Content marketing went through an array of ups and downs until very recently for last few years it rose in unparalleled importance.
Once for hitting the search engine ranks volume of quality content was the only criterion but now thanks to the evolution in presentation of content and making content more accessible through the use of latest technologies, the content now became multifaceted in every sense. From utilizing more visual contents to using latest storytelling techniques to new SEO technologies through wearable devices, mobile and evolving platforms, content marketing is now a rigorous field of specialized marketing. There are too many factors that are capable now to contribute to the quality of the content rather than a quality written piece of content.
In 2015 we have seen several evolving trends in web content and already we can envisage some of the massive trends that are going to be even bigger in coming years. As the New Year is already on the doorstep, let us introduce here 5 such content marketing trends that are going to rock the web in 2016.
1. Interactive content
This has been a consistent focus for web and media as a whole to remain relevant in the mind of consumers rather than sticking to so called purist idea. In approaching content now entertainment of the reader or watcher is more favored besides making it relevant. An entertaining and relevant content will draw more audience than a boring but relevant content. But what makes a content interesting and entertaining in the first place? It is obviously, the interactive element that engages the user and even touches him emotionally sometimes.
It is needless to say that the focus on interactivity has largely gained momentum because of mobile web. Mobile only content or mobile responsive content to take the size of a variety of screens is now a necessity, not just a choice. Designing contents for diverse device inputs including touch, pinch, gesture, etc. added more diversity to the content and as a trend this will continue to grow.
2. New SEO methods
SEO also went though large scale evolution in the recent years. While all the search engines continued to be better in picking results that users need, they cannot satisfy all the queries as user volume and diversity is growing at skyrocketing speed. Naturally, now users always cannot find what they are looking for on search engines.
Moreover, for influencing buying decision or for winning favorable opinion increasingly social media contents are being relied upon. Around 88% of online buyers now make decisions based on online comments from earlier buyers rather than content. Naturally, more than so called search engine results many consumers now prefer hitting Pinterest or YouTube and get an idea of the product through visual contents and buyer comments. So from this perspective, shifting focus from regular search engines to new SEO methods is going to be an obvious trend in 2016.
SEO techniques are very likely to go through an array of changes in the coming years thanks to evolving devices, particularly because of wearable devices. Moreover, voice search engines are continuing to be popular with the increasing popularity of Google Now, Siri and Cortana. Voice search in one way or the other will open a new SEO field offering quick results to asked queries.
3. Content will need to be optimized for wearable devices
For last few years, wearable devices came in a big way and although most of them are still in the process of becoming fully self-reliable for displaying contents they are nevertheless the biggest game changer in content publication and marketing. Wearable computers like Google Glass, Smartwatches and VR machines are likely to change the way we access and consume content. So, in the time to come optimizing contents for wearable devices will be another crucial necessity.
To optimize the readability of contents in wearable devices, maybe marketers will focus on offering wearable only content and layout rather than delivering the same lengthy content designed for other devices. Offering crisp, short relevant content that can be glanced quickly will be the more important to address wearable web users.
4. Visual Content will continue to dominate
For few years, web design turned tremendously towards full blown images and visual storytelling. Similarly, now offering a mix of written contents, images, video, infographs and little traces of animation has been a trend in contents as well. Cisco rightly predicted that by 2017 video content will account for 69% of the total web consumer traffic.
Moreover, until now the focus rested mostly on the brand produced media contents. But as consumers now are using more equipped devices with high definition video capability, user contents are likely to become a force in the time to come. Besides enhanced device capability, another factor that would push increasing number of consumers to publish media contents is the increasing influence of consumer reviews on the buying decision of people. Enhanced device capability for displaying high definition video and images is a major attribute that would continue to increase the importance of visual contents.
5. A shift toward longer richer content
There has been a gradual shift from short length objective type contents to more complicated, informative and elaborate contents in the past few years. There is toughest competition on shorter keywords and when it comes to ranking quality contents, there are always too many websites with similar objective and short length contents on a given topic or keyword. So, the focus has shifted to long keywords and towards longer, richer contents that are more likely to offer unique value than the short ones.
There is another impetus to it in the recent times. The Knowledge Graph of Google evolved very recently to produce really impressive results. It can now deliver instant answers to a majority of queries including the long-tail ones. Moreover, digital assistants such as Siri and Cortana made it further integrated with various devices. So, for short objective answers users will no longer need to visit a website but would be supplied the same through Google Now or other digital assistants. Naturally, to draw users the websites need to offer unique value proposition through longer, richer contents delivering lot more than objective answers.