There’s no question that content marketing continued to boom throughout 2014. With content creation and distribution reaching an all time high, it’s no surprise that brands and organisations across the world are allocating more of their marketing budgets towards it.

But what about 2015? Now we’ve entered the new year, the content marketing buzz will undoubtedly grow. With an ever growing amount of users online, it’s going to be a necessity for businesses to somehow make themselves heard through the noise.

Here are some of our thoughts around content marketing trends for 2015:

The growth of sponsored content

Audiences are undeniably becoming numb to banner adverts across the web. Whilst they’re great for brand awareness, users are drastically taking less notice of these and they’re easily blocked with browser plugins such as AdBlock. This raises many questions around the longevity of using retargeting services such as AdRoll within a digital marketing strategy.

2015 will more than likely see huge growth in sponsored content across the internet as it becomes more popular and effective. Advertisers will work alongside publishers to place sponsored content amongst existing content where it seems natural, works seamlessly with what’s already there, and is transparent in the sense that it doesn’t feel like spam or an advertisement.

This is becoming the norm across some of the world’s biggest publishers including Forbes, the New York Times, and of course, Buzzfeed. Digiday have also been enticing big players to create sponsored content for them.

Guest blogging returns

There was a lot of drama surrounding guest blogging throughout 2014. Following Matt Cutts stating that guest blogging was “done”, digital marketers immediately avoided it incase penalties began to appear. Even publishers such as Econsultancy changed all of their guest blog links to ‘no follow’ to protect themselves.

However, Mr Cutts’ comments were misconstrued with him later commenting that it was meant as discouragement to digital marketers using guest blogging as a spammy link building tactic. He stated “I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.)

If done correctly, guest blogging can be one of the most effective parts of a content marketing campaign. Contributing engaging, insightful, thought leading content to high profile publishers can have great rewards.

We’ll be putting together some content soon around the benefits of guest blogging. Watch this space.

Budgets for content marketing will reach new heights

It’s not just consumer brands that are jumping on to the content marketing bandwagon. The Content Marketing Institute recently released a report that mentioned around 58% of business to business marketers intend to increase their content marketing budgets. Moving away from generic SEO campaigns, businesses all over the world are experiencing the benefits of creating content.

Here at Parallax, we’ve been working on content marketing campaigns for several B2B clients over the past 12 months. We’re seeing clients invest their digital marketing budgets into creating super engaging content including white papers, case studies, interactive pieces, articles/blog posts and much more.

Brands and organisations are moving away from pumping shed loads of cash into PPC campaigns and redistributing it into content marketing budgets. 2015 will see the growth of earned and owned media over paid media.

Email content will get better and better

Over the past few years, email marketing has been primarily used for promoting products or services. It’s well documented that the effectiveness of generic marketing emails is dwindling and 2015 is going to see marketers have to step it up a notch when it comes to their content.

Recent Hubspot research found that a vast majority of users aren’t interested in purchasing a product through emails as they’re inundated with spam on a daily basis. 2015 will see digital marketers creating emails that contain relevant, engaging content that target audiences want to get involved with.

Not only that, the technology used in emails is going to get more impressive. We’ve seen some excellent ones from Burberry, and Marc Jacobs who have used GIFs to give the impression of video. B&Q really nailed it. with their email campaign that features an interactive carousel to take users to different areas of the website.

Content is going to get WAY more creative

2015 is going to see content creation explode. Marketers need to look past the standard infographics and blogs. Video is going to grow dramatically, particularly with the ease of Instagram, Vine, Facebook and Hyperlapse. Animated infographics are a great way to really “wow” your audience and increase shares and links.