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Crownpeak Logo Posted by Crownpeak January 20, 2014

Storytelling & Mobile Friendly Content Marketing

Last year, content marketing developed into one of the most popular advertising techniques used by marketers. In a new infographic, Salesforce captures the content marketing trends of 2013.

The infographic shows that, above all else, organizations are using content marketing to generate new and valuable sales leads. However, content marketing has the unique advantage of influencing multiple areas of marketing. For instance, while 71% of advertisers are using this particular technique for generating leads, another 50% are hoping to establish their organizations as thought leaders and 41% are using content marketing to promote their brands.

This past year allowed advertisers to test the versatility of content marketing, and 2014 is shaping up to be even bigger for the growing technique. Here are a few of the trends likely to mold the continuing evolution of content marketing this year:

1. Streamlined sales and marketing

Especially for B2B advertisers, content marketing can be a great enabler of sales, helping to guide potential clients toward an eventual close. Unfortunately, most organizations lack the internal resources to establish long-term plans to get marketers and sales staff working together. This is where enterprise web content management steps in. These systems can provide organizations with the optimization needed to shore up resources, streamlining the entire process and allowing easier collaboration between sales and advertising departments.

2. Stories crafted for everyone

The real meat of content comes from the storylines marketers develop. Right now, storytelling is a big part of external marketing, but it could take a more internal approach, according to Carla Johnson, a principal for Type A Communications. As it stands, the departments within a given organization are often isolated from one another. The resulting gaps in communication create disconnects and hamper advertisers’ abilities to tell stories that accurately reflect the organization’s intended message.

3. Mobile-friendly content

An estimated 56% of American adults now own smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center. That number is up from 34% in 2011, and is only expected to climb as smartphones become cheaper and more ubiquitous in both developed and emerging markets. For marketers, this means considering how audiences ingest content is a top priority.

Advertisers hoping to capitalize on the reader-on-the-go demographic can tailor content to be more mobile-friendly through responsive design, mobile sites and mobile content management systems. In addition to making sure content is easily viewable on different screen sizes, marketers should ensure the content itself is mobile-friendly from the outset—for example, by avoiding Flash components and keeping written content simple and concise.

4. Finely-tuned distribution

Even if an organization produces an entire archive of quality content, it's not going to live up to its value if it’s not distributed to the right people. The explosive growth of content marketing has begun to saturate outlets with loads of material from every industry imaginable, making it harder for an individual organization to stand out. This year will mark an important milestone for the development of content marketing, as it will show which marketers are properly analyzing their audiences and which aren't.

Additionally, giving content actionable messages to which readers can respond will help create metrics. With data, organizations can determine which outlets are being visited and which pieces of content readers are choosing to explore. This information will help advertisers restructure and reshape campaigns to improve their overall marketing efforts.