As the marketing industry grows and changes, marketers must keep a pulse on the types of content that drive the highest conversions. Here’s a quick look at current industry trends and clues about potential shifts to come for the future of content marketing.
Content Trend #1: From “How” to Why”
Modern marketers are moving away from “how to” articles, eBooks and SlideShares in favor of content that helps them tell a more engaging story. Using a customer’s experience to tell a brand story is gaining steam. Content like Microsoft’s Real Stories of Digital Transformation incorporate more of the “why” into the “what” and “how” so that audiences can truly see themselves in a story.
Look for: More brands to begin teaming up with their most valuable customers to create dimensional content.
Content Trend #2: Interactive
Interactive content is hitting its stride. It keeps audiences engaged longer, provides more audience insight, and gives people a reason to interact with a brand. In fact, 75% of marketers plan to increase their use of interactive content this year, according to Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
Look for: New technologies will take this content to a whole new level. In fact, with the growth of mixed reality, AR and VR, we should see interactive content reach a whole new level where audiences will be able to put themselves into a brand’s story to see what’s possible.
Content Trend #3: Data Driven Content
Big data and Analytics have become marketing’s new darlings. Modern marketers have more technology and tools at their disposal, and no lack of data to pull from. Because it’s so much easier to gather, analyze and use today, creating content that isn’t backed by solid data won’t carry weight.
Understanding data is important for marketers. Powerful dashboards provide insight into audiences at every stage of the funnel – before, during, and after a sale.
Look for: The growth of user-friendly analytics tools will make it easier than ever for marketers (who aren’t analysts) to serve up super targeted content. The deeper we can drill down, the more targeted and personalized our messaging can be. Curiosity will lead!
Content Trend #4: Dream Teams
We’re starting to see more collaborations; branded content is a perfect example. Brands and agencies are finding value in leveraging their particular areas of expertise to create highly engaging content. We’re also seeing different agencies collaborating with each other to give their clients the highest quality content.
Look for: “Dream teams” of the biggest industry influencers and brands will begin to create their own content franchises.
Content Trend #5: Influencer Marketing
Yeah, this is still a big one, but collectively we’re also starting to question the true impact of this strategy. For every influencer agency that pops up across the country, another study is published decrying its value. In fact, according to a Bloglovin Nov. 2016 survey, 61% of women said they won’t engage with an influencer’s sponsored content if it doesn’t feel genuine.
Look for: Influencer marketing isn’t dead yet! My bet is that this strategy will continue to evolve. Authentic influencer marketing will become more valuable as brands look to develop real relationships with key influencers for collaborations (see content trend #5).
Content Trend #6: Quality Rules.
Every industry is saturated with content. Which is why quantity no longer works as a tactic. Brands are using fewer interns and junior staffers to churn out content in favor of senior marketers, writers and strategists who spend more time creating thoughtful, relevant content.
Look for: Brands will create fewer and fewer pieces of content that are more thoroughly researched and developed. Quality will rule easily over quantity.
Community – not content – is king, according to Carlos Gil. And he’s not wrong. But if the clues we’re gathering from current trends are correct, content marketing’s future will be unstoppable. Want to create content that converts? Check out Second Story’s 7-step guide.