As something of a hobby alongside our copywriting, we like to try our hand at fortune telling. January is always a month of predictions, so we’re throwing our crystal ball into the ring with five forecasts for content trends in 2014
Copy that comes in nibble-size chunks. Yes, we do usually say ‘bite-size’, but in this particular case we’re thinking smaller rather than bigger. Just look at any of the six-second epics on Vine or a well-crafted tweet to see how effective tiny content can be. ‘Nibble-size’ could well be this year’s buzzword for succinct copy that gets right to the point. We’re already championing it as a late autumn addition to the OED. It can’t be any worse than ‘LOL’.
Outdoor ads that look more like dissertations. We know that when online, readers have much shorter attention spans. On the bus or waiting for the next Tube, however, they’ve got much longer to read and digest your message – and what else are they going to occupy their time with? There’s obviously no sense in writing to an essay length if there’s no need, but using that space and freedom to outline every salient point frequently results in a very well informed and confident consumer.
A new wave of marketers with lightning reflexes. Real-time marketing is one of the hot trends for 2014, and should arguably already be a key aspect of online strategy for retailers in particular. Imagine you’re window shopping on your favourite online marketplace. That’s a nice pair of shoes… but you’ll buy them later. Not long after, you have a new email: “Hey, we noticed you admiring our boots. Want 20% off?” That combination of highly personal comms and a unique offer is nigh on irresistible, especially when targeted at the perfect stage of the purchase process.
Websites that make friends. Customisation on e-newsletters, mail shots and online account details mean you already receive tailored content with your name all over it. But what if a website didn’t need prompting – or any of your personal information entered manually beforehand – to recognise you? New smartphones that keep you constantly logged in on social media can automatically transmit any data you opt to make public. This new source of information gives well-coded websites the chance to deliver individually personalised content for mobile browsers.
Are any of these developments really on the cards, or do you think we’re looking further into the future than just this year? Give us your views.