Recently, major artificial intelligence (AI) programs have made waves. And although ChatGPT has garnered the most headlines, other AI tools are quietly reaching independent content creators and brands alike.
But AI isn't the only technology poised to transform content in the next 10 years. Other, more familiar forms of tech—having already made a mark in the second half of the 2010s—will continue to wield influence.
Here's how I expect content to continue to evolve, and how new and emerging technologies can work together to transform your content strategy—and help you produce the engaging multimedia content that younger audiences crave.
1. AI is the foundation content's future is built on
We've learned how ChatGPT can help us write faster and smarter; generate topic ideas, captions, subject lines; and give us (questionable) feedback on what we've written so far. In that sense, AI can be an ultra-helpful assistant for content marketers. Which is why there's a good chance it will lead to many companies' racing to put out as much content as they can, betting on a volume play to improve their search rankings and reach more potential customers.
That said, if the Internet doesn't get too polluted, the most forward-thinking writers and marketers will use AI to augment, rather than replace, their approach to content creation. They'll recognize that although ChatGPT and language models like it produce clear, concise, and logical copy, the best editorial content is still written by human professionals and informed by thoughtful insights and personal experiences.
Beyond writing copy, AI will eventually enable just about anyone to quickly build a modern, multimedia content strategy.
The following are among the emerging AI programs that have the chance to transform content creation:
- NightCafe, which helps teams quickly generate visual art using AI
- Canva and Visma, which help teams quickly generate infographics
- D-ID, which helps teams use text to generate video and animated content
There are many others.
Because of such diverse applications for AI across content creation the sector is quickly gaining traction. AI could hit a market size of $1,582 billion by 2030, according to projections from Valuates Reports.
It's worth familiarizing yourself with AI options now so you can stay ahead of the curve.
2. Live video streaming will continue to gain steam
Over the past 10 years, almost every social media platform has launched live video features. Amazon also got in early by buying streaming giant Twitch. Major investments from top tech players make it clear that live video is a central part of the 21st-century content ecosystem. Look no further than Twitch, where users watched 1,346 billion minutes of content in 2022.
You don't have to be a major name with millions of followers to monetize livestreaming. Platforms such as Twitch make it easy for streamers to convert small audiences into a consistent group of paying subscribers, a recent study from Nature found. In particular, livestreams are a great way to reach niche audiences with personalized content.
Live content can also bring diversity to your content strategy. There is something authentic, immediate, and intimate about watching content as it's being created. Working that into your content strategy can provide an interesting contrast to more polished written content. Plus live video means you can skip the time-consuming writing and editing steps.
3. Content strategy will be won (or lost) on TikTok
TikTok isn't only a place for fun cooking videos. Boasting a billion users and growing, TikTok has become a central hub for a diverse range of content. In fact, people are even getting their news from TikTok now.
Like it or not, any modern marketing strategy must recognize that TikTok is a great place to reach a wide audience.
Crucially, over 40% of TikTok users are age 18-24. It's not complicated: TikTok is where young people go to consume content.
The implications of that are vast. It tells us that young content consumers want...
- Video content
- Short-form content
- User-generated content
Thankfully, you don't have to be a member of Gen Z to make the most of TikTok. More and more tools are coming on the market aimed at marketers trying to hack TikTok. Using an iPhone and a free all-in-one video editor like CapCut, you can be on your way to making beautiful video content in no time.
Add in the opportunity to partner with TikTok creators and it becomes clear the battle over attention in the 2020s will be waged on this fast-growing platform.
4. VR and AR will take interactivity to the next level
Although we aren't all floating around in the Metaverse just yet, virtual reality and augmented reality continue to make strides. More and more technology is emerging that has features and capabilities that feel straight out of a science fiction novel. It's not too absurd to think we might have VR that changes the taste of our food by 2030.
So, what does that mean for content creators? Simply put, VR and AR are the perfect avenues for interactive content.
As the emergence of TikTok has proven, future consumers want content on demand—and may not have the attention span for content that isn't immediately engaging. Interactive content that is a deep sensory experience has the chance to resonate in such an environment.
Already, industries are working virtual experiences into their marketing. For instance, residential and commercial real estate marketing teams are building virtual tours of properties to give clients "24/7 open houses."
As VR tech improves, it's not a stretch to imagine virtual experiences being the standard content marketing type in certain industries.
5. Demand for great written content will increase
It's exciting to realize that the future really is here. New AI tech, new VR tech, and quickly evolving social media platforms are enabling teams to think bigger about their content marketing.
At the same time, it's important to remember the basics. The written word remains a key element of any effective marketing strategy—not to mention the backbone of discovering new content online. As MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley says, Everybody Writes!
And that content isn't just the text that appears on your blog. It's also the script for your newest TikTok sponsored post or your metaverse talk show. Great video, too, is built on great writing. And the standard for great writing is rising.
Whatever the future brings, invest in creators who know your audience and have a proven ability to craft personalized, engaging content.
* * *
Although the 2020s might bring machines that help us churn out more content, the effective use of those technologies requires distinctly human ingenuity and creativity.
Know your product and choose your tools wisely. Not every team will need to use every new tech that hits the market. Instead, think of them as supplemental tools that give your content an edge and help it stand out in a competitive environment.
Best of all, it's easy to get started. Great tools are already on the market; they are easy to use, and in many cases they are entirely free. So, it's time to get excited and start brainstorming the ways you and your team can embrace the future of content.
More Resources on the Future of Content Marketing
A Future-Proof Way to Monetize Content in an Ad-Averse, Mobile-First World
Interactive Content and the Future of Live TV
Why the Future of Marketing Is Video: 40+ Statistics [Infographic]
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