The Future of Content Part 2: with Lisa Gerber

As content continues to become an ever-important staple for businesses of all shapes and sizes, I thought it’d be interesting to share some thoughts on what the future of content might look like.

However, instead of sharing just my own thoughts, I wanted to bring you what the future of content looks like for some of the folks I look up to and respect in this space.

This mini-series will bring you some of the web’s most critical thinkers when it comes to content – hopefully you’ll enjoy reading as much as I did, and these thoughts will spark ideas of your own on what the future of this thing we call content looks like.

Today’s thoughts come from Lisa Gerber, founder of Big Leap Creative Integrated Communications.

Content and the Lack of Originality

I don’t know I can predict what will happen in the future when it comes to content but I’d love to share my hopes. I can share what will differentiate those who succeed from those who fail.

There will always be brands who are late to the game, and try to take the shortcut to get to the finish line by copying and/or stealing ideas.

This will never change.

Lisa Gerber on the Future of Content

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, said,

Ultimately… we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic, then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behaviour remains.

He was referencing SEO tactics but it applies to anything that happens in marketing. Look at what happened after Oreo made the famous tweet in the dark. The following year, every brand was poised at the Superbowl waiting for their big moment in the Twitter spotlight.

We are out of original ideas.

Content and Creating from the Heart

What I hope for the future is brands who forge their own paths, and do marketing on their own terms.

They take smart risks by standing for something and using that perspective to drive their content plan. They don’t worry about the people they piss off, but nurture those who they inspire.

Because when they take take that stance, they come from a place where they are creating from the heart; and it shows. In quality and substance.

Lisa Gerber on the Future of Content

As technology improves, our consumers expect a more personalized experience. Search engines are lagging when it comes to this because we’re still getting results based on who is best at SEO, not what is best for me, as a searcher.

So we’ll start to see better curated content sites – much like public radio programs that work hard to bring out indie musicians; we’ll see curators cherry picking better, deeper, content that doesn’t have the following and backlinks that allow them to compete with those early adopters who have too much track record to be able to compete with.

Content and the Fundamentals

The bottom line is, as always, the fundamentals remain the same. We need to continue to create helpful and relevant content.

Lisa Gerber on the Future of Content (1)

The difference is we’ll have to rely on other channels outside of search engines to get in front of audiences by building relationships with influencers and networks.

Which isn’t much different from present day.

Lisa GerberAbout Lisa Gerber: Lisa Gerber is the founder of Big Leap Creative Inc., an integrated marketing and communications company in Sandpoint, Idaho. Lisa is on the perpetual search to balance happiness with ambition. Read more from Lisa on the Big Leap Creative blog, or connect with her on Twitter @LisaGerber.

image: Emerson

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