I’ve been a content marketer for a long time, but this year feels different. Maybe it’s because AI continues to nip at our heels. More than that, though, I think that, because AI is fast becoming a powerful tool for increasing the quantity of content we develop, everyone feels pressured to produce more.
As for me, I want to keep my focus on quality. At the beginning of this new year, I’m working to develop a strategy for my own content marketing that acknowledges what's happening in the industry to get more visibility and to build my business.
Here are a few of the trends I’m paying attention to…
A focus on authenticity. It's predicted that, with the growing use of generative AI for content development, there will result in a noticeable increase in low-value, generic content. That means that there will be a premium on authentic, human-produced content that delivers value. Maybe that’s why Forbes is calling 2024 the year of authenticity. I certainly hope to produce content that offers value—by doing deep dives into complex subjects that are relevant to those of us toiling in the content marketing space (and the healthcare and other industries I save) and providing clear, easy-to-understanding explanations that readers appreciate.
More integration of AI into workflows. Relying on generative AI to produce content has its risks, as we all know. But ignoring it has its risks, too. I’ll be relying on it to assist in some of the more mundane tasks that writers have—like research, digging up stats, even brainstorming ideas and developing outlines. As someone who needs help in speeding up the writing process, I look forward to that.
A mix of long-form and snack-sized content. Long-form content has always been better for SEO, while it gives writers the opportunity to go deep on a topic and include more assets like infographics and statistics. But short content offers benefits, too. In fact, some say that the future of engagement is “microblogging." More power content developers are taking advantage of these quick ways to engage with audiences—especially on social media platforms like LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter). It’s a great way to get yourself out there more often, especially when you’re writing about time-sensitive or trendy topics. That’s good for me. I plan to mix it up this year with short blog and social media posts.
Lots of short-form video. Every content marketing expert agrees: When it comes to content, video is king. It can improve SEO, keep visitors on your site longer, and it’s easy to share. Now, with the popularity of TikTok, everybody’s touting the value of short-form video, at least for their social media strategies. Not sure if it’s worth the time and effort for a solo freelance business like mine or how I’d implement. I’ll think about it.
Content optimization for (voice) searches. With more people using their voice assistants for searches, it’s more important to optimize content for SEO for improving visibility and traffic. This is it. I have to become an SEO expert. I’m hoping this SEO guide at The Writing Cooperative will help.
So, maybe I’ll be trendy this year. I just hope that I can maintain a high level of productivity, while also finding new opportunities to engage with more people and their businesses. I’m optimistic that 2024 may just be my best year ever!