But, the introduction of automation into marketing is a new adventure, and the leap into content creation is fogging the space between human and machine.
I’ve written here recently how I think that AI will not be able to replace a skilled accountant. A real person with empathy and foresight.
But, technology is blurring the lines.
Today, social media is replacing traditional advertising, as people resist leaving their favorite contact apps in order to search through a long list of promoted results. These social citizens rely on the relationships that they have formed and are influenced by the content surrounding their contacts.
For a local marketer, content distribution relies on a variety of tactics — and social shares are the most common way for brands to distribute content. But platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have been making the move toward becoming publishers in their own right, rather than platforms for sharing links from traditional media outlets. Why would people leave their favorite social apps when they can get all the content they want in one place?
With free tools like the WordPress plugin WordPress To Buffer Pro, it is a snap to automatically have links from your blog post posted to your social media timeline, and the days of using free social media tools such as this to post links on your go-to accounts are far from over. These platforms offer a solution to the growing competition for organic reach. Social channels offer a way to get in front of audiences where they are and drive them back to your site, just as guest posting content to the right online publications does. But in an age dominated by social media, having engaging brand social channels is just as important as maintaining a top-notch website.
Machine learning will enable content conversations.
Your brand’s success in content marketing depends on your ability to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time, and that takes more than your best educated guess. That’s where machine learning comes in.
“Content marketing is becoming more conversational, blurring the lines between content marketing and sales. Customers show high interest in having one-on-one exchanges with companies over social media and text message, but companies find it hard to have quality conversations at scale,” Alex De Simone, CEO of Avochato, said.
“Machine learning technologies that enable marketers to tailor who sees a message are starting to decide what the content of conversations should be. The shift from traditional content marketing to machine-mediated conversational marketing will change the way marketers operate, empowering them to deliver better content at scale.”
The rise of virtual and augmented reality will make visual content nonnegotiable.
A lot of people are burned out on promises of how these VR/AR technologies are “changing the game,” only to see lackluster adoption, but I truly believe we’ll finally see this tech go mainstream in 2018. Experts predict that VR and AR will generate $150 billion in revenue by 2020, and its widespread availability will create new opportunities for marketers to optimize their content.
For a lot of brands, VR and AR present unexplored marketing territory, and you may not feel ready to go all-in on these technologies just yet. And I don’t blame you — you should definitely walk before you run.
So if you’re not ready to bring your content into virtual reality, just view this trend as a reminder to improve your visual content. Creating interactive graphics, videos, and apps not only makes for a more engaging content marketing strategy, but it also lays the groundwork for future experiments in VR/AR.
Advanced tech will make full content personalization a reality.
The move toward custom personalized content has been underway for years, but advanced technology will help you take it to the next level. Precision analytics allow you to track audience profiles, establish and target your buyer personas, and generate personalized content and recommendations.
Amazon and Google have already proven the value of creating personalized experiences through hyperspecific customer profiles, and tech will enable companies of all sizes and industries to follow suit. In fact, doing so will become critical: Gartner predicts that by 2018, businesses that have invested in across-the-board personalization will outsell those that haven’t by 20 percent.
So, as the year progresses, content marketing is going to morph, and it is absolutely imperative that you as a marketere stay on top of the changes.
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