As a leader on your brand’s team you probably don’t want to be an early adopter and come up with new marketing methods. You’d rather make calculated decisions that improve your bottom line—mitigating risk instead of adding to it.

But there’s one big problem with this approach to online brand building.

Internet marketing evolves so quickly that, by the time you’re ready to take on the best practices that others have dreamt up, they’re old news. In this regard, you have to be progressive in your online marketing efforts. And the best alternative to innovating new marketing methods is to use the past to carefully predict the future of what will work and what won’t.

Predicting the Future of Content Marketing

There’s no doubt that content marketing is essential to any Internet marketing strategy. Visit any social media platform. For every adrenalized political rambling or unwelcomed update about how swole your nephew got at the gym today, there’s a million content shares. The public is reading and watching huge volumes of content, turning around and sharing it with the masses. We know why they share, and we know there’s no signs of content becoming less of a part of our everyday lives, but do you know how your brand will keep up?

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane and, in turn, predict the future of content marketing.

Prediction #1 – Storytelling

Looking Back

We’ve seen unbelievable success in telling your brand’s story online. We know that in order to really relate to consumers, you need to get personal. But something’s happening in 2016. We’re seeing brands come up with fun new ways to tell stories, beyond the story of how they got started, and bring their customers along for the ride. Take Mailchimp, for example. The email marketing service provider that we’ve all come to know and love is in the midst of an interesting adventure—an experimental undertaking to start a store.
mailchim-whats-in-store

This makes absolutely no sense, right? It’s an email service provider. Why start a store? The platform, in its announcement email campaign, claimed it wanted to get into the shoes of its biggest customers and, “How can we truly understand the needs of our users if we have no idea what they’re going through?” They asked me to subscribe to campaigns regarding this venture specifically—a weekly breakdown that would bring me along on their journey of setting up a storefront without having any clue what they were doing. And I did. So, what can we learn from Mailchimp?

Looking Forward

Storytelling is going to become an even more significant piece of the digital marketing puzzle for any brand. And it’s clear that amusement should be a part of your storytelling strategy. Even if it adds no technical value to the lives of your target audience, you can still amuse them and take them along on a journey that’s in some way, albeit indirectly, related to those you most want to land as customers. By providing amusement, you’re humanizing your brand and increasing trust, which is proven to have big time impact on your bottom line.

Prediction #2 – Data-Driven Decisions

Looking Back

Data matters. Well, duh. We analyze data all day every day, compiling endless amounts of quantitative information for our clients and packaging it in an easily digestible way. We’ve known for quite some time that analysis and reaction is necessary to a successful online brand. But with new tools and the continual development of products like Google Analytics, we’re given more and more insights into the performance of your online content. So, what does this mean?

Looking Forward

This tells us that content marketing strategies will become increasingly data driven.

We can use data to determine what content consumers are engaging with, what they’re spending the most time on, what they’re spending no time on, and where they’re going afterward. As tools and products develop, we can rely more and more on data to give us a detailed road map to where your content strategy needs to go. And this means more creativity—not less. Because we can spend time focusing on getting creative with content we know will work instead of diluting our strategy to cover all the bases.

Prediction #3 – Quantity + Quality = Success

Looking Back

We already know that content sells without selling. After all, content marketing is grounded upon principles of providing value to consumers and asking next to nothing in return. That’s quality content. We’ve seen huge success building campaigns that offer information that aids your target customers’ lives in some way. But in order to grow, we need to keep SEO in mind as well. As search engines develop, we’re finding that their algorithm continues to grow increasingly keen on content quantity. The more quality content you write, the better the rankings. So, what can we take away from this?

Looking Forward

Well, we can guarantee that A LOT of content is going to be required to make an impression upon the Google beast and rank. But with this, we must remember that quality shan’t be forsaken! From the consumer standpoint, quality will also continue to be increasingly important. Consumers are growing wise to clickbait headlines and online brands who are claiming to be the best and will look more for authentic content that they want to engage with.

Prediction #4 – OMNIpresence

Looking Back

We’ve found that content marketing works in a cycle. Content production attracts inbound leads which lead to client acquisition which lead to subscribers which lead to email campaigns and targeted social campaigns which lead to repeat business—we could go on for days. But consumers are growing wise to robotic, standard, and unoriginal content. So, how do we plan for this?

Looking Forward

Content is going to be increasingly involved in every last piece of your digital marketing strategy. It’s not just going to be a single service at a marketing agency. As consumers grow used to the common clickbait and sales jargon, content is going to play an increasingly important role in ad copy on platforms like Facebook and Google AdWords. It’ll also become a more important part of creating landing page and website content, web design elements, and search engine optimization strategies. It’s undeniable that content is going to become increasingly important to marketing your brand as we dive deeper into the modern consumer’s dedication to, and time spent on, online mediums.

The Future is Bright

Even if your internal marketing team isn’t willing to be an early adopter of Internet marketing tactics, it’s important that you measure, learn, and grow alongside a talented agency team. Together, you can use results—past and present—to use content marketing progressively and pave the way for a bright future.

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Leigh Maneri
About the Author

Leigh Maneri is Content Marketing Director at OMNI Online Solutions. She directs web, social, blog and Email marketing content strategy for clients, helping them make a great impression to convert visitors into new customers.

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