Content marketing differs from traditional advertising by allowing a brand to build up a far more natural and authentic brand presence. When implemented correctly, content marketing allows your business to become a voice of authority on relevant subjects, improving both brand awareness and brand sentiment amongst consumers.
Recently, more and more of content marketing involves harnessing the latest technologies, such as virtual reality, live video and progressive web apps. A new study by Kaizen, the content marketing agency, has outlined the key technology trends for 2019, which are imperative to any entrepreneur who wants to stand out from the crowd.
Possibly the most adaptable content available, 87% of marketers now use video in their content marketing, showing its huge prevalence with the content world.
In terms of content marketing, interaction plays a huge role in the future of video content. Interactive video adds an extra layer to run-of-the-mill YouTube videos, making it more engaging and relevant to users. Furthermore, mass participation streaming, where the hosts use comments or reactions to the video to guide its content, creates another dimension that gives a sense of direct contact between the brand and customers, as it eliminates the ‘middle-man’ of traditional adverts.
Video can also be about you, the business, interacting with media – either through creating content around a topical event or trend, or producing live video. Currently, Instagram Live and Facebook Live have 200 million and 360 million regular users respectively, and 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.
Immersive content refers to VR, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and 360 Video. Whilst it can seem daunting to approach these forms of technology, the growth of the immersive content industry makes it too tempting an opportunity to pass on. Ad spending across VR, AR and MR rose to $12.8bn in 2017 and is forecasted to accelerate to $143.3bn in 2020. And this has not gone amiss on the marketing world – 88% of mid-market companies are already using some form of AR in their marketing.
Perhaps the most approachable forms of immersive content are MR, such as Snapchat filters that alter the image of your face, and AR, such as Pokémon GO, as they can be used through a mobile phone. Both have the advantage over VR that they engage with the real world, firmly rooting the content in the user’s life rather than abstracted from it. A good example of a business using AR effectively is IKEA, which has produced an AR app that allows you to see how a new item of furniture would fit in your own space.
For the more ambitious business owners, VR might require more time and money but the content drives a 17% higher emotional response than 2D experiences and people are 29% more likely to view a VR video than the same video in a traditional format. VR is a draw for any tech-loving audience but it can also be a great way to allow your audience to sample a product before buying it. For example, for a product such as travel, VR genuinely gives an experience closer to the product than a picture ever could.
Added value content
Whilst it may pain any entrepreneur who lives and breathes their business, it’s important to remember that content marketing provides content that may not even mention your product, but adds authority on subjects within your sector. This is the basic premise of Added Value Content, which is branded content that is useful independently of the brand, providing value that isn’t just advertising or selling.
One form is progressive web apps, which combine web browsers and app performance and don’t require a system download. Although not so relevant to brands with one-time buyers, this is one of the best ways to make sure your customers come back to your brand again and again. If your business relies on repeat custom, and involves a logging in process to complete conversions, you should consider looking into PWAs.
It’s impossible to completely predict the future, but both the content marketing industry and the technology industry show no signs of slowing down. Therefore, entrepreneurs looking to enhance their marketing activity should pay attention to the current trends in both, and begin to work out the best way to harness them for their own brand. Overall, key trends in the future of content marketing are that content is interactive, as users spend more time on interactive content and pay more attention to it than static, and that it adds value independent of the brand itself.