The Future of Content

​2016 saw continued world domination from Facebook, the demise of Vine and Influencers and their social media endorsements continued to flourish. What will 2017 hold? The CAANZ PR, Social Media and Experiential Committee give us their thoughts on six future trends in a two-part series this January.

Content fatigue – it’s our new reality. By Adelle Keely, Acumen Republic.

Content creation has mainstreamed with content being pumped out from all directions – companies, brands, media, individuals, influencers, executives, marketers, industry associations, Government, advocacy groups, enthusiasts, lobbyists…it’s relentless.

There is just. So. Much. Stuff. Content creators are competing for prominence and attention and most of us are adopting similar tricks to drive traffic and SEO. Problem is that consumers are sick of the brute force tactics; misleading headlines, switch messaging, and clickbait.

It’s not just consumers who are suffering from Chronic Content Fatigue Syndrome. Research from Cisco shows that 50% of marketers have more digital content than they can effectively manage.

So, if our objectives are things like enhancing brand love, brand differentiation, engagement, sales and loyalty then bombarding our audiences with ho-hum content doesn’t really seem like a winning strategy.

We all know that content needs to be timely, valuable, relevant or useful to audiences to be effective. Brands need to create content that connects via local culture by understanding what interests and matters to your audience and think of ways your brand might be able to be a part of existing conversations or lead new ones. Some brands can do this themselves and many must collaborate and become co-creators of culture. The right kind of co-lab partners or influencers selected is crucial and how and when to release content to keep audiences engaged is key. We need to bear in mind that not all influencers are created equal; YouTube stars with huge followings have street cred because they remain authentic and relatable to their followers. These followers are wise and pick slightly contrived or overly brand-influenced content at 20 paces. It goes without saying that this also entirely defeats the purpose of partnering up with influencer in the first place.

To be effective, brands have to let go a bit, trust their influencer knows their audience and get more comfortable with being subtle, rather than front-and-centre. Traditional media also has an important role to play in launching and sharing great content across multiple channels and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Niche Content. By Angelina Farry, Eleven PR Over 2+ million blog posts are being created on a daily basis and the online environment is saturated: Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Periscope and the list grows daily. It is becoming more time consuming and expensive for brands to create content with cut through.

Broader topics are more saturated and nobody likes listening to the same story twice. To address this, brands need to identify and focus on more specific content niches. Instead of focusing on multiple audiences, select one and then narrow, rather than broaden your target demographic. A smaller niche means a smaller number of potential readers, but the increase in relevance and engagement is worth it.

Today’s consumer has content fatigue yet loves personalisation and validation; they are unique and crave tailor-made experiences. A niche content strategy enables your brand to engage with them in new and specific ways.

Niche content creation will save you time because you already know exactly who you are speaking to. You don’t need to provide detailed context and superfluous detail because you can safely assume your audience understands your message.

Your niche should be closely related to your most profitable target market. Find things that appeal to these people, address them directly and build up your audience.

Video Rules. By Wendy Thompson, Socialites.

Video rules, and it’s taking over the social media landscape with four times as many consumers preferring digestible video content over text. The same applies to B2B, according to Forbes, 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week and 59% of executives would rather watch video than read text.

So how’s the ROI? Pretty good so far, Invodo’s study shows video viewers were 1.7 times more likely to purchase and outspend non-viewers by 2.5 times. According to Unruly, enjoyment of video ads increased purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%.

Marketers are already picking up on this trend with 69% of marketers saying their budget on video content is “increasing” or “significantly increasing.” A sensible decision as 2016 activity by social media giants shows they see a video-led future with Facebook launching Facebook Live, Instagram introducing longer video uploads and LinkedIn launching an Influencer video platform.

Another key driver is the explosion of programmatic video, projected to be two-thirds of total digital video spending in the US by 2019.

As with all marketing, the marketers that will win at video will be masters of combining art and science; crafting engaging videos and using strategic targeting technologies to continually learn, evolve and maximise ROI.