For any company that has a strong web presence and/or which relies on the internet for much of their business, content is a crucial factor in building and developing visibility on the web. Ranged between you and your customers there may be several thousands of miles not to mention some meddling robots. Communication is allegedly easier than ever before in the modern age; however, just because it’s fast and far reaching that shouldn’t be taken to mean ‘better’. Communication has not in many ways changed much at all. There is good or effective communication and bad or ineffective communication. The fact that you can do either with someone you’ve never met in the blink of an eye makes less difference than you might imagine. Online marketing techniques are in their early days and are constantly evolving and will probably always do so. So what will be the key techniques in the coming year in both internet marketing and content production?
Quality and Subtlety
From the dawn of the internet way back in the last century to the present day there’s been a rapid evolution of content marketing tricks and tactics. Many of these were not terribly sophisticated, in the early days, but recent changes in the way in which search engines quantify the ‘quality’ of content have demanded increasingly high standards need to be applied to content creation. Behind the changes are a number of factors that are worth understanding; search engines rely on the best quality content to maintain their position as the search of choice. For giants like Google it is essential that the results are useful to users. The users themselves (that’s all of us) have increasing access to the web in many and often mobile forms and also have sophisticated needs in terms of content. In terms of marketing (or being marketed at) users are more likely to search forums and Facebook for recommendations than necessarily trust the often blatant attempts of a firms to sell their products. An increasing level of quality is likely to be very important in 2013, alongside a level of subtlety.
Short Attentions or Just Survival Tactics
Much has been made about the short attention span of internet users; but behind this fact is the reality that we spend more and more of our time online. The increasingly mobile nature of our online interactions may make these attention spans shorter in some senses if we’re not all doomed to become road kill. However, our ‘always on’ lifestyle suggests that the internet has our full attention; our attention may flit around but it’s perhaps not as short as many believe. This has seen a shift in content towards a more in depth, expert approach. Content writers who are experts (or expert researchers) are required to produce content that is above all useful and easily digested.
Centre of Attention
However, beyond our short attention span while attempting to cross roads and hide what we’re really up to from our bosses’ lies the fact that we are, pretty much, always on. The internet now delivers far more than it did in the early days; a phone is no longer just a phone but it is now also a TV, Radio, Newspaper and conference centre all rolled into one. It’s also a reference library and this may well mean that longer articles and more focus on blogging and guest blogging are also likely to be a focus in the coming months. Longer in this sense doesn’t necessarily mean word. One thousand words of padding are, in quality terms, way shorter than five hundred succinct accurate and informative words. Depth and length of much written content is likely to become a growing feature in 2013.
Quality on all Levels
The growing capabilities that the internet can deliver will also drive a need to supply quality content in more formats. Multimedia content can help to entrap a user’s attention – images and video in particular. Images have long been shoe-horned into content but have been rather generic in nature. This year the focus on ‘depth’ may well include a more thorough approach to imagery and video – creating a fuller, rounder type of content that snares the attention of even the most easily distracted reader/viewer/listener.
The Key Message
I’ve split the above details into various sections, but ultimately there is one trend that is likely to underlie all the trends in content marketing in 2013; quality above all else. So what does this mean for content providers? Apart from continuing to exist in a slightly frazzled state, half between one caffeine rush and the next, it’s likely to mean that the research and quality control aspect to our work will continue to take a high priority and, perhaps, become our main priority. It’s a trend that has been growing in recent years and is likely to be the modus operandi of the future as technology allows easier and permanent access to the web.
Ian Phillips is a writer who has a keen interest in the new and interesting content marketing trends which have come into effect. Guest blogging is just one of these power trends and techniques which will help you to successfully market your business by using quality content.