A new prototype advertising from Google demonstrates how brands should create content that follows customers and adapts to their preferences.

Want to know what the future of content marketing looks like? Just ask Google – or more accurately, check out its leaked patents for a new type of advertisement. It’s emblematic of what brands should be doing to stay top-of-mind among prospects and ultimately lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.

The new advertising product is basically a content-rich splash ad that follows users from one page to another. Rather than a banner, which just takes customers to a landing page and interrupts the flow of their navigation, these “morphing” ads will feature menus for readers to click on and manipulate and multiple forms of content, including pictures, video and text. More importantly, the ads will follow people from one site to another, allowing them to continue reading no matter what page they’ve loaded.

A blueprint for marketing success

What lessons does this hold for content marketers? There are a few prime takeaways that can be grafted onto existing strategies:

Navigation: It’s all well and good to give users the information they’re looking for, but then what? A solid navigation plan that includes menus and calls to action are necessary to keep visitors reading.

Multiple touchpoints: These new ads don’t constitute a one-and-done proposition – they follow readers from one page to another. As the buyer’s journey has become multi-polar, brands need to remember that multiple channels and points of contact are the best ways to develop prospect relationships.

Choose-your-own content: Videos and other visual media work so well as marketing tools because they give readers a choice – they can view an infographic, watch a video or read a blog post. Varying content types means using the same information to appeal to a diverse group of buyers.

As Brafton reported, studies show most brands aren’t actually up-to-date on the latest marketing trends and tools. Getting a glimpse of Google’s plans for future marketing strategies is essential for building and retaining an audience. The days of creating a keyword-filled landing page and waiting for leads to rush in are long gone. Make sure your content marketing strategy actually accounts for current user behavior and includes multiple touchpoints across channels.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.