Today, people like you and me spend most of our time on the Internet. Tell me, how often do you read the ENTIRE content on the sites you visit every day?
Well, you know the answer. People in search of information navigate across several websites daily but give their full attention to only a few sites. The reason for such a short attention span is pretty simple. On such sites, there is something that compels them to pay attention and that something is what we call interactive content. We cannot escape from the reality that online audiences has become stronger than ever. Take an example of yours, before buying anything online; you start browsing several sites to ensure you make the best purchase.
And this merely indicates that interactive content is crucial for marketing.
According to E-consultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud research, 77% of companies are planning on increasing content marketing budgets in 2016.
Content marketing was the buzz of 2015, and it is quickly becoming even more relevant in 2016. With ad-blocking reaching an all time high among modern consumers, brands are relying on more native marketing to drive genuine engagement among brand fans. Content is a major piece of that strategy. So with more content and increasing the complexity of distribution and measurement, what is the future of content marketing?
Here, we are presenting some of the future predictions of content marketing.
Relevancy will be Important: You create content once, and it stays useful for an incredibly long time. However, think about all the different factors that a reader has to take into account when assessing how valuable an article is:
- Does it contain an answer to my problem?
- Is it actionable?
- Is it up to date?
‘A lot of “evergreen” content will have to be updated to become more relevant.’
An article might still be factually correct but referring to out of date resources. Or it might have dead links. Or maybe a better solution has been created. The amount of high-quality content is only going to rise, which means more competition. Even when you have high-quality content of your own, you’ll need to ensure that it’s frequently updated. It’s another way that creating and maintaining content will become more expensive, which further supports focusing on a small amount of really high-quality content. Then, you only have to worry about a few dozen posts rather than thousands.
Design Matters: When there are multiple pieces of content about even very specific topics, readers will start choosing their options based on other factors such as design. However, if you put some extra effort into design, yours will stand out. You can still get away with a plain design for most content these days, but that will decline over time.
- Bonus points for mobile design: It warrants a mention that it’s already worth making sure that your content is at least readable on mobile devices; Google prioritizes responsive websites for mobile searches because it’s so important.
Original Research will rule: Today, what do you need when you’re trying to support a point? You can probably Google something like “content marketing statistics.” You click on the first few collections of statistics, find a few that look good, and plop them into your content.
If you’re doing that now, you’re ahead of 95% of the competition, and that’s why it’s effective. But as I said, as more data gets collected and analyzed, it will be a required element of content. It won’t be just you citing the same research; it’ll be 100 other bloggers. What will make your content better than that of those other bloggers? When everyone uses the same data, it becomes less valuable because novelty and uniqueness are key parts to data’s value. Since general data will no longer make you stand out in the sea of content, what will you do then?
You can conduct a survey for your target audience and publish the results or manually analyze a few hundred pieces of content. Creating original research does cost more and take more time and effort, but original research will get you a lot of extra attention.
Quality First: One of the biggest issues facing content marketers today is the quality of content. So much content is being created that people drown in it, but most of it is low quality. While it’s a complex issue, the short answer to the shock content problem is that your content needs to be of a higher quality than most to stand out, which is expensive. The bar is going to be raised continually, and great content will become even more expensive. The only viable solution is to decrease content quantity while increasing the quality.
Specificity will win: Businesses have already started to narrow down their focus to be successful. By narrowing down your target audience, you can not only “capture” your own space in their minds but also create content that’s targeted towards them. People want solutions to their specific problems and results with large content will never satisfy them.
‘Improving your content now will only improve your results in the future.’
Different users-Different Preferences: Even if you’ve targeted a specific audience that cares about the same things, they will still have different preferences when it comes to consuming content. Some will prefer audio, and others will prefer infographics. Some will prefer short content, and others will love lengthy content. At this point, the most common strategy is to create content that is liked by a large portion of an audience.
- The future solution- more control over content for readers:
What if you could create content in multiple formats and offer it all at once?
What if you could create content of different lengths and let readers choose which one they want?
That would allow you to please almost everyone in your audience.
It will be more expensive for content creators—but worth it.
Social is the Key: Social plays a critical role in the future of content marketing. It’s certainly used by many organizations for distribution of information, and is a leading tool for the top of the funnel marketing campaigns, but that’s only the beginning. The report suggests that content marketing can leverage messaging apps, and live chat, enabling your content to be everywhere your customers are. We see this in a B2C context for promotions and notifications, but what if you took it further and used messaging as a communication channel for your brand?
In addition to providing immediate value, don’t abuse the trust a customer gives you by adding you as a contact. Don’t spam them with messages, be smart about what you are sending and when you are sending it.
Then there’re the vloggers (the ever popular everyday video bloggers) who have the ability to provide brands access to huge audiences. The key is to connect with the vloggers who reach the audiences you want to connect with and to be open about the relationship and what the brand brings to the table.
Final Thoughts: Lots of organizations are still trying to figure out how to make content marketing work for them. It requires changes at the organizational level regarding who is involved, how the strategy is defined and implemented and how quickly it can be adapted to constantly changing customer expectations.
It seems odd to be thinking about the future of content marketing when so many can’t get it right in the present. But maybe if we take some time to think about where it’s headed we can look pragmatically at what we are doing now and start to take the necessary steps to improve and move forward the right way.