Content languages and content marketing are poised to enter a highly competitive space. While previous years have seen much of content creation and management innovation focused on generating volumes of content, the past two years in many ways marked a shift in the market.
Content volume – without a meaningful way to parse and verify data – has led to the the challenge of finding relevant, useful content for specific audiences. The burden of parsing, packaging and distributing content has traditionally fell to marketers, yet the increasing role of sophisticated automation is helping mitigate the near unmanageable influx. With that in mind, we see several distinct content-related trends taking shape in the near future.
Increasingly effective segmentation
The struggle to match relevant content with certain populations remains at front of mind for content designers and marketers. In many ways, niche is the new norm. The issue in modern times is rarely, “Is there content that caters to a specific audience?” Rather, more often than not, the question becomes, “Can this content be located and delivered?”
In response, audience segmentation has grown from an auxiliary tool to aid in distribution to a bedrock of content management and marketing. While traditional conversion rates for content remain low, as content segmentation gets more sophisticated and automation drives increased speed and responsiveness, marketers are reporting that they feel their efforts are more successful. According to data from the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report published by the Content Marketing Institute, over 60 percent of B2B and B2C content marketers say their efforts are are “much more” or “somewhat more” successful than last year.
Multimedia on the rise
Over the past few years, our definition of content has changed dramatically. This in turn has driven content language design, expanding the way we integrate data modules and other features into responsive, dynamic content.
“Social media has made a massive push to embrace new multimedia content.”
With social media companies doing a massive push for users to embrace new multimedia content generation – think the wide-scale rollout of Facebook Live and announcement of live streaming functionality being developed for Instagram – businesses must contend with the prevalence of multimedia as an effective communication and collaboration tool. With that in mind, the ability to parse and distribute non-written content like video, memes, GIFs and other popular forms of media is going to be a crucial challenge for content designers going forward.
There’s nothing new about how mobile devices have upended the market share of desktops. Yet the way that mobile is being used to access content is shifting in subtle ways. According to comScore, 2015 was the year that saw smartphone app usage inch closer to half of all digital media time spent.
This has big implications when it comes to CMS design. Specifically, it means that – in addition to auditing content and content delivery for content on mobile – content markets and managers need to look at the ways that proprietary apps filter, deliver and format content.
One of the more fascinating trends we’ve seen in the past few years is how people interact with user-generated content. According to AdWeek, 85 percent of people trust content made by other users more than content generated by businesses or brands. As such, they are almost twice as likely to share it with friends and family.
“Maintaining branded content still remains a challenge.”
This will have a profound effect on the influx of new content in coming years. Simply put, brands and businesses are turning to users to create content for other users. To fully leverage this, the brand must design a CMS platform that users can easily interface with, prompts users to create content – a la Facebook’s “reminder” notifications – and still be maintained by the brand.
While companies like Facebook have led the way in this arena, maintaining content that falls within brand guidelines still remains a challenge. This something that automated metadata tagging will help with, allowing the content delivery platform to more quickly and accurately identify content outside its branded guidelines.
Pay to play
While not directly connected to the development of content, the slow but steady rollout of paid promotion, at the expense of organic reach, is having an impact on the way that content delivery platforms are being designed. Foregoing its traditional chronological feed, back in 2016 Instagram introduced an algorithm-based feed, marketed as a way for the company to deliver content based on “the moments we believe you will care about the most”
For many in the world of content creation and management, this kind of vague language combined with a secretive and proprietary algorithm does not bode well. Because recent data from Social@Ogilvy shows that for Facebook pages with more than 500,000 likes, the average organic reach has fallen to about 2 percent, many are worried that this evolution is inevitable for all content on social media platforms.
“I think marketers are just accepting the fact that Facebook is a place where you pay to play. The whole story of building a community is not operative anymore,” MEC North America Head of Social Noah Mallin told Advertising Age. “For building a brand story, you really have to do it with a budget.”
As each of these respective trends shapes the world of content management and marketing to come, the key for those in the world of content design to remain abreast of things as they evolve. Technology is likely to only speed the rate of innovation, meaning that a top priority should be to remain agile and response to market demand.