Imagine a friend texts you a link to a video, so you click on it. Turns out it’s a funny sketch on the dangers of smoking. Later that day, you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed when you spot a photo of a blogger wearing a jacket you must have. You click the picture, find the brand, and a few minutes later it’s in your cart waiting for you to buy it. Now, imagine a world without content marketing.
Your friend never sends you that video, so you don’t get to enjoy a laugh while learning a valuable lesson. You never see the photo of the blogger and jacket, so your wardrobe just has to do without. A world without content marketing is more than just a world without fashion choices and funny videos. Content is all around us. It might just be that you don’t realize what you have until it’s not there anymore.
What Would You Read?
The average consumer in the US visits around 400 websites every month, according to the 2017 State of the Creator Economy study. On those websites, the typical person reads more than 200 articles and has the potential to come into contact with some form of content marketing or another around 20 times per day.
Without content marketing, there’d be considerably fewer articles and blog posts to read online. Maybe you’d get to read the news, and maybe a few opinions pieces about current events. Blogs would go back to being lengthy, whiny diary-like things, instead of the lifestyle guides they’ve become today.
The Internet Would be a Dull, Boring Place
Branded websites are the second most trusted form of advertising, according to a study from Nielsen. Around 70 percent of people stated that they trusted information and content on a company’s own website.
Now imagine a world without content. What’s on those branded websites? Probably just the name of the company and a picture of the product. There might be details about the cost of the item and maybe information on where to buy it.
But gone would be the features that would make the website worth visiting. There’d be no story about the product or details about the history of the brand.
It might even get to the point where there’d be no point in brands even having websites. After all, why pay for something no one is getting any use out of?
How Would You Learn About New Things?
The most trusted form of advertising, according to the Nielsen study, is recommendations from people you know. Thanks to influencer marketing, the “people you know” category is quickly expanding to include internet personalities and influencers.
A study conducted by Twitter and Annelect found that almost 40 percent of people on Twitter made a purchase after seeing a tweet from an influencer.
If there’s no content or influencer marketing, how would you find out about new things to buy or new services worth trying? The world would have to go back to the old way of doing things, when maybe one or two people in an area knew about the cool things to do, the right music to listen to, and the cool clothing to wear.
Since there’s usually just a handful of in-the-know, cool people in a town or city, the options available for self-expression and your ability to find out about new things would be limited. Instead of having an entire world’s worth of options, consumers would be limited to just a handful.
Think of the difference between black-and-white TV and color TV. It’s similar to the difference between a world full of content marketing and a world without it.