Content marketing is rapidly evolving. Producing generic content and throwing it out there hoping for a miracle is no longer a marketing strategy for any business that hopes to stay competitive.
Spun content on web pages, auto-generated videos, and other poor content marketing strategies will often have a negative impact on your brand, making your business that much less to succeed.
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Over the past few years, successful brands have been taking advantage of advances in tech to develop successful content marketing strategies.
For instance, mobile accounted for 53 percent of the total time spent on a digital device compared with 47 percent on desktops back in 2013. In 2015, 65 percent of users spent time on mobile compared with only 35 percent of users on desktop, illustrating the important role mobile has played for content in recent times.
Every indication is that content marketing and social media marketing will continue to evolve, and technology will be firmly in the driver’s seat.
Check out this sample of some of the tech advances that are likely to transform this landscape in 2017 and beyond.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Many of us have been conditioned to tremble and cower at the sound of artificial intelligence, thanks in part to the years we spent following The Terminator and The Matrix. With AI now capable of producing decent articles and other forms of content, content developers and marketers also have good reason to be afraid of AI.
Or do they?
While AI has been known to do impressive things, humans who take advantage of technology are often much better at accomplishing tasks than humans or machines alone. This is why content marketers who will take advantage of AI stand to benefit greatly from harnessing the powers of AI.
AI has the potential to change the content marketing landscape, even revolutionize it. It can be used better understand content for your keywords, enabling you to develop content that resonates with your audience. AI can also be used to help format content for SEO, discover relevant content for curation, and automate content distribution.
Content marketers will definitely have more to gain than loose from AI integration.
2. IoT and new devices
The world we currently live in is nothing short of unreal.
New devices are coming up each day with the ability to communicate via networked connections, thanks to the ever-expanding world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Users are no longer restricted to their PCs, laptops, and smartphones as far as interacting with content is concerned.
For instance, smart refrigerators can communicate with the user, Even the bluetooth speakers within a smart home. The challenge for content creators will be developing content that will be able to respond to each of the various devices within the IoT space.
This way, content marketers will be able to provide customized content based on location, monitoring data, and real-time alerts straight to the device. Marketers will even be able to send content based on proximity data, for instance, clothing retailers sending messages about dressing ideas during the cold season.
3. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
2016 has clearly been the year of virtual reality and augmented reality. If in doubt, just as any of the millions of users who at one point made Pokémon Go more popular than Tinder and Instagram. These developing technologies have uncovered a whole new platform for content consumption, one that Facebook’s Oculus Rift will most likely explore within the coming years.
VR will likely ease its way into the content marketing arena to fulfill the growing need for visual content. Content marketers will get the exciting opportunity to push content optimized for VR, which is largely unchartered land.
4. Live streaming
Live streaming has long been associated with live broadcasts of events such as sports.
Recently, however, live streaming has become just one of the many ordinary functions of a smartphone, right next to making phone calls and texting. Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope have become more popular among everyday users
Live streaming offers content developers and marketers the platform to come up with more in-demand and live content, which still remains a vastly unexplored area.
Plus, with Facebook jumping into the live streaming arena, more users are likely to appreciate content that is modeled around live experiences.
5. Improved search engine algorithms
Search engine algorithms are finally becoming fully automated as far as updates are concerned. Most content marketers design their online marketing campaigns around manual search algorithms.
These are often updated manually and such updates are communicated promptly to the online community.
However, self-updating algorithms such as RankBrain will make it harder to predict what the rules are for maintaining organic visibility. RankBrain, a machine learning algorithm, scours the internet and fine-tunes search results, basically making it harder for content marketers to “cheat” their way to organic results.
Content marketers who will find ways to stay afloat will reap sweet, organic rewards.
6. E-commerce and social media
On their own, e-commerce and social media marketing have been explored by content managers for years. The likes of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have been used to propagate content and make inroads into new markets.
But the real game-changer is going to be social purchasing as more social media sites begin integrating aspects of e-commerce. Social media is currently one of the leading platforms that content creators use to distribute content and building audiences. With such sites becoming more focused on revenues, their focus will shift from content consumption platforms to becoming e-commerce hybrid sites.
As such, content marketers will need to find alternative platforms for interacting with their audiences since opportunities for organic visibility will have diminished considerably.
2017 and beyond presents a myriad of challenges and opportunities for everyone in the content marketing space. As a content marketer, preparing for the future isn’t optional. Early preparation will enable you to stay competitive as others in the industry play catch-up. Early adopters always have the benefit of self-differentiation, even when they implement technologies that end up taking a different direction.
Either way, it’ll be a huge win for the early birds.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.