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How did content marketing evolve between 2015 and 2023?

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Some of the content marketing strategy blog posts here go back to 2105, but content marketing evolved substantially between 2015 and 2023.

One change since that time is it is no longer optional for financial firms to do content marketing. They must, including B2B asset managers and other firms committed to reaching key audiences with their brand story. Customer experience is now content driven.

Also, back in 2015, many organizations didn’t have dedicated content marketing managers or teams. Today, it’s common in most banks and financial institutions for corporate communications or marketing departments to have dedicated teams with senior executives leading them.

Many are well-staffed business units with robust budgets committed entirely to content marketing. Many financial brands even hire agencies or platforms that specialize in content marketing.

Here are other key changes in content marketing since 2015.

Increased Importance of Customer Experience

Brands now focus heavily on customer experience in their content marketing plans. They develop personalized content, improve website and app user experience, and use data and analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences. Financial brands also place much more emphasis on storytelling done well as a method of enhancing customer or reader experience.

Growing Distribution of Interactive Content

Quizzes, polls, and surveys are more common in recent years, allowing brands to engage with their audiences in a more interactive and engaging way. Firms use these interactive tools to collect valuable user preference and behavior data. Those data make customizing content more effective.

Dominance of Video-First Content Strategies

Video is an essential component of content marketing, with many brands implementing video-first content plans. YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram drive this trend as do access to and constant improvement in technology and video production tools and applications.

Greater Use of AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are increasingly prevalent in content marketing. Brands looking to automate certain tasks and improve campaign effectiveness. Using AI and ML to analyze user data real time, brands adapt layout, design, and page messaging predicated on user behavior and preferences. In addition to personalizing content, they can use AI to analyze data, and automate tasks like content distribution, too.

Conversely, brands are learning quickly that using ChatGPT and other generative AI to write content isn’t ideal. That’s because it lacks the ability to write content that makes nuanced human connection to users—and applications like ZeroGPT can identify AI-generated content easily.

Plagiarism also is an issue, and there might be global regulatory risks. None of that is a good look for brands, especially in the finance industry.

Ongoing Emphasis on SEO

Improving search remains an essential element of content marketing, making sophisticated SEO essential to content marketing. Without it, brands have difficulty driving qualified leads to their websites.

High-quality, optimized content that is created to rank well in search—meaning content Google likes and won’t penalize by decreasing its ranking—is in high demand.

Enhanced Attention to Social Media

Brands no longer believe social media is doable by their youngest employees, so there isn’t need to invest in a professional omnichannel strategy. Many now have trained professionals on staff who focus solely on social media management.

Those professionals use sophisticated methods to reach audiences across multiple social channels as part of content marketing campaigns. They also engage and manage social media influencers and paid advertising to promote content and engage with customers.

Recognition of Shorter Attention Spans

The growth of mobile device and social media use means readers' attention spans are shorter. The the deluge of content they face, especially with the advent of ChatGPT and other generative AI, does't help. Laser focused content marketing strategy and concise editorial content writing that immediately meet the needs of your readers are essential. Otherwise they find other sources of information that grab and hold their attention.

Brands Must Evolve to Compete

Content marketing is evolving and adapting at the speed of technology. Emphasizing customer or end user preferences, brands focus more on the customer experience, personalization, and interactive content than nearly a decade ago.

Only brands that keep pace with the pace of content marketing change will break through all the noise and connect with, captivate and convert their target audiences.

(c) 2023. Dahna M. Chandler for The Financial Communicator, Inc., a division of Thrive Media Collaborative, Inc. All rights reserved. This page content may not be reproduced or reposted in whole or in part without express written permission of the author. Reading time estimated by Read-O-Meter.

This blog post originally appeared on The Financial Communicator.

Image: Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels