Creating content might just be one of the oldest professions out there. Ever since the cavemen started drawing pictures and signs on rocks, content creation has experienced non-stop growth. Today, blogs, articles, videos, social media, and infographics are desperately looking to capture people’s attention.
Yet, are they still having the same positive reaction in consumers as they used to? Why is there so much buzz about content marketing being dead? What are the emerging content marketing trends that marketers need to be aware of?
The Rising Challenges of Content Marketing
Let’s make something clear from the start: content marketing is NOT dead. And it might never be. Why? Simple: consumers want and are constantly seeking content. In these modern times where consumers are placing less and less trust in ads and hate being constantly sold to, content helps brands build meaningful relationships with consumers.
Content marketing is not dead, but it’s no secret that it’s become exponentially more challenging.
While creating content is no longer the revolutionary trend it once was, it’s one of the most powerful strategies brands can utilize to create value for their target market. Yet, current statistics revolving around content consumption are threatening its effectiveness.
Research has found that while the amount of content being created continues to increase exponentially, the rate at which consumers are consuming content has remained stagnant. The graph below showcases how unbalanced content consumption has become when compared to content production.
Content consumption is not growing as fast as it’s being produced.
At the same time, research from Beckon revealed that brands are creating 300% more content today than they did in the last decade. Yet, only 5% of all the content created was actually effective in achieving its intended results.
Therefore, the question is not whether content marketing is dead or not. But instead, about how marketers can create content that gets seen and drives results.
Before we dive deep into emerging content marketing trends and uncover new content driving results, let’s first debunk the myth that creating content is no longer worth doing.
Why Content Continues to be King
Bill Gates, one of the world’s most admired entrepreneurs and thinkers, famously expressed in a detailed article in 1996 the reasons why “Content Is King.”
Here are just some of the many reasons why content continues to be king today.
Consumers prefer organic over ads. A study by Terakeet backed up what many other researchers have repeatedly found: Google’s organic results are receiving higher click-through rates than paid results. Further proof is the fact that the use of ad-blocks has increased exponentially in the last decade.
The consumer journey begins with content. Today, consumers research pretty much everything. Jim Lecinksi, author of ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, shares in his book that consumers are no longer just researching expensive products such as cars and home appliances online. They are researching for even the most inexpensive of products such as toothbrushes and pens.
Content boost brands’ credibility. Especially when it comes to B2B, there’s a lot of conversations revolving around brands becoming ‘though leaders’ in their industry. Well, how can you become a thought leader in your industry without creating authentic, well-researched content?
Content can create value in multiple ways. One of the greatest benefits of content marketing is that its value can translate to multiple advantages. For example, content can generate leads, increase purchase intent, and boost consumer loyalty.
Its costs less… and performs better. According to DemandMetric, creating content is significantly cheaper than other forms of marketing – in most cases, up to 68% cheaper. Yet, it creates triple the number of leads and results.
Emerging Content Marketing Trends
According to research from TIME Magazine, humans’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. In fact, the prestigious magazine mentions how our attention span is currently shorter than that of a goldfish.
Think about that negative correlation for a second. While content production continues to increase exponentially, humans’ attention span continues to diminish. Is that an encouraging fact for content marketers?
Absolutely no. That means that all the following are true:
- Most content created will not be seen or engaged with.
- It’s increasingly challenging to make your content stand out.
- Consumers have less and less time to engage and read your content.
- If consumers do open your content, you must be creative in keeping them engaged.
The following top 8 content marketing trends can revive your content strategies in unique, original ways.
Have you ever Googled ‘best things to do in XYZ’ before planning a vacation? If you did, you probably came across a listicle – a short article written in the form of a list – listing the best activities and places to visit in the area.
Listicles are increasing in popularity and consumers are finding them increasingly engaging. Why? Listicles provide easy-to-follow, straightforward, and immensely useful information. Listicles are also very simple to skim and quickly get the most important points of the article.
This emerging content marketing trend can empower a brand’s content strategy while providing great value to consumers.
PS. Take your listicles to another level by utilizing attractive images and videos.
The phrase “an image is worth a thousand words” couldn’t be more accurate. GIFs, or Graphics Interchange Format, are one of those content marketing trends that perfectly embody the saying.
GIFs are great tools to express those feelings and emotions that words can’t. Consumers are finding GIFs increasingly compelling and are relying more and more on them for their everyday communication. Utilizing GIFs in your content can make your brand look more authentic, colloquial, and fun – qualities that consumers tend to look for in brands.
GIFs are becoming more and more popular. Today, you can find them anywhere from Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and even websites.
Memes are one of those emerging content marketing trends that need no introduction. We have probably all seen a meme in the past week – and most likely, the meme made us laugh. Just as with GIFs, memes enable marketers to appeal to people’s emotions to make their content even more appealing.
Including memes within their content enable marketers to reinforce their ideas and points uniquely. Memes are also very effective in the sense that it’s very easily shareable. Creating fun and attractive memes can enable brands to leverage the power of customer advocacy and digital word of mouth to spread their content’s reach and visibility organically.
PS. Using humor in your content is always, always, a good idea.
Gamification is one of those emerging content marketing trends that empower brands to create truly immersive digital experiences. By designing content in the form of a game – with rewards, points, rankings, and challenges – marketers can increase consumers’ level of engagement.
Gamification is especially valuable when either creating educational content or having friendly competitions. Including games within the content can boost people’s learning, feedback-loop, and collaboration.
PS. Think back to the classes you enjoyed the most back in school or college. They were probably either fun, engaging, or included rewards, right? Make learning a fun and enjoyable process with your content too!
One of the greatest content marketing trends today is that consumers are seeking transparency and authenticity. Consumers are more and more inclined towards getting to know the culture and people behind a brand.
Live streaming content provides a wonderful opportunity for content marketers to truly connect and engage with their target market. Especially popular within social media, live streaming can empower brands to forge genuine relationships with their brand.
According to Vimeo, 28% of marketers are starting to shift their focus towards creating more live streaming content and leveraging this increasing trend. Another reason to focus on live streaming is the fact that content in the form of videos is becoming the norm.
PS. Videos will enable you to engage with your audience in a different, more authentic way.
Podcasts are on the rise. It’s one of those content marketing trends that are becoming more popular by the day. Podcasts provide an excellent opportunity for both brands and individuals to engage with their audience authentically while building upon their reputation.
One of the greatest benefits of creating podcasts is that they are very easy to consume. You can consume it on your way to work, during a long walk, exercising, walking your dog, and even in the shower! Unlike reading, you can listen to a podcast while doing something else.
Podcasts are also great in the sense that they are portable. You can have access to them from pretty much everywhere – your smartphone, computer, laptop, or downloaded file.
Do you remember the time when Pokémon Go was trending? It literally drove people crazy! People used to go to places, travel around the city, and embrace a quest to capture the most Pokémons’ with their smartphone cameras.
Pokémon Go is a brilliant example of creating immersive content – those that leverage the wonders of virtual reality to create immersive experiences. As more and more companies start investing in artificial intelligence and virtual reality, we’ll see more brands creating immersive experiences.
PS. Immersive experiences are more powerful when they foster community through mutual collaboration.
One of the common patterns we see in all the previously mentioned emerging content marketing trends is providing a more personalized experience. Personalization can boost people’s interest in your content by making consumers immediately feel connected to it.
Creating content around your consumers’ demographic and psychographic data can empower brands to build stronger relationships with their consumers. Simple strategies such as utilizing social media quizzes, sending personalized emails, including infographics, and tools such as calculators can go a long way.
PS. Make your content not only personal but helpful to your customer.
The Theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ Also Applies to Content
Adapting to the latest content marketing trends is key for businesses to make their content stand out and create value for their target market. It’ll be more important than ever to engage customers in new and original ways as content production continues to reach record levels.
What’s worked in the past for content marketers doesn’t mean it will work today. Content will remain king, but rather than being a stagnant one, it’ll have to evolve to meet the needs of people today.