Where Does Content Marketing Go From Here?
What to expect in 2020…
By now, we can all agree that content marketing is here to stay! In the past two years, there have been so many interesting changes that have occurred in the world of content marketing. From the rise in video content to the use of more sophisticated data gathering software, the field of content marketing seems to be evolving at a rapid pace.
This fast paced environment leaves marketers with the question – “What’s next?”
Questions such as: “What platform will our audience be using in the future?” or “what content format will the audience be most receptive to?” are constantly eating away at the minds of marketers who are desperately trying to ensure that they continue to capture the attention of their audience. Although it is difficult to predict the future, it is possible to make strategic plans based on industry patterns that have remained somewhat consistent. Irrespective of the rapid shifts that occur in the content world, there are a few things that should be known by anyone who aims to successfully create or distribute content to an audience.
We address a few of them below:
1. Quality storytelling always wins:
It’s pretty clear that everyone wants a piece of the content pie. More and more brands are creating videos or publishing blog posts and email newsletters. Content marketing works and we all know it! However, the important thing to note is that – it’s not merely about putting content out there but about creating high quality stories that are relevant to both your brand and your audience. What this means is that a well shot video simply wouldn’t do justice for your brand if it doesn’t tie in with your overall brand story.
Furthermore, it is no longer a game of quantity; if anything, the goal should be cutting through the noise. Narrowing down your efforts and only focusing on what works will prove to be more beneficial in the long run.
2. Content might be king, but there’s no kingdom without the audience:
We are currently in an audience-first era and this isn’t going to change any time soon. Brands are starting to realize that indeed ‘brands were made for people, and not people for brands’.
For any form of marketing to win hearts of people, it has to be targeted, relevant and thoughtful. Being insensitive when creating even just one piece of content, could cost brands their entire advertising budget. Brands need to spend time getting to know their audience. Then, they need streamline their content in order to reach the people who would be most receptive to their message.
3. Localization & Diversity are not just buzz words:
We see the words ‘diversity’ and ‘localization’ being thrown around these days. There is a greater demand for inclusion more so now, than ever before. One of the reasons for this is that brands are realizing that the audience comes first.
With more brands hiring Chief Diversity Officers and other executives responsible for championing inclusion, it should give you an insight into what is to come. For brands with a presence in multiple markets, an overall global marketing strategy across those markets certainly wouldn’t work anymore. People need to feel like they are being spoken to directly. The impact of your content will only be felt when it is localized.
4. Stop obsessing over platforms and start connecting:
Today it’s Instagram, tomorrow it’s Snapchat or whatever new platform the next big tech startup decides to launch! As a marketer, brand owner or content producer, it is not your job to obsess over what the next wave will be. Your task is to focus on connecting with the audience through your story and messaging.
Your job is to solve pain points and bond with them over passion points. Once you figure out those details, you can always oscillate between platforms as needed; just be sure that your audience is actually there when you do.
5. Consider the role of tech:
From A.I. to augmented reality, technology continues to play a huge role in marketing. If there’s one thing marketers need to think about, it’s definitely how they can better integrate or use technology to their advantage.
How can technology help you narrow down audience interest and targeting? How can it help you better engage with your audience? What new data gathering methods can technology provide? These are some important questions to ask.
6. Collaboration is everything:
These days, roles within the marketing/advertising industries seem to be overlapping. There are so many people involved in a brand’s marketing process – from influencers and independent creators, to smaller production houses and traditional agencies. The current model has every party fighting for relevancy.
What we fail to realize is that there is an opportunity to win collectively by adopting a more collaborative approach. For us, we see a highly collaborative future where everybody is invited to the table in order to craft more relevant content. Bringing more people to the table will help brands develop a more diverse voice and become more inclusive. Brands cannot afford to create content in isolation anymore. You need more people in the room!
There’s no doubt that the future of content marketing seems wildly exciting and promising. If brands/ marketers can focus their efforts on adopting some of these principles mentioned above, they will better be prepared for changes or trends that might occur in the near future.