Carolyn McMaster | January 27, 2015
In a recent email blast, Joe Pulizzi, the energetic founder of the Content Marketing Institute, listed a quartet of trends he’s seeing in research for the next CMI summit. Here are three with particular relevance for marketers of sustainable brands, and my take on why they matter:
- Subscribers (not leads) will rule. Organizations are focusing on engaging audiences over the long term and delivering content with nonpromotional value, rather than just gathering leads at the top of the sales funnel. This raises the bar for providing outstanding content that doesn’t directly sell on an ongoing basis, and then turning subscribers into leads or presenting an offer at the right moment. The lesson for susty brands, which may have a complicated message and need to educate markets: be of service by providing learning opportunities to audiences new and old, and tell your story over time.
- Less is more. Organizations are creating fewer pieces of original content (blog posts, say), but they are repurposing each piece into other media (like Slideshare or video). And they are putting more promotional efforts behind the content they produce. This makes sense for any brand, but since sustainability-focused outlets are many and mainstream channels are becoming more welcoming to susty content, adopting this tactic allows susty brands to see where and how they can expand their reach.
- Long-form content is back. I’m not sure it ever really went away, but if audiences are more accepting of longer posts and reports, susty brands can take advantage of it. As with the first trend, longer content is typically better when there’s a need to educate or the subject and messages are more complex. And long-form, substantive work is a must for brands that have thought leadership goals.
I’ll be keeping an eye these trends and their implications for sustainable brands, particularly in the B2B space, and will report back. Let me know if you have any examples.