Content marketing isn’t a hard science, but it’s still relatively new, and the practices that govern successful content marketing constantly fluctuate with prevailing trends. Because of the changing nature of content, businesses should devote ample time to their creation process to make sure content is always up to date with new standards.
The latter months of 2015 are the perfect opportunity for companies to start thinking about the future of their content marketing campaigns. Which trends are going to stick around and which will fall by the wayside are two questions that should be on every marketer’s mind well before 2016 arrives. Here are the content innovations you can count on to drive future business.
An Ever-Expanding Field of Content
Content is more than just your blog or social media posts. Content is everything you post that influences consumer behavior. It can be visual and auditory, and visual content is getting bigger and bigger every day. Video, pictures, graphic design, word choice, length, and the “feel” of content will be driving forces behind content marketing strategies across the world.
More than half of consumers are already starting to view companies that post video content as more trustworthy than competitors. 70% think videos present a positive impression of any company, and in general, video content is far more likely to be engaged with than blogs, articles, and any other written material. This data will likely encourage a shift in the content marketing community from focusing on written pieces to bringing engaging, down-to-earth video content to consumers. Young people flock to video streaming content more than other types of content to get their information.
In the past, video content posted by companies was largely produced for advertising purposes. It provided company information, but presented no value proposition to the consumer. Many consumers are just as happy skimming through a website to learn this type of information. Now, successful promotional videos are short, precise, and valuable pieces site visitors can’t wait to click on.
An Expanding Field of Social Platforms
You can add Snapchat to your list of must-have marketing tools. Snapchat is already becoming a marketing platform preferred by many companies. Snapchat offers information that is as current as any real-time Twitter post, and it does it in a personal and visually appealing manner. Young consumers prefer Snapchat for its exclusivity and content that’s easily digestible.
It only takes a few seconds when a consumer opens a Snapchatted message for that image and wording to take root in a consumer’s mind. It’s fast, effective, and a marketing trend that’s here to stay. Even presidential candidates are turning to the platform to get through to voters. Be prepared to shift your social strategy to target the platforms being heavily used at the moment to stay on top of the marketing trends.
Interactive Content is Huge
Content users can interact with will always win out over static posts. Take quizzes for example. People want to know which Game of Thrones character they’re most like or what area of town they should live in. It doesn’t matter if the quiz is scientifically backed or not; it’s a fun distraction that may also help them confirm something about themselves. Magazines like Cosmopolitan started the quizzing culture, and sites like Buzzfeed utilize it every day to fuel user interactions. Some of their quizzes have been viewed millions of times.
Infographics are also becoming more interactive. Simple infographics that expand and contract allow site visitors to create their own content experience, which can be a powerful marketing tool considering people retain 80% of what they see and experience. See below and compare which graph would be more appealing to users.
Two ways to visualize the data from the Twitter example above. – Smashing Magazine
Content Creation Will Speed Up
Content creation of all shapes and sizes will likely continue to be produced at a breakneck speed in coming years. As the world of marketing evolves, keep an eye out for trends in user-generated content. Brands are starting to realize that consumers often do a better job of marketing their products than they do. Real world users appear more trustworthy and are therefore more compelling sources of information.
Consider this – between the beginning of time and 2003, only five exabytes of content were created. An exabyte is equal to one quintillion bytes. As of 2013, that amount of content was created daily, and the amount of data being uploaded every day is only getting larger. What does that mean? It means if you’re content isn’t on point, it may get lost in the shuffle.
How Your Company Can Start Evolving Now
With so many changing trends, you may feel like you can never keep up. The best piece of advice any marketer will give you today is to stay true to your company’s mission. Trends will come and go, and some will become a standardized part of the marketing model, as social platforms have. Focus on creating pieces of value on the platforms that reflect your brand personality. Then, you can use the same basic pieces of content to inform your posts across many different sites.
If you have an interesting office environment, video marketing may be the way to win over consumers. Others may get a better response by posting fun quizzes. Do what feels right for your brand, engage with the community, and find a professional marketing partner you can trust to help you constantly reimagine your digital strategy. And don’t be afraid to try something new in your marketing campaigns.