Content, how it is made and how it is delivered, is changing. I suspect that we are, right now, just past the peak of “content marketing” or “inbound marketing.”
While it’s true that the making of content by marketers and humans is unlikely to abate, the way we find it will change.
It has to change. Because we’re inundated by massive amounts of content–most of which is of questionable quality.
The failures of formerly authoritative information outlets in the face of breaking news, the increase of insta-pundits on relatively obscure topics like Chechnya and the effects of sarin, the way that marketers created the viral Harlem Shake almost by accident, all those posts following the hit-single format of number-in-the-headline-insincere-question-at-the-end.
These things point to a system that has made its way to the edge of complexity. Content is now a given, table stakes.
We will still make content. However the “inboundness” or even the “contentness” of it will not be the important aspect of the activity anymore.
1. There is a market for content but it’s fickle.
In One Billion People Feeding Their Almost Infinite Appetite for Distraction, Jeff Turner notes that there is a tremendous marketplace for the social distribution of ideas. But that marketplace may in fact shape the ideas being exchanged. That influence may, ironically, lead away from actual communication with one another. This is an environment in which the distribution of content becomes challenging enough that Facebook can charge even individuals to reach their own friends.
2. The moment as content.
Many marketers are aware of the success of the Oreo social media team during the Superbowl in 2013. They managed to post a great bit of content at an opportune moment on short notice. This sort of thing, while using content, isn’t what I’d consider content marketing.
It’s moment marketing.
The time element was as important as the content itself. The content has greatest value because of the moment in which it was delivered. Oreo’s success didn’t spring out of nowhere as a bolt-on social media command center. They had extensive experience and practice pursuing clear and simple objectives in short time-frames.
3. Abstracting channels will be required to seize moment marketing.
There is slightly out-of-focus thinking about channels and devices. We consider how our content will be “responsive” or how it might fight through the distraction mentioned above.
But in order to succeed in a moment, the content will need to transcend channel altogether. It will need to be more than a “Facebook update” or a “Tweet” or even a “video” or “blog post.”
There will be a central idea and that idea will be realized in whatever channel the moment requires.
Our thinking about content will need to move beyond format and structure. We’ll want to consider instead how content can function in the moment.