Telling your story well: Content is still the king, and its future is technology
Nowadays media organisations are facing numerous challenges when producing meaningful and engaging content. The reigning reason for this is a saturated market.
Nowadays media organisations are facing numerous challenges when producing meaningful and engaging content. The reigning reason for this is a saturated market. Marketers are producing an incredible amount of content, but is that content meaningful and memorable? Is it being produced and published faster across multiple channels than before? Are you adapting to the ever-changing consumption patterns and preferences? Have you gone mobile or still using computers or laptops?
What it boils down to is: Are your content marketing efforts effective?
India’s mobile revolution shows no signs of slowing
Currently, India has 523 million internet users, out of which a staggering 234 million are Indian language internet users.
Overall internet users are expected to rise to 601 million in the near future, and Indian language internet users will shoot up to 550 million. This clearly indicates that India is going regional on digital, and fast.
After all these years, content is still king
It’s not enough for a business these days to only look at maximising the performance of its products and services. With advancing technologies and access to growing resources, most businesses have a competitive edge. What matters is how a business can stand apart from the competition, despite delivering the same things.
Ensuring business growth and delivering the best to your clients are interdependent. And there’s a very important thread connecting the two.
That thread is content; it is the connecting factor that keeps your customers engaged.
And when we speak of content, it’s not the volume, but the potential it has to create long-lasting impact.
What can tech do for you and your clients?
As a marketer, it’s crucial for you to build your own brand, highlight your expertise and craft communication around this.
Your client on the other hand, needs to leverage the latest available technology to best connect with their audience.
Let's look at each of these independently.
To stand out as an expert in your industry, you can use content that highlights your strengths.
Maybe you’re a gifted writer. Maybe you’re an imaginative designer. Or a good orator. You needn’t worry about how you communicate – what matters is that you do it.
Blogs, audios, videos – all work excellently, and you can make them available on relevant social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. You could even create your own podcast!
As for your client – you need to think on multiple levels. What is the language that client assets need to communicate in?
From a content point of view, are they set up such that they can leverage the latest and most popular content mediums? Do they have the tools to create targeted communication for voice? Knowing video is the most utilised mode of content, is your client set for video? As a service provider to your client, you need to enable them for all of these.
Today’s audience consume content on several digital outposts. And while we can evaluate where our audiences go, it’s important to present our content in an interesting, consumable format.
Essentially, there are 3 main types of content:
Lightweight (social media content).
Medium weight (listicles, articles), and
Heavyweight (videos, digital PR).
Medium weight content gets the most engagement from audiences, and needs to be leveraged whenever possible. Medium weight content is that which is always on, knowledge driven, highly relevant, micro–targeted, transparent, platform agnostic and search optimised.
It’s evident that content has a tech-driven future – so what are the different emerging technologies you can leverage to create optimal value for your clients?
Facilitated by advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, voice technology is changing the way we search for information and interact with our devices. This voice-activated world is likely to pick up speed with the advent of newer connected devices, taking user hands–free experience to the next level. According to com-score data, half of all online search will be voice-based by 2020 and voice will become the preferred mode of transaction in the near future.
Changes in copywriting
Copywriting has undergone significant changes in the last 50 years. While television, print and radio dominated before, now various digital forms of communication are prioritisd over traditional modes of advertising. And with good reason. Today, consumers want more information before spending their hard-earned money. A few lines advertising your product are no longer enough to get consumers to pull out their credit cards. It’s important to connect with them and establish a relationship. For that, creative copywriting that’s backed by data and emotion is a must.
Google is the gatekeeper of online text. The way Google determines quality SEO has evolved significantly over the past 10 years as well. This is because the search engine introduces algorithm updates regularly, and it’s important for marketers to keep themselves abreast of these developments.
Channel neutral content
When it comes to recycling stories or content, it is imperative that they be a) easy to find and b) customisable to be republished on another channel or brand. For large media organisations that have many brands, stories often get lost or are not reused in an efficient manner. A number of companies replicate their digital stories to print – this doesn’t work. Print has different requirements than digital, such as copy fitting and page styling and layout, while with a digital story it is more important to ensure SEO and an easy-to-read content structure. It’s important to approach different mediums with approaches that make the most sense for them.
Human mistakes in tasks like manually tagging assets are unavoidable – this is where AI comes in. AI can, without exaggerating it, function as a new colleague or assistant, helping you finding relevant content. AI can also be used to generate articles, chatbots can be taught to interact with consumers, and finally, automate processes. AI can also help tremendously with content generation and automated reports.
You can have the best content in the world, but if you can’t get it out to your customers or prospects at the right time, in the right format, and on the device of their choosing, it doesn’t matter how good your content is. Intelligent content is not about the words or the images; it’s about how you create, manage, and deliver your content.
Virtual reality (VR) is already making waves in real estate, entertainment and sports. It only makes sense that businesses would take advantage of this additional channel to incorporate immersive content into marketing strategies.
To sum it up, good content is the gift that keeps on giving – if you invest the time in researching, producing and delivering, then your content will surely engage the customers for long after it’s been published.
To do this, keep your goals smart, be original, be creative and keep yourself updated.
And last but not the least, good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.
Sanjay Mehta is Jt. CEO at Mirum Digital.