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Is Content Marketing Dead? 6 Reasons Why It has to Evolve

Content marketing has changed in the 2010s

Content marketing has evolved through the decades to become much different than what it was before. You can’t just put up the same kinds of blogs or web pages that you did before. You can’t hope that a simple poster or a sale will do all the work anymore.

The two most profitable sales days on Earth are Amazon’s Prime Day in the US and Alibaba’s Single’s Day in China. They bring in billions in sales in 24 hours. The latter goes out of its way to make people think of it as a holiday. Mere blog posts and web pages can’t generate that kind of excitement.

Hence, what does content marketing entail today? What will it have to evolve to, to survive?

How Has Content Marketing Evolved in the 2010s?

In 2011, Google came out with a study called the Zero Moment of Truth. It found that 88% of shoppers use the Zero Moment of Truth. That’s the discovery and awareness stage in a cycle to buy anything from a phone to a blanket. This is where the consumer researchers the product by themselves. Here, word of mouth and personal research plays a huge part in whether the product is bought or not.

The study became the basis of content marketing for companies throughout the 2010s. It pushed companies to focus on SEO and to create rich content for their products and services.

That was followed by Google’s algorithms’ evolution to track genuine content and separate it from the noise out there. Soon keyword stuffing, white fonting, and other tricks to fool algorithms were out. In 2018, Google dropped a final update that would do away with most content marketing’s ugly sides. It was called Google E-A-T. It emphasised content with expertise, authority, and trust. Hence, the most useful content and the most actionable and authoritative material would win out.

Throughout the 2010s, this is what changed the most. However, as with anything else, content is still evolving. Now video, influencer marketing, and social media are at the centre of content marketing. Whichever company is not using these tools is falling behind. The newest and most successful businesses are using these tools above all to boost sales.

So is content marketing dead? Well, in the traditional sense, yes. However, it has gone through various changes to survive.

6 Reasons Content Marketing Has to Evolve

1.    Video Has Become Very Powerful

Today, the most powerful content marketing tool is probably video. It allows companies to reach a far larger market than text ever did. YouTube, which is the king of video online, gets billions of views every single day. Marketers have used this incredible traffic to push their products on to people. They use shippable and non-shippable ads before videos as well as giveaways, sponsorships, and influencer marketing. Video has also become a great tool on other websites like Instagram and Facebook. Brands can push their products online through either traditional videos or stories.

In any form, videos are becoming an incredible way for companies to interact with their customers in very short periods.

2.    Influencer Marketing is Taking Over

Influencer marketing is the new celebrity endorsement. Influencers on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are becoming big celebrities. For example, some of the biggest celebrities today are YouTubers like David Dobrik and Liza Koshy. They make far more of an impact online than do other minor celebrities on television shows. People like Charlie D’Amelio on TikTok generate millions of dollars every year through brand deals and sponsorships.

Since they have audiences that hang by their every word and take their word as gospel, they’re great marketing pools. Companies can get them to endorse or shout out a product, and a very specialised audience will respond.

Tech YouTubers do this as well. People like Linus and Marques Brownlee leverage their success to do massive giveaways. These are all from tech companies that are more often than not, sponsored.

You can get into other niches like beauty vloggers who promote makeup and grooming products. You can also isolate different niches like video game reviewers that sponsor video game services or even consoles. Hence, influencer marketing is a huge pool of untapped potential that can’t be ignored.

3.    MultiChannel Marketing Has Become a Necessity

Today, if you’re not using all the marketing channels at your disposal, you’re not using marketing’s full potential. What change content marketing has gone through has had more to do with different channels opening up than anything else. Channels like social media, video, influencers, and others have all opened up possibilities. Using them all allows you to improve your chances of boosting sales.

Sales like Single’s day use all of the marketing channels to generate massive sales. Amazon also uses various deals with influencers, promotions on social media, and their enormous site. It’s only through this multi-pronged approach that the most massive success can be achieved.

4.    Social Media Has Become the New Blogging Platform

Social media networks like Facebook and Instagram have become less about interacting with people and more about interacting with brands and companies. Companies have taken advantage of these platforms to generate more engagement with their products and services than ever before.

Posts on Facebook about a specific package, or a photo on Instagram about a sale, are now pretty standard.

5.    Value and Storytelling Win Over Clickbait

Clickbait has universally become annoying. People have become used to exciting headlines being misleading. That’s why it’s called by another name now; spamming. People hate the fact that they have to deal with these ads which signify nothing but a survey or a scheme.

Hence, marketing your content needs to be much more intuitive. You need to win over people with storytelling and an interesting journey. Instead of just using a flashy headline, try telling people what they stand to gain from your product or service. Tell them a story about how a customer benefitted from your product or service in real life. Tell them how you are benefitting people every single day with your services.

In terms of pure impressions and engagement, this is likely to get people talking for longer.

Even if you take a look at searches, they’re becoming more conversational. People are using their voice assistants to search for results as well as their mobile devices. They want more direct and specific answers rather than content that wastes their time. In reality, most content out there does this. It wastes people’s time with stupid headlines and over-promising things.

Hence, allowing people to experience something genuine is the way to go. This is why influencer marketing is considered the future. Influencers all market the same types of products. However, they do it in their genuine way that coincides with their personalities. They joke about the products they endorse and don’t take it too seriously. All in all that results in better sales. 

6.    Giveaways and Contests Generate More Interest

There’s a lot of talks today about growth hacking. At times, the audience is left out of the equation entirely. When the customer is the most important part, this type of thinking doesn’t seem logical. Take a hint from growth hackers that are offering tangible advice to the readers. The best way to involve the audience is to do giveaways.

Social media is the best area for this. You can create your own rules for social media giveaways, and that will generate more engagement. You can encourage people to post photos without a product or while using your service. You can ask them to create stories or to use hashtags in their comments. All of this helps to generate impressions and engagement online. 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, are all rife with this activity. You can use the massive presence of potential customers there to improve your engagement. You can also involve people’s friends in the giveaway. However, make sure that your giveaways are incredibly enticing. People should be very interested in giveaways to invite their friends. It shouldn’t be anything small or insignificant, not to be worth it. Try bundling different things to give away. That’ll be the best strategy.

While content marketing isn’t dead, it needs to evolve to survive. These 6 reasons are just the tip of the iceberg.