An expert’s take on content creation’s next phase

Expect companies creating brand content to steer from tutorials and “how-to” lists toward more creative and visual content that will connect with customers on a more personal level. And they will do this not with marketing pros, but with producers, journalists and others skilled in the craft of storytelling.

This is where content marketing expert Michael Brenner believes the next phase of the industry is headed.

“In the early stages of content marketing, brands are just trying to understand what their consumers need when it comes to content. So we see lots of lists and how to’s and “what is…” articles,” Brenner tells contributor and Broadsuite founder and president Daniel Newman in an interview that appears here.

Brenner, who recently joined the content marketing platform NewsCred, tells Forbes that in the next phase, brands will move beyond hiring journalists to create shareable content and bring in script writers, movie producers, even comedians.

Says Brenner:

“They will begin acting more like production studios and creative shops that publish content people seek out to laugh, or cry, or touches them in some deep, personal way. Visual content will be key. You’ll see more humor and much more humanity coming from the content brands produce.”

Brenner says brands are taking content marketing seriously. He adds:

“Brands are now moving beyond fundamental text and how-to’s and creating content that is entertaining, emotional and even funny. I see a lot more investment by brands in serious, journalistic content platforms as we close out 2014 and into 2015.”

His advice for brands is simple: Create the content that people want. He says:

“It has to be an obsession in focusing on the customer. It requires brands to take themselves out of the story and make the customer the hero. The brands that focus on this will turn content from a cost to an asset within their business that produces a return on investment.”

Left unsaid is where users of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets fit in the next phase of content creation. Their numbers continue to grow and they are voracious consumers of content. It’s safe to say that when production studios start cranking out brand content that can be accessed on a YouTube channel, a smartphone user would be one of those consumers picking it up.