As Brands and Marketing teams sit down to review their content strategy from 2015 there is going to be plenty of speculation about what lies ahead for content marketers in 2016.
My top 4 trends for branded content in 2016 are:
- Creative will stand atop the podium.
It is an Olympics year so expect to see brands fighting for attention in the lead up to and during the Olympics.
Big spending brands and sponsors will be looking to leverage their association with this global event and we can expect big emotional content pieces like this from the London Olympics
Smaller brands won’t want to miss out on the potential audience so we could see some interesting ‘hijack’ campaigns too.
- Interactive Video will be King
Interactive video will be the hot new toy for content marketers in 2016. Expect ‘time spent’ to be the big mover in measurement as brands work to develop more engaging ways to build connections with their audiences utilising new tech like 360 degree video and VR experiences.
- Activations will be Scalable
Most brands have traditionally treated activations as stunts or tools to drive earned media. In 2015 we saw a few clever brands take their activations and turn them into compelling content to spread their message to a wider audience and generate conversation across social. Like this example from the Ad council which had over 160 million views across all platforms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnDgZuGIhHs
In 2016 I expect to see this trend continue as brands utilise activations to benefit in 2 ways:
1 – Those challenged with trial as an objective will benefit from smaller scale trial amplified via content.
2 – Brands will get creative with the demonstration of product benefits. Using compelling activations to cut through cluttered environments and amplify via content.
- Versions, Versions, Versions
Brands have pushed themselves into a bit of a corner. Audiences are much more aware of content and less willing to engage with mass communications. Audiences now expect tailored messages relevant to them in the right place at the right time. Brands will be looking to move to even tighter targeted audiences which will mean greater segmentation which in turn will mean that content creators will need to deliver a much higher number of variations. Great news for audiences, a possible challenge for creators.