Ah, content marketing. The helpful-not-harassment form of selling that marketers love to secretly hate (mostly because pop-ups and unwanted ads are much easier to create and execute than an entire content strategy).
Whether you love it or hate it, content marketing is poised to shake up industries in 2015. Many bloggers are already talking about their content marketing predictions for 2015 (such as the importance of video and the need for quality, not quantity content) but the predictions I’ve read seem obvious to me – and I want to get a little more ambitious.
If content marketing were up to me, here are my five wish list items I’d like to see in 2015:
1. Say Hello to Content Saturation – and its Ramifications
More than 50% of B2B marketers say they plan to increase their spending on content marketing in 2015 – in fact, 70% of B2B marketers and 69% of B2C marketers say they’re creating more content than they did a year ago.
With that, we’ll see content saturation in the digital sphere like we’ve never seen before. Say hello to brands competing for the same consumer attention, a bombardment of blogs that you “must” read or follow, social networks you can’t get away with checking every other day.
Content saturation will affect all four other of my content marketing wishes for 2015 and one thing you must know is that the companies that overcome the desire to create quantity content and create quality content instead will win the content saturation race.
There are already brands doing this – I’m talking about compelling writers like Kevan Lee at Buffer (the must-read blog for any social media marketer) and Garett Moon at CoSchedule who, if you read their blogs and e-newsletters, demonstrate their passion for quality content – something I hope to see more of in 2015.
Every single article they write is helpful advice for a budding marketer – and I predict content like theirs will quickly overtake the pack.
My wish: For content marketers and bloggers to overcome the desire to create a new blog every day and instead focus on quality, can’t-live-without-your-content content.
2. Let’s Get Personal Up in Here
Effective content marketers in 2015 should know what you care about, what cat photos you like (or don’t like) and what you ate for breakfast – seriously. Because of content saturation, content marketers will be forced to create better quality content or get out of the game – and one of the key indicators of quality is understanding your audience, down to every last member.
I’d like content to get so personal that when I’m reading a blog I often frequent, the articles that appear on the homepage are automatically selected based on my interests. So say I visit the Buffer blog a lot (guilty) but only really read information about Twitter and LinkedIn marketing. Algorithms could track what content I’m engaging with, and show me the relevant content next time I visit.
That’s just the first step but with the technology available today, businesses have the opportunity to know everything about you, so why not use it?
My wish: For smart content marketers to get better at personalizing and segmenting content based on their audience’s interests (no matter how small the audience is).
3. Twitter: Your New CRM?
Earlier this year, LinkedIn rolled out a feature that finally made it easier for you to keep track of all your connections. Now sometimes referred to as the LinkedIn CRM functionality, the tool allows you to write “notes” on your connection’s profile (only visible to you) to remind yourself of how you met. This handy feature means when you’re scrolling through your feed wondering why you’re getting updates from someone you don’t know, you can quickly click on their profile, check the notes, and refresh your memory.
I’d love to see Twitter rolling out something similar to this – if not in 2015, than in 2016 – because thanks to content saturation, and the increasing number of brands using social media, it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of why you’re following who you’re following.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I see a tweet from someone I don’t know or recognize, click on their profile, and can’t remember why I’m following them to begin with. By creating a tool like LinkedIn’s, now we could add handy notes to remember why we’re following someone – like “both attended the #InsertWebinarHashtagHere.”
This could also be done as an added functionality to Twitter’s lists feature – for example, imagine being able to see which list you’ve added a Twitter follower to next to their Twitter handle in your feed – no more clicking or checking, you’d know who they are and why just when scrolling through your feed.
My wish: For social media platforms like Twitter to make it easier to sort through our feed and add personal touches to the platform.
4. Goodbye to the Twitter We Know and Love?
Social networks are popping up left, right and center, and just when you think you’ve mastered one, another one comes down the pipeline to make you feel old and out of the game.
I think it’s time for Twitter to make some changes to the features we’ve come to know and love to deal with the influx of social media networks and the importance of content personalization – and they should start with algorithm changes. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, your Twitter feed shows you every single tweet sent by someone you’re following – you just may not see it since there are so many updated every second.
Why not take a leaf out of Facebook and LinkedIn’s books and make a change – and slowly start to restrict the tweets you see to the tweets Twitter thinks you care about? What this algorithm change would mean is that you have to tweet out content your followers actually want to see (a.k.a the whole point of content marketing) to get in front of them – another push to force content marketers to deliver better quality content.
My wish: I personally like the fact that you can see all of your follower’s tweets, so this “wish” is really more a prediction of something I think will happen in a year or two. The response will depend on how it’s rolled out, and if it is, then content marketers will have to better engage with followers to get content in their feeds.
5. Facebook: LinkedIn 2.0?
Just when it seemed like Facebook was the be-end or end-all, LinkedIn came into the game and snatched some of the attention away – and it’s showing. For professionals, LinkedIn is the clear winner.
With Facebook’s rumored Facebook at Work chat messaging system coming soon, I wonder if Facebook is going to go even further and create its own publishing platform, similar to LinkedIn’s Pulse. It makes sense – Facebook Notes were popular back in their heyday, but a more robust publishing system would allow Facebook users (over 60% of who visit the site every single day) to follow content from their favorite Facebook brands – let’s just hope Kim Kardashian doesn’t get her hands on this.
My wish: For social media networks like Facebook to broaden their horizons and try new things!
My content marketing wish list may not come true for 2015, but I’ve always believed in dreaming big, and content marketing is a great field to dream in – it’s growing, constantly changing, and demanding that we all become best at what we do to break through the noise and get our message to the right audience.
Whether these wishes become reality or not, I think at the heart of all of them is the demand for us to create content, not for the sake of content, but for the sake of telling our story, one that consumers want to hear and have been asking for.
To my fellow content marketers I say: bring on 2015.