The Future of Content Marketing – What You Need to Know to Be Prepared
by Chico Orange
With digital marketing on the rise, the question of 2018 that everyone is asking is…what is the future of content marketing?
According to Noah Brier Co-Founder and CEO of Percolate, “Asking ourselves what the future of marketing looks like should be less of a priority than building an organization that can deal with whatever future ends up arriving.”
Whitney M. Young once said, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
In today’s post, we will be discussing the future of content marketing. The information that will be reviewed will better help you understand the past, the present, and the future of content marketing.
Understanding the platforms for the future of content marketing
So let’s take a close look at some of the more popular social media platforms.
Here is Instagram by the numbers:
- Over 800 million Instagram users
- 500 million daily active users
These numbers have been steadily climbing for the past few years and will continue to do so. Which gives you even more opportunity in the future of content marketing for your business!
What this means is there is so much opportunity to increase your brand awareness with the content you produce. People are constantly watching and it’s up to you to make them your audience.
This platform has displayed some staggering numbers in recent years and as most recent as this year. According to their 1st quarter numbers of 2018:
- There are over 2.2 billion active users worldwide.
- This is a 13% increase from last year.
- An average of 1.45 billion users log on to Facebook daily and 1.74 billion are mobile users (That is a 21% increase year over year from 2016).
- On average approximately 5 new profiles are created every second.
Facebook’s growth isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Not only is it way too big to ignore but the number of mobile users are going to increase. This means that your content, brand or product is more than likely going to be viewed, liked and/or shared while the user is on the go.
Although this platform doesn’t have as high a number of active users as Facebook and Instagram, it’s still pretty significant. It’s enough to make a difference in the future of content marketing, so we’re going to note it.
- Twitter has 330 million active monthly users.
- That’s approximately a 4% increase from last year.
- Out of those 330 million users, 69 million are located in the United States.
- Twitter supports over 40 languages across the world.
Snapchat was, and for some is still, seen as an app for millennials who are eager to share short-lived video content. Today’s stats:
- Snapchat has over 300 million monthly users.
- 187 million of the users are on the platform daily.
- 41% of Snapchat users between the ages of 18-34 watch over 10 billion videos on Snapchat a day.
- 76% of users made a purchase online within the last month.
This platform isn’t used much by businesses when compared to other social media platforms because it is the newest, which gives it the most potential to make a difference in the future of content marketing.
To wrap up our social media discussion we’ll leave you with one more thing. It’s time to go mobile! Start shifting your content focus video because video content is the future of content marketing. According to Forbes.com, video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019 and 51% of US internet visits occurred on mobile devices. Take a deeper look at how marketing is already shifting to video content with these fun facts:
- Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
- Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
- 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
- According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year.
- 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
It’s equally as important to not only understand your product but the tools you’re using to market those products to ensure you are maximizing your efforts and the potential of your marketing tools.
Another way to begin preparing for the future of content marketing is understanding another aspect of social media that plays a major role in what’s trending, this is the use of hashtags. Let’s do a brief overview to understand how the hashtag came to be.
The hashtag was once known as the “pound” sign but the hashtag era all began on November 23rd, 2007 when Google developer Chris Messina first tweeted the following:
In an interview with WCCO-TV (local CBC news channel in Minnesota) Chris Messina said, “It was one of those things where I had so many haters in the beginning that I thought this thing would never pick up. But, secretly, I sort of felt like, “C’mon guys, this is the simplest thing that could work.”
Messina added, “People were like, that’s weird, that’s kind of dumb. You do whatever your thing is, and we’ll keep complaining about the problem.” At first using the hashtag seemed like an online fad for posting content that would either eventually fade away or never really pick up any steam.
But in today’s world of social media, the hashtag is used to categorize a topic. The idea behind it was to bring people together to discuss that same topic online. According to Messina, the reason he chose the “pound sign” (#) was because it was an easy keyboard character to reach on his 2007 Nokia phone, and that was the birth of the hashtag.
Now that you’ve heard a brief origin story of what is now known everywhere in 2018 as the hashtag, let’s analyze how it’s used today as it is commonly used in most social media posts to categorize trending topics.
Taking the next step toward the future of content marketing
Hashtags can be used to grow your business, but understanding the general rules of usage is key. An Instagram post with at least one hashtag receives approximately 12.6% more engagement than those without. That’s a considerable increase and could make the difference on how much your brand is getting noticed.
In regards to your audience engagement, captions are a contributing factor as well but we’ll get to that part shortly. Another great benefit of incorporating hashtags into your posts is that your post can be featured on the explore page of Instagram.
The explore page is sort of like what’s popular on Instagram but it provides content that is relevant to the user (aka customer) based on what they’ve “liked” previously. What’s unique about the algorithm associated with the explore page is that it monitors your usage on the platform to present content that is catered to you.
If your brand or product does land on the explore page you have an opportunity to reach users who were unaware of your brand and can provide a bridge that leads them to discover something new. And that’s one way how you can improve your reach, awareness, and establish your brand on social media platforms.
Let’s harken back to the first sentence of the paragraph above. Understanding the potential of the marketing tools i.e. hashtags, provided to you on these digital platforms can maximize the results of your output.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram released a report showing that now, there are more than 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Bottom line, businesses no matter the size, have already begun noticing the impact that utilizing social media can have.
From generating leads, maximizing revenue, and increasing your brand awareness, if you want to be further than where you were in 2017 it’s definitely time to step into the world of social media. Incorporating a new marketing strategy into your business doesn’t have to be difficult, do the research, understand the process and execute! This is what will have you ready for the future of content marketing.
The future of content marketing speaks volumes
Creating content should be a big part of your marketing strategy as it plays a big role in achieving your marketing goals. The future of content marketing is and has continued to shift towards personalized content.
When it comes to content creation, quality matters. Especially since one of the main objectives is to garner attention. Eye-popping content along with catchy captions are more likely to hook your audience’s’ attention and spark their interest to find out more details about your product, brand and/or business.
According to John Medina from Brain Rules, “Vision trumps all other senses.” We as humans are incredible at remembering pictures because we are more engaged in the story-telling part of content rather than reading a list of facts.
Medina continues to discuss how if we hear a piece of information, three days later we’ll only remember 10% of it. But if you compile that piece of information with a picture i.e content, we’ll remember 65% of it. Fascinating isn’t it?
In addition, research compiled by 3M (the company behind Post-it Notes), shows that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Lastly, social media research scientist Dan Zarella found that Twitter users whose tweets contained images were 94% more likely to be retweeted than tweets without any image.
If the information I shared with you thus far has sparked your interest into the future content marketing, learn more about the data that supports why investing in content marketing should be your next step.
Personalization of Content
Every small business desires to head in the direction of success. You don’t start a business just to fail, you start a business because it’s something you want to do, something you’ve dreamed of. The moment you made the decision to venture out into the industry that your passion falls under, you decided that’s what your life was going to be about going forward.
So, how does your brand differentiate from others in your industry? How are you going to ensure that when the light shines brightly on your small business, that the shadow it casts, isn’t the same as your competitor who is located a few miles down the road from you? The answer…personalized content.
To create content that suits your brand, understanding your audience is crucial. According to SearchEngine Journal, there are 3 categories for content and each category provides the purpose for the content under that category.
- Informative content answers questions, sparks curiosity and provides new insights.
- Thought-provoking content raises consideration, provides solutions and challenges the standard.
- Decision-making content forces comparison provides reviews and provokes an action.
Content Marketing consists of two parts, search engine optimization, and content marketing but most of all it is about adding value to your audience. Collecting the right consumer data will assist you with creating the profile of your target audience and will help shape the content around your ideal customer. What do you they want? What do they need?
The answers to the above questions are found by gathering relevant behavioral information from your audience. By combining the following marketing tools, search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing into your strategy, you will better position your brand for the future of content marketing.
Creating content is about creating awareness to relevant industry topics and having content that is informative or educates the audience. You want your brand to be present to your audience without it seeming like you’re trying to sell them on your product/brand or service for every post that is published. Shaping your content around the above-mentioned information will give you a better opportunity to display your brand in front of your audience. By doing so, you have the chance to establish face-time with your target audience, build relationships through engagement, and generate leads.
Establishing rapport with the audience builds brand awareness and the more aware people are of your brand the more they will pay attention every time you publish content. In order to get attention for your business, you have to give attention to the details that will help your business grow. The last thing you want to do is drive your audience away by using some generic photo and bland caption.
The idea is to show the industry you’re in, that you arrived, that you are different and have something to offer. Be calculated. Be strategic. But most of all, Be resourceful. Continuously doing research in your field and staying up to date on what’s happening and what’s around the corner for your industry will help prepare your business for the future of content marketing.
At Citrus.ph, we are always looking ahead to the future. We keep our clients prepared for what’s on the horizon. Not sure if you’re prepared? Contact us and we’ll discuss what the future of digital marketing looks like for your business.
June 4, 2018
June 4, 2018