The golden age of content – does yours match up?
It seems that we’re living in a ‘golden age’ of most things at the moment – the golden age of technology, the golden age of innovation, the golden age of medical advancements… But, more specifically in terms of businesses and marketing, we are most definitely living in the golden age of content.
Advancements in technology have made the creation and distribution of content easier and more accessible for everyone. Marketers and consumers are riding this new wave of innovation, with costs reducing and content levels increasing – but, one of the side effects of having more content is having more competition from a marketer’s view, and more choice from a consumers. So, in this shiny new era for content, what is considered the best?
One of the biggest challenges is creating content that gets noticed (for the right reasons). With shifting power structures in regards to who is able to catapult content into the mainstream, marketers now have to get consumers on side, rather than industry professionals. In the past, editors, executives and public figures would have been responsible for bringing a certain piece of content or marketing campaign to the attention of consumers (that or vast marketing budgets); but now it is the consumer who is in charge. Social media and online communities are largely responsible for how content is received, so getting these individuals onside is of the utmost importance.
But, with more power and more choice, consumers have come to realise that they don’t have to put up with average content – they can demand the best and are able to pick from a wealth of options. The Millennial generation are the largest growing demographic in the workforce and have one of the largest impacts on the success (or failure) of marketing initiatives; businesses looking to create great content in the golden age, therefore, need to keep these consumers in mind when strategising.
So, the best content is the content that grabs the consumer’s attention in a saturated market… How can this be done?
Firstly, it’s important to remember that Millennials specifically, but most consumers as well, are looking for refreshing relationships with brands. Millennials have lived through traditional marketing techniques as well as online advertising, so want something new but that also promotes positive relationships between themselves and a brand. Content should be value-driven and consistent, but also personal and focused on developing relationships.
Both of these traits take time to establish. Marketing in the golden age of content is a process that cannot be rushed; it needs to be original, catchy, insightful and accurate. It most also – crucially – be actionable. After working so hard to garner the attention of consumers, content must lead them either back to a website, to alternative company channels or toward making a sale or purchase of a service or product. There’s no point spending time to make content noticeable if it doesn’t directly result in a positive outcome for the company – even if it’s simply one extra follower/fan.
Consumers also expect transparency from modern content – so no hidden marketing agendas or company secrets. Maintain a truthful and honest persona in content, whether it’s a written blog or promotional video, and it will begin to get recognised for all the right reasons.
Along with these more generic considerations for great content, there are also more technical things to consider. Thinking about the longevity of content, for example, is important; content must never appear stale or out-of-date. If it stops reaping rewards for a company, replace it with a new post.
Similarly, try to measure how long consumers spend engaging with content; tracking how long consumers spend engaging with a particular form or subject of content should help inform content strategies in the future.
But don’t think you’re alone in content creation – the beauty of the modern marketing landscape is that it actively involves the consumer, meaning they are able to contribute to content, too. Whether in the form of comments, retweets or suggestions for future content ideas, marketers should always be looking to interact with an audience.
With the golden age of content, then, comes a whole host of opportunities and a whole host of new considerations. Marketers and content specialists need to be aware of the rapidly developing marketplace and remember to keep consumers happy given their new scope of influence, and keep them involved in the content creation process so that it has a significant impact.