Content marketing will evolve in 2019 and become the foundation for agile, secure and continuous customer experiences, according to a recent Five Future States of Content study released by SDL.
The concept of “always-on” content will take on greater importance during the next 12 months, as consumers are becoming more demanding throughout the sales pipeline. SDL noted in the study that customers now expect brands to be with them every step of the way and that they have no qualms about navigating away from a website if it is unable to fulfil this need.
A sizeable 82% of customers said they now expect brands to be there for them whenever they are needed. These lofty expectations will put additional pressure on marketers to create and deliver valuable content on a regular basis, whether it’s an informative white paper or a mobile app with the right tools to serve the user’s needs.
Almost a third of the respondents said they would stop their purchase immediately if brands couldn’t provide adequate support from the awareness and research phase to product purchasing and after-sales support. SLD believes artificial intelligence and cutting-edge tech will help brands to get better value from content, so a commitment to investment in martech will be crucial in 2019.
While customers are becoming more demanding, they actually prefer streamlined and simple digital experiences. SDL found that ease of website search, high-quality content, and clear and accurate product and service information were enough to please them. This is because many content experiences are now “inconsumable and unmanageable”.
SDL CMO, Peggy Chen, said: “What makes the difference in the accuracy of our predictions is SDL’s unwavering commitment to meet customers’ needs and laser-focus on leading the way in what’s next on content creation, translation and delivery – bringing to fruition concepts that were just a mere idea a little over a year ago. To highlight where investment is needed, we also provide insight into our upcoming research, which identifies rising customer expectations in seamless experiences.”
SDL also believes content can be a brand’s best salesperson. However, 70% of the respondents said struggles to find the right content at the right time, language barriers, and a dearth of customisation and personalisation have all impacted the content-consumption experience.
To improve during the next 12 months, marketers must find new ways to create and deliver valuable content. SDL expects AI and automation to pick up the slack here, but brands can also overhaul efforts by combining new tech with traditional strategies, such as working with third-party agencies to gain access to key skills and expertise.
On the subject of the emergence of AI as a key tool in the content cycle, Chen added: “Early in 2018, SDL announced its Five Future States of Content, a series of concepts predicting exciting prospects where content will create itself, organize itself, secure itself, be agile and be an organization’s best salesperson, with some of these predictions already a reality today.”