Trend of the Week: The Future of Content
We were proud to host the first in a series of upcoming trends events, The Future of Content in the City Hall Assembly last week. Elevate PR founder and MD, Emma Kelly, was joined on the stage by some of the best minds in the business, Jo Linehan, Jennie McGinn, and Richard Seabrooke.
As the world of content continues to evolve, the group discussed some of the trends affecting it—from social implications to advice on how brands should approach them. How has content changed and where is it going? Here is our roundup on the three big takeaways from The Future of Content.
- New Channels
According to Jennie McGinn, we are entering ‘Phase Two’ of podcasting. Podcasts have surged in popularity and are becoming a more polished and strategic arena. They are a ‘no-brainer’ territory for brands to get involved with (i.e. sponsoring podcasts), as they offer a sense of natural conversation and intimacy not available elsewhere. However, they remain an underutilised channel by most Irish brands. In the meantime, audiences are increasingly happy to pay for the content they believe in, using sources like Patreon to fund creators.
While Instagram has been the social media default for years now, brands can no longer ignore the unstoppable rise of Tick-Tock. Unmatched for its ability to give users a nimble, and creative outlet, content on Tick-Tock has a much longer lifespan. As Irish Tick-Tock personality, Maryrose Simpson, spoke about on the night from the audience, brands are currently resorting to playing copy-cat on the platform – a missed opportunity. Given the upbeat community on Tick-Tock and, as Richard Seabrook suggests, brands may be wise to focus on ‘being uniters, rather than creators.’
- Quality Relationships
The panel agreed that ‘Influencer’ has become a bit of a ‘dirty word’ today. They predict that the future will bring us influencers that are vetted experts in their fields or who bring something truly unique to the table. The relationship between influencers and brands should also change for the better. As Jo Linehan puts it, brands aren’t being ‘courageous’ enough to make long-term investments in influencer relationships. Currently brands are hopping from influencer to influencer and, in effect, creating superficial content. Both the brand and the content creator should collaborate with a long-term vision in a way that is authentic and mutually beneficial.
- Human Truth
As Richard Seabrook said, ‘the veneer is coming off.’ Brands are succumbing to greater transparency. There is a growing push-back against the soulless, repetitive element of social media, as people opt for content that feels more genuine and connects with them at a deeper level. Activists like Sinead Burke and Mother Pukka are creating communities both on and offline. Influencers are becoming more upfront about their paid promotions. We are rooting for celebrities like Louise McSharry who are honest with their followers about their journey. Whether it’s the humour of Fionnuala Jay, the unconventional wisdom of Blindboy, or the local narratives that Nike puts front and centre, we are ultimately drawn to good storytelling. The content that keeps us connected to humanity will always prove to be the strongest.
Be sure to keep an eye on Elevate PR and #elevatetrends for news about the next event.