We have collected opinions from some of the leading experts and practitioners on Content Marketing trends to look out for in 2014, which we hope will provide you with some insight for your 2014 marketing activities.

Content Marketing Trends 2014

On Content Marketing and quality…

 Kath DawsonKath Dawson, Creative Director of Strategy Digital

2013 has certainly been an interesting year for SEO and content marketing, a year which has seen many digital agencies struggle to adapt to Google’s algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) and fall dismally behind in the mission to deliver quality traffic for their clients.

Whilst content marketing provides a natural – not to mention ingenious and attention grabbing – alternative to the link-heavy SEO industry which burgeoned for some time, it has incurred a backlash from critics. The way we consume information as humans has transformed beyond recognition – phenomena such as multi-screening are testament to this. Our attention spans are short, our expectations are high and our imaginations react to require content containing real spark, which we will share, talk about and engage with.

The naysayers and critics are touting many of the same arguments that surround any new or growing trend; “content marketing isn’t new, the term is over-used, it’s a fad or not authentic”, and perhaps to some degree their thoughts are understandable.

There is a crucial point to be made here; the difference between good and bad quality content marketing. Spurious and waffling content which adds little or no value to the reader and is littered with marketing messages is incredibly annoying and transparent. Disjointed campaigns that fail to speak to audience personas and fail to advance visitors willingly along the buying process are all too common. Conversely, planning a content strategy whose topical, ingenious and entertaining content solves problems and helps to subtly engage readers with brand values and highlight its benefits in an attractive way is invaluable. This quality content marketing is fun, imminently sharable and creates excellent connotations around the brand and all that is associated with it.

On Content Marketing and advertising…

Alice Driscoll, MD for creative agency pd3pd3-AliceDriscoll
This year, content marketing has grown exponentially and been placed firmly at the top of the agenda for marketers. This is set to continue apace in 2014. With 70% of people accessing entertainment related content online, the distinction between advertising and entertainment will be further diluted as marketers grow confident in the commercial power of engaging via consumer passion points such as music, food and sport.We can also expect more subscriber based branded YouTube channels and the commercialisation of these via paywalls, which demand high quality content to justify subscription.Live streaming, content marketing’s real-time media, is also set to be omnipresent in 2014 as a result of increasingly affordable technology and access to 4G.Further growth will come via innovation in native advertising. Yahoo, Facebook and the FT are already reaping the rewards of the improved effectiveness and relative value of this approach, so it has become the smart marketer’s format of choice when it comes to display. Combining all of this we expect to see clients back digital content with bigger budgets, focusing on fewer high quality pieces of well promoted content. In short, a focus on quality and reach over quantity.

On Content Marketing becoming ‘smart’…

Matt CrossMatt Cross, MD UK of Hotwire
quoteThe introduction of ‘smart content marketing’ will reflect recent developing retail trends. By applying the principles of UX and using data-led insights, marketers can work out when and where in an article – or any piece of online content – the reader might want to read on and find something more.Traditionally this only happens with a hyperlink created by an author, but with a contextually relevant overlay on top of websites, content can be marketed and targeted to the end user, regardless of the original content creator.

On Content Marketing in retail…

Jonathan Birch, Online Development Consultant at Mediaworks Online Marketing
Jonatahn Birch
Much to the dismay of ‘quick win’ search marketers across the world, the digital marketing sector has seen the inevitable swing from link building towards high quality content marketing. Consumers are now looking for much more than an online shop, and the most successful e-tailers in 2014 will be those that are seen as trusted editorial platforms. These will invite consumer interaction, offering useful resources like advice, buying guides, maps, forums and feedback alongside creative projects that leverage all of their assets (website, social media accounts, offline marketing methods etc).Online retailers are finally grasping the idea that their customers are ‘creative individuals’. Customers now demand bigger and better insights into ‘what interests them’ and companies that overlook this fact are missing out. We currently see retailers playing into the hands of web users by utilising memes like ‘keyboard cat’, ‘nyan cat’, ‘Y U No’ and ‘success kid’ to sell Virgin Media, Hipchat and Vitamin Water, and I would expect creative means like infographics, to be used more by retailers to make their data tangible to the public, and to initiate conversations.

On Content Marketing  and audience…


Steve Ackerman, Managing Director, Somethin’ Else

quote2014 will see the distinction being exposed between agencies who are steeped in content strategy and creativity and those who only understand it as a buzzword. Greater amounts of marketers will explore content and those that stand out will be the brands that have a strong understanding of their personality and the emotions that can convey to the end user.The word “audience” rather than “consumer” will start to have greater prominence in content marketing discussions as brands understand how engagement and entertainment can create deep brand allegiance.

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!