My Prediction for The Future of Content Marketing
No, sorry, AI is not taking your content marketing job. Or destroying SEO. or Content Marketing. Or search. Or anything really. Like always, technology is just going to make us better, faster, stronger…
Content Marketing is actually thriving and going stronger than ever before. And I’m predicting we’re actually going back to the basics of good, helpful content marketing. By humans for humans! We might even start using a little brand storytelling and activating our employees to write and share.
Why? Because it works!
And so while the content marketing echo chamber is patting itself on the back for saying “5 years ago I predicted AI would take my job. It turns out I was right!” I have a somewhat “shocking” counterpoint:
(Please like, comment or share your thoughts on this on LinkedIn?)
AI won’t take our jobs any more than AR, VR, the Metaverse, Autonomous cars, Drone delivery or god-forbid TikTok will.
The state of content marketing is strong and we have the stats to prove it. Read on to check them out along with more details of my Content Marketing prediction for 2024.
The State of Content Marketing
Every year, Semrush releases their state of content marketing report. After downloading a copy (you should too!), I am happy to report that the state of content marketing is strong.
One proof point: 69% of content marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets for content this year.
The Semrush report provides a snapshot of the top content marketing trends and tips on how to build a successful content strategy. I was honored to include one of the key trends we’re seeing in content marketing. And look forward to sharing that with you below.
But first, some highlights:
- 66% of companies that succeed in content marketing document their content marketing strategy
- 55% of companies that succeeded in content marketing are achieving growth by publishing more
- 38% of businesses struggle with finding content resources and 48% outsource content marketing
- 76% say the recession isn’t having much impact on their content marketing efforts
According to the report, the solution to an effective content marketing program lies in the following:
- Researching your audience (according to 47% of respondents)
- Focusing on SEO (46% of respondents), and
- Creating more consistent content (45% of respondents) based on an annual content marketing strategy.
- Updating or refreshing old content (42%). This is one of our favorite tactics too!
Actual Content Marketing Results
I have always believed that content marketing should deliver measurable outcomes. That starts with traffic and search visibility / rankings. In fact, we use the Semrush Visibility Tracker to show results for all our clients. Turns out that nearly all of them are showing nice healthy gains in traffic and leads. You can see some specifics here.
Here’s a few examples:
Healthcare Technology Company
Marketing Technology Company
We are also big fans of updating old content. Here’s an example of one of our oldest clients and the results they see from a combination of new and updated weekly content:
This works because we look for pages that previously ranked or have declining search traffic. And we give them a little content refresh, updated publish date, and a little social boost.
And this is how we’ve grown from nothing to getting nearly 1 million page views a month and ranking for nearly 100,000 keywords:
We mix in fresh and refreshed content in our weekly content publication schedule. We publish 2 original, keyword-focused articles every week, followed by 2 refreshed articles from our library of over 1,500 published articles.
But in the end, we have to show content marketing ROI in the form of leads, pipeline and booked revenue. Our case studies are filled with success stories that include 7x ROI ($700k in revenue on $100k budget). double and triple the leads. 60% higher close rates on inbound leads from blog content. Want to see more real data:
Content Marketing Prediction 2024: Back To Content Marketing Basics
In 2024, brands will focus on the basics of content marketing: creating consistent, helpful content, using their employees to tell great stories, and amplifying this content in an effective way.
Because content marketing is the most effective way to generate organic search traffic and referral traffic, which leads to more leads and sales. In fact, according to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, 77% of B2B marketers say that content marketing is a major source of lead generation, and 73% say it’s a major source of sales.
How to do it:
1. Create consistent, helpful content. This means publishing new content on a regular basis that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. You can do this by writing blog posts, creating videos, publishing infographics, and more.
2. Use your employees to tell great stories. Your employees are your biggest brand advocates. Encourage them to share their stories about working at your company, the products or services you offer, and the impact you’re making on the world.
3. Amplify your content in an effective way. Once you’ve created great content, you need to get it in front of your target audience. You can do this by sharing it on social media, emailing it to your subscribers, and promoting it through paid advertising.
Here are some specific tips for implementing the above:
- Create a content calendar to plan and schedule your content in advance. This will help you stay consistent and publish new content on a regular basis.
- Use SEO best practices to optimize your content for search engines. This will help your content rank higher in search results and reach more people.
- Repurpose your content into different formats. For example, you can turn a blog post into a video or an infographic. This will help you reach a wider audience and get more mileage out of your content.
- Promote your content contextually using content amplification. Share your content on your company’s social media accounts, as well as in relevant groups and forums. You can also promote your content through paid advertising.
- Track your results and measure your ROI. This will help you see what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
By focusing on the basics of content marketing in 2024, you can generate more organic search traffic and referral traffic, which will lead to more leads and sales.
Content Marketing Trends for 2024
Every year, I wrote about 10-12 content marketing trends every business should be following. The 3 main ones I want to highlight:
1. The Resurgence of Content Marketing
In the past, new company startup founders and B2B SaaS marketers would first consider buying social media ads in order to grow their business. “We need to be on Tiktok,” they would think. Or, “we need to hire a social media intern.” And sometimes they would ask “what is content marketing?”
Now, we are seeing them return to the value of content marketing after learning that no one buys much of anything from social media. In fact, Google themselves told us that content marketing is the best way to rank for buyer search terms. Further, industry research confirms that spending on content marketing is projected to grow by double digits in 2024.
2. AI-Generated Content
Ok so it’s not taking your job, but what will AI do for us? While we believe that there are plenty of efficient ways to automate content marketing, the promise of AI-generated content remains far off. We do tap into some AI-driven content marketing strategies and AI-driven content promotion for clients. But in the future, we believe AI will begin to force us to reconsider what we create and why.
We have tested a few AI-generated content services and have been disappointed in their ability to create quality blog content or long form articles that is anything close to the level of quality required for ranking in search or meeting audience expectations. In short, do not take the short cut of using AI to create content. But certainly use it as a tool to inform your strategy.
For now, we will have to face what I call “The Paradox of AI:” The more the robots tell us what to do, the more we will need real people (employees and customers) to create and share that content. Which leads us to my final big 3 prediction for content marketing this year.
With the need for more human, authentic and thought leadership content, brands will continue turning to executives, employees, experts, and customers to create more and more content that helps buyers.
Here are some additional question you may be wondering:
Top Questions on The Future of Content Marketing
Q: What are the top content marketing trends for 2024?
A: The top content marketing trends for 2024 include:
- AI-powered personalization: AI will be used to create more personalized and engaging content experiences for users.
- Interactive content: Interactive content, such as quizzes, polls, and surveys, will become more popular as a way to engage users and collect data.
- Short-form content: Short-form content, such as videos, infographics, and social media posts, will continue to be popular as users consume more content on mobile devices.
Q: How can I use AI to improve my content marketing?
A: You can use AI to improve your content marketing in a number of ways, including:
- Personalized content recommendations: AI can be used to recommend personalized content to users based on their interests and past behavior.
- Content creation: AI can be used to generate content, such as blog posts, product descriptions, and social media posts.
- Content optimization: AI can be used to optimize content for search engines and social media.
Q: How can I create more engaging content?
A: Here are some tips for creating more engaging content:
- Tell stories: People love stories, so use them in your content to connect with your audience on an emotional level.
- Use visuals: Visuals, such as images, videos, and infographics, can make your content more engaging and easier to understand.
- Make it interactive: Interactive content, such as quizzes, polls, and surveys, is a great way to engage users and collect data.
Q: How can I measure the success of my content marketing efforts?
A: There are a number of ways to measure the success of your content marketing efforts, depending on your goals. Some common metrics include:
- Website traffic: How many people are visiting your website as a result of your content marketing efforts?
- Lead generation: How many leads are you generating from your content marketing efforts?
- Sales: How many sales are you generating from your content marketing efforts?
- Social media engagement: How many people are engaging with your content on social media?
Q: How often should I publish new content?
A: The frequency of your content marketing will depend on a number of factors, such as your industry, your target audience, and your budget. However, a good rule of thumb is to publish new content at least once a week.
Q: What are the biggest mistakes to avoid in content marketing?
A: Some common content marketing mistakes to avoid include:
- Creating too much promotional content: Your content should be informative and helpful, not just a sales pitch.
- Failing to repurpose your content: You can get more mileage out of your content by repurposing it for different platforms and formats.
- Not being consistent: Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Be consistent with your publishing schedule and content quality.
- Not creating high-quality content: Your content should be well-written, informative, and engaging.
- Not defining your reader: Who are you writing for? What are their needs and interests?
- Not creating a content marketing strategy: What are your goals? What type of content will you create? Where will you distribute it?
- Not promoting your content: Share your content on social media, email it to your subscribers, and submit it to relevant websites.
- Not tracking your results: How is your content performing? What’s working well? What’s not?
Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business using the most important digital marketing trend: consistent and quality content? Check out our weekly blog content service. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.