To truly succeed in content marketing, you have to adapt as new tools, tactics, and data all come out. Staying stuck in the past will only lead to declining returns and losing customer interest. Marketers need to look to the future to truly prepare for what’s to come. Not every predicted trend happens, but being prepared is always a good idea. The quicker you can capitalize in the newest tactic, the more success you will find.
Now, these tactics aren’t going to become popular this year, or even next year. With current trends and interests of industry leaders in specific tech, and the patterns of consumers with content engagement, these tactics are very likely to happen.
The Next Platform: VR
As of right now, virtual reality is in its infancy. The only people that own VR headsets and rigs right now are tech enthusiasts and more dedicated video gamers, but that will not stay the case. The technology is becoming more accessible and popular. Before too long, it will become a normal entertainment platform in homes, pulling people away from more traditional media.
The appeal of VR is that it can give people experiences they can’t have anywhere else. Marketing with VR needs to fill that need. People aren’t going to use VR just to watch tv shows, they want to do and experience something special. VR can be a space to entertain and educate, but it has to be immersive and well produced.
It’s possible to do a lot of good with VR, like growing your branding and assisting in different stages of the buyer’s journey. For an example of building brand with VR, take a page out of Red Bull’s video content. They’ve produce 360 degree videos of extreme sports without pushing their pr2oducts. All it does is strengthen their branding connected to extreme sports.
Because of its immersive nature, VR can be powerful in educating consumers in their buyer’s journey. Want to help consumers identify a problem in their life? You can create a simulation in which you can literally walk them through the process of finding the problem. You can demonstrate the difference your product can make, and give consumer the chance to experiment with your product in a 3D immersive space.
The Gamification of Learning
A large part of content marketing comes from educating consumers in a way that is positive for your business. For hundreds of years, education has been done relatively the same, but technology is changing that.
Many educational institution are now using games, especially video games, to teach. Even major universities, like ASU, are using video games to teach skills and knowledge. All signs pointing to it becoming a very effective tool as it actively engages students in the process.
This tactic can help with conveying important information in a very entertaining way. If you rely heavily on educating leads about why they need your product or services, having a game can help focus their attention and give you more influence over them. The more time they play your game, the more connected they’ll feel to your brand.
Now, investing in developing a game is heavy. Making a game is easy, but making a good game is hard and expensive. A cruddy game will only frustrate consumer and hurt your brand. A well made game can boost consumer engagement and sets you up as creative and bold industry leader.
In Depth Video Content, Skimmable Written Content
Recent data from Hubspot tells marketers the evolving behaviors of consumers. A major revelation is what people want and like in their content. This will change what marketers focus on when planning their campaigns in the future.
A major change is how in-depth people get with different forms of content. Certain content, like video and news articles, are viewed thoroughly, with people paying close attention. Other content, like blog posts or podcasts, are skimmed.
Because of this emerging trend, marketers in the future must better target how people consume their content. Marketers who want to clearly explain a complicated topic will go with content that people focus on, like video. Other times, where your goal is to just answer a common question that’s easy to understand, a blog is great for getting information to people quickly.
Chatbots and Content Curation
If the technology continues to improve, chatbots can become a very normal part of our lives. One of the features in intelligent AI chatbots is the ability to learn about its users behaviors. This can include routines, traits, preferences, and patterns to better serve them.
This could lead to businesses curating better content to answer questions from consumers. Already people search for information in the form of questions on Google, but then are presented with several sources of information to choose from. With a chatbot though, if your information is deemed the most relevant, your blog or video could be dished out as the answer. That means no competitors in the way, unless the users asks for more info.
This could, in turn, lead to a new age of producing content optimized for chatbots, in addition to search engines. While there is little data right now as to what will work best, it’s pretty safe to assume that short, concise content is what users will expect from a chatbot and from you.
If you produce a lot of content and stay up to date with industry news, chatbots could be a powerful way to build brand loyalty. If people use the chatbot looking for news and enjoy reading from your site multiple time, the chatbot will reorganize what it presents to better favor your business.
What are your thoughts on the future of content marketing? Do you think VR and chatbots will impact how consumers interact with brands, or are they just fads? Let us know in the comments below.