By Joe Pulizzi published December 22, 2011

Top 15 Content Marketing Predictions for 2012

I was thrilled with how our 2012 content marketing and social media predictions piece came out this year (full predictions below for viewing and/or download).

With nearly 80 contributors, the predictions were plentiful. But, for whatever reason, here are my favorite 15.  Enjoy!

I believe that Google+ will become a new blogging platform and that in addition to sharing content, users will start creating their own content right on the G+ site. – Ali Goldfield

2012 is the year more organizations embrace the convergence of employee personal branding and corporate branding through content marketing strategies. – Bernie Borges

Content Marketing jobs will be at their peak due to the constant need and hunger for lead nurturing mechanisms. - Celine Francisco

Brand marketers will continue to hire their own brand journalists and build out their own editorial departments. So if you’re a publisher…watch out! Your own advertisers and sponsors will be competing more and more with you. – Daniel Burstein

As real-time becomes the norm and journalists search Google for thought leaders to quote, more and more marketers will newsjack their way into the media. – David Meerman Scott

2012 will be the year of hard work – and the year we all focus on building our content brands: getting famous for great content not just for great widgets. – Doug Kessler

New button is added to social sites… The “Shut Up” button to quiet trolls and people that don’t add any value to the conversation. Okay, maybe it’s not a prediction, just a wish. – Douglas Karr

Media agencies will either create new content marketing specialized groups or expand the roles of “search strategists” to “content strategists” and include effective and efficient content distribution to their responsibilities. – Gilad de Vries

Mobile can no longer be treated as an isolated channel or a “nice to have”; it will become a primary way to speak to customers and prospects. – Gordon Plutsky

Creating content around the needs of the customer, not the needs of the brand has been proven time and again to work. More companies are going to see the value and ease of providing that in 2012. – Jason Falls

There will be a slew of top brands that start to buy established niche media properties instead of starting from scratch. – Joe Pulizzi

Content Marketers will begin to to place even more focus on video storytelling by expanding the distribution of video content at the retail level through the gaining momentum of QR Codes. – Nate Riggs

I think you’re going to see a lot of activity around Social TV. We’re starting to see critical mass around key live events (Super Bowl, Awards Shows, etc.), the same programming that networks charge big dollars for. Social TV integration will either support those traditional ad spends, or be used by those who can’t afford a :30 spot during the Oscars. – Rick Liebling

Brand marketers will realize an editorial function is needed to define their overall content strategy and planning. Content will be tweaked for different media. Brand marketers will not only distribute their own content, but also start curating third-party content to reinforce their messages. – Pam Didner

And my favorite, from my friend Paul Conley, is below (in its entirety).

I expect that 2012 will see two changes in who creates the content in B2B content marketing.

First, public-relations departments and agencies will move into this role in a big way – and do a better job than the marcomm-type folks who dominate the space now. The reason is pretty simple: marketers don’t have a culture that is open to journalism. And make no mistake: if you’re in the content-marketing game in B2B, you’re in the journalism game. News happens. Often when you least expect it — like when your feel-good interview with an executive turns into major news because it contains an off-the-cuff remark about your industry that infuriates people and moves share prices. Most marketers don’t handle things like that well. They don’t have what journalists call “news judgement,” so they get blindsided when they create content that becomes news.

Second, I think traditional B2B publishers, who moved into the “marketing services” space with great fanfare in the past two years, will retreat. In fact, they already are. This was never a good idea. Legacy publishers don’t get the Web. The only thing they had to sell in the market was the one thing they shouldn’t be selling — the ability to co-opt their journalists!

So, what’s your favorite?  What did we miss?

Here’s to a fantastic 2012!

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, Managing Content Marketing and Get Content Get Customers. Joe's latest book is Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill). If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • Tom Treanor

    Joe, this is an amazing resource and a great way to get ideas for 2012 planning. Thanks for pulling it all together.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Tom…looking forward to a great 2012.

  • Bernie Borges

    Thanks for including me on your top 15 list. As I read them, I see two common themes.
    1) Continued learning and growth in intelligence among marketers to become content strategists.
    2) The journalism theme is prevalent, which is almost a form of disintermediation in traditional marketing paradigms.

    It should prove an exciting year! Can’t wait!

    Happy Holidays Joe to you and the entire CMI team.

    Bernie Borges

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Great stuff Bernie…Happy Holidays. As you said, it should be an amazing 2012.

  • Paul Conley

    Thanks Joe. I’m honored that you liked my predictions.
    That made for a very nice gift on what is the seventh birthday of my blog!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Seven years? Quite an accomplishment Paul. In April it will be five for me.

  • Robb

    Some great predictions. I can’t wait to see how many come to fruition!

    What would be even more novel, difficult, and valuable, would be to take these predictions out 3-5 years.

    As Google finds and penalizes those content-jacking sites, spun/rewritten works which add no value to the equation, and economically pressed authors move to monetize, what will the landscape look like?

  • Robin Jennings

    Great round up of predictions.

    I especially like the last quote. I think a lot of companies still don’t realise that the content-marketing game really is journalism in another disguise.

  • Shani

    Thanks to Paul Conley for pointing out that public relations is not the same as marketing. Still a very misunderstood point!

  • Kimberly Castleberry

    The shut up button made me laugh. I thought that was what the “vote down” option on some really big sites was for, the ones that auto-hide the comments that have been voted down a bunch. I’ve been waiting on us to get that for WordPress!

    PS: The link in your sidebar, to your feed, seems (at least on some posts) to be inserting the post slug and so producing a URL that doesn’t work. I did finally sort out that you have a real WP feed which let me find it thankfully but you might want to fix the url the icon goes too.

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