“Brands and their agencies believe deeply that content is the future, and anyone who doesn’t get onboard will be left behind.”  – Shane Snow, COO, Contently

While the line may seem a bit overdramatic, it’s accurate. When having a conversation about digital media marketing in 2014, there’s only one big topic to discuss, and that’s content.

Content is like a chant that grows louder and louder into a clamorous noise that’s hard to ignore. A paradigm shift where advertisers want to become the publisher, no longer eager to place ads in the content, but willing to create the actual content themselves. And as a result, advertising will never be the same again.

Content marketing is the top priority for many brands in 2014 and it’s not stopping there. You probably have already seen noteworthy initiatives from brands like Red Bull, American Express, Chipotle, and Dove.

The fact is that the way an advertiser communicates to a customer has changed. Advertisers no longer create print advertisements, they publish content online within seconds. Advertisers don’t create ads with information that the brand wants to push, it’s created based on what the customer wants and seeks. It’s now incredibly crucial for every brand to start considering content marketing (if they haven’t already) or risk sinking to the bottom.

A new report by Contently offers the major shifts in the state of content marketing in 2014. Overall, if your brand isn’t prioritizing content marketing, you should be.

Here’s what you should expect to see within the next few years with online and content marketing.

Sink or Swim: How Content Marketing Will Revolutionize Branding | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Greater Transparency

The customer is now in charge. Advertisers should seek to truly interest and captivate an audience with well-written content instead of cheap and spammy SEO-ridden posts. Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief of Contently’s digital magazine, “The Content Strategist” says that shameless plugs, with no substance, on a quest to sell a product will no longer be effective. Lightly branded sites that consistently “push” products and services won’t see success; instead well-written content that’s branded will win the greatest credibility with audiences.


Greater Focus on Results

As content marketing becomes more demanded, a big question for many brand publishers, including Small Screen Producer, is finding a way to show the value of content marketing and that it’s paying off. Brands will most likely want to see value not in page views or clicks, but in dollars. The great way to determine true value for content marketing will be what happens in between those clicks – a reader’s time and attention. Greater focus will be placed on how much someone is engaging with a brand aka customer sentiment.

Greater Distribution

Content isn’t worth much if it’s not shared. That’s why the guys at Contently predict that there will be greater efforts to distribute content more widely. Contently COO, Shane Snow says that there are two distributing options for web – that is burying content (which gets distributed to someone else’s site) and making content (which gets distributed on the brand’s own site). In the months ahead, brands will have to devise  their own strategies for both creating AND sponsoring content.


Greater Substance

As more and more companies jump on the content marketing bandwagon, there will be a greater pressure for brands to create the best stories in order to stand out. This is great for customers, who will be the main beneficiaries of this awesome storytelling. “As brands invest in creating better and better content, they’ll battle to one-up each other. It should be fun to watch.” says Snow

See the full Contently “State of Marketing 2014” report here.