Content discovery no longer relies on Google
21% of millennials no longer use desktop computers to search the web. What we took to be the zenith of 20th century technology and prime orchestrator of content discovery is already moving towards obsolescence.
The desktop-to-mobile shift has fundamentally altered the typical content discovery journey
Users can re-arrange the stages of conventional search, or skip expected steps before accomplishing their end goal. It’s now unlikely that users will follow a linear path to content discovery.
A whole host of factors are driving this shift, including:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- News aggregation apps
Users are no longer required to research their concepts via Google, and then choose a website from the suggested list. They can just as easily stumble on a topic that’s never previously interested them via social media. Or, they might feel compelled to view and then share a particularly interesting link from an email marketing campaign.
Hypothetically, a person using Facebook on a mobile device could see an enticing headline, click through and read a blog, share the blog with friends and purchase a related product – all without leaving the app.
People are also turning to time-saving apps that curate content for them. Flipora is an example of an app that monitors your web activity and recommends related content based on the interests you’ve expressed. Curiyo identifies key terms on a site or app and delivers relevant new content within the same platform.
But, don’t throw out your content strategy just yet. This transition is still in its infancy, and is unlikely to replace traditional search any time soon. The finely-tuned algorithms that have brought search to this point have set a high benchmark for these young guns to reach. It will happen, but in the meantime, marketers should focus on producing content that provides clear value for the end user, irrespective of how they might eventually discover it.
Vice takes new approach to branded content
The proposition is to create something that’s indistinguishable from regular editorial content.
Brands could secure a better return on their investment using this bold new approach to branded content, so are likely to embrace the method. Consumers may not be so welcoming, as they expect content to be authentic and not try to sell them things via the back door.
Vice isn’t the only publisher turning the concept of branded content on its head, with the likes of Buzzfeed, Mic, Condé Nast and Turner all developing their own offerings. Content marketers would do well to keep an eye on publishers, because they’re already bringing fresh techniques to the table.
Marketing technology and consumer preference trends uncovered
New reports from the Economist Intelligence Unit (on behalf of Marketo) and Forrester Research have thrown up some intriguing statistics for content marketers. The former asked marketers a series of questions about the future of the industry, while the latter surveyed consumers on what characteristics they look for in a trusted brand.
We’ve selected the most relevant points and combined them into a handy stat pack:
According to respondents, by 2020 the top channels for disseminating content to potential customers will be:
- Social media – 63%
- World Wide Web – 53%
- Mobile apps – 47%
- Mobile web – 46%
Marketers surveyed believe the top three technologies set to revolutionise marketing by 2020 are:
- Mobile devices and networks – 59%
- Personalisation technologies – 45%
- Internet of things – 39%.
Consumers surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit responded in favour of personalised content:
- 75% of consumers like it when products and offers are personalised by brands
- 56% of consumers said they’d be more likely to use a retailer with a personalised service
- 74% of web shoppers get frustrated when shown content not relevant to their interests
- 40% of consumers buy more from brands that personalise experiences across channels
- 94% of companies are of the view that personalisation is crucial to future success
In short, content marketers will need to develop a versatile, multi-platform content strategy and fine-tune their personalisation techniques in order to stay relevant and build success.