Some thoughts on the future of online content

Last week I spotted this infographic offering ‘a quick glimpse into the past, present and future of content’ so decided to share some thoughts on what this might mean for online PR.

With online video formats and platforms, social media and the way we demand and consume content always evolving, it is really hard to predict how content will continue to develop over the next 10 years. However, if we look into the not so distant past, we see that press releases and website content, although still the mainstays of any effective digital PR or content strategy, are actually becoming less effective and dated.

This doesn’t mean that these tactics don’t or can’t work anymore; there is just more noise to filter and more evolved tactics required to get brand campaigns and messages delivered to the right people at the right time.

Press releases can still be very effective if the precise needs of the target audiences, in this case bloggers and journalists, are taken into consideration.

It’s also clear that corporate speak and generic, meaningless announcements are only relevant to the organisations that are sending this ‘news’ out, it is very rarely interesting to the audiences they are targeted at. As a general rule-of-thumb, press releases in this day and age should be more narrative-led, less company-centric and more social.

When it comes to creating web content, search engines remain your most crucial audience, allowing people to find content and inform themselves, request information, buy, etc. Therefore, the importance of crafting the right kind of content with a parallel UX strategy remains essential and is likely to develop for quite some time to come. Furthermore, people taking the trouble to visit your website deserve to receive excellent website content, providing a worthwhile experience for their click-through efforts and removing the potential obstacles to improving conversion rates. Every word and image deserves attention and has also led to the evolution of the traditional role of the copywriter, web content manager or digital PR. If you don’t know your basic SEO onions these days, your content won’t generate as much traffic!

Anyway, take a look at the infographic below to see what ranks among the present and future of content in online marketing. One thing is for sure, diversity continues to grow and so does the need to integrate and be more customer-centric, depending on your content marketing goals. With this in mind, it remains key to consider the following when planning any kind of digital PR or content strategy:

• The role of personalised content.

• The influence of mobile (in terms of form, format, localisaton, you name it).

• The increasing prominence of Google (Plus): PageRank + AuthorRank.

• Integration of CMS, marketing automation, web experience management systems, social management systems and CRM (profile-based = personalised content)

(Double click on the image to see a full screen version)

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