Now that 2016 is in full swing experts have weighed in on the key digital trends for the year. There are several diverse/disparate themes of what is poised to be the next big thing. But one theme is consistent throughout: CONTENT.
The saying “Content is King” is indeed right on for 2016. Content can refer to Content Marketing, Personalized Content or Dynamic Content. Everyone agrees that these are the areas that small and large businesses will be focusing on in 2016. You should be focusing on them, too.
After all the swarm around Ad Blocking in 2015 and its impact on advertising it makes sense that Content Marketing be a central theme of 2016. Content Marketing is a way around the intrusive advertising that people are increasingly growing to hate, and finding ways to avoid.
In 2016, brands will become publishers rivaling the quality of top-notch publishing companies. Content Marketing will become smarter, by leveraging analytics to see what resonates and leads to better ROI. Qualitative metrics like shareability and likes will still matter. But we’ll see a shift toward conversions being the metric that drives content campaigns.
In 2016, content will become more dynamic. It will change not only in appearance but also in substance, based on the context of the user. The content will change based on location, time of day, and the channel, among other things. Essentially, campaigns will be driven by what the system knows about the recipient, beyond age and income. It will rely more on search activity, social media connections, recent online purchases. You will soon begin hearing the term “programmatic content marketing.”
There will be less segmenting audiences at a high level. Instead, we’ll see micro-segments with dynamic content using automated algorithms and real-time attributions to maximize marketing ROI.
Content to connect with Millennials and Gen Z
Video content is the key to reaching Millennials and Gen Z. Their consumer behavior is tied to their phones. Pre-teens, teens, and early 20 somethings are never without their phones, and screen-time is at an all time high. These users have gone past the written word to focus almost solely on video.
They seek visual stimulation in the form of images or video and prefer quick snapshots (micro-moments). But they are quickly moving past images and favoring video. Case in point, my Millennial cousin didn’t send me a birthday card or even a text message. Instead, she sent me a text of a short 10-second video of her saying Happy Birthday.
Younger consumers are sharing video content in walled gardens like Snapchat. Platforms like these will continue to grow, and new ones will come to the forefront. We’ll begin to see a shift in video content from static to live stream. Users are viewing most videos in a real-time, low-production, vertical formats. Platforms like Meerkat, Periscope, Snapchat, and others are common.
Also, 360-degree video, currently a nascent medium, will begin to mature. Just a few days ago NASA released a 360-degree Mars video. You’re bound to see more of that in 2016 marketing campaigns. Along with things we can’t begin to predict.
2016 is seeing rapid changes in content marketing, but don’t be overwhelmed. This trend is good news. Content in any guise is an excellent thing. It creates value and is free to consumers. It can build businesses brand equity and consumer engagement for those who generate it intelligently. Plus, it offers real ROI. I can’t wait to see how it continues to evolve in 2016. Let’s ride this wave together.
But first, tell me this: what obstacle keeps you from reaching your content marketing potential? Everyone’s answer is unique. I look forward to hearing yours.