Content marketing authority Joe Pulizzi just released his compilation of 2010 predictions from a variety of experts representing the “best and the brightest in marketing, content marketing, custom publishing and social media.”
Here are my favorite takeaways from the article: Video and mobile will keep getting bigger. More companies will outsource content to expert publishers. “Quality content trumps frequent crappy content.” (Of course, I think frequency does count for something. Frequent, quality content is the ideal.)
Some of my favorite direct quotes from the article, again with my comments in parenthesis:
1. In about six months, the economy is going to be noticeably better, and folks that put in the time and energy to build a foundation over the last two years online will be rewarded, while the latecomers will merely whine. 2. A lot of people – who were only wasting time at work, not investing in an asset – will lose interest in Twitter as the next shiny thing comes along.
… The video rush of the last few years will look like a trickle…. That doesn’t mean the content won’t be awful – most of it will be. But I’m hoping a new video explosion will also drive some great new creative stuff, too.
(This goes along with my theory that we may soon [2 -3 years] see a second boom of Internet-fueled creativity driven by easy-to-use Web tools and cheaper mobile Internet access and hardware. Content marketers will respond by doing more aggregating and curating of their customers’ content, in addition to producing it.)
More video, especially in B2B, as marketers realize that live video podcasts and other video formats are not difficult to do and can communicate a compelling message to help you get found by more prospects.
(For the projects I usually work on, I’m usually more apt to recommend video, especially for demos, how-tos and other practical applications.)
The best marketers/brands will generate great ideas, and create well told stories that are told across a variety of media channels….
(The idea of “great stories, no containers” is echoed by other respondents.)
There’ll be more [and] more Social Media and content strategies at the hyper-local level; citizen consumers interested in their neighborhood are already keen to ask Google what they’ve seen in their preferred shop or street….
(Plummeting mobile Internet access prices will help drive this.)
… As software packages get both deeper and wider and almost no customer uses, or even wants to know about every feature, the information about the product – specific feature information, targeted training, tutorials, etc. – will actually become the margin potential product….
Brand marketers will move budget dollars away from classic campaigns and into people that can create killer content….
I predict there will be a clear division between quality customized content and content created in a factory-like fashion. Just like junk mail began to dilute our mail system, poorly created content will become a nuisance….
Most brand marketers will continue to create mass amounts of expensive content for their generic targets. Of which, majority of audiences will not have the time or patience to filter through it. The smart marketers will create minimal amounts of highly targeted content to relevant audiences….
… I do think brand marketers will begin to rediscover the power of sophisticated email list management. Email’s popularity is stable, particularly among decision-makers….
… many CFOs and other leaders – including impatient business owners – will prematurely pull the plug on their content marketing efforts because the results are not instantaneous. The tragedy of this is that for many of them, they were probably on the cusp of getting the traction they needed to demonstrate results.
More and more companies’ marketing org charts will now include positions for people responsible for managing the creation and deployment of content as a critical element of their marketing designed to drive leads and sales….
As traditional publishers continue to suffer, they’ll have to cut costs even further. Increasingly they’ll turn to inexperienced writers, content mills and offshore text factories to fill their publications and Web sites. That leaves a gap that sophisticated brand marketers can fill. The smartest marketers will resist the drive toward low-cost content and instead compete for attention with quality – snatching up talented journalists, Web producers and others being driving out of the business. We’ll soon see that in large numbers of B2B segments the very best content – the thoughtful, weighty, important material that drives conversations in an industry – is coming from brands, not publishers.
(Disclosure: I’ve worked with Paul as my client in the past.)
Everyone was busy rushing in 2009 to explore Social Networking just to get on the bandwagon, without really deciding if “tweeting” or certain other presences were really what they needed. I think they’ll step back and determine if that’s actually the best use of their content. … I can also see an increasing need for downloadable reports, brochures, and free giveaways …
… Marketers will finally recognize that the key to reaching users within social networks is not about what you do inside the social network, rather it’s about what you do outside that then gets credibly and enthusiastically taken into the social network by the users….
(This is a crucial point that I think many marketers don’t get about twitter and Facebook. You can promote a bit, but you have to provide something worthwhile, and you have to listen and engage in conversations as appropriate. And, as Dave notes here, the real key is how your organization is perceived as a whole because that’s what people will be talking about, whether you’re on there or not.
Something about trying to do too much on Facebook seems like hiring people to dress up like your company’s logo and sending them to every neighborhood cocktail party in the world where people might be talking about your brand, with the idea that they’ll then butt into conversations to promote your organization. It’s impractical, disingenuous and makes your organization look goofy.)