By Chris HELP! The opinions and views expressed within these articles are the opinions of the designated authors and do not reflect the opinions or views of Inbound Marketing Agents, LLC , any of our affiliates, associated companies or individuals.
The Future of Marketing (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Just Content)
If I read one more blog post using the “content is king” analogy, I’m going to throw up all over my keyboard. That being said, let me start right out of the gate with this: the future of marketing is not posts that use the same tired analogies. You know what happens to old, worn-out things? They get thrown aside. They go in the trash. They die. So if you create content based on the same old drivel, look for the Grim Reaper (a.k.a. Google) to come knocking on your door ready to bury you in the search results.
Of course, I fully expect bloggers to litter this contest with posts re-re-re-explaining just how important content is and will continue to be. But guess what? Everyone already knows that—say something new.
Content, for the Most Part, is a Big Sham
The problem with the overused content saying that I refuse to restate is that it has become nothing more than another business buzz phrase that shady SEO/SEM companies throw around to reel in clients. It’s just another way to sell content creation services. But where most of these companies fail is that their focus is too narrow. They create content (and I assure you, most of it is not kingly at all) solely for the sake of doing so. That content is then placed on a company blog or an article directory. And guess how many sets of eyes actually read it? Well you have the writer’s, maybe an editor’s, and if you are lucky, maybe the company that the content is written for. You’d be surprised how many of them stop reading it after the first few posts.
But you know who isn’t reading it? Anyone who truly matters. You know, potential leads—the people you want to bring in and convert into loyal, paying customers.
I can’t tell you how many SEO companies I provide content for that still subscribe to the whole “if you build it, they will come” idea. BS. I don’t care how awesome the articles I write for them are, if the internet marketing company or business I am writing for doesn’t actively use the content I provide, it’s useless.
Now do I care? Well, not really. I write content I am proud of—content that is fit to be king or whatever. And I get paid a pretty penny for each piece I provide. But good God, somewhere, somehow, people have to realize that it’s a sham.
Content is Not Enough—It’s What You Do With It
Yes you need solid, original content. But it’s only a means to an end. It’s what you do with that content that will ultimately matter. No, I don’t mean where you place it. I mean where it travels.
You want to know the future of marketing? It’s engagement. See, internet marketing “gurus” have been using content forever. Heck, I’ve been providing it myself for 4 years now. That’s nothing new. And let’s face it, there are only so many things you could possibly say about niche business topics. So, like it or not, content is going to get rehashed and recycled to some degree.
What really matters, and what Google is going to start looking more and more at, is what other internet users are doing with your content. In fact, they’re already starting to factor the idea into their newest algorithm changes.
What Do You Want People to Do with Your Content?
So what exactly does engagement entail? Well, you want people to:
- Stay on your site longer.
- Click through to whatever offers you might have.
- Comment on your blog posts.
- Share your content across various social media sites.
Notice what all of these have in common? If they were all happening, your popularity would increase and your profits would soar. By engaging users with your content, you will create customers (without Google’s help!).
Get Social and Get Mobile
First of all, social media is showing no signs of dying out. Facebook has more users than ever, despite all the privacy issues. Twitter has become the go-to place for quick news, and LinkedIn is dominating the corporate B2B sector. Meanwhile, multimedia-focused social sites like Pinterest and YouTube are giving us tastes of what social media could morph into down the road. While recent statistics show that social media currently makes up a little over 15% of customer engagement, the percentage is expecting to skyrocket by approximately 40% within 5 years.
Still think a cute little blog post or SEO article sitting out on the web somewhere is going to bring you the leads?
Let’s throw some more interesting info out there…while many companies still pour millions into television commercials, research now shows that 80% of smartphone users are using their mobile devices while watching television. Furthermore, 58% of them are busy on their devices during commercials.
My Prediction for Marketing’s Future
A generation from now, TV commercials will be a complete waste of money and the majority of successful business’s will spend their advertising dollars on engaging customers through social media. So if content is going to be king, it’s going to be about as useful as the royalty in England. It may be the figurehead…but the workhorses—those engaging through social media and those getting people to find them on their mobile devices—will be the ones getting the job done.
Now am I exaggerating the “uselessness” of content? Of course. I’d be stupid to suggest you shouldn’t work your butt off to produce the best content possible. You need to write higher quality material that people actually want to read. But what really matters is if you can get that content in the hands of the masses and let your brand spread like wildfire. THAT is the future of marketing.
What do you think? Is content really the end-all, be-all? Or is it online engagement that will win the battle in the future?
Bio: Chris is his name and translating words into dollar signs is his game. He believes that, not unlike stale bread or moldy cheese, old content will upset the stomachs of potential clients and search engines alike. For that reason, he specializes in providing small businesses with fresh, palatable content through his copywriting and blog writing services.