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Australian Content Marketing: 2016 in review

This year, 35% of Australian marketers rated their content marketing as sophisticated/mature – a 5% increase from 2015. Most of them (42%) also believed their organisation’s approach to content marketing is somewhat more successful than last year.

Let’s look at some of the biggest trends in content marketing and see how Australian brands can continue to create impactful content in 2017. 

Content Creation

In the Content Marketing Institute survey, 71% of Australian marketers believed quality of content is the top success factor. Yet 68% of them also expected to increase content quantity for the coming year.

The graph below shows the most popular content formats, which mostly fit with consumer trends in content consumption. 

Source: CMI
Source: CMI

Content Distribution

The majority of Australian marketers rated email as the most important distribution channel (95%), followed by LinkedIn, print, Facebook, then other social media channels.

In terms of paid promotion, Search Engine Marketing and Social were rated as the most effective channels (63% each), followed by native advertising, print/offline promotion, banner ads.

On the consumer side, how do Australians research before making a purchase decision? Or do they get the content they need to make up their mind? 

The most common channels for offline research are in-store and word of mouth. The graph below shows the main online sources people use to make a purchase decision.

Source: Consumer Barometer
Source: Consumer Barometer

Social media

Sensis Social Media Report 2016 states consumers are more likely to trust a brand “if they find the content posted engaging and relevant (52%) and they regularly update their content (51%).”

Platform

Facebook remains the dominant player, with 95% of surveyed Australians as users. However, the decline of organic reach on social media, coupled with Facebook’s Instant Articles, publishers and brands fear social media is not driving traffic back to their websites.

Nonetheless, a typical Facebook user now spends 12.5 hours/week on the platform. Given other factors such as demographics, where people use social media etc., it’s the kind of exposure that brands can’t afford to ignore.

Video

In Australia, 70% of people between 18 and 54 years old say they use YouTube at least once a week. For brands, partnering with influencers or creative video creators seem to be the best way to leverage this trend.

Meanwhile, half of Australia’s Facebook users watch video on the platform every day.

For brands wishing to tap this trend, consider publishing videos natively on Facebook, or repurpose content into fun, snackable YouTube videos. 

Technology enablers

Rise of mobile

To win in mobile, brands can identify “micro-moments” in consumer journey and then create content accordingly:

  • I want to know: snackable, helpful content
  • I want to go: leverage search engine marketing to display relevant information
  • I want to do: helpful videos
  • I want to buy: make the process easy, whether it’s a landing page, form or display ad copy

Multi-screen

Nearly one-quarter of Australians in the latest Consumer Barometer survey said they use 5 or more connected devices.

Implication: Ensure your content works on different screen sizes/browsers/operating systems, and utilises unique strengths of each if applicable.

Emerging tech

Recent phenomenon such as Pokemon Go, Snapchat Spectacles have highlighted the potential of emerging platforms. While still relatively nascent in Australia, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality could be the next content marketing frontier as consumer uptake increases. 


Follow Linh on Twitter @LinhContent