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Innovate or fade away: the role of content innovation in modern marketing

May 22, 2023

Innovation in content (in whole marketing too) is one of the lever needed today by brands to stay on top of competition

Welcome back to Aryel’s blog, the place where all your marketing concerns vanish like thin air (or at least that’s what we hope for).

As a marketer, you should constantly be looking for fresh, innovative ways to captivate your audience and stay one step ahead of the curve. You have tried it all – social media, email campaigns, influencer collaborations – yet you can’t shake that nagging feeling that your content is blending into the digital noise.

You’re not alone, fellow marketer. As our digital landscape evolves at breakneck speed, it’s more imperative than ever to stand out from the crowd with unique and compelling content. We know how you feel, trapped in a hamster wheel, forcing your fatigued marketing brain to come up with the latest breakthrough idea.

So, you ask, what are you guys trying to say?
Today we wanted to take a moment of shared reflection and discuss with our readers a topic very dear to Aryel, content innovation.

No, we’re not talking about merely tweaking your email subject lines or slapping a snazzy filter on your Instagram posts. It’s about diving headfirst into the unknown abyss of creativity to create something truly memorable.

Buckle up because we’re about to embark on a thrilling journey through content innovation, and we think it could be a wild one.

Why is content innovation important nowadays?

As the digital age progresses, the world of marketing has become an ever-shifting landscape. Brands and enterprises are constantly vying for consumer attention, and the competition is fiercer than ever. So, why exactly is content innovation the secret ingredient to staying relevant in today’s marketing scenario?

Let’s try to break it down.

  • The attention economy: the battle for consumer attention is at an all-time high. With innumerable options at their fingertips, people have become adept at filtering out content they deem irrelevant or uninteresting (banner blindness anyone?). To stay in the game, your content needs to be eye-catching, engaging, and innovative enough to make your audience stop, take notice, and ultimately, take action.
  • Rapidly changing consumer preferences: as new generations with different tastes and expectations enter the market, it’s crucial for brands to evolve and adapt to these changing preferences. By constantly innovating your content, you can ensure you’re always catering to the tastes of your target audience and staying ahead of the curve.
  • Technological advancements: technology is advancing at an exponential rate, opening up a world of possibilities for content creation. Leveraging the latest tech, like AR and VR, enables brands to create immersive and interactive experiences that were once stuff for science fiction. Staying on top of these advancements allows you to push the boundaries of what’s possible in marketing and create truly groundbreaking campaigns.
  • The quest for authenticity: today’s consumers are savvy, well-informed, and craving authentic connections with the brands they support. Innovative content that tells a compelling story or offers a unique perspective can help forge a strong bond with your audience, establishing brand loyalty and trust in the process.
  • The need for differentiation: in a world where brands compete for consumer attention, being just another face in the crowd is a surefire recipe for being forgotten. Content innovation enables you to differentiate yourself from the competition. This is done by carving out a distinct identity that sets your brand apart and keeps your audience coming back for more.

Now that you’ve been through all the reasons why content innovation is a must to stay relevant in today’s marketing environment, let’s dive into some more actionable insights.

How is content innovation done?

Venturing into the realm of content innovation may seem like stepping into uncharted territory. It’s a brave new world, fraught with uncertainty and the inherent risk of failure.

But fear not, intrepid marketer, for the rewards far outweigh the risks. With the right approach, tools, and mindset, you’ll be churning out groundbreaking content in no time.
So, how is content innovation done? A lot of books have been written on the topic, and we can’t really make an exhaustive compendium on the topic without taking too much of your (precious) time.

Instead, we summarized the approaches and methods used by different teams in Aryel to give you a comprehensive guide of how innovation can be done in fast-paced environments, like a start-up.

  • Embrace a growth mindset: first things first, content innovation is as much about mindset as it is about strategy. Embrace a growth mindset and view challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Be prepared to take calculated risks, fail fast, and learn faster.
  • Stay curious and informed: it’s mandatory. Keep an eye on industry trends and technological advancements. Subscribe to relevant newsletters, attend webinars and conferences, and regularly engage with thought leaders in your field. By staying informed, you’ll be better equipped to spot innovation opportunities.
  • Understand your audience: your audience’s tastes, preferences, and behaviors should drive your content innovation efforts. Engage in market research, surveys, and social networking in order to gain a deeper understanding of your audience. The deeper you get to know your audience, the better you can tailor your content to their needs and expectations.
  • Leverage technology: technology is one of the most effective engines of content innovation. Whether it’s AR, AI, or chatbots, leveraging the latest tech can help you create content and experiences never to be seen, that set your brand apart.
  • Experiment and iterate: content innovation involves a lot of trial and error. That means you don’t have to be afraid to experiment with different formats, platforms, and strategies. Measure the results, learn from your successes and failures, and continually iterate on your approach.
  • Collaborate and co-create: collaboration can be a powerful catalyst for innovation. Work closely with your team, involve your audience in the content creation process, and consider partnering with influencers or other brands. The more diverse perspectives you incorporate, the more innovative your content is likely to be.
  • Use data to drive decisions: Use analytics to measure your content’s effectiveness, identify what works and what doesn’t, and make data-driven decisions. This will help you optimize your strategy and ensure your content innovation efforts are focused and effective.

There are lots of misconceptions on content innovation. The most notable one it’s that it isn’t about reinventing the wheel with every piece of content you produce. It’s about pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo, and constantly striving to deliver fresh, exciting content that resonates with your audience.
I know what you’re thinking – “I’m too tangled into content creation deadlines, how can I find the time to do extensive research, collaborate with other teams and creators or try new technology?”.

Well, let me ask you a question first: are you following trends, or pioneering them?
Because even if you’re mindlessly following trends, there’s space for content innovation. Sounds provocative, right? But bear with me, because we’re about to wade into some contentious waters.

The imitation game: a counter-intuitive approach to innovation

I can almost hear you saying, “Wait a minute, isn’t innovation about being unique and original?” You’re absolutely correct, but we have to toss out a radical thought: copying can be a powerful tool for content innovation. Just like a cyclist taking the wake, you just have to fall behind a little bit to gain enough traction.

Understanding what others are doing in your industry not only provides you with valuable insights but also gives you a strong foundation to build upon. This doesn’t mean you should blatantly plagiarize or clone your competitors’ content. No, the aim here is to learn, take inspiration, and then strive to do it better. If you think about it, isn’t that what innovation is all about? Standing on the shoulders of giants, seeing further, and reaching higher?

So, how can you leverage this intelligent imitation strategy to spice up your content innovation? Well, there are a couple of ways:

  • The Skyscraper Technique: this tried-and-true strategy involves identifying top-performing content in your industry, understanding what makes it successful, and then creating something even better. Think of it as a skyscraper: your goal is to build a taller, more impressive structure than the ones surrounding it. This could involve delving deeper into the topic, updating the information with the latest trends, or presenting it in a more engaging, interactive format. The key here is to add value and elevate the existing content, not merely replicate it. It’s a very common strategy for longforms, especially in competitive SEO environments.
  • The remix method: just like a DJ remixes old songs to give them a fresh twist, you can do the same with content. Look at existing ideas and ask yourself how it can be approached from a different angle or experienced in a different format. This method encourages you to mix, match and tweak your content until you’ve created a fresh piece of content that resonates with your audience. Similarly, you can revamp your existing content, bringing in a fresh perspective or presenting it in an entirely new format, breathing new life into your old content – thanks to content repurposing.
  • Competitive content analysis: regularly delving into your competitors’ content strategy can lead to spot patterns, trends, and especially gaps – those critical areas your competitors might be missing or failing to address adequately. Perhaps they’ve overlooked an important topic or haven’t fully addressed the key concerns of their audience. These are golden opportunities to step in and fill those gaps with innovative and relevant content. Moreover, you might notice certain formats that seem to work well, such as recurring articles focused on specific themes and subthemes. Learning from these successful structures can help you tailor your content to what resonates most with your target audience.

Remember: the goal isn’t to imitate but to innovate. Standing on the shoulders of giants gives you a higher vantage point, but it’s your vision, creativity, and willingness to push the boundaries that will take you to uncharted heights in content innovation.

Beyond boring content: a content innovation wrap-up

What if the key to breaking free from the content hamster wheel lies not in constant creation, but in strategic innovation?

As we draw the curtain on this exploration into content innovation, let’s leave behind the narrow view of marketing as just a toolbox of tactics for customer acquisition and retention. Today’s marketing landscape, with its focus on search, content, and loyalty campaigns, is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the full potential of the marketing function.

To truly harness the power of marketing, we must venture upstream – into the realm of market creation. This involves delving into the core needs and motivators of our audience, identifying potential customers, and orchestrating a holistic go-to-market strategy. These crucial aspects of marketing are the bedrock upon which successful innovations, particularly breakthrough ones, rest.

Content innovation is a journey – a perpetual process of evolving and adapting. It’s about taking risks, learning, and iterating.
The key to content innovation is not in the downstream tactics, but in the upstream strategies. It’s about shifting our perspective, challenging the status quo, and daring to chart new paths (even on the same old routes).

If you’re ready to stand out from the crowd and rewrite the rules of content innovation, there’s no better time than the present to transform your marketing content strategy with the help of Augmented Reality.

If you want to know more about how AR can inject the ‘wow’ factor into your content you should book a call with our sales: they can help you envision how this transformative technology can take your content marketing to a whole new level.