By  RP Singh .

Content will be the new currency for marketers going forward if they have to survive in this huge marketplace.

Seth Godin says, “Content marketing is the only marketing left” and I am a firm believer of this statement. The way entire marketing ecosystem has evolved on last 3-4 years, there are some brave decisions required from marketers to survive the next few years. There are multiple reasons supporting the rise of content marketing, I have tried to classify them as Hard & Soft Factors, both equally important in their own right.

Hard Factors

Ad blocking
India is one of the leading countries when it comes to adoption of ad blockers. According to some reports, almost one third of users today have ad blockers installed on their devices. You will agree that these are evolved set of users, always a priority on marketers list to target. So, if they are watching ads, where do you go from here. You serve them content. Content that is useful. Useful can further be defined as Entertaining, Educational, Motivational, Relevant etc. Ad blocking is a global phenomenon today and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Reducing ad response rates
Forget ad blockers for a moment. Just compare performance of your advertising today with that of 3 years back. Is it generating same amount of response? The clutter is even more, users have more choices of consuming media which leads to lower performing advertising activities. The newer generations are not interested in advertising, period. The only way to get them along is to provide them with something they care about, something they like, something they consume. Everything that goes to a consumer apart from core product or service can be content marketing opportunity for brands.

Mass targeting is a thing of past
Are you still targeting consumers like Males, 18-35, living in a Metro? No, right? You would rather segment your users beyond demographics. And today, technology allows you to know much about them. So, when you target them almost 1-on-1, you will need a lot content, in different formats. Gone are the days of mass targeting and mass messaging, especially when you have sophisticated technology platforms at your disposal to target individual users.

Blurring Media lines

The lines between Owned, Paid & Earned media are blurring day by day and which medium will become your key distribution platform, based on how consumers take it, is something which cannot be predicted with accuracy today. The key implication of this is that marketers need to create content which can be distributed across Paid, Owned & Earned channels. Needless to mention that you will need variety of content to suit the medium because ‘one content fits all’ will not work anymore.

Soft Factors

Mobile generation
Marketers will need a lot of mobile first or mobile friendly content. The uber mobile users today require snack-able content which can’t be done using your existing assets as they were not created keeping ‘mobile screen’ and ‘mobile behaviour’ in mind. Marketers will need to create, for example, vertical content rather than horizontal to appeal to ‘mobile only’ users. They will need to create ephemeral content for these users who are available on platforms like Snapchat etc.

Newer tech needs content
We have all seen the emergence of newer platforms such as AI, AR, VR etc. What do you deliver to your users using these all-new platforms? You will need a different & newer kind of content. You can’t still serve ads through these platforms meant for content consumption. If your customer outreach strategy involves use of any such technologies, you will need more and more content to satisfy the need of content on these platforms.

Role of Search engines
Search engine algorithms are changing more often now as compared to the past. Having relevant content on your destinations will provide a new competitive advantage to marketers in terms of SEO. Almost all search engines give high ranking to content heavy pages, after all they are all content aggregators at the end of the day.

Complicated buyer journey
Consumer purchase journey was never so complicated. We all love to see, compare, review online before buying anything today. The sales cycles are complex and marketers need different type of content at different stages of path to purchase. They can’t be delivering ‘sales oriented’ content in the awareness stage for a consumer. This phenomenon is even more critical for B2B business where sales cycles are usually very long.

Rise of influencers
We all know how important are the influencers in this Social Media driven marketing world. There are large & micro influencers which a lot of new age users refer to for various decisions related to brands. Marketers have started engaging these influencers for distributing their brand related messaging and these influencers will need content as the social currency to distribute to their own respective followers.

Content will be the new currency for marketers going forward if they have to survive in this huge marketplace. Thankfully, some marketers have already taken initial steps and are learning as they go along, but they will be far ahead of the curve soon if other do not follow the suit.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

By  RP Singh

Sourced from BW Business World