The presence of online content is equally as ubiquitous as social media; while it may sound bold to compare anything to social media’s prevalence, it just goes to show how powerful content marketing has become.
While we are just over halfway done with 2016, there have already been some major shifts in the content landscape; some to an irreversible degree.
As the year progresses these dramatic transformations will continue to unfold. Thankfully, the heart and soul of content has not, and will not change; valuable, actionable, informative, and unique is still the name of the game. What will change, however, is the way in which content appears, the way it is delivered, and who is bringing this content to the table.
If you want to keep your content creation skills sharp and on point, then check out these four trends to monitor throughout the year.
#1: Text-Based Content Begins Its Demise
Things have been heading in this direction for a few years now, but it looks like 2016 is going to be the tipping point where the shift begins; video begins to strip text of its content crown. It has been predicted by various sources that before the decade is out video will account for the majority of all online traffic.
This is starting to become extremely apparent as live streaming platforms like Blab, Periscope, Meerkat, Twitch, and a variety of others come into existence. Most of which are flourishing to the extent that major social media outlets can’t help but take notice.
Facebook recently introduced Facebook Live, Google has unveiled YouTube Connect, Snapchat 2.0 has its own broadcast feature, and so on. Not only that, but recently Instagram began to integrate video more heavily into its platform as well.
As the average attention span continues to decline and written content persists in oversaturating the web, people will look to video as a quick, engaging, and entertaining way to consume information; and all social channels will be happy to oblige.
#2: New Publishing Platforms Prevail
As of late, a new trend in publishing has emerged where social media websites are attempting to transform themselves into “cul-de-sacs” by offering content creators the option to publish their materials directly through the site. This effectively provides users with articles that load instantly and keeps users on the social platform instead of sending them elsewhere.
While Facebook may have started this upheaval, they are not the only ones joining the fight. Google recently announced its version of Instant Articles: Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, which aims to provide mobile users with the same responsiveness of Facebook’s publishing option for mobile devices. Twitter has collaborated on this project alongside Google and links in Twitter posts will reportedly be sent to AMP sites as soon as they become more widespread.
Similarly, Snapchat’s “Discover” section is also wrestling to become publisher supreme with various media outlets like Vice, CNN, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, and other prominent names all featured.
Social is your content’s new publisher whether you like it or not.
#3: Content Becomes Highly Interactive
All throughout 2015 leading into today, virtual reality has been one of the most talked about and anticipated technologies to hit the market since the iPhone. With platforms like the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift ready to hit shelves later this year, it is only a matter of time until content makes its way onto these devices.
These products have the potential to custom-tailor highly interactive content like never before. The possibilities and social media integration capabilities alone almost guarantee that content for these platforms is already in the works.
#4: A Different Kind of Influencer
Influencer marketing has officially broken into the mainstream and become a widely accepted modality. In 2016, things are going to get shaken up as company employees will be thrown into the mix through employee advocacy programs.
In May of last year, Scredible published a report documenting that 54% of 20 – 45-year-old professionals believe their social media accounts will be a career asset in the next five years. This means that more individuals are pushing to become influencers whether consciously or unconsciously. With the tools and information available online, anyone can make that leap and many companies will be happy to support.
2016 is the year that content changes forever. Prepare yourself by following these trends closely, becoming an early adopter of the new technologies, and getting your content on the front lines of the content revolution.
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