Content writing has absolutely exploded in popularity in the past few years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Online marketers are constantly looking for new strategies to promote their company or product, and content writing is one of the most effective ways to do that.
One of the big questions on a lot of people’s minds though, is “What’s next?” The future looks promising for writers — an exciting mix of creativity, new technologies, and evolving platforms means that we’re going to see more content than ever before.
So how will we get there? Let’s find out.
1. Automated Content Writing
One of the biggest factors that led to the explosion of content writing in the first place was its perceived simplicity. By definition, content writing is simple — all you need to do is put some words on a page and publish them. As long as the words are legible, right?
Unfortunately for our industry, most consumers don’t care about legibility. They want authenticity. They want passion and excitement and realness. That’s something that computers still can’t offer — yet.
The internet is only now beginning to see the dawn of truly automated content writing. This style of content writing has been around forever, but it’s starting to evolve at a rate that will soon be too fast for humans to keep up.
This type of content has become something that’s actually written by a computer. The computer can pick the exact words from a huge pool of possible sentences and mix them into real sentences with consistent punctuation and grammar — all without human involvement.
2. Interactive Content Writing
Content writing in a vacuum might be the best way to make a sale, but it’s also one of the most boring ways to do it. The internet is filled with content that is designed to just talk at users instead of connecting with them. That’s why we need interactive content writing, which strives to create engaging experiences that encourage users to participate as much as possible.
Interactive content is something like a game with rules behind the scenes. The game is designed to engage users and the rules help to guide them through it.
This might sound a bit confusing, but an example will probably help. Let’s say you want to create a recipe page for a new dish you’re cooking up. The recipe itself is just static text (a bunch of words). The interactive part could be things like a set of instructions that you have to follow correctly (rules), or it could be things like pictures that you can use as guidelines for cutting up your ingredients (game).
3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
The goal of content writing should ideally be to help the user complete their task, but it’s clear that people have a strong desire to experience things. That means we’ll see a lot more content that blends reality with virtual reality, augmented reality, or any other kind of technology that can strengthen the experience of seeing things in real life.
Think about some tasks where you might want an AR or VR component — like booking a flight or buying a car. This kind of technology will be especially relevant in the field of digital marketing, where people might want to see products in their real-life environment or visit a location prior to booking travel accommodations or even moving there.
4. Contextual Content
This is something that’s already beginning to happen — content is becoming contextual based on the device it’s being viewed on. It’s not for everyone yet, but it’s something that we’ll see more and more of as time goes on.
In some cases, it will just be more “mobile” content. You might see a carousel slider on a desktop site that’s replaced with a grid of items on mobile. In some cases, it will be something more complex like having dynamically generated text based on your location. For instance, if you search for “restaurants” in New York and there are two new ones that have just come out, you might get the specific address and phone number of those restaurants alongside your regular results.
5. Video Creation
Online video creation is one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. Video has been a part of online marketing for a long time, and it’s beginning to take over from photo- and text-based content in large parts of the market.
The reason video is rising in popularity is because it can be so well crafted, so interactive, and so entertaining that people love watching them. Even if they’re not viewing it on a computer. That makes video an extremely effective tool for SEO. Of course videos still need content writing for the people who are creating them, and a lot of the same tools that make videos better will be used.
6. Content Creation Software
Picture a situation where you’re on a long flight with nothing to do — you have no books, no magazines, and no games to read through. The only thing that could possibly get you through this is some good content. The problem? You’re nowhere near a laptop or internet connection.
Now, picture a world where you could just open an app on your phone and browse “the best of the best” from the last 10 years and read through it all without stopping because no one’s ever heard of you. In this awesome world, there’s no reason for people to ever create content themselves. They just pick up the highlights and read through them whenever they want.
All of this is possible with content creation software. This is software that makes it easy to create content without having to do it all manually. It’s something that’s already available for people who know how to use a computer, but we’ll see it getting simpler and more widespread as time goes on.
The Evolution of Content Writing: What it Means for You
The end result of all of these changes is that content is going to stop being a thing that people have to create. Instead, it will become something that people can read whenever they want. The only things left will be the technology required to deliver the content and for people to decide what they want to do with it.
This isn’t unique to writing or even content marketing — it’s true for marketing as a whole. Everything moves faster, takes over more of our lives, and influences each other more and more.
2015 was a year marked on a macro level by the rise of influencers and the decline of traditional marketing. 2021 will be about integrating all of those changes into one cohesive whole.
If it sounds like I’m painting a bleak picture, that’s because I don’t think it’s for the best. I think we’ll be better off as a result of all of these changes. We’re already seeing signs that things are getting more and more efficient. The future has never been brighter and it’s only just beginning.
3 Ways Aspiring Content Writers Can Improve Their Work Today
So you understand the future, there maybe some challenges but hey you can improve right now, as in right this minute. Here are some suggestions:
If you’re just starting out, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Copy what’s already working and improve it. Take advice from those who have done well before you. There are a lot of opinions that aren’t worth your time but there are some that you can learn something from.
You don’t have to be original to be successful — you just have to be unique enough to stand out.
When writing your first piece, it’s OK to be bad. If there were a perfect piece on every topic, it would take forever to write. Don’t try to rewrite the wheel right away — just make a few tweaks, fix any inconsistencies and make the stuff that’s working better.
You can’t improve everything at once because you don’t have enough time for that, but you can improve one part of your writing at a time if that’s all you’re doing at any given time.
The content marketing landscape is huge — it will take awhile to learn everything about what works and how to do it well. Just be sure to do things that are aligned with your goals.
Content marketing is a great way to make money. It’s also a great way to build relationships and generally get better at writing. But you’ll have more fun doing it if you’re working towards a goal you care about, so here’s a final tip: be intentional with your work and measure everything.
As content creators, we are facing more and more challenges. The best way to address these is through evolving the content writing industry. To do this, we must stay up-to-date on the most popular trends in marketing and work with our clients to create the most effective content. By doing this, we can be the generation that brings about a fresh new perspective in content writing.
Good luck in your work! Continue conquering the keyboard! 🙂