Rounding off 2017: The Year That Was
Here we are with the last post of the year! It’s been an interesting one with so many predictions about content coming true. So here’s our look at the year that was… 12 stories, one from each month of the year that shared an interesting perspective on content
We’ve all been victims of the University of Whatsapp one time or the other when we’ve either believed a fake news that came our way or worse, passed it on to the groups we are a part of. What does fake news mean for those who publish content for a living? It means we will all have to up our game to ensure that our credibility as a content and news source remains intact. We don’t pick sketchy sources for our statistics and do a double take when we quote. If Donald Trump was himself the victim of fake content, then the rest of the world needs to look twice before they believe.
In a survey involving 300,000 consumers, 1500 brands and 33 countries, 60% said that they felt the content created by brands was ‘poor’, irrelevant and failed to deliver. Should brands follow the 80-20 rule with content – 80% content that engages, inspires, motivates and educates and 20% that talks about the brand or push sale? Things have worked differently for different brands. We do know that brands, for sure, have taken a step back to re-look at their strategy to improve engagement and effectiveness.
It is one of those rare times when tables were turned and Google admitted to having made a mistake. It all started when London based Times newspaper ran a story of how ads were showing up next to offensive videos. It resulted in some of Google’s biggest customers like Havas Group U.K. (sixth largest advertising company in the world) pulled its clients off. AT&T, Verizon, and several others quickly followed. Brands raised safety concerns on both Google and Facebook ads and it was the time the internet giants took some action. The news was trickling in throughout the year on the steps that were being taken to make amends.
Your content may be good, but is it memorable? A study conducted by Prezi in partnership with cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Carmen Simon revealed that “80% of consumers forget the majority of information from branded content after only three days, and over half can’t recall a single detail“ But wait, don’t be disheartened. Because the science reveals more. People forget content because it is irrelevant, lacks motivation to remember or is simply too much to retain. If your content doesn’t fall into any of these categories then you are safe.
Working in an office?
You probably have a printer around you. And it is hacakable! Did you know that less than 2% of business printers are secure? HP’s six-minute video called ‘The Wolf’ shows the serious consequences of a printer hack and reveals that HP has the most secure line of printers. The ad won ‘The best in Show’ at Digiday. We had something to learn from each winner on how they made content work. There’s hope in the world, folks!
We’ve seen trend reports published almost every month. The mid-year review isn’t too different but it does give a good view of where you need to converge your energies. For us, it was good to see interactive content marketing featuring in this list. All the rest was pretty much in line with what was already being said.
Did you read the headline and feel disheartened?
It’s actually an opportunity knocking on our door. We’ve seen that content marketing strategies can be very effective. But only for those who know how to use and measure it. Several in the B2B market are yet to experience this magic because content marketing probably started as a half-hearted effort and dwindled somewhere along the line. It is a perfect opportunity for content creators like us to be the torch bearers and change this statistic over the next year.
We’ve known for a while that AI and machine learning will have an impact on the way we consume content in the future. (We’ve also wondered if our species is set to become extinct in the next decade, thanks to AI). And a part of that future is now our reality. This AI engine will be working to understand your ‘intent’ and present content to you based on your choices. And truly, this is just the beginning. We can imagine a Terminator-style ‘I’ll be back’ from AI only to return with a better version 2 of its intelligent engine.
Though this report took North America as its base, there are some interesting trends in there that apply to the rest of the world. More B2B marketers are allocating budgets and resources to content marketing and a good percentage of them have a documented strategy too. All good stats, especially if you are trying to bag a new B2B client!
Annual surveys with heart-pleasing stats like these allow content marketers to make their next year plans and projections with peace of mind knowing that there are many sailing in the same boat. Next year might be the year they will be quoting our case study here? Just about.
Talking about case studies, we can’t do a round-up without sharing our own. So here it is. Walking the talk. What’s interesting is there is a lot in there about how to convert goal into strategy and connect it with a good mesh of metrics that give meaning to that term we call ROI. Do read and let us know your thoughts.
Come December, we go into a contemplating mode (when we are not in a holiday mode). There are insights from the year that was and predictions for the year that will be. Look up the link for a recap of a campaigns in 2017 and voting is open too. Our favorite pick was these three courageous campaigns that showed that content has the power to change the world, one word at a time.
The entire team of Justwords joins me in wishing you an amazing 2018! May the words be with you.