The Future of Content Marketing

A picture of a fish wrapped in newspaper

As a content writer, I’m highly sensitized to the temporal nature of my work. Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “Yesterday’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chips wrap.” So, when I am asked about the future of content marketing, I have to be sure I don’t write about what I want to happen verses what experience tells me is probably going to happen. That said, when it comes to the future of content marketing, the news isn’t at all bad. In fact, it’s kind of exciting. You can hold me to that this time next year. (Don’t worry, this blog link will still be here!)

With all that in mind, here are three significant trends we believe are shaping the future of content marketing.

Community Equals Customers

People use social media to build, nurture and engage with a community, a community that often includes brands (businesses, services and entertainment) as well as family and friends. But nobody wants to share their daily 20 minutes of quality Facebook or Twitter time with a brand that treats social media like a digital billboard on the expressway to your pocketbook.

A billboard is something you only glance at while driving, and even then usually only read if you’re in need of a pit stop. But content relevant to your customers helps build relationships and inspire engagement. To continue the road trip analogy, great content is of like that awesome view of a valley that inspires you to pull over, get out of your car, take a selfie with your smartphone, and share it on Facebook.

More and more brands are realizing the value of being human in a digital world. Social media platforms are an efficient and cost-effective means of building a community of loyal customers, but only if they feel like they are being spoken to as human beings, not a potential source of income. Effective content marketing will continue to play a key role in building a community loyal to a brand, especially content values on customer relationships, as opposed to just sales.

Quality Over Quantity

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of boring, unimaginative verbiage out there on the Internet, and a lot of it is content that begins with those three overused words: “Let’s face it.”

What exactly do we need to face? The fact that when it comes to content, quality, as opposed to quantity, is what helps drive engagement and build customer loyalty. Badly written, grammatically screwy, awkwardly keyword-laden content does nothing to inspire customer loyalty and, in fact, will actually hurt your brand when it comes to searches and SEO. More and more brands are realizing this and raising the bar when it comes to content creation, be it a heavily-researched, industry-centric white paper or a humorous tweet.

Keep in mind that all content, be it an email blast, a social media post, an important page on your website, or something else should be specific to your brand and the customers you hope to engage. What works for Coca-Cola won’t work for the local smoothie shop, and that’s where the real creativity comes in. Instead of regurgitating what a competitor has already shared, tweeted or blogged, why not be yourself? Tell your story. Brands are finally beginning to understand that great content builds trust. With so much stimuli competing for the attention of consumers via their laptops, tablets and smartphones, imitation and bad writing is a surefire way to lose customers, and forget about gaining new ones.

Collaboration Across Departments

Interactive, as usual, is ahead of the curve with this one. Within our industry, effective content marketing is going to come out of collaboration across departments, including those not traditionally associated with marketing. While the writers and editors are doing the heavy lifting, input from sales, SEO, design and development staff can hone a piece of targeted copy into something users read, click on and/or share. Good teamwork can preclude “too many cook in the kitchen” syndrome, and the most effective teams are the ones brands will seek out when it comes to content marketing.

Most importantly, content writers will need to be sure to listen to you, the client. You know your customers because you interact with them every day. Content writers enjoy the challenging position of having to put themselves in the shoes of both you and the people that make up your customer base. We are able to do that by brainstorming and listening to you, as well as to our fellow team members.

Content Marketing Specialists

Sound exciting? Then what are you waiting for? Contact us to learn more about how we can help you align your business goals with the future of content marketing.

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