Revolution is characterized by sudden, radical, or complete change. However, after experiencing numerous drastic shifts, we have become exhausted. On the other hand, evolution occurs gradually over a longer period. In order to bring about positive change, a series of decisions and actions are necessary. The good news is that you don’t have to completely overhaul everything you’ve learned or the processes you’ve relied on in order to meet the challenges of content marketing. What you do need to do is evolve. Last week, thousands of content and marketing professionals gathered at Content Marketing World in Washington, D.C. to discuss ideas on how to evolve. One topic that dominated many conversations was artificial intelligence. Some of the leading minds in AI shared their thoughts on the current state of AI and its implications for marketers. While I can’t go into all the details here, I can provide a TL;DR version: AI will continue to have a significant impact on our industry, but humans will also play a crucial role. With that in mind, I pose some thought-provoking questions based on the insights shared by keynote speakers on how to evolve and meet the challenges of the future.
1. Do you have a clear understanding of your content mission and purpose? Take Zillow, for example. The brand has become so well-known that it has even become a verb. However, even established brands need to maintain and build on their reputation. Zillow, despite its funny and cool reputation, realized that it needed to evolve in order to better serve its purpose as an online real estate marketplace. The company crystallized its purpose and centered its content around making the home-buying process easier for people. They created a central hub and launched a campaign that showcased the additional value they provide beyond just looking up home values. This campaign resulted in a 94% unaided brand recall. How can you adjust your marketing messages to align with your audience and get them speaking the same language as your brand?
2. Have you fallen for the misconception that people need and like new things? Derek Thompson challenged this notion in his keynote speech. He argued that the most fundamental human bias is actually towards familiarity rather than novelty. He pointed out that the highest-grossing movies of this century are often part of well-established franchises like Avengers and Star Wars. He also used the example of Spotify, where listeners tend to stick to the music they already know and like, even though new music is constantly being added to the platform. Derek suggested that you can engage your audience by incorporating new elements into familiar experiences, or by making surprising elements more familiar. How can you introduce new elements into your content or marketing strategies to capture your audience’s attention?
3. Are you conducting enough content experiments? Phyllis Davidson emphasized the importance of experimentation in her presentation. She highlighted a statistic from Forrester’s B2B research, which revealed that 77% of customers are unlikely to expand their contracts with a brand if its content is not valuable or helpful. In order to modify and improve content, organizations must be willing to experiment, especially with new technologies. Phyllis outlined the steps of a marketing experiment and provided an example to illustrate how it can be done effectively. By conducting more experiments, you can move quickly and failure becomes less painful. What will be your next marketing experiment?
In conclusion, evolution is key to meeting the challenges of content marketing. While AI will continue to shape the industry, human involvement is equally important. By understanding your content mission, incorporating new elements into familiar experiences, and conducting content experiments, you can evolve and stay ahead of the curve.