According to its Google Trend, Content Marketing reached a peak sometime in 2017.
But that’s happened before. The term has seen a steady increase in popularity over the last 10-15 years.
It seems that every year the term rides up and then skids down a bit. Probably with the annual business cycle.
I’ve seen a few accounts saying that content marketing has reached a peak and may not be as important or effective as it once was. Social media, for example, has offered an opportunity that some believe a company website doesn’t.
So what’s the story? Are we at a peak with content marketing? Is it worth investing in content?
Obviously I’m bias as the owner of a blogging services company, but here are a few reasons why it seems content marketing matters more than ever.
1. Growing Demand For Content
How do you feel when you watch the final episode of your favorite show on Netflix?
How do you feel when you’ve scrolled to the end of your Instagram feed?
How do you feel when a favorite YouTube channel hasn’t posted a new video in awhile?
It can certainly seem that we have too much content these days. It can feel like we have content overload.
But the common feeling to the questions above is that we want more.
We feel sad when we have to wait months for more episodes. We feel sad having to wait a few hours for new content on Instagram or a few weeks for new videos on YouTube.
There may be more content than ever, but the fact that people still aren’t satisfied shows that there is plenty of demand for more content.
2. Platforms Come And Go, Content Remains
The question about social media is a good one. The thing with social media is that they rely on content to work. Over the years, platforms have come and gone. They have gained and lost popularity. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow.
But the thing that has remained constant over that time is the growth in content creation and content consumption.
It seems crazy to think that Facebook might wane in the future. But even if it does something will replace it. The demand for content continues to grow.
3. More Than Words
Text, like a blog post, is one form of content. You could break it down a few ways, but I like to think of all content as video, audio and text. Each person seems to have varying degrees of how they use all three. For one person it might be 98% video and 1% each for audio and text. Another person might be more evenly split with 40/30/30.
However it breaks down, the fact is that all three are growing in demand. Each has their own positives and negatives. When we think of content marketing we have to think about all three forms. As a company or as a marketing it doesn’t mean you have to do all three, but if you’re looking for brand awareness creating at least one form of content does matter.
4. Brand Awareness
Rand Fishkin calls it demand generation. The example is a movie trailer that drops. Instantly demand is generated for the name of the movie as people start searching for the name.
The future of marketing may be brand awareness. Getting people to know, trust and search for your brand name. On whatever channel that may entail. Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
But how do you generate brand awareness? With content.
It could be anything from a traditional video ad to a blog post to a podcast series. There are all types of ways to generate brand awareness, but the common thread through all of it is content. People demand content and any brand associated with popular content gains awareness. That leads to sales.
For more on this read: The Future Of Content Is Branded Content.
5. It’s Difficult
Certain types of content are as easy as ever to create. Think about what it was like to create video just 15 years ago. You needed a video camera. Not even a regular camera that took photos, but a video camera or a camcorder. Today, you just take out your phone and create.
This is true with written and audio too. The phone, apps and tools have made it incredibly easy and it will become even easier and entrepreneurs create better tools and programs.
But even with that said, creating content will remain fundamentally difficult in the sense that even with all the technology in the world you still have to ideate content, create it and promote it.
It’s been easy to blog for about 15 years. Easy in the sense that you can launch a blog, write a post and publish it in a matter of minutes.
But blogging is not easy for many people. Coming up with an idea is sometimes easy, but difficult to do consistently. So is researching, writing and working out the idea to satisfaction. Then there is the promoting. Working to get people to read the post. Build email subscribers, social followers, rankings on Google, etc.
A common theme with content creation is to start strong then wane. The ones that stick it out for the long-term are usually the ones that are most popular.
Because content marketing is difficult, many brands give up. This adds to the vacuum between supply and demand. That’s an opportunity for those willing to create content.
Gary Vaynerchuk says it best. It’s about attention. Attention changes. But what people pay attention too is content. The type of content changes. The channel changes. But it’s always content. Always.
Content marketing has always been around. Anytime a business has wanted to sell something they have used content marketing methods to gain attention. Everything on the surface changes, but the core stays the same.
Maybe content marketing is as important as it’s ever been. Maybe it’s always been of high importance. Maybe it just feels like it ebbs and flows because the form of it changes.
Whatever the case, the more you focus on content and attention now the better you’ll be as a business in the future.