10+ Content Predictions from Top Marketers

We asked top marketers from around the world what their predictions are for the state of content marketing. Here they are:

1. Brands will behave more like media publishers

Eli Pakier at MRYWe will see an increase in brands becoming media publishers.  As brands get more comfortable pivoting from the products they sell into the beliefs they share, more and more brands will experiment, but likely with mixed results. There will be lightly branded, niche community successes.  And likely high profile flops, a victim of either overly shilly sales docs consumers see right through or too thinly branded that internal bean counters pull the plug for lack of accountability.

Eli Pakier is a VP and Group Strategy Director at MRY.

2. & they’ll make more revenue off of it

Though it still won’t be nowhere near their core product or service offering. Maybe in 2017?

Eli Pakier is a VP and Group Strategy Director at MRY.

3. Commerce and content will continue to fuse together

As a result, we will see the opposite reaction from publishers as they begin to earn revenue off selling consumer facing products and services.

Eli Pakier is a VP and Group Strategy Director at MRY.

4. We will see at least one major brand hire a digital publisher to be their dedicated agency of record

Eli Pakier is a VP and Group Strategy Director at MRY.

5. 2016 will be the year of interactive content

Yael KochmanWe’ve already seen more and more companies implement polls and surveys, but I think this year we will take it a step further. There is no limit to what we can do today with the help of technology – from interactive infographics to calculators, interactive listicles and much more.
Yael Kochman, Head of Content Marketing, International at Teradata Marketing Applications

6. Content marketers will start to think mobile first

With users spending more than 50% of their digital time on mobile, content marketer need to create and design content with a mobile first approach. This means not only responsive design, but also creating content that is easy to consume on the go: sorter paragraphs, more bullet points and visuals and less log-form never ending blurbs.
Yael Kochman, Head of Content Marketing, International at Teradata Marketing Applications

7. I predict predictions.

efratPredictions used in Marketing Automation Systems will help inbound marketers work more efficiently with their content and better understands what works. Predictive tools will also help us analyze our customer persona better and create a smarter content journey.
Efrat Fenigson, Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Viaccess-Orca

8. Personalization will be key

Personalizing emails, dynamic website content, personalizing the journey to each user etc. – will be very important.

Efrat Fenigson, Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Viaccess-Orca

9. Content that is based on data, original and interesting data (ideally including numbers, results and insights) will be king

This type of content brings value to readers, in the form of case studies, ebooks, infographics and whitepapers.

Efrat Fenigson, Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Viaccess-Orca

10. In 2016, modern marketers will start to shift from a lead-driven focus to one of sales enablement and actually closing deals

Chris Moody, Oracle's Director of ContentWe as marketers seem to only talk about leads, but we have to assist lower in the funnel with content that helps win revenue. It isn’t as flashy, but I think it will be much more effective. Closing the gap between marketing and sales with content will definitely help any marketer grow in their career.

Chris Moody, Director of Content & Social at Oracle Marketing Cloud

11. 2016 will bring continued positive pressure Bob Rosenscheinfrom consumers for fun, interesting content that does not look commercial or promotional

Bob Rosenschein is the Founder of Curiyo

12. Even more video content produced by brands and social media personalities will be closed captioned

Sarah SnowAdding closed captions to video is an important step for content creators. Not only will it help the videos get more views and increase view times and engagement, but also it will give even more people – including the nearly 70% of YouTube users who come from outside the U.S. or don’t speak English – access to the content.

Furthermore, this step will give the 30 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing the ability to understand what is being said in those videos. YouTube’s product manager, Matthew Glotzbach, recently shared a stat citing that 25% of YouTube’s content has some form of closed captioning. I see 2016 as the year that number finally takes a sharp upward turn.

Sarah Snow is the face of Glide.

13. My predictions for 2016 will be that more and more websites will be playing closer attention to mobile

MattGoogle’s new AMP platform promises better mobile experiences for users and has even hinted at giving ranking boosts to webpages that adopt the platform. Along with this, Facebook’s Instant Articles will grow in usage – they’ve already got a number of big publishers onboard, including the likes of BuzzFeed who say that they’ve been getting increased engagement as a result.

Matthew Barby is the Global Head of Growth & SEO at Hubspot

14. Marketing is about to become less about content and more about relationships

Ari SherbillContent marketing as a concept was brand new around 2000. Google bought blogger back in 2003. One of the big names in content marketing is Neil Patel, who’s blogging went big around 2005 when the Wall Street Journal and others named him one of the web’s “top influencers”.

Content marketing as we know and think of it – hasn’t changed since then. Relate to your audience (instead of interrupting them with ads), engage them – and eventually sell.

Today, if a company is approaching their content marketing with the mindset of “we should do this too” – they’re not only behind, it’s hurting them. For 2 crucial reasons:

1. Content is a commodity

Because content has become a commodity, simply publishing content does not differentiate your company from anyone else, or offer any particular value. If your audience is interested in a specific topic – they can already google it and find great information anywhere online.

2. Content is overwhelming

Every company sends emails, writes articles and has a blog, so people are now overwhelmed. You have to appreciate that when relating to your audience.

Your audience is craving something more than information, content, and even “thought leadership”.

Your customers, clients, and audience are looking for relationships. My prediction for 2016 is that savvy and strategic entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers will start to STOP thinking about “content” and start thinking about building a relationship.

More specifically, you’ll see the true thought leaders online begin to:

  • Share more personal and vulnerable stories
  • Use more authenticity, transparency and personality than information, content and “SEO” based articles

We’re about to see the Internet become human and see the human side of companies. I’m sure you’ve seen McDonalds take this approach with their YouTube videos – they’re clearly building a relationship. See for yourself.

And because “content” is an annoying commodity, as soon as you set yourself apart from others via a (strategic) relationship with your tribe – it doesn’t matter how many better companies or content is out there – when they trust you and have a deeper relationship with you (by knowing how to do it strategically) – they’ll go to you.

Your emails will be the ones read and opened. Your blogs will be the ones they comment on. Notice how people respond to the blogs we write: they’re passionate. Check out the comments on one of our posts: 91 headlines.

Ari Sherbill is the VP of Business Development at PowToon.