Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 public relations trends you need to be
ready for

Posted by Greg Matusky
In continuing with our predictions for the 2012 public relations trends that need to be on your radar, we turn to Kwan Morrow, our Social Networking Manager. Here are his four predictions for what will be hot on the social networking, content marketing, and content syndication fronts next year. (In my last post, I promised we'd share two predictions from Kwan. But what can I say -- the wheels kept turning after we published that statement, so here are two more.)

Gregory FCA's Kwan Morrow
1. Content kings will forge empires. In 2011, content was king. In 2012, the kings with the best content and syndication methods will consolidate empires -- meaning the companies that truly understand content marketing will become the go-to resources of their industry. They will benefit handsomely from this positioning because they understand that if you're not solving your audiences' problems, answering their questions, or providing just-in-time content that helps them make an educated purchasing decision, your content will remain unread, unclicked, unshared, unliked, and most importantly, unused.

2. Companies will seek to be a resource rather than a presence. Companies will realize that the best content positions them as a resource. Becoming the go-to company in an industry hinges on publishing in-depth, relevant content instead of slick marketing messages disguised as blog posts, slideshows, infographics, white papers, and more. The days of creating a 500-word advertisement and calling it a blog post are over. The days of creating a five-page brochure and calling it a white paper are over. The value of your content determines the depth of your relationships with your audience. This determines the probability of earning a new customer. Valuable content equals loyal customers.

3. Customized content experience. Strategic, focused content and syndication will continue to separate the true brand journalists from the corporate spammers. Getting the right content, in front of the right target, at just the right time, with the least amount of self-serving marketing messages will become key to staying relevant in the social web. This means understanding the nuances between different social platforms, and how users of each platform prefer to consume content, share content, and promote content to their networks.

4. One size does not fit all. In 2012, when creating and distributing content, you must understand the subjective differences for Tumblr versus Wordpress, Facebook versus Twitter, SlideShare versus YouTube, or even the broad audiences of The New York Times versus a niche blog that attracts passionate members of your targeted audience. You must understand how to create and position the content that will resonate best on each platform. And those are just the mainstream channels. It also means having a deep understanding of your target audience and their social behaviors in order to customize your content and syndication to their needs and preferences -- regardless of which platform they choose to use.

Stay tuned for our final post in this series, where we'll be featuring the thoughts of our Editor-in-Chief and Director of our Social Media practice, Rich Levin.
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