_ The flowers are blooming this season and so are new trends in the content marketing space -- here's what to expect. _
Every content marketer is on the hunt to create content that lights up their readers' eyes. Just like any other industry -- from fashion and to technology -- trends in the content space continue to come and go every season. But this spring there appears to be a select few eye-catching, unique and innovative trends that are very telling of where the industry is headed.
See also: What We Learned at The Future of Original Content
1. Content Marketers Continue to Focus on Quality -- Not Quantity.
This trend has been on the rise throughout the year, but it will be at its peak this season. More content marketers, publishers and creators alike are shifting away from the "publish 10 times a day" mindset. If an article doesn't have substance and valuable information to bring to the reader, best practice is not to publish it.
A good rule of thumb to keep yourself from going back to old habits and publish purely for the sake of publishing is to measure your content by your own standards. Is this an article you'd want to read? Are you going to learn something new? If the answers are yes, then it's good to go -- if they're no, then you need to rethink why you're publishing it. Another best practice is to add an "outcome" section in your editorial calendar to get you thinking about what you want your audience to get out of every piece of content you publish.
2. Podcasts Are the New Video.
Video has been the belle of the ball for quite some time now, but there's a new kid is in town who's stealing the spotlight: podcasts. The old-fashioned form of media (hello, radio) is making a comeback in an NPR kind-of-way. Content creators who are giving this a try and have found great success include Michael Stelzner's Social Media Examiner podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to conduct influencer interviews and gain a following on a mobile; they're also a great addition to a written interview. You can expect to see more podcasts popping up in the following months.
See also: When Written & Video Content Intertwine [Interview]
3. If It's Not Performing, Stop Creating It Until You Have a Solution.
Data is indicative of what content is andisn't sticking with your audience. It used to be that if your content wasn't resonating with your audience you'd make gradual and small changes until it did. While this is still a best practice, more content marketers are shifting towards putting a sudden stop to content production altogether. The new mindset is that time is valuable and if it's clearly not working, no more time should be spent on it.
For example, recently I received an email from the Content Marketing Institute titled "Why We are Killing our Weekly Newsletter." The company's founder, Joe Pulizzi , explained: "The weekly email performed well within industry standards for open rate and click rate. To us, this is a major problem. It says to us that the newsletter wasn't really a must-have piece of content marketing information." I'm confident we'll be seeing more of this in the next few months.
See also: The Pyramid of Written Content, How to Present Your Story Ideas
4. No More Depending on 'Rented Land.'
Nothing is for certain in life -- and this applies to technology and the social platforms we depend on to reach a valuable audience as well. As past events have proven, Facebook and Google are continuing to change their algorithms making it impossible to get comfortable. With this in mind, more content marketers are looking to these platforms as a bonus or add-on, not a necessity or vital artery to their audience. Now brands are more focused on building a core following on their own blogs -- something they can control - instead of depending on "rented land" which can be taken away from them at any given time.
5. Serious Players in the SEO Game Will Focus on Long-Form Content.
Content marketers who are creating content and competing fortop Google rankings will be more focused on creating long-form, in-depth content. Google's recent algorithm changes focus on (and favor) high-quality content which is leading more marketers to create it. This is a also a "domino effect" from the quality-over-quantity trend.
_ Did we miss something? Share trends you've seen lately in the content marketing space in the comments section below. _
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