A good content marketing strategy is one of the best ways for a business to shape its brand identity, engage prospects, and retain an engaged audience. It allows you to establish authority in your space, legitimize the project, and build trust between you and the people you are trying to reach.
As you can guess, it’s worth understanding. But it’s easier said than done. Content marketing is not static. The landscape of practice is constantly changing. It doesn’t look the same as it did ten years ago, and in ten years it won’t be the same as it does now.
It is a difficult subject to pin down – a subject with a fascinating past and an exciting future. Out of genuine interest and forward-thinking practicality, it’s important to understand both where it’s been and where it’s going.
Here we are going to have an overview of both. We are going to take a look at how content marketing at has evolved over the past decade, and how Go to evolve into the next one.
How content marketing has evolved over the past decade
Google has changed that.
In 2011, Google made its history Zero Moment of Truth Study (ZMOT). He found that 88% of shoppers use what’s called a zero moment of truth – a discovery and awareness stage in a buying cycle where a consumer researches a product before buying it. Google research also indicated word of mouth was a big factor in influencing this moment.
The study provides a unique point of reference in the context of the evolution of content marketing. It captures the essence of how and why companies were to focus on content marketing in the early 2010s.
It was tacit proof that companies’ stories were being told online – far beyond the control of their marketing departments – and it was in their best interests to help shape those conversations.
The ZMOT study highlighted the need for its Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ranking relevant keywords on search engines has become almost essential to bolstering a business’s online presence and sustaining consumers’ Zero Truths.
But this study was not the only bomb that Google launched in the early 2010s. At the time of publication of the study, Google’s search ranking algorithm changed to discourage “Keyword filling“- the practice of repeatedly loading a web page with specific keywords in an attempt to influence search engine rankings.
The change represented what is still an ongoing effort by Google to provide users with positive and useful online experiences. And that’s exactly what he did. The change that has allowed businesses to focus on producing more meaningful, high-quality content.
Social media has increased.
But the evolution of content marketing was not exclusively about search engines. The meteoric rise of social media – one of the most disruptive trends in human history – has also had a profound impact on the practice. As these platforms became mainstays of everyday life, they presented new challenges for content marketers.
As social media evolved, it popularized a different type of content consumption than search engines. The difference came down to a question of “sharp versus passive”.
Consumers use search engines to find content more precisely. Generally speaking, when you use a search engine, you are looking for a specific answer or topic. Social networks have enabled users to consume content more passively on their favorite platforms. The content you see on your Facebook feed finds its way to you – not the other way around.
This trend encouraged the creation of more shareable and eye-catching content that could easily be disseminated on social media channels.
The video made a surge.
Video has also emerged as one of the most popular content marketing mediums over the decade, especially among younger consumers. By 2017, more than 50% of consumers wanted to see videos from the brands they supported – more than any other type of content.
Video is inherently appealing. Generally speaking, it’s easier to follow than blog posts, email newsletters, or ebooks. Gradually, the public started to do it more and more over the decade. In the late 2010s, platforms like YouTube were at the heart of the content marketing landscape.
Obviously, content marketing has undergone several changes in the 2010s, but as I said at the start of this article, the practice is not – and never will be – static. There are still a lot of changes to come.
How content marketing will evolve over the next decade
Video content will continue to reign supreme.
As I just mentioned, the video was emerging as one of the most – if not the the most important media for content marketing at the end of the last decade. There is no indication that this trend is stopping anytime soon.
From 2020, 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool – up 24% from 2016. And 92% of marketers who use it see it as an important part of their marketing strategy. It’s already a staple in the content marketing operations of many businesses, and research indicates that the base will grow.
According to a survey conducted by Trigger, 59% of marketers who weren’t using video in 2019 planned to use it throughout 2020.
All in all, it looks like the exploration and expansion of video as the premier medium for content marketing will continue. The priority for marketers will be to stand out.
This can mean focusing on the quality of the content you produce – making sure it is rewarding, well-crafted, and relevant to viewers. You can also try to look to emerging platforms like TikTok.
No matter how producers and companies manage to innovate in video marketing, the medium will be a mainstay in the evolution of content marketing in the future.
Mobile adaptation will be essential and present new opportunities.
According to Statista, global mobile data traffic in 2022 will be seven times greater than in 2017. The use of mobile devices is increasing astronomically and it is in the interest of all content marketers to keep pace with this. trend.
In 2019, 61% of Google searches took place on a mobile device, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Having a website optimized for mobile devices will be at the heart of successful SEO efforts. And a lot of the content you create will have to match that bill as well.
Blogs should be easy to navigate on smartphones. Easily accessible video content that your audience can watch on mobile devices will also be of great help. Prospects and customers will need to be able to get as much from your mobile resources as they will from your desktop.
This shift to mobile will also present new opportunities thanks to new types of media. More new mobile technologies – like virtual and augmented reality – will have a very real place in the future of content marketing.
As people continue to rely more on their mobile devices, content marketers will need to do so as well.
Successful content will be more empathetic, focused, and customer-focused.
Google’s ranking algorithm aims to prioritize the content that will be of most importance to searchers. Ideally, by Google standards, the first ranking search result for any keyword is the one that best matches whatever users are looking for. And in all likelihood, they will continue to tinker with their process in pursuit of that interest.
While it’s unclear exactly how the algorithm might change in the future, one fact remains: marketers need to focus on high-quality content that will register with consumers. It means understanding your audience and putting in a lot of effort to best reach them.
As Amanda Zantal-Wiener, senior content strategist at HubSpot, explains, “Where I’m starting to see content shifting is in the realm of empathy. In the years to come, marketers will begin to create more content that actually created a mindset of putting themselves in other people’s shoes – be it their customers, prospects, partners, or anyone else within. of their audience. They’ll ask questions like, “What does my audience need from me right now? What can I create that is really going to help them? This will become a requirement for marketers when they start to think about the content. “
Research, awareness and community engagement will become even more important in the context of content creation. Content marketing tends to build audience as opposed to product promotion. If this changing tide holds true, content marketing will continue to become more focused, more focused, and more customer-centric as the practice evolves.
If there’s anything to take away from understanding past and upcoming developments in content marketing, it’s this: don’t feel too comfortable. New trends and challenges are always emerging, and it will always be in your best interest to stay up to date.
And above all, focus on consistently creating high-quality content that your audience can always get something from.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated for completeness.