Remember that scene in Back to the Future Part II when Marty goes to a futuristic 2015 and nearly wets himself at the sight of a holographic Jaws coming at him? Here in the actual 2015, we’re looking at Marty like he’s nuts. As an audience, we’ve seen it all before and are too smart to be fooled by yesterday’s marketing antics. This is the dynamic environment of marketing in the 21st century, and if you’re not out in front of it, you’re going to get swallowed alive.
Audiences Are Changing
Consumer demographics are constantly changing in a million different ways, but here’s a small sampling:
- After years’ worth of warnings about decreasing attention spans, the comprehension-oriented slow reading movement is gaining traction.
- Millennials are placing increasingly high value on companies with beliefs and values that match their own.
- Up to 1 million teens per year are leaving Facebook for other social media like Snapchat and Instagram. They just have to show that they’re different from older generations.
- Of all online video views, nearly three-quarters will be played on mobile devices by 2019, according to a Cisco study.
A New World for Content Marketers
A shifting audience requires a shifting response. Ditch any mentality you have about short-term campaigns that try to please everybody to targeted, meaningful, and long-term relationship-building. Pleasing everyone means being relevant to no one. This means content curation won’t cut it much longer; there are simply too many channels reporting on the same topics. You’ll need to provide more original content, including content with no direct sales tie-in to your products or services, efficiently and effectively.
Stay Ahead of the Game:
- Get to know your audience. Highly targeted content is only possible if you have a solid grasp of who your audience is and what they care about. Perform market research, survey customers or readers, and engage with your audience on social media and where they consume your product or service.
- Adjust your strategy as you go. Since your audience is always changing, your strategy should change too. By measuring the impact of your content each month, you can tweak it along the way. This ensures that you stay on top of shifts in your audience’s preferences.
- Move beyond mobile-first. Optimizing your web presence for smartphones first is good, but aim for what TechCrunch calls “authentically mobile,” which means you take full advantage of the platform.
- Time your content releases wisely. By keeping up with the data on device usage by demographic and time of day, you’ll be able to put your content out when your audience has the best chance of seeing it.