NOTE: Salt & Pepper is intended to foster intelligent dialogue between professionals. This is not a dagger throwing contest. Be honest and authentic, but please also be kind and keep it classy.
Kirby “Salt” Hasseman and Bill “Pepper” Petrie create quite a bit of content marketing in the promotional products industry. However, with a rapidly evolving marketplace (and audience), what works today may not work in the very near future. In this month’s Salt & Pepper, Kirby and Bill pull out their crystal balls and look forward to see what content marketing might look like in 2018.
Salt – Kirby Hasseman
Making predictions, when it comes to technology in this day and age is a tough business. Technology is changing at a rapid fire pace and channels are changing with it. How does Content Marketing look as we move 2 years into the future? Here are my predictions of what it looks like in 2018.
Video, Video, Video: Video already plays a huge part in marketing of every kind. That will evolve even further. Every new app social app today has a video component. As it gets easier and more efficient to tell your story with video, the best marketers will utilize it in everything they do.
More Niche Channels: Watch for an evolution that looks like cable. Remember when there were 3 (or 4) major networks that had to appeal to everyone? Now cable offers a huge variety of channels that have programming for nearly every niche. Watch for social networks that begin to specialize in different interest areas.
Higher Quality: The good news is that just about everyone can create content. The bad news is that just about everyone can create content. In the next few years, if you want to stand out in this crowded content marketplace, you will need to produce content at a higher quality.
So those that can create high quality video into a niche, will be able to explode!
Pepper – Bill Petrie
Content marketing has been a key strategy for a quite a while now but it is clearly evolving. For example, as the human attention span continues to shrink, it will be incumbent upon content marketers to not only grab the target audience’s attention, but hold it long enough to consume the entire content. In 2018, I predict there will be three major differences from the content marketing we see today:
Brevity – While I realize this is also a critical component of today’s content marketing, the need for brevity will only increase. Blogs will need to be 300 words or less, videos will need to be no more than five minutes, and podcasts no longer than 15. People continually want things in smaller increments or their attention will drift elsewhere. By concentrating on what I call “quick hit content,” marketers will have a fighting chance to deliver content that will be consumed in its entirety.
Delivery – In 2018, people will not seek out content as much as they do today. I see a future where any content that is not subscription based will be roundly ignored by the target audience. People will want the content delivered to them and will burn precious few – if any – calories to seek it out. This means that the content must be relevant, informative, educational, and entertaining for people to allow you into their email inbox.
Augmented Reality – Blogs, podcasts, and video will always have their place, but the next logical step for content marketing is augmented reality (AR). Think about the popularity of Pokémon Go and how it captured the attention of seemingly everyone, even if it was for a short time. I believe that the next logical step for content is to deliver an immersive experience to your audience. Would you rather read an informative blog about apparel decoration or virtually experience it in ways you could manipulate the process to understand it better?
It’s clear that content marketing is here to stay and it’s just as clear that it will continue to evolve. Things are changing at an ever-increasing rate and the world of content marketing will not remain static. In 2018, it will need to be brief, be compelling enough to warrant subscribers, and will need to provide an immersive experience to your audience.