The Future of Content Marketing

Many people think content marketing is all about blogging or email and social media copy. Well, content marketing is more than just the written formats of content. It now encompasses things like videos, podcasts, blogs that have video or audio elements. These content delivery modes have enabled marketers to be even more creative when creating and delivering content to their audiences. 

There are over 440 million blogs; hence there is massive competition on the internet right now. So, whatever you are planning to blog about, chances are there are many people already blogging about it. Also, there are only so many popular keywords that people are looking for. Millions of websites compete to rank favorably on the search engine results pages (SERPs). So, regardless of the popular keyword you want to go after, you will encounter a lot of competition.

Another significant thing that genuinely explains the shift from just written format content is that audiences want content that resonates with them across any device. Studies have shown that the attention spans are shrinking, and people face a lot of distractions. Thus marketers are embracing a more diverse approach to delivering content to their audiences than just written content. People are watching more and reading less and want to connect with brands on their terms.

To survive through the competition and stay relevant, brands have to go beyond just a content delivery blog. They must embrace a diverse approach to content marketing. Here’s what the future of content marketing will be like and what it means for brands.

Video has become the most popular type of content.

Video delivers the brand message in a way that no other type of content can. People want to watch more, so videos can capture and hold the audience’s attention and even increase engagement with the brand. People can learn important things and be moved emotionally through storytelling.

Brands worldwide use videos as the primary medium for delivering their message, making video the most popular form of content among brands, surpassing blogs and infographics.

The increase in popularity for visual content is directly linked to the shifting consumer habits – more consumers would rather watch a video about a brand or a product than read about it. Video content dominated in 2020 and will continue to dominate.

Younger generations prefer to watch a video to written content, which is one reason for increased viewership. You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” However, the younger generations (both millennials and Gen Zers) are not just any content, but the video is king. Brands already know that these generations will make up the majority of future content consumers. Therefore, your content marketing strategies should and must capitalize on video. This habit of watching more and reading less is here to stay.

Top brands across various industries, such as Nike, Expedia, Moz, and many others, are already utilizing long-form video content to tell exciting stories, show their behind-the-scenes, give guides, and so much more to their audiences.

Podcasts are rapidly gaining popularity in content marketing.

Podcast consumption is rapidly increasing across the globe. According to a study done by Edison Research, monthly podcast consumption in the United States increased from 32% in 2019 to 37% in 2020. Listenership is getting stronger every day.

A podcast is an extremely convenient way for brands or marketers to deliver content. Consumers can listen to a podcast whenever they want, whether driving, working out, or just relaxing.

Unlike video content, a podcast is relatively easy to set up. You only need a microphone and recording software to get started. When building a branded podcast, you need to have a core concept in mind and start building from the ground up. You don’t have to be perfect when you are just getting started. The first episodes should serve as learning opportunities to identify what is working and what isn’t working for your podcast.

You need to make sure you’re delivering content that your audience wants to hear as you work on producing finer details. Use the early episodes as an opportunity to capture and hold your audience with great content.

Embrace diverse content

In 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers experienced budget cuts leaving them with fewer resources to reach new customers. Therefore, they had to embrace diverse content rather than rely on paid channels to get new customers. Brands have started utilizing a diverse range in digital marketing, which is common among media companies. This involves creating engaging content across multiple formats and getting audiences to a centrally controlled location to consume content.

Brands are not doing so to sell ads or subscriptions to their content like what a media company indeed does, but are focused on moving audiences to a place where they can get a lot of engagement rather than continuously struggle for attention against the latest viral videos.

By adopting this kind of marketing, brands can own their audience. This is quite different from relying on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok to share content and gain followers, mainly because they acknowledge that audience, meaning you can communicate directly with the followers.

While social media is a powerful way to reach and connect with your audiences, you now need to use these platforms to build your subscriber base. This way, you will develop and nurture long-term brand affinity. By sharing great content, you will attract and retain your subscribers.

MailChimp, an email marketing platform, is one of the brands that have adopted the media-driven marketing strategy. It has plenty of valuable written content, video series, and podcasts covering a range of their unique niche and audiences. Their broad spectrum of content is designed to educate, entertain and connect with their audiences by leveraging multiple content formats, including videos, blogs, podcasts, and many others. While they leverage social media platforms to promote their content, they ultimately drive their audiences to the MailChimp website, where they consume the content.

With this strategy, brands utilize social media to reach their audiences and directly engage them to build brand affinity over time.

Email is becoming the new blog. 

Email is a crucial component of digital marketing strategy. When you have someone’s email, you can reach them directly, and this is one of the best ways to convert your prospects into paying customers. Until recently, you had to create a lot of content to generate email list sign-ups. Today, you only need to create fewer high-quality content types to get sign-ups for your email list.

Savvy brands are not focused on publishing blog posts on their social media channels. Instead, they save their best content for their email lists. Creating high-value content as the primary way to generate email list sign-ups of your ideal customers is much more cost-effective than writing massive amounts of blogs.

Through emails, brands can nurture relationships with their audiences more effectively than how blog posts used to. Email gives you an excellent opportunity to address the core needs of your audience. It’s a powerful form of direct marketing that allows you to target consumers who are more likely to buy from you.

Curation of content for customers 

Curation plays a critical role in today’s content marketing. All of your customers have access to information. What they need is a way to filter all of the information available out there. Therefore, brands should not only create high-value content but also curate content for their audiences.

Content curation means gathering the best of web content and putting it together in a simple bundle for your audiences to consume. While doing so, remember to include some of your best content as well. Through content curation, more consumers will trust you, show consumers that you’re confident in your brand voice, and will help them learn to resonate with your unique brand voice.

Conclusion

The future of content marketing requires creativity, adaptability, and creating a well-balanced content strategy. Instead of solely relying on producing and publishing tens if not hundreds of blog posts, you need to consider other content formats, such as videos and podcasts. Viewership and listenership are more vital than ever, and there are no signs of either of them slowing down. Therefore, by incorporating video and podcasts into your content marketing strategy, you will deliver your brand messages much more effectively. You need to adopt the media-driven marketing strategy to own your audiences and show them that you are better placed to help them.