The Evolution of Content in the Digital Marketing Arena

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Written By Juliet D'cruz

Since the rise of virtual media and online presence, the content we put out for the public has seen a dynamic transition. Over the years, there have been various trends in how content is created, consumed, and shared with only one goal: retaining that organic visitor. 

Whether you are an informative blog trying to build an audience or a business looking to make some e-sales, staying in touch with the latest trends in digital marketing to create content that engages visitors is essential. 

To understand the current trends better, you must know about the evolution of content in the digital marketing arena and its impact on your dedicated platform. 

1)   Text-Based Content for Starters 

When people started using the internet, everything was elaborated with words. Text-based content such as blogs, articles, and web copy was trending. Incorporating personalized graphics was uncommon since there were no smartphones or digital cameras to take instant pictures. Hence people were keen on reading and exploring websites with few images.Text–based content’s reign started in the mid-90s till the early 2000s. Hundreds of thousands of websites were created with optimized content to rank better on the search engines. Yes, SEO was still a thing back then.

Looking at the user interest and intent of the website, the marketers started creating informative articles and blog posts to retain visitors and rank higher on the search engines. This practice is still quite important today, but other forms of content have significantly increased the demand for high-quality writers to produce flawless text-based content. It is worth noting that although engaging, text-based copies to make sales were also attempts to advertise and market the digital content. 

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2)   The Rise of Social Media 

In the mid-2000s, social media platforms began captivating the interest of businesses, indicating a growing preference for visually engaging and authentic content. Gone are the days when using a generic stock image from Google would suffice when selling a car on eBay. 

Today, tools such as QuarkXPress have simplified and accelerated the process of working with text, graphics, and multimedia files, facilitating smoother workflows. For professional marketers deploying Content Automation Software For Distribution And Marketing makes it easier to measure and optimize their content marketing efforts. Content automation also allows marketers to deploy campaigns across multiple channels, optimizing campaigns for each channel and audience. 

In 2011 Google’s Zero Moment of Truth Study elaborated on how 88% of content consumers react before buying a specific product. It clarified businesses about what to focus on when building a content strategy. 

Although SEO was present in the early 90s, Google had minimal requirements to rank content. However, after ZMOT, Google introduced a more innovative algorithm that discouraged actions such as keyword stuffing and negative SEO. The content on websites and social media became more realistic and relevant. 

In the mid-2000s, popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter enabled ads, creating a stage for businesses to retain customers. 

3)   Interactive and Engaging Video Content 

By the 2010s, most of the world was exposed to high-speed internet connectivity, and people had access to touchscreen smartphones with cameras. This was when YouTube emerged as a dominant force, taking over other content platforms. Users were now hooked on engaging videos and streaming. 

Digital marketers saw this as an opportunity to leverage videos for product demonstration, tutorials, advertising, and branding. Live streaming also became a popular way of showcasing your content. Over time, smartphones became more popular and accessible, meaning you didn’t have to use your computer all day to browse websites and social media. 

This transformation led online businesses and websites to sit down, regroup and refocus. Most websites were being made more responsive through various gadgets. Moreover, SEO experts focused on introducing things such as Alt tags, optimized images, content linking, and regularly updated blogs to rank higher on the SERPs and gain social media attention. 

4)   Personalization of Content 

Since the introduction of video content, there has been very little change in how the users like their content – primarily visual. However, digital marketers have seen the importance of putting realistic and meaningful content that matches the end user’s expectations.

Currently, user-generated content, or UGC, is striding toward fame. Since so many businesses operate online, judging which one matches one’s needs is challenging. Moreover, potential buyers are vigilant about trusting sources with significant credibility. Digital marketers encourage their customers to share reviews. It can be anything from a yes/no recommendation to a 5-star option and even a short paragraph. Reviews add authenticity and build trust. Plus, you can use them to reach further audiences. 

Apart from reviews, the trends in analytics and marketing also facilitate personalized content delivery. Marketers can use customer data such as their interests, age group, demographics, and behaviors to make better decisions about digital marketing strategy. 

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5)   Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is a subform of personalized marketing. Instead of asking customers to leave reviews, businesses approach credible influencers on social media platforms for collaboration. The influencer takes the notes provided by the brand to create pictures and videos to match their preference. 

These pictures and videos are uploaded to the highly engaging social media platform for the followers. Statistics by HubSpot show that 50% of millennials trust influencers regarding the products they market for a specific brand. 

Just approaching any influencer won’t do. It is essential to collaborate with someone whose followers align with your potential target audience. For instance, sending makeup products to an influencer with business-related content might drive sales less. But working with a makeup artist to promote your beauty brand can give your business the oomph it has been looking for. 

6)   Future of Digital Marketing 

Stats show that video-based content is the current future of digital marketing. However, we will see the incorporation of tools such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality that will make digital marketing more convenient and simplified. 

Despite the efforts to make marketing simple, the increasing number of businesses with an online presence has made it challenging to make ground in the online industry. Are we looking at a new, potentially progressive app with less competition, or will Google and its social media buddies help digital marketers create a strategy? Only time will tell. 


The virtual world of business and marketing has seen multiple trends along the way. For the success of an online platform, digital marketers need to stay on top of trends and adapt a strategy accordingly. 

We have come a long way from text-based content with minimum SEO guidelines to video-based and influential content that requires maximum trust and relevancy. The future of digital marketing revolves around video content, but emerging trends such as AI and VR will have a massive impact on production.