The future of content and content marketing through the eyes of Optimize author Lee Odden.
After the kick-off keynote by Joe Pulizzi at Content Marketing World 2013 and the keynote by Jay Baer (which we will briefly cover soon, in the meantime read our interview with Jay), attendees were invited to join one of five break-out sessions. Not an easy task as there were some interesting cases and Adele Revella covered the oh so important buyer personas, Robert Rose looked at the three models of content marketing and Lee Odden talked about the future of content. Three smart people and two interesting cases.
Let’s take a look at Lee Odden’s views on the future of content and schedule a blog post about Adele Revella’s buyer personas wisdom later. Among many other things, Lee Odden is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing.
With Optimize, Lee was in fact one of the first to have a more holistic take on content marketing.
The future of content: the context of information, technology and the human experience
Lee discussed the future of content on search and the social Web today. It’s a topic he talked about earlier too and is a lot about the same holistic/connected/integrated approach with the connected customer at the center. Some future content marketing and content trends as Lee, who gave a presentation on customer-centric content marketing strategy at one of our events last year (slideshare below), sees them.
Let’s start with some content and content marketing evolutions as they happened and continue to happen:
- The consumer (certainly in retail) is moving from multi-channel to omni-channel (physical and digital in-store touchpoints included).
- Single format storytelling has evolved into transmedia storytelling and will keep doing so.
- The future of content has to be seen in the relational context of information, technology and the human experience with content.
- One of the main drivers shaping the future of content and content marketing will remain the channel-agnostic focus on target audiences with the “best answer” for what customers want (or content for what they like) in mind. And the customer journey remains the key driver in this context.
What’s next for content and content marketing?
Now some more trends looking a bit further in the future as it starts today:
- The importance of mobile devices, wearable computing, etc. will impact the future of content (and context). Also the use of apps will strongly impact the content experience.
- Adaptive and responsive (and even pro-sponsive) content will become more important. In other words: fast reaction to real-time events will become essential. It’s in this context that we also should look at content marketing from the big data and personalization context (with fast data in some cases).
- Converged media will become more important. In the end, that’s also what connected and customer-centric marketing is about and let’s face it: in the end, the somewhat strict distinction between paid, owned and earned media was a bit artificial.
- Co-creation and collaboration will broaden the content creation and workflow ecosystem, involving multiple contributors but also customers and this is where the importance of social content comes in as well.
- Visual content will become more important (I suppose the research announced by Joe Pulizzi today at Content Marketing World only confirms that, seeing how the use of infographics is growing).
- An integrated approach whereby the silo challenges are tackled as well as search and social integration play an important role.
In the end, the future of content remains one of a holistic view on the customer journey that is more connected than ever. That holistic perspective is also what Optimize is all about as you can read here.
The basics of content as an answer to questions and needs (as the often mentioned example of another Content Marketing World speaker, Marcus Sheridan, and his swimming pool content shows), as emotional triggers and as a means to an end, being action, remain.
Technology and especially mobile, social, search and (big) data, will play an essential role. And as always it will all be about smart and thus by definition connected and customer-centric business. More openness and a more ‘human’ approach is another ongoing evolution Lee sees happening.
Lee talked about all these evolutions on his blog and at the MIMA Future of Content for Marketers event too. You can watch the video below, as well as the mentioned slideshare presentation.