Looking back at 2013, it’s clear that social media has experienced a major evolution in brand content:
- Oreo tweeted its infamous Super Bowl tweet, catalyzing the “real-time marketing” trend and causing marketers to rethink what’s possible in content production.
- Vine launched and revolutionized mobile video; brands like GE, Lowe’s and Target set a high bar for experimentation in the new medium.
- Social media platforms, including Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, offered new advertising opportunities; better empowering brands to showcase their content through sponsored posts.
These are just a few examples. But what’s ahead for brands in 2014? As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for marketers to look forward.
How can your brand achieve better social media content in 2014? Start the new year off right by setting four content resolutions:
1. Focus on the right content engine for your brand
Content marketing reached a new high this year and 80% of marketers expect a moderate to aggressive shift in future content marketing spending, according to a recent study. But this doesn’t mean brands need to become overnight media companies. They just need to determine the right content engine that will drive to business objectives.
Is a newsroom model realistic for your brand, or does a content curation approach make more sense? Maybe a real-time marketing or a lead generation strategy is a bigger priority.
Read Social@Ogilvy’s guide to six key content engine models to see which structure might be right for your brand.
2. Inform a smart content & channel mix with data
As social media becomes even more diverse, brands will need to consider how they should allocate their resources for the greatest impact. What channels and content mix will best meet your business objectives? What return will your current channels provide?
Don’t just default to the biggest networks like Facebook, especially as platform changes continue to indicate a shift towards a paid model for brands. Determine where your key audiences can truly be engaged based on business goals; this won’t be the same for every company.
A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start, and brands need to consult data and research to help make smart decisions about which social platforms they should prioritize.
3. Start designing content for specific contexts
We’ve all heard it before — next year is set to be the real “year of mobile” (no, seriously this time!). The era of mobile is already here, and in 2014, no brands can afford to lag in this area. Smartphones outsold regular phones for the first time in 2013.
People are consuming content like never before, and we need to consider where — and on what device — we’re reaching them. Are they in line at the grocery store? Or on a tablet in front of the TV? The ability to design content for different screens and contexts will define what makes a great social content marketer today. And on an advanced level — telling a seamless story across multiple screens will become the ultimate frontier.
4. Commit to great storytelling
Not all content is king — quality content is what really wins. People are looking for better stories with better characters to hook them in; the new wave of TV and on-demand series is evidence of this. Brands can learn from the success of shows like Breaking Bad and Netflix originals. As an example this year, Chipotle and Fiona Apple set a new bar by gripping viewers in the haunting ad, “The Scarecrow,” named by AdWeek as “the year’s best branded-entertainment campaign.”
A great story begins with a great idea. At Ogilvy, we help empower brands to find this through our big ideaL. What larger story can your brand tell? What cultural tensions impact your customers’ world? The big ideaL uncovers a brand’s best self and brings out its inner greatness. This is what builds the foundation of a powerful story.
What trends are you foreseeing for social content in 2014?