Reflections on our 2014 predictions

Reflections on our 2014 predictions

At the beginning of this year the contentgroup staff put forward their predictions for 2014.

Some of us played it safe and others put themselves on the hook for bold statements and we can now reflect on who was right and who was wrong about the year passed.

So before we make our predictions for 2015 let’s take a look at what was said in January and whether the predictions hit the mark.

Jamie Bradnam: Everyone will invest in mobile

It wasn’t an overly bold prediction at the start of the year, but it has certainly proven to be true.

We have supported five clients to redesign their websites in a mobile responsive design, as well as making the change to our own website as we have almost 30% of users visiting our site from a mobile device.

Recently reported that “smart phone ownership in Australia has more than doubled in four years, with three quarters of the population now owning a device.”

The 2014 Telstra Smartphone and Tablet Index using Neilsen research found few Australians can imagine life without constant texting, talking, emailing, listening to music or surfing the web, all via their smartphone.

About 84% of users take their smartphone wherever they go and 71 per cent never have time out from their device by turning it off.

The smart phone obsession is not going away any time soon and will only continue to evolve.

Kelly Charls: Short, sharp content will be the key

It’s well accepted that our attention spans are reducing. We now have access to more content than ever before which means that you need to do more to capture your users attention.

So when Kelly said “publishing regularly will be the key – short sharp messages for your audience will sow the seed to cement the relationship you need to build your business”  she was keeping this in mind.

“The volume of your material needs to be dissected so you are presenting bite size pieces for your audience to digest on their mobile device.”

Once again this is hard to measure the success of this prediction, but we found that this worked particularly well for many of our clients including Capital Metro, Paladin Risk Management Services and Canberra CBD Limited.

Grace Finch: The Copyright Agency will crackdown on offenders

In January Grace said that “the Copyright Agency is cracking down on businesses who infringe copyright laws.”

Since this is such a grey area, there hasn’t been a lot of movement in this area and there has been no widespread crack down on offenders.

Recently it has been a big debate in Parliament once again and The Age reported that “Australians caught downloading illicit content will be warned to stop and internet companies will be compelled to help film and music companies take legal action against repeat copyright infringers, under government changes.”

We still have a long way to go, but it’s a very topical issue.

Jacqui Garrity: Instagram will double in size in Australia

Sadly Jacqui has now moved on from contentgroup, but we know her love for Instagram still continues.

She nailed her prediction.

At the time of her prediction, reported that Instagram had 1.6 million users in Australia and Jacqui said that it would double by the years end. Social Media News reported in November that Instagram is now being used by 4 million active Australian users, which is well and truly about double the number of users at the start of the year.

Instagram is now even bigger than Twitter.

The popularity of the platform continues to grow and Instagram have now started to capitalise on the popularity by allowing brands to advertise in the user feeds, although it should be noted that it is not open to everyone. Instagram is trying to focus on “a small number of really beautiful, high-quality ads”.

Publicly nine brands have signed up to use the advertising platform as reported by The Australian.

Helen O’Neil: Every department will be forced into communications

In January 2014 Helen said that “the relentless shift to digital platforms will force more business and policy professionals into the communications area.”

Whilst difficult to measure, we have noticed an increase in the development of government agencies taking on a content publishing role than ever before.

Communicators understand the need to tell stories rather than publish never ending PDF documents and we have noticed a shift in the mind set for many agencies.

David Pembroke: The growth of the collaborative economy

When David mentioned that “the growth of the collaborative economy will be the big mover in 2014” he did not have a vision in mind for how that would affect contentgroup.

He knew that it would mean that we would continue to work alongside partners and agencies in helping clients deliver communications projects as we have done in the past, but he had not yet crafted how that might be shaped into something tangible.

Fast forward to the release of the inaugural CBR Creative Industries Directory in November and it’s safe to say his prediction was correct.

Working alongside many of the creative agencies and individuals in Canberra we produced a document that highlights the skills and expertise in our city and the response was overwhelming.

Anecdotal feedback was that this is an extremely valuable piece of content and we look forward to updating it regularly in the future.

Sophie McKerchar: Facebook will have to stop biting the hands that feed it

She started the year as Sophie Morrison and ended it as Sophie McKerchar, and Sophie hit the mark with her prediction.

Sophie stated that “if Facebook does not do something to help the businesses that invest with them people will start to use other platforms to engage with their audience.”

This year we saw world renowned content marketers Copy Blogger give up on their Facebook page and close it down because it wasn’t working for them.

We have certainly seen some great results for clients using the Facebook Advertising platform, but organically the news feed reach has suffered. Unfortunately to meet the needs of their investors Facebook did not stop biting the hand that feeds it.

The Facebook algorithm has been continually tightened all year. After feedback from users, there is now a restriction on posts which are “overtly selling” which is great news for users, but not so great for pages trying to use their Facebook page to drum up business.

It means there is now more of an emphasis on “valuable content” which is something we have been preaching all year.

David Polglase: Content Marketing will add to the importance of LinkedIn

At the start of the year David recognised the emergence of LinkedIn as a social media platform and boldly stated that LinkedIn would grow from 259 million users to 400 million by the end of 2014.

Unfortunately his prediction fell short as LinkedIn have reported there are currently 330 million current users worldwide, which is still a very impressive number of users.

That equates to two new users signing up to the platform every second across 200 countries. The average user spends 17 minutes a month on LinkedIn which shows you that whilst it is not regularly used, people still consider it very important to keep an updated presence.

Adding to the importance of being a “content platform” they opened up the ability for users to publish their own content directly to LinkedIn in February 2014 and we have seen some great results publishing our own blogs using this tactic.

Each week a staff member puts pen to paper to write about an aspect of content communication that speaks to them, and hopefully, informs you. This is a space where our passion for writing, learning and sharing information comes to shine.

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