Top 10 content marketing trends of 2014: BuzzFeed booms as creativity and big data merge


Key trends to check your 2015 plans against:

• ‘Old media’ invests in digital future: Disney bought PewDiePie owner Maker Studios, while Dreamworks envisions YouTube will be dominant platform in 5 years time

• Brands become publishers: Native ads (championed by BuzzFeed) and long-form videos boom as brand ditch 30-sec 'hard-sell' commercials for engaging experience that rivals regular TV and publishing output

• Creativity meets big data: As programmatic ads grow, brands are looking to immerse consumers in personally targeted experiences- something creativity cannot achieve without a large dose of science.

Branded content: What gets consumers clicking? This chart shows what gets consumers engaging with branded content. Companies that post images have the best cut through with 64% of those surveyed being receptive or very receptive to the posts. Social media noise is responsible for unreceptive or very unreceptive consumers with 31% of those surveyed not responsive to social posts, while audio clips are the least popular format.

In the year when US online ad revenues overtook broadcast TV for the first time, the days of TV’s ad dominance look numbered. Online video and native ads are turning brands into publishers- and they need to adapt fast. This year we saw ‘old empires’ like Disney and DreamWorks bet on digital futures, while BuzzFeed’s new publishing model gave traditional media giants plenty to worry about. As part of our review of the year, we look at some of the biggest trends to shape the content marketing landscape in 2014.

New native ad rules: Oreo banned after YouTubers paid to promote products

In a warning to all native advertisers, Modelez has seen its latest marketing stunt fall foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The FMCG giant failed to notify viewers that a series of YouTube videos featuring an ‘Oreo Lick Race’ were paid for by the company.

Online video effectiveness: Which formats and frequency work best?

As brands increasingly go ‘online first’ to premier their latest commercials, just how effective is video advertising? A new study uncovers the formats and frequency that can get the best results to win consumers.


Mobile now accounts for half of all YouTube traffic

Half of all YouTube views are now coming from mobile devices, with Google now mulling an ad-free subscription service to cater for the app generation.


BuzzFeed adds first ‘Buy It!’ button for L'Oreal native ad

BuzzFeed has added a "Love it? Buy it!" button next to a vintage hairstyle post from L'Oreal USA letting readers buy the cosmetics being featured, as the publisher looks to expand its ad options to capaitalise on its soaring popularity.


Consumers ‘trust branded content almost as much as editorial’

There’s some good news for native advertisers this week, with research indicating that just 2% more consumers trust content from publications (35%) than from brands (33%).

Watch this recent roundtable event hosted by Vibrant Media discussing native ads below:

Is BuzzFeed worth three times more than the Washington Post?

BuzzFeed has raised $50m in a new funding round that values the web publisher at three times the amount of the Washington Post.

Watch this video from Bloomberg discussing the BuzzFeed investment here:

Dreamworks bets on YouTube: Dominant platform in 5 years time?

YouTube will be the dominant media platform in five years according to Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg as the company prepares a family orientated channel on Google’s video sharing site.

Watch this backstage interview with Katzenberg below:

Ad tech giants crash Cannes as creativity and big data merge

The annual Cannes Lions festival of Creativity has long stood as the benchmark for creativity in the ad industry, but as programmatic ad platforms grow in popularity, rising tech companies are starting to crash the agency party.


Is guest blogging for SEO dead? Google’s Matt Cutts calls time on ‘spammy practice’

The popular practice of writing guest blog posts in the hope of boosting visibility on search engines has come under fire this week, with Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, declaring the tactic as ‘done’.

Watch this video from Cutts explaining how to get the most out of blog posts here:

Disney buys YouTube network Maker Studios for $950m

Disney has bought YouTube network Maker Studios in a $950m deal that sees the iconic movie studio make a significant step towards a digital future.


Top 10 myths about ‘typical’ YouTube users (infographic)

Just who is a typical UK YouTuber? Nearly one-fifth of those watching YouTube are watching less TV according to new research looking into the top myths and realities of users of the video sharing platform.


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