The consumers of content have plenty of options to choose from when they go searching for their information. While that reality is enough to discourage some brands from getting into the content game, I’d argue that now is precisely the time to dive in with both feet. But you’ll need to be bold.
Truth: The amount of content being created is only going to increase.
Truth: Many of those 1.5 million blog posts are just dreadful. Many more are mediocre at best.
And there’s the opportunity. I’m convinced that the future of content marketing is to create thrilling content. Content that makes the audience go “Wow!” Content that gets people talking, that gets them sharing. Content that is well-written, well-designed (that’s really important), and well-delivered.
Consider the recent native advertisement the New York Times produced for NetFlix and “Orange is the New Black.” It was beautiful, thought-provoking and helpful -- and it wasn’t an overt sales pitch. It got people talking. Not just advertising folks, which you’d expect, but even journalists, and journalism watchdogs, gave it a thumbs-up. It was thrilling, and that enabled it to break through and resonate more than most of the other content generated that day, that week, that month.
That’s the new goal of content marketing, and the bar is going to get higher and higher as the content marketing industry matures.
For content consumers, this is great news: The quality of content will be going up. Yes, there will still be plenty of what Doug Kessler identified early on as Crap, but organizations and media companies that are looking to stand out will be creating great work.
For content creators, this can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. More than ever before, there is the opportunity to create something great. Organizations understand the value of it, and the audience is seeking it out. But of course that puts pressure on all of us to create thrilling content. It won’t be easy to meet this rising standard. You’ll have to decide whether you’re capable of, and willing, to meet these heightened expectations.
For brands, merely checking the content marketing box isn’t enough; “just blogging” is inadequate. Consistently banging out those singles no longer makes a ripple in the marketplace. Today, and into the future, we need to swing from the heels and try to hit grand slams.
We need to create thrilling content. Are you ready?