There is no better way to start off December than to look ahead to next year. With that, I share with you our Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions for 2013. (This is our fifth annual collection of predictions. For the record, you can also view what was forecast for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.)
Thanks to the more than 80 marketers who offered predictions on topics ranging from mobile to social demand generation to print, and everything in between. While the predictions are diverse, there are a few themes:
Marketing teams will continue to reinvent themselves to support content marketing efforts
My prediction is that the “Content Strategist” role will become an important part of the marketing department in more than just a handful of brands. Content strategy will be seen as an integral part of the marketing planning process as more marketing leaders look at their content marketing resources and ask if they are being deployed in the most effective way. — Michael Brenner, Senior Director, Integrated Marketing and Content Strategy, SAP
2011 and 2012 brought on organizational titles like CCO [Chief Content Officer] and Content Marketing Director. These leaders are now accountable for maintaining and growing sustainable content marketing programs for their brand — with aggressive schedules for publishing and production. In 2013, I believe we will see more companies internalize production-level content marketing personnel, adding titles like Production Manager and Managing Editor to the organizational chart. That’s great news for displaced journalists and producers looking to reinvent! — Nate Riggs, Director of Social Business, The Karcher Group
Visuals and video will play a more important role
Picture this: 2013 will be the year of visuals (but the end of infographics). From Pinterest and Instagram to SlideShare and YouTube, visual appeal will rule content creation and curation. In an era of content overload, users will be looking for a fresh face and innovative presentation. Creative graphics, photos, and videos will capture imagination, and tired infographics will be replaced with something better. — Joellyn Sargent, Principal, BrandSprout Advisors
Although we have seen it emerging throughout 2012, 2013 will be the year in which content marketers truly embrace visual content. Whether it’s always posting with an image to defeat Edgerank on Facebook, the creation of an infographic to lure in visitors from Pinterest, or crowdsourcing hashtagged photos on Instagram as part of a campaign, an important trend in content marketing in 2013 will be all about leveraging visual content. — Neal Schaffer, President, WindMill Networking
Marketers need to re-think “web-only” to adapt to consumers who want info
We’re going to move away from thinking about websites; instead, we’re going to think about content cornerstones — collections of content created and curated in service to a topic. Delivery of digital content is going to change, and while it may not happen in 2013, marketers are going to have to think about how to push content around the web without chaining it to a specific site. See flu.gov and Tablespoon.com for examples. — Ahava Leibtag, President , Aha Media Group, LLC
Tablets, smartphones, and laptops make up the buyer’s multi-device ecosystem. Responsive web design meets the challenge of not knowing which screen the user prefers by providing an optimal viewing experience: easy reading and navigation with minimum resizing, panning, or scrolling across a wide range of devices. Content needs to be structured in chunks that can be flowed into this architecture. Personalization addresses: 1) who I am (e.g., location, preferences) and 2) what I’m doing (e.g., learning, buying). — Valeria Maltoni, Sr. Director of Strategy, Empathy Lab
Which of these predictions do you think are correct? What else would you add? Let us know in the comments!
For more expert insight on the future of social media and content marketing, register to attend Content Marketing World 2013.