The Content Marketing Institute recently asked nine leading experts to predict the future of content marketing in 2015. The results were predictable: experts talked about the rise of mobile publishing, an increased focus on video, and the power of real-time content.
Yet the article pointed to a looming trend on the content marketing horizon, a shifting focus from the blanket “Content is King” mantra. Unless we start embracing relevant, measured content, the King is about to be dethroned.
Attracting the Right Eyeballs
Five out of nine experts in the CMI interview mentioned the rising importance of analytics and measuring content success. As Kristen Knipp (Marketing Director of Hubspot) said in her interview: “I’m attracting eyeballs to my site, but are they the right ones?”
For years, marketers praised content for its ability to attract searchers and increase traffic. But as more and more sites embrace the Blogging Gospel and start churning out content, it becomes impossible to be heard above the roar.
We get the equation. Content marketing = good.
Content = traffic.
Traffic = sales.
…but does traffic really equal sales? Isn’t it enough that you have a content strategy? Can your blog’s success be measured in the amount of eyeballs you attract?
Experts agree: Nope. Not anymore.
Tear Your Content Strategy Apart
The future of content marketing hinges on analytics: being able to tear your content apart, break it down, understand it piece by piece. It’s about delving deep into your target audience and finding what makes them tick. It’s about experimentation: which types of content attract the right traffic? Specifically, what about that content brings them in — and what brings them back for more?
We need more ways to measure our content’s success. We need to spend more time figuring out why one post worked and another flopped, why some days bring more subscribers than others, why some tweets get more retweets. There’s a world of scientific precision waiting to be applied to content marketing…but too few sites are bothering to record, to experiment, to analyze.
It’s about working smarter, not harder; publishing less, not more. Because…
…Content Production Will Cost More in the Future
The days of cheap content are coming to a close. We’ve already seen the death of content mills. I pray next for the death of fluff content: the mindless guest posts, the tired subjects, the lifeless prose. I long for the day when it’s no longer acceptable– expected, even– to post something because Today’s Wednesday and We Always Post on Wednesdays.
There are good things to be said of stability and structure, sure. But blog posting schedules come down to one thing: meeting readers’ expectations. They expect to be entertained, educated, or updated three times a week. But when we post crap content for the sake of a calendar, we still fail our readers’ expectations.
We merely fail with frequency.
There are too many blogs in the world to fall back on lifeless content. Your readers have millions of other options to fall back on if you disappoint. Posting content for content’s sake is on its deathbed: instead, we need to ramp up quality content production to withstand the impending oversaturation of the blogosphere. And, of course…
…Quality Has a Cost
I want to see more posts that have been weeks in the making. I want to see more epic projects; I want to see less blurbs. I want to see more innovation, experimentation, analysis. In short: I want to see more time spent on content.
Time is money. That time has a cost — and I worry it’s a cost too many businesses can’t afford to pay.
But here’s the rub: if quality, targeted (more expensive) content nets more sales or conversions, isn’t it worth the price? Wouldn’t you rather hit one bullseye than have eight near misses?
Of course, hitting the bullseye takes aim and practice…
…Which Brings Us Back to Analytics
Which factors hit the target? Which content brings the sales? What defines quality content for your site?
You’ll never know unless you dive in the trenches and start analyzing. So start there. Tear apart your existing content. Find out what’s working. Cut the crap that’s not.
Stop blindly publishing and start focusing on your audience. When the future of content marketing arrives, you’ll be one of the few with a road map
Want to learn more about how quality content can attract the right eyeballs to your site? Contact CopyPress today for more information!
Nicki M. Porter is a working writer, fledgling foodie, and admitted alliteration addict currently living in Boston. Find her on Twitter at @nickimporter. And while you’re at it, why don’t you come hang out with CopyPress on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr?