From the moment the first caveman scratched a wobbly shape into a cave wall with a piece of charcoal, the flickering flame of a makeshift torch shining a light on the fledgling masterpiece, creativity and technology have gone hand in hand.
Skipping to today, we see artists, journalists, authors, and storytellers use a variety of technological tools to create their modern masterpieces. But, of course, art and communication are not the only things revolutionized by the constant, rapid growth of technology.
Every aspect of the human experience has been touched by the devices we use every day, as well as by the interconnectedness of the internet and social media.
That, of course, includes business.
In fact, with even more technological advances on the brink of changing the way the world works, and the way we interact with it, with the advent of AI, blockchain, AR and VR, and wearable tech, it would be a good idea to see how technology is revolutionizing the business world.
And so, let's take a few moments to see how technology is on the verge of transforming the way we use content in marketing.
How Technology is Revolutionizing Business
The way we do business has barely changed over the past couple of centuries. Investors still look for ways to turn small piles of gold or cash into larger ones, and people are always looking for the "next big thing" to exploit in the name of profit.
But technology has had a profound effect on business. Think about communications technologies. The stock market as we know it could not exist without the phone or the internet.
Every aspect of a company, from human resources to finance, has been improved and sped up by technology. Accountants that once used large ledgers and ink to keep records now use software that makes a spreadsheet seem like a child’s toy.
AI and blockchain technologies will soon revolutionize the way CEOs make decisions and the way investors feed capital to new startups. Tax law will have a hard time keeping up with advances in blockchain technologies.
So while the core principles of business haven't changed since the days of Christopher Columbus, technology has completely changed the way businesses are formed and run.
But what about content marketing? How has technology changed the way content is made?
Why Content Marketing Needs to Catch Up
When you think about how content marketing has been changed by technology, there are some easy examples to choose from. Marketers used to stuff mailboxes with ads and marketing letters. Not long after, they'd send marketing emails and collect names on long newsletter email lists.
Now, of course, content marketing happens more on blogs and social media. SEO has completely changed the way content articles are composed, too.
But what about the way the content is made? I'm writing this article on a keyboard. The keys are laid out in roughly the same design as manual typewriters of the 40s and 50s. Very little has changed about the way content is composed.
Sure, the words appear on a screen these days instead of getting typed out one letter at a time. But the action of the modern writer is not very different from that of classic writers like Isaac Asimov or Agatha Christie.
If the way content is created hasn't changed much, what about the way it is planned out? Marketers may use Google Calendar to plan out campaigns, instead of a paper planner, but how much has that changed, really?
Content marketing is due for a little revolutionary change through technology.
The good news is that such technologies are coming onto the market now, allowing content marketers to think about their trade in completely new ways.
Technology and Content Planning
One of the most exciting revolutions regarding content marketing and technology is in the way the content can be planned. Thanks to new AI-powered tools, technology can help a content marketing team to know what topics to cover and what keywords to focus on.
This wasn't possible just a few years ago. But companies like CONCURED are blazing the trail in this area. Soon, AI-driven tools will become even more integrated into the daily activities of the modern content marketer.
Think, for example, of the way CONCURED's tools allow you to analyze your top competitors so you can know exactly what you're up against. The AI-powered technologies help you know what keywords are especially on the minds of your target audience.
That kind of assistance takes the guesswork out of planning new content marketing campaigns.
Technology and Content Creation
Because the kind of marketing material big brands make today is so different from the content of yesteryear, the way that content is created has had to change, as well.
Yes, we still type on keyboards, but many modern writers use dictation software to compose written prose. The result is often a faster writing speed and a more conversational style, which is often better for the modern writer.
Also, more and more content today is not written at all, but video or audio. Some estimates say that, by mid-2020, 80% of the internet will be made up of video content. Marketing teams would be foolish to ignore this form of content in favor of sticking to only written articles.
With new media and forms of content come new ways of producing content. Digital cameras aren't the only way to create video material. Animation software is becoming so advanced that cartoon content is, perhaps for the first time ever, cost-effective at scale.
Adobe Animate is one such software. You create drawn "puppets" that can be animated live through webcam input, making it possible to create live animations, something Walt Disney could never have dreamed of.
In other cases, AI-driven technologies are being developed that allow people to composite photos or animate with little to no artistic skill.
Yes, the way we create content is being revolutionized, as well.
Technology and Team Workflow
The way content marketing teams will be changing with technology, as well, just as team dynamics have already been revolutionized by technological advancements.
The internet, social media, group chat platforms, and the blossoming of 5g connectivity will mean that people can work from the remotest parts of the earth and feel that they are in the cubicle next door.
Already, many popular podcasts and video programs feature hosts and guests that live miles apart and communicate only through the internet.
Future content marketing teams won't have to live on the same continent to work together. Hyperconnectivity and AR will only make this more so.
Technology and Performance Insights
There was a time, not too many years ago, when all advertising and marketing was thought of as a "black box." Why?
Because CEOs knew they needed marketing. They just couldn't accurately measure how much revenue in sales came directly from any specific marketing strategy.
As a result, companies would spend millions of dollars on any kind of marketing some expert would point them towards. TV spots and billboards lead to snail-mail catalogs. Banner ads on blogs and websites led to PPC ads.
Somewhere along the way, it became possible to measure how effective marketing tactics were. That meant marketing teams had to prove they pulled their own weight because their jobs could be in jeopardy based on their contribution to the bottom line.
That said, it is only now becoming possible for us to accurately measure all aspects of a content campaign's performance.
With tools like those offered by CONCURED, you can see just how well-received and distributed various campaigns are. These AI-powered tools allow content marketers to see exactly how many engagements their content is getting online compared to the competition.
This means, of course, that the modern content marketing team can better reflect and improve campaigns as they go, turning guesswork into cold, hard numbers.
These insights will make marketing teams more powerful than they even wore during the Mad Men days!
Things Technology will Never Change
No matter how many advancements there are in technology, some things about content creation and business will never change.
Content still has to have heart and soul. It can't just be a collection of hot-topic keywords. The best content is well-written and pulls at the emotional strings of those that read or listen.
The key principles of business are here to stay. Business will always be about investors looking to turn a little money into a lot, and there will always be a new venture, a new land to explore, or a new market to conquer.
And wherever those investors and businessmen go, they'll need content marketers by their side, ready to package products for the masses and build brands people, even godlike techno-people of the far future, will trust and adore.