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One of my favorite events occurred this week: The Internet Summit.

Every fall thousands of people congregate in downtown Raleigh for a few days of geeky talk about search engines, mobile marketing, content creation, and more. This was my fourth year attending, but I have only two other prior years in past posts. At the 2012 Internet Summit the undercurrent flowed around ‘good content’ and publishing – which is great news for writers. The 2013 Internet Summit stressed storytelling, and whether presenters realized it or not: Reading. Also good news for writers.

internet summit 2014

Leigh George of Ogilvy & Mather presenting on social strategies.

2014? MORE good news for writers. This year the summit stressed the importance of quality content as the dive in social media organic reach is prompting brands to rely heavily on engaging content off social platforms. According to Leigh George, Vice President of Digital Strategy of Ogilvy & Mather:

Social media is disappearing. It is no longer a community of engagement. It’s a medium of paid advertising.

When writing for the web we need to be more media rich. A blog post should have a complementing infographic, video, whitepaper, etc. This of course means more writing!

What I took away as the most important feather in the hats of writers is influencer marketing. Brands are starting to rely heavily on influencers in their niche. Perhaps you have a book on making your living as a freelance writer – I would be an influencer for you. You would establish a relationship with me, offer a behind-the-scenes look on your book, maybe send swag, and over time my followers receive a personalized look into you and your book. Fashion bloggers have this already with free clothing and makeup sent by manufacturers for their use and review, but some companies take it a step further: Creating events, factory tours, and more.

Writers and bloggers are growing more important to brands!