The role of content in the future.
This article is letter (R) of our “Your Words Have Worth" series that shows your words and online content have value. “Your Words Have Worth" looks at what's the hottest, latest, and greatest for the coming new year and beyond. Find links to more articles in the series below.
Will your content sink into the void of endless content? Or will your content rise to a high-impact, viral sensation?
Thanks to content oversaturation, competition in the content marketing field has intensified. So what does the role of content in the future look like?
Some things we know for sure – content will remain king, high-quality content will succeed, and people will become more empowered with their content as time goes on.
It will be common knowledge that content has value and that individuals have a right to the value of the content.
Content Marketing – Then, Now, And Tomorrow
The best way to foresee the future is to take a look at the past.
The old world of marketing was solution selling. Sales aligned to solutions the buyer’s needs.
Our attention spans have been decreasing as time goes on. The average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds. To put this in perspective, the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.
That means your attention is a valuable resource marketers compete for a.k.a the attention economy. Whoever creates the most attention-grabbing content, wins.
It’s why you don’t see as many purely promotional advertisements that once flooded radio, billboards, and television. Emotional marketing messages are twice as effective as promotional ones. You lose people’s attention, and trust, once you get all sales-y.
Today, buyers are the ones that decide what solutions they need. They do some research, usually with search engines or digital assistants. Then they reach out to a vendor for pricing.
People have the power in their hands to decide what content they want to consume, what they will be, and where they can go buy it. Advertisers have lost their tight grip on consumers.
How have marketers adapted? By adopting a customer-centric marketing strategy. The old mindset was to create a product, then “push” the product on people. Now, companies base all their actions on what would be beneficial for the customer.
Legendary management consultant Peter F. Drucker accurately explains, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself…”
No longer are brands relying on general demographic information to target consumers. Now, the riches are in the niches. Niche markets, that is. The more specific and targeted products, and services are, the better they can sell themselves.
So where is this all going? What will the role of content be in the future?
Content will morph to fit specialized, niche markets. Personalization, the systematic tailoring of content to individual preferences, will be more widely available thanks to quickly advancing Artificial Intelligence.
Content Marketing teams will have access to more resources and talent than ever. Creative and technical smarts will join forces to solve really interesting problems. Gone are the days of unpaid interns writing roundup posts and listicles.
We already see brands evolving into publishers and entertainers. Content will entertain, inspire, inform, and create relationships between brand and consumer.
Content Is King… Or Is It?
Who Made Content King, Anyway?
Bill Gates coined the term “Content is King” in an essay of the same title. Here are a few excerpts from that essay:
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.
But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.
One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience."
Content became king when consumers became empowered with choice. The internet turned the tables on the company/ consumer dynamics. Content is king because that’s where the opportunity to make serious money is.
How Long Will Content Reign?
Content is here to stay as far as we can tell. As time goes on, everyday people acknowledge the value their content really has.
Everyday people are able to become bloggers, streamers, and affiliate marketers that make thousands of dollars from their online content alone. Content monetization is already a reality and more people will come to realize this reality as time goes on.
To validate this fact even further, governments and nations have also acknowledged the high value of content by passing laws to protect individual data rights. For example, the EU passed the General Data Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) and California passed a data privacy law (California Consumer Privacy Act).
As the future unfolds, SWOMI will create a new internet framework that gives content-value back to the user, not Big Tech. Our mission is to fully empower everyday people with their online content.
In Content We Trust
The Connection Between Content And Trust
Content is not only valuable for it’s monetary value. Content holds immense worth for its social value. Content is the online medium which we create, distribute, and trade social value.
The good news? Individuals, as well as brands, can publish content online. The publishing field has been leveled in this way.
The not so good news? Individuals, as well as brands, can publish content online. Anyone can publish anything online regardless if it’s true, factual, or ethical.
Online content creators must establish trust with their audience by proving their credibility with consistent content. Lifelong, quality relationships are the name of the game.
Future Content Will Be Higher Quality
When your content makes or breaks your reputation, you can bet content creators will only release their best.
A common content marketing rule of thumb is don’t publish content for the sake of it. If your content provides no value to your audience and you publish it anyway, that will hurt your reputation more than anything.
Content is deeply underperforming. Of the one million posts Buzzsumo analyzed in 2015, they found 50% of posts received 8 shares or less and 75% of these posts received 39 shares or less.
Content is underperforming. And what’s happening is a natural evolution of the fate of all marketing channels. They get less effective over time. In 1994, the first banner ad debuted an overwhelming 94% CTR followed. In 2014, .05% was the average CTR of a Facebook ad. The market simply became oversaturated.
As a result, content results are going to a smaller number of high-impact pieces.
This is where content has been, where it’s going, and where it will be. Content will be a hugely important part of the lives of everyday people, tech corporations, and economies.
Promotional ads have lost their sheen and content marketing has taken its place. The more saturated the content marketing channel becomes, the more it loses its effectiveness.
So now we see content marketing become more automated, more personalized, and more entertaining just to have a chance at being seen.
Event though content marketing may be losing its effectiveness, content is still king. And it will reign for a long time to come. We may see the methods of content monetization change, and content will only continue to grow in value.
This article is letter (R) of our “Your Words Have Worth" series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Your Words Have Worth" looks at what's the hottest, latest, and greatest for the coming new year and beyond. Find links to more articles in the series below.
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