A content wishlist for 2024
As the 31st of December bears relentlessly down on us, it is – of course – time for us to usher 2023 out the door and take a look into how next year is shaping up.
There’s a lot of excellent prediction content out there already about what to expect from 2024 in marketing – much of it deeper than what I can feasibly squeeze into a blog-friendly wordcount.
So instead of running through what I think will happen, this blog is all about what I hope will happen. It’s about what I hope content and content marketing might resemble in 2024, and the big things I think we should take roaring into the new year.
So let’s dig in:
That we aren’t always positive
Things aren’t always rosy. Things don’t always work out. Things aren’t actually that good right now as it turns out, with all the stuff going on.
But too often, in marketing, we’re ruthlessly, relentlessly and almost always artificially optimistic. We hunt down any suggestion of negativity in copy and destroy it. We stand tall like a guardian, protecting our precious little audience from the scary chaos around them with cheery words and reassuring smiles.
But our audience aren’t children – and they certainly don’t appreciate being treated as such. They know things are tough right now and they don’t need reassurance.
Instead they need empathy. They need to know that we agree, things are a bit shit currently and that we get why they’re feeling lousy about cybersecurity/recruitment issues/sustainability. Then we need to make sure they feel seen and understood – and from that, they’ll see your products and services for what they are: solutions that actually work.
That we always be bolder
There’s loads of reasons why businesses and marketers are scared to take a risk on bigger, bolder ideas. Why spend a lot of money on an idea that might not land? Why not stick to what we know? Why don’t we do something boring and see what we can do with the rest of the cash?
Well, because doing what you’ve always done means you’ll get all the usual customers. Doing something that makes you a little uncomfortable means doing something that breaks you free from the conveyor belt you find yourself on.
It gets you talked about in unexpected places – in police stations, student digs and farmhouses. It wins you awards and pulls in the most unlikely of leads. It gives you the one thing money can’t buy: something to be thoroughly, genuinely proud of.
And if it all goes wrong, well, you’ll have had a blast anyway.
That we all get along
The best content is chimeric in nature, a great, glorious unification of strategy, creative and copy that spirals through the universe, lighting up stars and supernovas in its wake. Or, if you’ve ever seen Power Rangers, it’s a bit like Megazord.
Point being is, everyone has something to contribute to content – and no one should be shut out. Talk to everyone about the job you’re working on (if they’re happy to listen) and ask for their input. Even if you’re supposed to be the ‘content specialist’ or whatever, anyone can have an opinion on whether something is neat, fun or boring – and anyone can have a suggestion to make.
People are the ones who’ll be consuming your content. So people are the ones who can give you the inspiration to do something that really, really works.
That we YOLO in the face of the reaper
I’m not here to tell you that AI won’t take your job, or that we’re emerging blinking into the new glorious light after the post-pandemic financial carnage.
But what I will tell you is that these tough times are all the more reason to keep aiming higher and being even more crazy in our content recommendations.
We should rage against the (possible) dying of the light with batshit content that we might just pull off, rather than curl up in a ball and feebly cough out a dry whitepaper. It’s far better to create something that will be remembered for ages – and who knows? It might just finally convince the powers that be that we are worth a bit more than a racist conversation bot.
And as a side note, I’m not suggesting staking your job on riskier ideas. You can do, but there’s nothing wrong with going in guns blazing and then quietly offering a safer option once the smoke has cleared.
So take these into 2024 if you like, into your content strategies, decks and recommendations, and whip up some content magic the likes of which ChatGPT has never seen.
And if you’ve got content on the brain, we have too! Let’s chat about it.