For most of the past few years, too much online content has been, well, crap. There are too many low-quality articles and clickbait headlines chasing too few eyeballs and too few dollars – it’s a downward spiral of diminishing returns for the entire media industry and for everyone who’s trying to reach an audience online.
But we’re about to break out of the “crap trap.” This article discusses how the landscape of content marketing and content delivery is changing.
A few key points about the future of content marketing:
- Content is going to get more creative and higher quality. Just like the past 15 years have been a “golden age” of television, we’re actually entering a golden age of content creation. The past few years of the Internet have been about chasing high traffic volumes with clickbait and lowest-common-denominator tactics – but the future is going to be about building a loyal, niche audience with high-quality contenthigh-quality content. Media companies want to create content that is worth paying for; brands want to capture (and hold) people’s interest and attention with highly targeted, relevant content. All of this is opening up huge opportunities for content creators to shine.
- Video is going to become more important. Facebook is making a huge push to encourage people to share live video, and major sites like BuzzFeed and Business Insider are creating short, shareable videos – often as supplements to longer written content. As more people access video content via mobile devices, video is becoming much more mobile, too – there are going to be new formats and platforms for video content delivery that we don’t even fully know or appreciate yet.
- People want personalized, customized content. It’s going to become ever more important to create content that is extremely focused and relevant to what your audience is interested in. Technology is getting better at helping people find content that they’re interested in, and serving up content to people who are eager to consume it. That leaves the unsolved piece of the puzzle: creating great content. The good news is, this part of bloggers’ and content marketers’ jobs is going to get easier – if you don’t have to spend as much time and effort targeting your content or writing for multiple audiences, you can spend more energy on creating really great stuff that has a compelling story and delivers massive value to exactly the people who need it the most.
The future of content marketing is going to be more complex in some ways, and yet will ultimately (hopefully) be simpler in one important way: it’s going to reward people who know how to create great stories and deliver great value in a way that is authentic and human and relevant. The future of content marketing will have less room for crap, and will offer richer rewards for stories and ideas that are truly worth sharing. Instead of superficially chasing eyeballs with clickbait, the content marketers of the future will be engaged in a deeper, more rewarding conversation with their audiences, perhaps in formats that we don’t yet understand. What does this mean for your business? Keep your nose to the grindstone and do what you do best. Speak to the concerns of your audience and grow your audience from the inside out. Winning at content marketing is a long game – so enjoy the ride!
This article was a contribution by Gregg Schwartz, who is the vice president of sales and marketing at Strategic Sales & Marketing, a lead-generation firm based in Connecticut. His company helps technology companies and various startups and small-to-mid-size businesses in the business-to-business sales category generate sales leads and improve their sales processes