ago, it was all about buying the smallest, dinkiest handset. Nowadays, that trend has reversed. Smartphone screens are now larger in response to the demand to watch video, play games and display articles clearer. For Christopher Rick at ReelSEO, this means that coupled with faster mobile data networks, mobile video advertising in 2014 is only going to expand.
"They will continue to chip away at the overall revenue percentages of more traditional digital advertising like search, display and lead generation."
I'm not convinced that mobile networks will be able to handle everyone streaming videos on their handsets. But as smartphones outnumber the people on the planet, producing video content to work across multiple platforms will become key to deciding how video is used, and how to have maximum impact.
Despite the hype around content marketing, it needs to demonstrate a return on investment like every other business spending. Writing on Forbes, Benjy Boxer (great name) warns that it could become a marketing fashion if it fails to prove its worth. To underline his warning, he uses historic examples of marketing trends, such as a soft sell campaign for the launch of Q45, that have come and gone after failing to prove their worth.
In 2013, Coca Cola launched its content plan to ensure marketing success through 2020. This fundamental change, he writes, "must be continually measured to ensure that they don't fall into the same trap that predecessors made during previous eras of soft selling." A focus on viable returns in 2014 will continue to determine the value of content marketing.
Predictions always need to be read in good humour and should not to be taken seriously. The trends that will stick are those that are based on movements that are already taking place, or relate to the bigger picture, such as that last point from Boxer about the need for evaluation. Encouragingly, towards the end of 2013 successful examples of video content marketing proved this approach could deliver results and competitive advantages for those businesses that pursued it.
As technological advances and consumer behaviours continue to favour decent digital and video content, it's going to be exciting to see new and innovative examples of story-telling, as well as learning from those failures and predictions that fail to materialise.