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It might seem that, now more than ever, consumer-focused brands are paying attention to content marketing. And, more and more B2C brands are considering giving content marketing a shot in the months and year to come. But there’s much more to the future of B2C Content Marketing.

The 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America B2C Content Marketing Report from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs revealed that 86 percent of respondents stated that they used content marketing. Yet, the respondents’ analysis of their content marketing levels suggested that there is plenty of room for growth among B2C content marketers. Just 7 percent described their maturity level as “sophisticated.”

More and more brands continue to embrace B2C content marketing. Take a look at what the future could hold. And see what brands can do to make their content marketing efforts shine.

Five Predictions for the Future of B2C Content Marketing

Content marketing will become more competitive.

With the vast majority of B2C brands using content marketing today, and more to come, the field is more than a bit crowded. More than half of respondents stated that it had become more and more difficult to capture an audience’s attention within the past year. That trend is likely to continue, forcing B2C brands to become even more innovative with their marketing.

B2C content marketers will streamline content creation.

B2C marketers are learning that you don’t need to produce more content to be effective — you need to produce content that’s more effective. Just 20 percent of brands agree that they produced less but better content, according to the 2018 Benchmarks report. If marketers want to continue to have success, that percentage needs to increase.

Content marketing will become seamless.

The content experience is going to move from the screen (whether it’s a computer or mobile device) to real life, as more and more consumers start to use devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. Content marketers should be ready to deliver an easily accessible, seamless content experience to their audiences.

Content will focus on conversation.

Likes and shares might be great, but going forward, content will need to focus on person-to-person engagement and conversation to make an impact. As the Verge reported, Facebook’s latest news feed update will “favor posts that spur conversations.” Where Facebook goes, so does the world, so B2C marketers should be ready.

Interactive content will become even more popular.

Articles, blog posts, and other forms of written content might have had their day, and might still be useful from time to time, but the bigger draw will be from interactive content. This is especially the case as B2C content marketers continue to experiment with technologies such as VR and augmented reality.

Strategy Remains Important for B2C Content Marketing

Although the future does look bright for B2C content marketing, there’s one area where most can stand to improve: strategy.

Brands that put together and document a content marketing strategy tend to have more success than those that don’t. And yet, less than 40 percent of B2C content marketers reported having a documented content strategy.

Brands that previously didn’t use a strategy but ended up adopting one saw the greatest improvement in their content marketing success. Nearly 75 percent of brands attributed their increased success to the development or adjustment of a strategy.

Tech for the Future of B2C Content Marketing

Developments in technology are both pushing content marketing for B2C brands forward and changing the face of content marketing. Automation — both in the form of software and content creation — will make it easier to create and distribute content.

On the content side of things, tech such as AR and VR will continue to dazzle both marketers and audiences. AR alone is expected to create $120 billion in business over the next few years, Fortune reported.

Augmented and virtual realities will help to transform content into a more fully immersive experience. Instead of experiencing content on a screen, the consumer will get to become part of the content.

Companies That Are Pushing B2C Content Marketing Forward

So far, there have been some great examples of what the future of B2C content marketing looks like. Usually, the companies behind the more innovative forms of content marketing are big brands, such as IKEA, Pepsi, and Sephora.

But as technologies such as AR become more readily available (thanks to content marketing platforms and software), you can expect to see less-established B2C brands (often with much smaller marketing budgets) taking advantage of the newest content marketing tools.