Almost every Wednesday (3 p.m. EST), the social CRM SproutSocial holds a chat via Twitter. Each week, a new topic revolved around social media or marketing is covered. I try my best to make it and talk live with everyone, but more often than not, I am wrapped up in a project or just away from the keyboard. Nevertheless, I am committed each week to take the questions from each weekly chat and offer my two cents. With it being on my blog, if I feel passionate about a question, I'll be able to expand past the 140 characters. You can stay up to date on the week's topic and chat by using the hashtag #SproutChat. Let's get into this week's chat...
The Future of content marketing
From the perspective of "ideas", content is more and more answering the question "WHY?" Before, it was all about "HOW?" Technology is a great example of this. In year's past, I remember commercials spitting off how much RAM their computer had or how many pixels make up the latest television screen. I can not pin point the time when it all changed, but now technology focuses on why. The fact that I want to work seamlessly and increase my productivity. The fact that I want accessibility and to communicate. Very rarely do you hear a stat, unless it is earth shattering, about a device anymore. Why, because companies care about your "Why?"
From the perspective of "practice", there has been a really large increase in the use of video. First it was text driven, then it was image and infographic driven. Now it seems like everywhere I look, there is a 30 second video teaching me how to make chili using (fill in the blank).
I prefer to look at this as we need to do just enough that keeps the message clear. If we focus on being as short as possible, the message can get cut off or even lost. But yes, our attention span, online or offline, is rapidly getting shorter. If you can avoid the phrase "get to the point", good.
I think it is important to know what other brands are doing. It is more important to know what works for you audience. They may not necessarily align. The fact that you spent the time to learn what others are doing is still extremely important because it may jogged your brain. You may discover something that ends up working for your audience that you would not have found as easily.
On the flip side. if something worked for you, don't hide it. Share it!
The value of creating content as part of the overall marketing plan adds depth. When you get into the position where you get to create, you've now gone below the tip of the iceberg. In addition, your audience receives the content and values it higher, increasingly the opportunity for success.
I mention above, but I see at least 5 of these "How-To" videos. Mostly in the food industry and the crafting industry, but I wouldn't be surprised if technology and a few other industries jumped on this band wagon.
As much fun as they are, I really hope lists and quizzes "meet their maker". They feel really gimmicky and I haven't been introduced any that actually do someone good. As companies hopefully continue working to address "WHY", there comes a level of genuineness that I feel is lost as I'm reading, "21 ways you know you are addicted to burritos".