The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is out with its annual list of content marketing predictions. The organization published its list in a blog post yesterday titled 60 Content Marketing Predictions for 2015.
It's hard to believe CMI has been publishing predictions on "content marketing" for seven years because it doesn't feel that long, perhaps serves to underscore the important role of data. While my own writing on these very pages often laments how far we have to go - one thing that struck me in reading through this year's predictions was the realization of just how far we've come.
It is perhaps, the beauty of paradox: it is nearly impossible to look forward without in some way, shape, or form, reflecting on the past.
Below are a few content marketing predictions - in some cases bits of predictions - from this year's list that stood out for me, though I'd encourage readers to make time to read through the entire deck.
1. Content by acquisition.
"Medium-sized and large businesses will begin to purchase niche media companies because they thirst to create real relationships with targeted audiences," says Joe Pulizzi, who founded CMI.
In my view this is a well-grounded strategy for business leaders who take the time to understand the media landscape shake up - and the opportunity in developing a community. What Adobe has done with CMO.com and CDW with BizTech Magazine, for example, are notable proof points.
Joe's book also tops my reading list for any business leader trying to understand what content marketing means for business. Here's my take on his book: 8 Epic Takeaways from Joe Pulizzi's Epic Content Marketing.
2. Rise of marketing ops.
I couldn't agree with Doug more, because I view this as a corporate huge pain point that can only be solved from within. More than just driving consensus on what is and what is not a qualified lead - and then routing those accordingly - I see marketing ops as the engine behind marketing automation, to include people, process and technology.
Marketing ops needs to be both business marketing and technology consultants. They need to be able to paint artful pictures, draw effective flow charts all while writing scripts in code to link together tech systems.
3. Cooperative content.
"2015 will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways. The best source of content in most companies may be right under your nose: your employees and customers," says Jay Baer of Convince and Convert.
In my heart of hearts, I could not agree with Jay more. The businesses that nails this prediction in 2015 will find good fortune. Jay has also written a book that I place quite high on my recommended content marketing reading list. Here's my review: Book Review: 7 Takeaways from Jay Baer's YOUtility.
4. Participation marketing.
"Participation marketing is co-creating content with existing customers, partners and especially with prospective customers in the community, and I think we'll see a lot more of that kind of crowdsourcing, which will affect content development and promotions," says Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing.
Lee is an absolute master of co-creating content. It'll take just a few minutes of scrolling through the posts on his agency's blog the Online Marketing Blog to see examples.
I have followed Lee's blog for a very long time - probably longer than any other marketing blog I still read consistently. So when he published his book...you guessed it...I called it a must read. Here's the review: Nine Takeaways from Lee Odden's Optimize.
5. Distribution side of the equation.
Creation gets all of the glory but distribution must account for the other half of the content marketing equation. This seems to be a recurring conversation of late, I have the sense Mike is right and predicting a renewed focus on distribution is a pragmatic expectation for the next 12 months.
6. Content marketing as a minimum barrier to entry.
As for my own prediction, here's what CMI found fit for print (click here or image to enlarge):
I'd be interested in your views, so please feel free to sound off in the comments.