What is the future of the content marketing industry?
As the saying goes, “change is the only constant” and that applies just fine when it comes to understanding the future of the content marketing industry. One of the people who has been leading the content marketing charge is my friend, founder of Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World, Joe Pulizzi (he’s also the author of several incredible bestselling books including his latest, Killing Marketing, and who can forget Epic Content Marketing and Content Inc.?). This is Joe’s last year at the helm of this business (he sold the business to UBM in June 2016), and it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I’ve known Joe since, basically, day one. I have been a speaker at nearly every single one of his events, and have been a massive evangelist for him and his business. Joe is always there for me… for this community. He’s one of the good ones. We need to celebrate people like him much more often. One of the many favourite emails to get from Joe is his annual request to take part in the Content Marketing Institute’s predictions for the coming year.
Welcome to 2018 Content Marketing Predictions.
From their announcement: “In 60+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2018, some of our favorite content marketing colleagues and compatriots share their thoughts on what it takes to build an audience; how advanced technologies and newer techniques – like AI, voice-enabled search, and virtual reality – will impact the content landscape; how troubling trends like ‘fake news” and data breaches will add complexity to the marketing equation and more.”
Where do I stand?
Here was my prediction: “I believe 2018 will be the year where brands publish more and more content natively on external platforms. I have been seeing this trend of ‘hub + hub’ versus ‘hub + spoke’ for some time, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that brands will be publishing less and less content on their own platforms (or using their platforms more like archives).”
It’s true: this is the changing landscape of content marketing today.
It looks like this prediction is becoming more of a reality. How did this massive change happen? The Six Pixels of Separation content strategy that Mirum has been nurturing and developing since 2003 has been challenged more than ever before. In short: Getting you (and people who have never heard of us) to sit up and take notice is getting harder and harder. Most consumers no longer venture out to explore corporate websites and blogs. They live and breathe in social media spaces like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube and beyond. From a purely text-based content consumption perspective, they’re more inclined to stay within LinkedIn or read in spaces like Medium. Consumers will still stay true to both the major publication publishers as well as their trusted trade and industry publications. So, what happens when your company posts a brilliant article to the corporate blog? Candidly, it’s getting harder (and more expensive – in terms of time and money) to get consumers to head over there, consume and care. Time and time again, brands are arriving at the same reality: if they post the same article on Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium or their industry trade publication’s website, it gets tons of heat, attention and care. This is where content distribution strategies trumps content marketing. This is also an indicator that buckling down on your owned property (instead of growing your reach and attention where the consumers are) could be a more costly (and risky) proposition. The value, of course, is now coming from those brands that have built up their email lists and are offering their clients (and prospective customers) more exclusive and valuable content via email. This will come as a shock to those who (wrongly) think that email is dead and/or on its way out. Email is only dying for those that have been using the channel as a way to advertise (ad nauseam) to their list, and not to those who are nurturing, respectful and engaging with that most trusted database.
What else is going to happen in content marketing?
The result of this prediction compilation is a meaty, quick-hit of what we all have to think about over the coming year, when it comes to content marketing. In this past year’s edition of 60+ Predictions On Content Marketing In 2018, you will better understand the type of content, platforms, technologies and businesses that will shape the landscape moving forward. As always, a personal thanks Joe Pulizzi, Robert Rose and the team at CMI for including me in this initiative.
You can check it out right here: 60+ Predictions On Content Marketing In 2018. What went right for you this year?