Hot Trend in Digital Media: Content Cultivation

Content Creation

How does your organization manage content? Do you create, distribute, curate or cultivate?

Content is king, but content cultivation is a kingdom.

As the calendar year winds down and 2016 quickly approaches, what should digital strategists and industry insiders expect to manifest in the upcoming years? I forecast that one trend in digital media that could have an impact on an organization’s digital strategy, specifically within the next 3 years, is content cultivation.

The term cultivation refers to “the growth or development of”, and in this case, content. How does it differ from content creation, distribution and curation? One description that I find captures the essence of the practice can be found in Anne Janzer’s How Content Cultivation Can Reinvigorate Your Content Marketing Efforts:

With content cultivation, you plant the seeds by inviting current and potential customers to contribute fresh content for use in your campaigns.

While your organization can create its own content to share across digital platforms or even curate content to build up credibility in the industry it operates within, I think that actively reaching out and engaging with content creators beyond your organization is not only a good practice, but will develop into a hot trend in digital strategy. Collaboration is quickly becoming synonymous with creation in digital with the rise of content-driven websites such as BuzzFeed, Tumblr, Mashable and the like. While content reigns supreme in the digital world, there is no kingdom without the cultivation of content and the participation of the masses. In a post predicting digital media trends in 2015, Kevin Stevens’ forecast included personal content distribution, more specifically, he predicted that there would be more experimentation with how content is being distributed. I think that his prediction came to fruition and that an emphasis on content cultivation will arise in the next 3 years because all these platforms of distribution will need even more content in order to be sustainable.

With the rise of cultivation, what will I do now to ensure that I stay relevant? As an individual with interests in the worlds of social media, creative writing, sports and pop culture, I will continue to participate and engage in discussions with individuals and organizations that intersect with my interests on a daily basis. As relevancy is dependent on current knowledge among other aspects, I will still use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to ‘stay in the know’ and create and maintain professional relationships. While they may be small steps, these are some of the ‘seeds’ to collaboration that lead to content cultivation in the future.

Although it is not a new concept, content cultivation is an under-acknowledged upcoming trend that can have a great impact on an organization’s digital strategy and help foster and create:

  • New and Fresh Content
  • Engaged Potential and Current Audience/Customers
  • Multi-dimensional Collaborations and Campaigns
  • Promotion of Growth, Knowledge and Expansion in an Industry

With this potential hot trend and these digital media implications in mind, I have created a best practices workflow for individuals or organizations who are interested in building up to or engaging in the process of content cultivation. The infographic can be found below:

Content Cultivation - Best Practices

Thank you for reading my post on content cultivation!

Do you agree that this practice will become a major trend in the next 3 years? Why or why not? Please reply in a comment below or Tweet me at @katrinavalenton and let me know!

~Post written by Katrina Valenton on Tuesday December 8, 2015~

Header image from pixabay

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