Content marketing has evolved a lot in a very short time span. What was once a market dominated by whoever could produce the largest volume of marginal-quality content is now a market where success is based largely on your connections, diversity of content formats and your ability to connect with and engage an audience across multiple channels.
Content marketing is going through some serious changes right now, forcing marketers to analyze subjective situations and adapt to new technologies to stay relevant, because, more than ever, consumers are turning to the web for information and education.
According to DKNewMedia, 70 percent of U.S. consumers read or listen to opinions published in blogs, reviews and forums. If you want yours to be one of the few voices they are listening to, you need to prepare for these three emerging content marketing trends.
1. Better content promotion
You used to be able to publish content, like blog posts, on virtually any topic, and gain a fair amount of traction and traffic. That’s just not the case anymore. Content creation is at an all-time high as more marketers are publishing content -- and the quality of the content being published is through the roof. “You need to create ridiculously good content -- content that is useful, enjoyable and inspired,” writes Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs.
But just because you’re publishing ridiculously good content doesn’t mean you’re succeeding. That’s just the first step.
The problem is, too many marketers fail to promote their content enough: In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not using modern tools and resources to help with promoting all the new content you’re creating. If anything, you’re publishing more content, and spending twice as much time on manual promotion to get fewer results.
Expect to see this change as the industry starts pushing for better content promotion with more effective tools. “Influencer marketing” is the buzz phrase right now, and marketers are using resources like ContentMarketer.io with its Connector tool (email outreach to influencers and contacts) and Notifier (outreach to the influencers and people mentioned within your content); both turn influencers' heads toward your content.
Similarly, it's important how you tag others on social media with a post -- which becomes visible to their entire network of followers.
2. Repurposed content
Repurposing is hardly a new topic, but it’s fast gaining popularity this year as marketers realize that repurposing content is a no-brainer. If you’ve got something that has already resonated well with your audience, you absolutely should try to create more content with that topic.
“Repurposed content adds more horsepower to your marketing machine,” writes Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics. “It takes your content further, faster than you could ever do on your own. It helps you build up a fan base that you may have never known existed; and it does this without a lot of effort on your part. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just add more wheels to the machine?”
That’s the beauty of repurposing content -- you’re simply pushing your existing content out into a new channel, in a new form, to be digested in another way.
A well-performing blog post can be broken down into key points and turned into:
bullet points to be discussed on a podcast
a quick explainer video
a series of images with bite-size info pushed out via social channels
short videos posted and shared
quick-chat live video sessions using Periscope
Even the most innocent apps can be opportunities for repurposing content. Morgan Brown and I use Snapchat to share brief tips that have been pulled from other content sources. Check out what we’re doing by following us: snapchat.com/add/sujanpatel16 and snapchat.com/add/morganb160.
3. New publishing options
Facebook kicked off the trend in new publishing options when it introduced Instant Articles. It’s not surprising that the social platform took this route. Up to this point, content being shared via Facebook (and other social platforms) has always been a redirect to an outside source. Instant Articles turns Facebook into a native publishing platform, providing more direct options for publishers to quickly get their content directly in front of their audience.
Now, Google has introduced its own version of instant, rapid content-sharing, with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), and I expect to see different forms of native content publication spreading to other social and digital channels, as well.
What that means for the near future is that competition in content marketing is going to skyrocket. The market is already saturated, and algorithms, new formats and new tech are making it easier and cheaper for marketers and businesses to publish content.
The end result is that you’ll see further content floods coming with only the best kind of 10x content getting any meaningful visibility, unless it’s promoted properly. “People just jump right to, ‘We’re going to create this really cool thing and put it out there, and people are going to magically find it,’” says C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules. “You have to market your marketing.”
In 2016, the quality of content is extremely important, but the real difference is in how it’s promoted, where it’s promoted and whom it’s promoted to.