(originally posted on IMGembed’s blog 2014)
Content marketing continued its expansion in 2013, disrupting traditional online advertising. The elements aligned perfectly: consumers became less engaged with banner ads, which became increasingly an arcane vestige of newspapers and old technology; likewise, the demise of traditional publishing volumes impacted the ability for new content – at least the ability to increase the supply for the demand of the digital age.
As businesses quickly adapted and channeled resources to generating content, traditional press took notice. Already, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post were highly successful in adopting a native ad strategy. Crafted in a targeted way, native ads can deliver a seamless integration into existing editorial parameters, have a higher CTR and much more measurable in ROI than traditional ads. Nearly 75% of publishers are now offering native ad integration, and even NY Times itself is finally caving in.
Of course, with success comes scrutiny. Lack of transparency for consumers is drawing discussion of industry regulation, but that shouldn’t slow things down too much. Blurring the lines between paid content on news media, and news media on big business (as supported by firms like NewsCred), is a by-product of both advertisers and old media adapting to new technology and behaviors.
With the growth of content creation, opportunities for photographers will expand. Image consumption will continue to be decentralized from major publishers and agencies, out to businesses of stripe and color – anyone who is actively looking to publish online. 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for content, and no story or communication is complete without photography.