Times are changing – are you?
Whatever your industry, content marketing is the key to success. It’s your chance to win over your audience and drive traffic and conversions.
But content marketing is constantly evolving – it looked entirely different ten years ago, in another ten, it’ll look different again.
So how do you keep up and make sure your marketing is always relevant?
Here we talk about the evolution of content marketing – where it’s come from and where it’s going.
Ye olde content marketing
Though it hadn’t yet adopted its name, forms of content marketing date back as early as the 1700s. At that time, there was only one marketing medium – paper. Through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, brands used magazines, newspapers and even cereal boxes to communicate with their customers.
And then radio and television graced the world, but there was a limit to how much reach it could get.
Enter the internet
Even just ten years ago, smartphones were still uncommon. Blogging was mostly a fun hobby. Social media conglomerates were in their infancy, and the idea of a social media influencer would have seemed…strange.
The digital age opened the content marketing floodgates. Brands were now marketing through articles, EDM’s, videos, eBooks and webinars. With the click of a button, content can be in the hands of billions of people in seconds. Goodbye cereal boxes and newspaper ads.
In the twenty-first century, we’re connected to our phones 24/7. We’re constantly reachable and content marketing is inescapable. So, what does that mean for the future?
Here are some trends we can expect to see this year.
The stats are stacking up
Video’s here to stay
When we watch a video, we become emotionally attached to it. It’s incredibly persuasive and powerful, and there’s no denying video will continue to dominate content marketing. TikTok has 689 million users globally, and YouTube’s revenue has grown nearly $19 billion US in just ten years.
Increased engagement across multiple platforms
In 2021 people have multiple means of connecting with brands. We’re engaging with content more. Forbes says we consume content on websites, apps and social media – and we seek more and more content that is personal. The demand for good quality content has increased hugely and so has the demand for quantity. Whether you realise it or not, content is constantly in our faces, so you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd by offering something of value.
Blogging – everyone’s doing it
Neil Patel guesses there are more than a billion blogs on the internet now. That’s one blog for every seven people. According to HubSpot, blogging is the third most common marketing strategy, and 70 per cent of people would rather learn about a company through content than traditional advertising. Who would’ve guessed that what started as a noughties hobby would turn out to be the 2020s’ biggest marketing strategy?
Improved natural search rankings (SEO)
Content marketing has a valuable place in search engine optimisation and that’s not changing anytime soon. Key Medium agrees that the marriage between good quality content and an increase in natural search rankings is here to stay. On top of that, people trust organic search results over paid ads. They’re reassuring, authentic and part of the marketing landscape.
Quality content is still king
We know that the internet is saturated with content and the marketing landscape is becoming even more competitive. But, if you can add value to the reader with quality, readable content, evoke curiosity in your headlines and lure people in with your authenticity, that’s the first step in the right direction. Ultimately, that will all fall into place if you start by creating a solid content marketing strategy and get clear on who you’re speaking to and how you can add value – the key to winning over your audience.
Keeping up with the content
Since the days of the first magazine, content marketing has drastically changed. People are reading and doing more research online before they buy and are fed up with being advertised and marketed to without anything being in it for them. Creating quality content for your audience is a way to give something back before asking for anything and will instil trust in your brand. According to Forbes who predict for 2021 and beyond, content marketing and creating high-quality content is how you’ll stand out from the crowd.
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