By Joe Pulizzi published December 15, 2014

60 Content Marketing Predictions for 2015

2015-content-marketing-predictions

For the seventh consecutive year, I’m proud to announce our annual eBook of content marketing predictions (you can also view our forecasts for 2009201020112012, 2013 and 2014). Special thanks to our friends at Marketo for making this year’s eBook possible.

My favorite part about these predictions is that I’m usually wrong (as you know). Despite this, I don’t mind going out on a limb again this year. 

For the record, here are my (soon-to-be-failed) predictions for 2015:

  1. We will see a surge in print magazines from brands in 2015. As most brands continue to focus heavily on digital, the smart ones will realize that it is much easier to cut through the clutter by leveraging “the post” — where there isn’t much competition at all, comparatively speaking.
  2. Medium-sized and large businesses will begin to purchase niche media companies because they thirst for creating real relationships with their target audiences.
  3. We will begin to see well-known B2B publishers and editors at media companies getting recruited by and joining large B2B brands, with technology companies leading the charge.

In total, we have compiled 60 content marketing predictions from thought leaders around the world. Here are some of my favorites:

Google will acquire Twitter, and Salesforce.com will acquire a content management company. —Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Content Marketing Institute

2015 will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways. The best source of content in most companies may be right under your nose: your employees and customers. —Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert

‘Fat’ content will become the focus of marketers everywhere. This includes content types like white papers, videos, eBooks, infographics… content that can be broken up and used as the fuel for multi-channel campaigns. —Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Content Marketing, Kapost

Now is the time to have content marketers really step up and lead a centralized organization that directs, creates (or supports the creation of), and distributes content. 2015 will see the end of fractured programs and tactics. —Amanda Maksymiw, Content Marketing Manager, Lattice Engines

Content marketing slides down from heightened expectations to disillusionment as brands begin to realize “content marketing” isn’t the same thing as merely producing content. —Frank Strong, Director of Communications, Lexis

Brands will recognize the role of editor as the missing link to true content marketing effectiveness. —Sarah Mitchell, Director of Content Strategy, Lush Digital Media

So what’s your content marketing prediction for 2015?

Learn which trends are on the horizon for making content more efficient and scalable in 2015. Check out our list of Intelligent Content Predictions.

Image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Check out Joe's two podcasts. 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

  • http://www.7eyetechnologies.com/ 7eye Technologies

    HI Joe,
    I liked your post. You discussed amazing points about content marketing predictions that are very interesting. These are very helpful tips for all newbie bloggers who are facing content marketing related problem. Keep up sharing such great post with us.

  • Victor Johnson

    Hello Joe,

    I agree with the forecast that twitter is going to be usurped by Google, which is desperately trying to get a foothold at social marketing but could not succeed much so far. This is interesting turn of events as some years ago Microsoft similarly was anxious to get a pie of the Google’s search business, tried to buy Google, Yahoo and ultimately ended up creating its own Bing.

    If Google could get hold of twitter or any other established social brand, it could be the best acquisition for them otherwise they have to continue fiddle with Google+, in the hope that some thing works for them in future.

    I am also in content marketing business,http://wichitafalls-media.com/content-marketing/ and one of the predictions here might give me sleepless nights as creating fat content would not be easy, I would need to spend more money, hopefully it turns out a risk worth taking.

  • Carla_Johnson

    Joe,
    This is a great roundup! I’m behind the idea of moving from utility to utility-in-the moment as Julie describes. I think the ability to be successful at that is, as Ardath points out, the ability to create a continuum of experiences based on the brand story, and move away from the stop-start mentality of campaigns. As marketers see companies moving away from the pack by doing these things, more with take heed and change their approach.

    Here’s to another fun ride!
    Carla

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      We’ve only just begun…

  • http://www.meltcontent.com Dan Hart

    Hi Joe – interesting reading each of the predictions laid out in your post but more so, how many focus on the means or method of content marketing rather than the steps prior to this such as having clear content and commercially associated objectives and analsying how effective the respective piece of content will resonate with its target audience. Yes, content should be interesting, compelling and many of the over-used terms often associated with content marketing but what’s its use or purpose if it doesn’t hit the objectives (commercial or non)? 2014 has seen a heighten interest in content marketing as an integral component within the marketing mix and 2015 (I believe) will demand clearer and stronger ROI that’s highly measurable. I recently posted the following article picking up this point – http://www.meltcontent.com/news/content-marketing-has-no-definition.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      I think you are right Dan…seems to be the norm to focus on tactical stuff. I do it as well.

  • https://beegit.com/ JD Eaton

    2015 will usher in the lean content movement. As brands invest more and more resources into creating content, a much greater need to effectively understand and manage those resources will become increasingly important. By adopting a lean process and making content development transparent, it will automatically keep teams on task and in sync, while making it easier to identify and eliminate wasteful practices.

  • http://www.brianhonigman.com/ Brian Honigman

    Thanks again for including me CMI team! Cheers.

  • http://www.swordandthescript.com/ Frank Strong

    Gosh, I HOPE Mr. Rose is right about Google acquiring Twitter. With Twitter trading below $40 and Google above $500 that has a lot of promise. I’d add that I think Twitter is under-priced because the combined organic + (uniquely targeted) paid options on Twitter is one of the best kept secrets in content marketing. Thanks for including me this year, Joe & Co.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Frank…I’m not sure how much we should count on Robert’s predictions 😉

  • http://blog.eventbrite.co.uk Mark Walker

    Top post as always Joe! My predictions would be:

    1. More people incorporating events and live experiences into their overall content marketing strategy.

    2. I also think the idea of creating online ‘courses’ for B2B companies will grow in popularity (maybe we’ll reach ‘peak course’ in 2015!)

    3. Finally, I also see a lot more serious content marketers creating relative performance metrics that don’t just look at absolute number of FB likes, Twitter shares or traffic, but judge the performance based on expectations versus a base line of performance and the time/money/effort leverage to create the content.

    • Cathy McPhillips

      I like that thought of measuring results based on time/money/effort. We’ve been looking at conversions as well as traffic, but looking at the time we have invested should definitely be a metric we track! Thanks for that thought, Mark!

  • http://www.corporate-pakistan.com/ Basharat Ali

    Some times people become over enthusiastic while they are expressing their views. But here my team at web designing pakistan found that author bring the whole article in quite a balanced way that shows professionalism.

  • http://forewardsapp.com/ Jason Dea

    Interesting prediction on print emerging as a new (old) content format. Do have have any thoughts as to what kinds of distribution channels this content might see? Trade show and event giveaways and customer mailers I’ll assume are the basics, but it’ll be interesting to see if this re-emergence of print you predict happens alongside any new or interesting distribution channels.

    • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Jason…all of the above I think. Postal, in-store distribution, trade shows, etc.

  • rogercparker

    From both the content and (Joseph Kalinowski’s) design point of view, this is one of the best predictions. The title slide (above) and inside design raises the bar for SlideShare publishing.

    I, too, am pleased to see the re-emphasis on print, especially the mention on point-of-purchase. What’s often overlooked is that retail point-of-purchase content is not only efficient because it’s targeted, but it’s also efficient because helpful, relevant content can be inexpensively produced.

    One of my clients had photocopied “information sheets” about each of the computers, monitors, and printers displayed in their store. These not only summarized product benefits, but they also contained a check-list of recommended accessories (i.e., sell-up items) like cables, books, memory, supplies, software appropriate for each item.

    The result? A 2 to 5 cent sheet of paper often sold hundreds of dollars worth of additional products. Customers would often fill them out in the store, and hand them to the sales person.

    In fact, once, on a United flight from Denver to Seattle, I sat next to someone checking off hundreds of dollars worth of accessories for his upcoming purchase of a laser printer!

    • Joseph Kalinowski

      Thanks for the kind words Roger! This was certainly a great project and one that I look forward to every year. Great point about the P.O.P. literature as well.

  • http://www.talkingholistic.com/ Paul Chatterton

    Great article! On social media I believe 2015 will be the year of conversation. Marketers will increasingly understand the benefits of moving from marketing towards relationship marketing on social. Both B2B and B2C brands will increasingly recognise that to perform on social media you must invest in engagement and holding authentic one-to-one conversations with your community.

    Those businesses that do strategically invest in a conversation strategy will perform on social; the businesses that don’t embrace conversation will blame the lack of Facebook organic reach, content overload or similar. I believe this is the opportunity that businesses of any kind can realise next year on social media.

  • ravekrishna

    Joe, thanks for bringing it all under one report – a must-read going into 2015. My prediction: brand advocacy through your employees. We are finding a veritable treasure trove of employee content that is being shared and tweeted more than anything else the brand can “sponsor or produce”. Getting your employees on-board to cooperate with (and sometimes even spearhead!) your content marketing and branding initiatives is going to be huge in 2015.

  • http://www.imaginepub.com/our-thinking Alex Braun

    Great post as always, Joe! Seems like a lots of the predictions foresee larger editorial operations and more of a newsroom-type structure within businesses. It’s certainly a worthy investment if the people and the plan are in sync from the beginning, but I can see many businesses wincing at the overhead, especially as they get the ball rolling.

    As more players enter the fray, I think content agencies will have to become more specialized in terms of their industry expertise. The rewards for pumping out generic, loosely targeted and lightly researched content are diminishing, and you can’t expect the same content creators to be experts on everything.