A new report shows the need for brands and organisations to rethink their approaches to marketing and communications content in a post-pandemic world.
The new report, titled Future of Content and part of opr’s Futures series, takes an in-depth look at the changing way audiences find, consume, make and share content in Australia and around the world.
“2020 saw time stretched in different directions. The real world seemed to slow down as people spent more time at home, while the digital world accelerated,” said Richard Brett, opr’s chief executive officer and one of the report’s authors.
“We believe this tension between our two realities, combined with the fast paced creative rhythm of mobile-first content, the increasing impact of new content technologies and the need to escape are all changing content, and in turn the communications industry dramatically.”
The Future of Content report is based on six months of research distilling the impact of technology, culture and society on the way audiences engage in content.
It presents eight insights for brands to consider in a post-pandemic world:
B2Me: This trend is about flipping business storytelling on its head with a focus on the ‘Me’ rather than the ‘B’. It’s about human benefit and emotion, not technology and solutions. This is because business to business (B2B) content is changing. Traditionally led with logical reasons why buyers should choose the products or services of a brand or organisation, we are seeing more marketers and communicators looking to deliver personalised experiences and establish emotional connections.
The Rise of Long form: With audiences suffering information overload, it’s increasingly difficult for brands and organisations to be heard above the incessant noise. To be credible as a subject matter expert in anything these days, it pays to be exhaustive. Audiences are fragmenting, and these niche audiences are drawn to considered, insightful and well-researched stories that give them the opportunity to get fully immersed in an issue.
Search as the Origin: This trend is about ideas that put search first. It’s about delivering content based on the way people are seeking information. Search has become so personalised, learning all about an individual’s history and serving results specific to their browsing behaviour. With a deep understanding of the keywords and long-tail phrases that audiences are using to find information, marketers and communicators have an opportunity to surface branded content that drives relevance and influences decision-making.
Nostalgia Bias: At a time when psychological safety is in short supply, as the world continues to be rocked by political instability, fake news, a pandemic and climate crisis – it’s a way to say that you understand somebody through shared experience. An emotional shortcut that marketers and communicators have used for many years to establish a bond with audiences. This is another idea that’s been accentuated by COVID-19 as people crave comfort.
Lo-Fi: In a world of memes and GIFs, audiences are increasingly drawn to the authentic, low-fidelity of under-produced content. People are tired of those ‘special’ Instagram photos that all look the same, from shots of snow-capped mountains taken from inside a tent to a glorious sun rising over the ocean. Real and authentic is now the name of the game.
Weirdly Satisfying: The noise, distraction and complexity of modern life has often felt amplified by the limits imposed on social interaction during the past year. Audiences are increasingly attracted to content that helps us escape: employing our senses to create physical feelings, uses repetitive shots and endlessly loops, and introduces colours, shapes and sounds that contrast, conflict and click
Digital Humanity: Deepfake technology enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) has become a source of great anxiety for A-list stars, politicians and business leaders during recent years. But it’s also creating a whole new world of opportunities for brands and organisations to produce more engaging content.
Pass It On: The heightened need for social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic has also played a part in getting social media back to its truly social roots. Generation Z has grown up with social media, which is why they share content without a filter. They’re less interested in curating ‘brand me’ in the way that previous generations did, and the result is something altogether more authentic. They’re having more fun with the concept of social connection, and are more willing to participate and pass it on.
Brett concludes: “The Future of Content report shows the way audiences find, consume, make and share content is clearly changing. Creating challenges for marketers and communicators, but also opportunities to make brands and organisations stand out from the crowd.”
“The key to success is understanding the changing landscape and not being afraid to rethink approaches to ensure that audiences are put first, authenticity is critical, move quickly, add to and contribute to conversations that matter and utilise effective data tools.”
For more information, or to request a copy of the report, please visit: https://www.opragency.com.au/insights
Opr will host a Future of Content webinar on Tuesday, April 20 at 12.30pm. To register visit: https://www.opragency.com.au/future-of-content-webinar
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