We've been hearing whispers of it for months or even years. Content marketing is dead. It's a thing of the past. We're buried in content, it can't go on.
Is content marketing dead? Of course not. But will it continue as it has into perpetuity? Well, only in the sense that time is a flat circle and everything always stays the same. But in a more practical way, no, of course it won't.
Let's take a brief look at what the future of content marketing, and more specifically content creation, might look like going forward.
The Problem with Content
We're at an impasse with content. We have a continuous stream of information coming at us from all angles. It's unprecedented in human history, if you think about it.
But for consumers (that's your customers, but it's also you so I'm sure you can relate), getting to good, relevant content can be, like trying to navigate a maze. Like a rat in a laboratory has to use his other senses to get to his prize at the end, consumers have to find a better way to get to their ultimate prize -- content that's meant for them.
Where We're Headed
We already know that content curation is huge and it's not going anywhere. Social networks like Pinterest allow people to curate and cultivate their own personal, thematic boards. New entrants to the game, like Milq are trying to go a step further by letting users curate their own questions, with the help of other users. The end result is meant to be compilations of facts, tidbits, media, writing (you know, content) that work together to create a brand new, entirely relevant, and highly interesting answer. Still in the very early stages, it's impossible to know if Milq will pull it off.
All this is to say, without help from users creating (or at least curating) the exact content that they want, it is nearly impossible to navigate the amount of content on the web.
Get Ahead of the Curve
So as an online marketer, what exactly are you supposed to do? Just go on about you business and hope your users step in as curators?
No. (You didn't really expect me to say yes, did you?)
As a content marketer/creator/writer/whatever you are that has led you here to this blog - there are things you can do that will help you and your company going forward.
One thing that has been the talk of many content marketers and other 'content enthusiasts' (a thing I just made up) is Agile content. Agile content takes some of the theories behind Agile software development and applies them to content creation.
Without going too much into Agile development (because, honestly, that's for a more programmatically minded mind than mine), here are a few basics to consider.
Your content should have value. We already know that. But the best content that's going to push through the crowd is the content that shows, proves, explains, solves something in a clear, concise, and interesting way.
Eventually, the web will adapt. I don't mean that eventually we'll start clearcutting all the useless content (although sometimes that would be nice). I mean eventually web pages are going to be able to learn from their users and automatically, algorithmically show them what they, specifically, want to see. This doesn't absolve you from creating great content, though.
Use your data. Since we're not quite to the auto-curate phase yet, be sure that you're making the most of your brand's data and tailoring what your users see in a smart way.
The future is never as clear as we want it to be. But it is possible for us to stay, at the very lease, on top of the curve if not completely ahead of it.
What are you doing to amp up your content's relevance?