In recent years, marketing and public relations agencies have overwhelmingly adopted content marketing, and suddenly we’re witnessing an escalation of content offerings. It becomes increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and its message, as they are forced to think like a new media rather than a business, to become the ¨hub¨ of their community.
Become the new hub of your community
In 2015, every minute, more than 4 million posts are liked on Facebook, more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, more than 9000 images are pinned on Pinterest, and more than a million videos are viewed are Vine. And by 2020, it’s expected to grow over 500%.
Confronted daily with an overload of information on social networks, users have developed what might be called “snacking content”; instantly consumable, real-time information that demands a new approach to publication. A trend that is changing content marketing.
More now than ever, the ecosystem of the Web and social media offers new distribution options for users. The aggregation and content sharing platforms become the source of content and information. And over the next few years, user generated content will become even more important, and interactive content will widely emerge. Mobile technologies and visual content platforms give us new ways of communicating.
Adobe has released a study on user expectations in terms of content: The State of Content: Exceptations on the Rise, which reveals that when they have only 15 minutes to consume content, 66% of people preferred to look at a video of breaking news rather than read an article. And, when given a choice of an article, almost 60% will prefer a short format. In addition, the study also shows that 25% of users prefer entertaining content to accurate information, and over 60% will rely more on content from their close relationships (friends, colleagues, families) over celebrities and personalities.
Meeting the challenge of content snacking will become a major issue for marketers. Professionals and companies who want to stand out and make their niche in social media must play a useful role within their community. Beyond a range of products and quality services, they will need to seek to become a new window through which social media users filter the content they wish to consume.
The three virtues of a Social Hub
To become the new hub of the community, professionals and brands will need to develop a more social approach that focuses on the needs of users. Before broadcasting their own message, they will need to meet the demand of their community by providing useful and relevant content. They will need to listen and emphasize interactivity and exchanges. They will need to maintain lasting relationships with influencers and foster profitable collaborations. Their social virtues will be consistent with the expectation of their users on social networks.
1 – Listening
First, listen to conversations and exchanges to get a better understanding of user expectations. Traackr, a social graph, is an effective tool for monitoring the interaction of a community, and easily identify influencers. The thorough analysis of the conversations will help develop an effective strategy and build an efficient content calendar. (also read : The Social Graph for Managing Influencer Relationships)
2 – Sharing
Building lasting relationships, sharing and reciprocity remain essential. After targeting the interests of the community, we need to add value to the conversation and give a voice to users. A hub will support interactivity while respecting the ethical codes of the community, and will make sure to provide relevant and useful content before promoting their own products and services.
3 – Community
Finally, the hub will maintain personal relationships with influencers in the community, and develop potential collaborations. It will become a message to be publicized, and will be broadcast to its own network. Paradoxically, the interests of the community will be placed before their own, and they will aim to meet the expectations of users.
In the coming years, content will continue to evolve in favor of users. Producing and disseminating quality original content will not be enough to spread the message. To stand in this maelstrom of content, and capture attention, professionals, and brands will have to adopt the social virtues that may have been forgotten too quickly.
What are your opinions on “content snacking”? Do you see it as the inevitable way content marketing is headed? Or will it only be one of the ways that readers digest content?
Also on the same subject:
10 Strategies to Stand Out in a Content Snacking Era, by Gregory Pouy (in French)
Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate in 2016, by Jayson DeMers