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Unveiling the Future of Content Marketing : 10 Must Know Predictions

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“Be the exception: How brilliant marketers find and follow what makes their stories different in a world full of average content” -Jay Acunzo

Yes, the future of Content Marketing is here to embrace those who will find a way to be brilliant and be exceptional. As content marketers, we are all jostling to get more attention for our brand. This study by Smart Insights shows that in 2016, a whopping 500 million hours of video was being uploaded to YouTube in just 60 seconds.

future of content marketing

What happens online in 60 seconds

 

As there is growing amount of content that is being produced each day, you cannot do anything but be different. You should have a story, an action plan, a solution that can get your audience to listen to you.

“Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than doing nothing at all.” -Joe Pullizi

Content Marketing is growing and will continue to do in future as well. But, you have to adapt and create highly personalized content that strikes a chord with your target audience. You will have to build a growing audience for your content, so you can get leads and conversions for your business, consistently.

Here are the top 10 predictions for the future of Content Marketing:

Future of Content Marketing: 10 Must-Know Predictions

1. Performance Driven Content

What is performance driven content? To begin with, content that gets your site rankings and subscribers is performance driven content.

“71% of marketers say that less than half of their content is being consumed.” – BrightEdge

In the coming times, it will not be so important to create more content, but content that your audience can use and follow. In this article, Neil Patel talks about why understanding user intent is more important than doing keyword research.

Put these questions to yourself: 

  • Will your content be able to answers searcher queries better than others?
  • Is it more engaging than the content that is already out there?

The other aspect of how you will need to create more searcher friendly content is to optimise it for voice search.

“Nearly 60 percent of all searches are performed on the mobile device.” -Search Engine Land

Most online searchers are now moving to the mobile device and voice search to look for answers to their questions.

future of content marketing

Voice search share

Source – Search Engine Land

Here are three critical ways to optimise your content for voice search:

  1. Make sure you have a Google My Business listing
  2. Optimize for Conversational keywords
  3. Add an FAQ page to your website
  4. Use structured data markup

2. Interactive Content

The future lies in having your audience to interact with your brand. Interactive content formats like quizzes, polls, informative calculators, interactive microsites, and infographics will become useful for collecting quality leads. 

“Interactive content generates 2x more conversions than passive content” Search Engine Land

Take a look at this example of an interactive quiz by Freshbooks, a popular cloud accounting tool:

This interactive content campaign does not just help the audience but also helps the brand in collecting qualified leads.

future of content marketing

Freshbooks quiz

3. Storytelling

Stories help you to entertain your audience and humanize your brand. Use of short snack-able and visual content will help brands get better traction. Brands that will be able to tell thought-provoking stories will easily lead the pack. Stories have the power to entertain your target audience and make your brand go viral.

Take a look at this example from Starbucks:

This video got more the 1.4 million views on YouTube. It is a part of the original content series by the coffee chain. The inspirational series called “Upstanders” inspires the audience brings and out the values that Starbucks stands for.

4. Building an Audience

Your audience has and will continue to have a growing amount of choice for content consumption. Creating content that’s audience-centric will be more important than ever before. The brands who genuinely care about their customers will win – they will create content that matters to their audience.  Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning will help you to mass personalize your content.

“Businesses that personalize web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales.”- MarketingProfs

Most big eCommerce companies including Amazon are already using customer data to create customised marketing messages for their audience.

5. Video Marketing

“By 2019, video content will account for 80 percent of all global internet consumption.” Cisco

Video marketing is going to play a critical role in helping you to create content that’s more powerful and compelling. Videos help you to humanize your brand and develop a deeper connection with your audience. Most businesses would at least need an introductory video to explain their products and services in simpler terms.

“YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.”- Wordstream

With the availability of a variety of online tools, you can create engaging video content, easily and effectively.  Video content is growing rapidly and brands must catch on to this trend and profit from it.

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6. Influencer Marketing

People who are buying online are always looking for a third opinion while making a purchase. While it’s important for brands to create authority content, it is equally important for opinion leaders to endorse them. There is a lot of content that brands are producing right now and the audience is looking for social proof to believe in the worth of a product/service.

Take a look at some of these stats:

“70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.” Think With Google

“86% of women look for an opinion on social media before making a purchase.” – A List Daily

Online influencers have a large following. You can easily collaborate with popular influencers in your niche and take a big leap in your Content Marketing efforts. Influencer marketing is a growing trend and will play a major role in the future of Content Marketing.

7. Live Streaming

Live streaming is a quick and simple way to promote products/services. Trends show a higher level of engagement with such content posted on social media channels.

Take a look at some of these stats:

“Facebook Live Videos Are Watched 3x Longer Than Regular Videos.”- Mediakix

“Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.” – Livestream

Live videos provide the audience with content that’s absolutely fresh. Such videos have an inherent sense of urgency that makes them compelling to watch. You can create live educational videos or event videos and strengthen your relationship with your fans and followers.

8. AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning make content production more predictive, personalized and productive. You will see a significant improvement in your website conversion rates by using AI-powered personalized content. AI and machine learning help you to predict audience preferences and provides them with offers that  are relevant to them. With affordable AI tools now being available, there will be a lot of small businesses that will be using AI for Content Marketing. 

3,500 marketing leaders say AI is the “leading technology where marketers expect the most growth in the next two years.” -Huffington Post

AI-powered chatbots are now helping companies to provide superior service to their prospects and customers. Artificial intelligence is also being used to create personalized recommendations and marketing campaigns. These campaigns are based on data website interactions, blog posts read and previous engagement with the mailers etc.

9. Mobile Optimised Content

Smartphones have kicked off a revolution of sorts in the last decade or so. The number of users who use the internet primarily on the mobile device is growing steadily.

It is essential for brands to create mobile optimised content as mobile will increasingly become the primary device for content consumption.

future of content marketing

Primary device usage trends

Source: Hubspot

People are also getting more used to receiving notifications on their mobile device.

future of content marketing

Primary device preference for notifications

Source: Hubspot

In the coming times, brands would have focus on creating content strategies that are more aligned towards a mobile audience.

10. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Studies have shown that AR and VR will generate $150 billion in revenue by 2020, and its widespread availability will create new opportunities for marketers to optimize their content. Augmented reality and Virtual reality provide brands with an opportunity to produce some awesome, immersive experiences for users. Bigger brands have already started using AR and VR to provide superior content and brand experiences. The New York Times is providing its users with an immersive 360-degree experience with the help of its VR mobile app.

Conclusion

The years to come will see a massive competition amongst brands to provide customer experiences that are unique, striking and emotionally appealing. They will be fighting for the consumer’s time and attention and educate them like never before. Newer technologies like AI and Machine learning will help predict consumer preferences as well as campaign outcomes. Mobile phones will become all the more important for content consumption. The content formats which will rule initially include videos and social content. Content that’s interesting and promoted well will reap rich dividends. Content Marketing will be much more than blogging and social sharing. Brands who will get the audience to interact with and engage with them through memorable stories will always take the lead. You will need to ensure that your Content Marketing strategy is aligned with what your audience is searching online. VR and AR will play a  key role in how big brands shape their Content Marketing strategy.

Looking to outsource Content Marketing for your business? You can check this list of top 20 Content Marketing agencies in India.

If you are looking to keep up with the latest trends in content and digital marketing, you can enrol for our certified digital marketing course.

Abhishek Talreja is curious about everything content and marketing. He loves to keep it short, simple and meaningful. He has been published on sites like MarketingProfs, SitePoint and SEMrush. He is the founder of Prolific Content Marketing.
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