By Ann Gynn published August 1, 2017
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Do you hate that question as much as I do? While I’m not a fan (perhaps because I’ve never had a great answer), I understand why it’s asked. The interviewer wants to know that the job candidate has considered the short-term future and wants to see how the candidate’s potential path for success fits with the company’s.
With a professional twist, we asked the experts presenting at Content Marketing World what they see in the next five years as the biggest changes in content marketing. This isn’t a list of predicted tech advances or outlandish guesses – it’s practical and proactive. You could take one or all 25 and begin working on them today (if you’re not already) – to plan strategically for short- and long-term success.
We’ve segregated the answers based on the five emerging themes – personalization, formats, implementation, voice-activation, and data.
As you’ll see, the impact of artificial intelligence is a theme that runs through all the categories. Ironically, Michael Brenner points out, it is technology that will help us better connect with people. “We are in a quick march to deep content personalization, add machine learning and AI to help us predict what to create, for whom, where, and how often,” says the CEO of Marketing Insider Group.
Make it personal
Publish one-on-one websites
Craft seamless experience
Meet your very segmented audience
Structure implementation smartly
Be prepared, be very prepared
The dream of real, private, one-to-one conversations between brands and people will be realized as AI, machine learning, natural language recognition, and other technologies come into their own as bots and digital assistants. The people, of course, will lead those conversations and the brands will respond.
Cross into sales
Go to each sales place
Recognize that all employees are marketers
The marketer of tomorrow needs to have a diverse skill set and a good understanding of the channels that fit the brand’s needs and prospective audience’s interests. The team also needs to work within the rest of the company rather than as a silo within it. Encouraging other employees to think and act like marketers is a secret resource. Other employees are engaged in all parts of the buyer’s journey, which are valuable insights in creating quality content, especially when you need to create content to encourage your clients to become brand champions.
Colleen Weston, marketing director, Britton Gallagher
Engage in sprints
See the shortcomings
Don’t get comfortable
I read an article about a company in the U.K. that began to use Albert (an AI-based marketing platform) for its search engine marketing – PPC, AdWords, social advertising. It did so well, they ended up letting their agency go. This is going to become commonplace quickly.
Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich
Evolve your formats
Don’t show, do it
Instead of showing people how to do something we’ll have to move our content marketing to helping people do it. For example, rather than writing an article about SEO, Neil Patel created a utility to review SEO on a website. Today, we write long, detailed content because these pieces get shared and linked to more and therefore rank well in Google. But most people don’t read long blog posts so the content is not actually delivering on the value because readers (potential customers) don’t implement what we write. We need to make it a lot easier for people to implement what we share, and help people do instead of showing people how, to have a better impact.
Ian Cleary, founder, RazorSocial
Engage in real time
Favor the more practical, not the shiniest
The behavior change will be to switch from constant acquisition mode (get in front of people, acquire followers, readers, subscribers, etc.) to retention mode (be memorable to people, hold attention over time to gain trust and loyalty and trigger actions).
Get in front of your audience
Go on your own
Be the gathering place
Act like a publishing company
Specialize and/or spend a lot
Answer the call of Siri and Alexa
Give direct answers
By 2020, there will be over 200 billion voice-search queries per month, according to the Trends Report. That volume will make up half of all search queries. As the use of Alexa, Echo Dot, Google Home, Siri, and other non-screen search devices will increase. The newer devices and advanced technology make it very easy for searchers to ask questions.
Evolve your content
Make new friends
Break it down
Where will content marketing be in five years? Continually evolving.
These experts share great insight on where content marketing is headed – more personalization, cross-functioning content, relevant formats, and voice activation. But the single most important takeaway is that your content marketing program must be structured in a way that it can adapt whether the change comes from technology, audience preferences, or even a change in your company’s business offerings.
Now, where will you be in five years with your content marketing programs? Share in the comments.
You can meet and learn from these experts as they present at Content Marketing World 2017 Sept. 5-8 in Cleveland, Ohio. Register today and use the code BLOG100 to save $100. Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute
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