The search landscape constantly shifts and adapts so keeping up can be a real challenge. For instance, the face of content transforms more than your Facebook feed. We’ve all seen it expand to other forms like video, social media, and virtual reality. Writers, please don’t be scared!
It’s sometimes tough to accept change, but we’ve always adapted. Remember when people said a computer with a keyboard would ruin the experience of a typewriter? (There’s even a web tool for that now.) These new forms of content are exciting and make it easier to reach a wider audience. Although the medium through which we view it may change, there are definitely some things that’ll always be true in content. Here’s what you can do right now to stay ahead!
How do you make your content stand out?
We’re all storytellers deep down inside. Our ancestors provided oral stories of everyday happenings, historical events, and fiction that was passed down to share that information, teach a lesson, or simply for entertainment. Consider how we can recount everything better when it’s told in story form. The same goes for your brand. Talk about yourself in a natural way. Start investing in your brand and not just in your products or services.
Originality & Depth
You need to create a reason for people to visit your site or social media platform by having original content that has depth. For example, back in its heyday, MTV was a big deal. It was a channel devoted to everything music. What differentiated MTV at the time was their devotion to music enthusiasts; this was something no one else was doing. Extensive music videos, exclusive interviews with musicians, TRL, the Real World, Daria. MTV had depth.
People took notice. (It quickly became a blur as VHI (and many others) came out, bouncing off of MTV’s success.) Their focus inevitably turned to the reality TV craze and shifted further away from music. What the early MTV generation taught us is there’s a stream of copycats out there. Why waste energy on copying others? Be an authentic voice.
A content strategy is a must-have, regardless of the size of your business. Everyone on your marketing team should be aware of what’s being published across all channels on a weekly and monthly basis. Start by creating a yearly calendar with tentative topics and update it every month.
SEO + Content = Success
SEO may take some time to show up on analytics, but following best practices will help ensure your content will get found. For example, you want to make sure your copy is easy to read for the end user and the search engine crawling your site. It may take some time to see results, but it’ll be worth it.
Use of Social Media + Multimedia
If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out. These platforms are all free to use and you can promote your brand organically. Post about any upcoming events, new hires, new wins, everyday life, and more at least once a week. Make it all visual and easy to share. Use resources like National Calendar Days to join the conversation.
Now, let’s talk about what won’t change in content, no matter what form it takes.
Knowing Your Audience
As a writer, you’re goal is to develop a connection with your readers. The only way to do this involves understanding the what’s and why’s about your target audience. Every minute they’re online, valuable bread crumbs are left behind, indicating intent. This could be in the form of social media, searches, engagement, and web interactions.
Writers and marketers will always need to leverage this important data when creating unique and personalized content. In other words, content needs to make audiences feel all warm and fuzzy inside, otherwise, what’s the point?
Quality Content Over Quantity
This seems to be the mantra shouted across digital marketing and beyond. There’s a reason! Quality and creative content answers questions audiences have while gaining their trust in the source. If you constantly produce factual, innovative, and helpful content, then they’ll stay. They’ll also tell their friends! There needs to be a purpose for each bit of content released, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time creating stuff that doesn’t matter to anyone but you.
Wait, Creativity Can’t Be Taught…or Can It?
An AI bot named Benjamin recently wrote a sci-fi screenplay that was adapted into a short independent film called Sunspring. The AI was fed a knowledge bank sci-fi screenplays, which he used to create his own. Initially, it was hard to comprehend. The writers had to navigate through the words to find the essence of the story. Overall, the plot was somewhat weak and didn’t entirely make sense but it was definitely entertaining. This made us wonder, can AI learn creativity? Will humans work alongside AI to create the story of tomorrow? Honestly, it could go either way.
If you’re hungry for more crystal ball insights, check out our blog, Where is Search Marketing’s Future Headed?