By Joe Pulizzi published December 12, 2016

60+ Content Marketing Predictions for a Successful 2017 [New E-Book]

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Somehow, we finally managed to make it to the end of 2016. Whether you had your best year ever or didn’t quite get to all the things you wanted to accomplish, rest assured that the winds of change will blow a whole new set of challenges and opportunities your way in 2017.

What are some of the changes content marketers are likely to encounter over the next 12 months and beyond? We asked a group of experts to set the stage for our expectations and prepare us for what’s to come. They share their views in our ninth annual e-book of content marketing predictions.

In this year’s edition, 60+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2017, you’ll see predictions on which formats and channels will dominate the landscape, how increasing content volume might impact amplification techniques, which technologies are poised to revolutionize how your content engines function, and more.

For what it’s worth, my own predictions are mostly focused on the business side of our industry as it’s been a year where more media companies than ever are struggling to maintain their relevance and value under their traditional business models. In contrast, brands are picking up the slack and are pushing content forward through strategic acquisitions, diversified revenue streams, and by breathing new life into older content formats. Here are a few of my predictions:

  1. Brands’ acquisitions of media sites, blogger sites, and other influencer sites will expand from “here-and-there” isolated occurrences to a full-blown trend “on steroids.” In 2017, we will see a number of large and medium-sized companies actively purchase media brands ripe with subscribers and content rather than building the platforms themselves.
  1. In the wake of the election, paid subscriptions will substantially grow at traditional news companies. This will open up the opportunity for brands to start charging for their own content as more of them start to drive direct revenue from their content in the form of subscriptions, training, and events.
  1. Custom print magazines have finally hit the bottom as a content marketing tool, so more brands will launch print magazines in 2017 as a way to cut through the clutter – a critical goal that has been proving increasingly difficult to do online.
More brands will launch print magazines in 2017 to cut through the clutter says @JoePulizzi. #cmworld Click To Tweet

Of course, these three trends are just a drop in the bucket. Take a look at a few more highlights from the new e-book:

Context will be the foundation of the next phase of content marketing. Brands will develop highly contextual content that goes beyond the screen into the “phygital” world, enabled by beacons, sensors, and the Internet of Things. They will develop methods for making highly personalized and relevant real-time messages based on triggers such as purchase history, the weather, physical location, and myriad more factors. Such campaigns are highly complex and technically demanding, but as one Disney executive once told me, “The more context there is, the higher the ROI.” Rebecca Lieb, analyst, author, adviser, conglomotron

Context will be the foundation of the next phase of #contentmarketing says @lieblink via @joepulizzi. Click To Tweet

As a result of poor organic reach of content, we’ve been seeing a rise in content advertising and paid content amplification, not only with channels like Taboola or Outbrain, but also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and many others. I’m advising my clients to dedicate a portion of their ad spend toward amplifying content to highly targeted audiences. It works great with B2C, and it’s a terrific addition to any account-based marketing campaign for B2B companies.Travis Wright, co-founder, chief marketing technologist, CCP.Digital

Dedicate portion of ad spend toward amplifying #content to highly targeted audiences says @teedubya. Click To Tweet

To effectively communicate in 2017, showcasing your brand personality will be a requirement. In fact, Facebook has changed its algorithm to reward brand communications that convey personality. So, if you plan on creating content in 2017, your brand communications should lighten up and loosen up if you want to break through the noise.Juntae DeLane, founder, Digital Branding Institute

To effectively communicate in 2017, showcasing your brand personality will be a requirement says @JuntaeDeLane. Click To Tweet

There are two key trends on the horizon: The first is that brands will increasingly turn to acquisition to jumpstart their content marketing initiatives – both for talent and existing audiences. The second is that publishers/media companies will begin to more prominently disrupt – and displace – agencies to achieve that “trusted adviser” position.Robert Rose, chief strategy adviser, Content Marketing Institute

Brands will turn to acquisition to jumpstart their #contentmarketing initiatives says @robert_rose. Click To Tweet

In 2017, content marketers will focus on non-fiction, not fiction. Millennials abhor falsehoods; as they become the dominant audience, storytelling will become grounded in reality. In addition, the rise of live video (a cause and effect of the non-fiction shift) will require brands to use documentary-style communication, warts and all.Jay Baer, president, Convince & Convert

In 2017, storytelling will become grounded in reality says @jaybaer via @joepulizzi. Click To Tweet

Curious about past predictions? Check out our forecasts for 2009, 20102011, 2012, 20132014, 2015 and 2016.

Want to see how these predictions unfold in 2017? Subscribe to CMI’s free daily newsletter.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • heidicohen

    Joe (and the rest of the CMI content team)–

    Great ebook on the future of content marketing.

    Regardless of your current use of content marketing, you should read this ebook, note the trends that resonate with you regarding your business, and assess how you should apply them to your 2017 plans.

    Changes during 2016 mean that every content marketer has to consider the implications of making their content, not just quality but also relevant to their audience, how to amplify their message (think beyond content creation), and how to break through the Facebook-Google stronghold on digital advertising.

    Thank you for including me.

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi

    Heidi Cohen
    Actionable Marketing Guide

  • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/author/roger-c-parker/ Roger C. Parker

    This PDF is the gateway to rethinking your 2017 content goals and plans. No prescriptions, no silver bullets, just topics to explore and new resources to explore.

    Suggestion: Commit 30-minutes each day, for the next two months, to exploring each contributor’s personal website, blog, social media presence, and white papers. Jot down notes and impressions as you move forward. View this as a learning experience, looking for lessons you can adapt.

    I found the diversity of topics and viewpoints refreshing, as well as concise format. And I’m proud to be included.
    Roger