Author Archives: Daniel Gordon

About Daniel Gordon

Daniel is a copywriter and content strategist based in Brooklyn, New York. Aside from writing, he enjoys traveling, drinking beer, and watching sports. On exceptionally good days, he’s doing all four at once.

What will content marketing look like in 2022?

The future of content marketingA five-year time frame is an eternity in digital marketing. In 2012, content marketing was uncharted territory for many businesses. They were investing heavily in social media, but the idea of a holistic content marketing plan was relatively new.

Fast-forward to 2017, and nearly 90 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing as a foundational piece of their marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the go-to source for all things related to the art and science of content marketing. CMI also found that most B2B marketers now use at least 13 content marketing tactics, from blog articles and landing pages to short-form video, white papers and more.

The proliferation of content over the past five years begs the question, What will content marketing look like in another five years? Here are a few possibilities.

A 180 to brevity

Currently, blog writing is trending toward longer reads of 1,500 words or more, largely for search engine optimization. A bigger piece has more keywords organically and improves topic relevance, which Google uses to separate keyword-stuffed articles from meaningful, well-written content.

Long-form content will always have its place in search engine optimization and among highly engaged readers. The reality, however, is that the human attention span is literally shorter than that of goldfish. We’re at eight seconds; they’re at nine. Since Google updates its algorithms constantly, it seems to be a safe bet that quality short-form content will rise to the top of search results eventually.

Faces

Content marketing, for all intents and purposes, is synonymous with branded content. We look to our favorite brands to produce content that speaks to us, and the ones who “get” content marketing know how to deliver time and time again. The brand value of content will never go away, but we’re also seeing executives aim for for thought leadership on LinkedIn and online publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg and Entrepreneur.

Small to midsize business owners are increasingly seeking ghostwritten content – material that someone writes for another person. I wouldn’t be surprised to see executives from big brands start to seek bylines on a regular basis, too. Thought leadership content is the ultimate soft sell, because it puts a face to the business that produces the content, and speaks more about challenges and solutions than products and services.

Condensed metrics

With just about every business investing in content, the need for unimposing and easy-to-manage data is becoming apparent. While many marketers might suggest that data is the future of content marketing, I’m going to lean the other way and say we need less data. My prediction is that data-driven marketing will peak in the next few years, and then come back down to Earth. Analytics and content management platforms will become so overwhelming that marketers will eventually find their own comfort zones with just a handful of metrics that matter to them.

Social media is a perfect example of the type of shift I’ve described. When social first burst onto the scene, businesses were scrambling to jump on every single platform in existence. Now, most marketers hone their strategies on only a few social media platforms they have deemed to be the most effective.

Chime in!

“Five years from now” always makes for an interesting discussion. What do you think content marketing will look like in 2022? Tell us in the comments below.

3 visualizations to bring clarity to your copywriting

Visualizations to clarify your writingGraphic designers might be the masters of all things aesthetic, but copywriters think visually, too. The images in our heads just manifest themselves as words, sentences and paragraphs, rather than colors, lines and typefaces.

I grew up drawing, painting, and exploring all things creative. At one point, my family encouraged me to pursue visual art as a career, but my heart was always with the written word. I originally aspired to become a songwriter, and spent several years in the music industry trying to finagle my way from the business side into songwriting. That master plan never quite panned out, and so I eventually found my way to marketing, which I immediately connected with as a copywriter.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you my life story. My point in sharing my background is only to give context to a few visual references that help me with new projects and may come in handy for your next writing adventure. Off we go!

A painting of a pristine beach

One of the most common challenges among busy professionals who don’t write for a living is the struggle to complete their work. Maybe you’re familiar with this scenario: Edits and “finishing touches” are circuitous, causing the most dedicated writer to ultimately lose interest and energy. Worse, the work is tainted with some combination of typos, grammatical errors and underdeveloped thoughts.

Try this: Picture your marketing piece – whether it’s a blog article, web page, case study or white paper – as a painting of a pristine beach. After a round or two of revisions, you’ve probably painted a pretty clear and inviting picture. If you keep dabbing at it, you’ll start adding things that might seem like additions, but, in actuality, will erode readers’ enjoyment. Before you know it, your pristine beach will have birds swooping, babies crying, boomboxes blaring, and whales jumping, and it will become too much. Plus, you’ll miss the next opportunity to create another masterpiece.

Your digital storefront

Was that first visualization a little “out there” for you? Let’s bring it back to the basics, and talk about your website. Many marketing experts will tell you that your website is “your digital storefront,” meaning the first place people go to learn about your company.

With the digital storefront concept in mind, think about your website from a content standpoint. Would you rather have sharp, concise messaging that makes a strong and welcoming first impression or a scattered appearance that drives visitors away? When designing or redesigning a website, it’s important to put time and thought into the strategy before you move into content development. Otherwise, you could end up with a digital storefront that repels customers instead of attracting and converting them.

“Catering” to all readers

A best practice for any digital copywriting – again, think blog articles, websites, white papers, etc. – is to break the content into sections with subheads. The reason for this is not just for general “scanability,” but for readers to be able to pick and choose which information they want to digest. Subheads allow you to essentially create a “menu” of the offerings in your information, so you can cater to casual and formal readers alike. Those who prefer a quick bite can find exactly what they’re looking for, while the ones who might want a more complete experience can work their way through each course.

Now, let’s have some fun with this. What visualizations do you use when creating content? Tell us in the comments below.