Content marketing remains the number one marketing strategy for promoting online businesses. Marketing innovations revolved around three main aspects of interplay; Messages, dictating what people say, media dictating how and where the messages appear, and mechanism, representing behavior.
There are unlimited possibilities with digital media, some of which were not fully explored in the past. Sharing of content by visitors across the social network, being the only interactive mechanism used for several years now.
There is still so much more potential and more possibilities yet to be seen. With the assumptions of content marketing that people can find information, those who find it are intrigued to consume it, and the information consumed I most cases that not will impact the propensity to buy positively.
The first wave simply involved publishing text (mostly plain text) on the web. Search engine optimization (SEO) being the main focus here. Google ranked pages on keyword phrases, but it soon became an ineffective marketing tool as passive pages were produced by more and more companies. This wave was more focused with search indexing bots than humans.
The second wave focused on rich content take over plain text. Social media encouraged the need to produce rich content that was interesting enough to impress people in a way that they would want to share them with friends and followers in their social life. It had more visual content, like videos, info graphics, and responsive websites, which resonated more powerfully with real people.
The rich content was extremely effective as a marketing strategy at the beginning, but with time, consumers were flooded with too much content that they could not consume. Companies competed to deliver quality content, but it did not take long for the quality to be compromised by unfair competition. It became difficult to break through the noise to reach an audience, even for the well-produced products.
The third wave was personalization. Personalization was necessitated by the flood of content which consumers couldn’t find or consume. Personalization became the game changer to filter the flood to a drinkable glass of water.
With personalization, you can monitor and predict which specific content to show to each new prospect. However, monitoring the historical correlation between different prospect characteristics and your catalogue characteristics was found not to be as effective as previously thought. You need enough data to move from superficial correlation to meaningful deductions. Otherwise, you may end up pushing the wrong contents to prospects and eventually derail their momentum with you.
And now content marketing is said to be in the fourth wave. This is according to Scott Brinker, a renowned marketing blogger and co-founder and CTO of a marketing software company.
The fourth wave is the new marketing evolution that will see a new era of marketing apps. The apps aim to provide “microservices” that will help prospect customers to acquire information in a more effective and engaging ways.
There already exist native mobile apps on Android an IOS, but Scott’s Company is introducing responsive marketing web apps which are lightweight and disposable. Some of the marketing apps include: assessment tools, wizards, games, participatory ebooks, guided tour, workbooks among others.
1. Unlike when downloading native apps, where you need to install a firewall to overcome trust and clutter issues, with web apps users need not install anything. They can install at any stage of the prospect buyer’s journey without any barrier of permission.
2. Responsive web apps are universally accessible on any device and are compatible with any version of operating systems.
3. Different web apps can be deployed for different circumstances. Different web apps can be created for different target groups at different stages in the buyer’s journey.
4. With responsive web it is not only cheap to publish, but it also gives you total control over the publishing process. You have the option to publish an app anytime and remove it at a time of your choosing from the market without the approval of Appstore.
No doubt content marketing is the heart of the modern online marketing tactics. This has been driven by search engines like Google and social networks. They have made information to be of more value than advertising. You can now engage with your audience and build relationships and connections with prospects. Content marketing has evolved tremendously and the state of it can only get better.
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