Here's my prediction for content marketing in 2017...
The "owned" versus "rented" platform discussion is naturally going to shift to a (mostly) rented strategy (think "hub and hub" instead of "hub and spoke" model). Instead of brands trying to drive eyeballs back to their owned sites, blogs, newsrooms, articles, etc... they are going to focus much more on creating and engaging with content wherever their consumers are (this, is mostly, places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium, etc...). I believe that a strong, intelligent and well-pursued content distribution strategy will become more important than the content marketing strategy for many brands. Namely: brands know how to create great content, now they're going to focus on where that content can gain the most audience and how they are going to pay/boost it to garner attention. There will be more complicated and interesting times ahead for marketers... for sure.
What's going on here?
The Six Pixels of Separation content strategy that Mirum has been nurturing and developing since 2003 is going to be more challenged than ever to get you (and people who have never heard of us) to sit up and take notice. 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 play 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 more action, 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 happening in content marketing for 2017?
This was the question that the good people at Content Marketing Institute (hi there, Joe Pulizzi!) asked a bunch of leading industry professionals. The result is a meaty, quick-hit of what we all have to think about over the coming twelve months. In this year's edition of 60+ Predictions On Content Marketing In 2017, you'll better understand the type of content, platforms, technologies and businesses that are going to shape the landscape moving forward. I want to personally thank Joe and the team at CMI for including me in this initiative.
You can check it out right here: 60+ Predictions On Content Marketing In 2017.
What is your prediction for content marketing in 2017?