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PANEL Future of Content: 2024 Changes & Predictions Alex Birkett, Olga Mykhoparkina, Gillian Jones

The Future of Content: What’s Next for the Content Writing Industry?

Will human-written content remain king — or is AI soon going to reign supreme? How do you make your content stand out in the current landscape?

In the latest episode of Future of Work Talks, we had the pleasure to discuss this with:

During our talk, guests shared their thoughts about various notions of contemporary content creation, including:

  • How to write quality content,
  • The role AI plays in content creation, and
  • Common pitfalls in the industry.

Eager to know more? Here’s what Gillian, Olga, and Alex had to say about the future of content — and the (not so) surprising turn it might take this year.

Experience-based writing will be in the spotlight

Alex, Olga, and Gillian have a few ideas on what will happen in the content creation landscape in 5 years.

One of the key insights they shared with us is that experience-based content, e.g., brand narratives and brand POV pieces, may become more prevalent. 

As Olga mentioned, Google is launching Search Generative Experience (SGE). So, top-of-the-funnel content will likely be covered by Google itself. This leaves the rest of us to focus on mid and bottom-of-the-funnel content that’s both human-created and demonstrates expertise and experience.

What’s more, Olga anticipates a shift to journalism. As she explained, content quality has to go up, resulting in well-crafted and well-researched content.

And according to Gillian, something similar could also occur in the freelance landscape. As branding and content strategy become more important, the focus may shift to personal branding, journalistic writing, and storytelling. Overall, Gillian believes that freelance writing will become more informed:

Gillian Jones - Brand Story Strategist & Copywriter

“Content is not going away, but the people producing it are going to be more strategic.”

Intentionality is crucial for producing quality content

To achieve growth in the SaaS industry with content creation, Alex believes that it’s vital to make writing a deliberate process. Though tempting, content creation is not about writing what you think is fun. Instead, you should always strive to write about the things that will bring you the results you’re after:

Alex Birkett - Content Specialist & Co-Founder of Omniscient Digital

“[There should be] some intentionality around the content you’re creating, and ideally, a growth model where you can slot each piece into a decision framework.”

But if you’re going to be writing a lot, you’ll need to figure out a way to ensure quality remains top-notch. According to Alex, this entails focusing on content operations:

Alex Birkett - Content Specialist & Co-Founder of Omniscient Digital

“The short answer is money — you need money to do that. The more nuanced answer is content operations. You want to focus on defining what quality means [and] make it as objective as possible . . . What does the end user want in terms of quality?” 

Similarly, Olga thinks that one of the biggest pitfalls of the content industry is focusing on ideas that you may think are great — but don’t actually have potential. To combat that, she highlights the importance of making sure your content is SEO-optimized so that it can reach more readers.

Understanding your customers is also a factor when striving to craft quality content. As Gillian explains, freelancers can stay afloat and produce good content by focusing on storytelling and writing about the things that resonate with their audience:

Gillian Jones - Brand Story Strategist & Copywriter

“It’s about making it about the customer more and writing from your own perspective.”

The final verdict: AI vs. human-written content

What’s certain, though, is that AI may not play the role many have predicted.

AI was one of the hottest topics in the content industry in 2023. But, according to Olga, the tide is slowly changing.

Talking about the current landscape of content creation, she mentioned that 2023 was all about AI content and creating content at scale. However, after Google’s March 2024 update, all that changed. She notes that human-written, experience-based, and well-researched content is the center of attention once more:

Olga Mykhoparkina - Marketer & Founder of Quoleady

“Quality over quantity approach will always remain the most important when it comes to content creation.”

Similarly, Gillian believes that human-centered content is always going to come out on top. But, it’s necessary to think outside the box now. We cannot just rely on the methods that used to work in the past. 

As she explains, it’s vital that we learn to work alongside AI and be more enthusiastic about using it because it’s not going anywhere. So, she doesn’t shun AI but rather gives it a supplementary role in content creation.

That said, Gillian doesn’t think AI is trustworthy enough right now and notes that every piece of information it gives you should be thoroughly checked. This essentially makes AI unlikely to replace human writing any time soon though it may gradually get better:

Gillian Jones - Brand Story Strategist & Copywriter

“[AI] will never replace the quintessential uniqueness of human spontaneity — it cannot do that. But maybe decades from now — or even a few years — it’s definitely going to improve.”

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