By Joe Pulizzi published December 20, 2011

150+ Content Marketing & Social Media Predictions for 2012

Content Marketing PredictionsLet the predictions begin.

We had about 50 predictions for 2009. 2010 and 2011 brought hundreds more.

This year’s content marketing and social media predictions contain more than 150 predictions from over 75 of the leading marketing experts (a big thanks to all our contributors).

Here were some of the main themes of last year’s predictions:

  1. Facebook will take over the world in 2011, apparently becoming an added appendage to most humans on the face of the planet. (PREDICTION = 80% correct.)
  2. While content marketing was clearly accepted in 2010 as a viable marketing practice, 2011 is the year where the majority of companies will get serious about it – adding to budget, getting better at measurement, and begin to develop internal processes and staffing around the consistent creation of content. (PREDICTION = 60% correct… considering our latest content marketing research findings, we are definitely making some progress.)
  3. Marketers will become less obsessed with the channel (i.e., Twitter, Facebook) and get more focused on the story itself. Quality, consistent, and differentiated content wins. (PREDICTION = 50% correct…we are still focused on channel.)
  4. Mobile Apps, gamification, and 2011 as the year of the authentic brand relationship all stood out. (100% and 50% CORRECT… Apps definitely rocked 2011.)
  5. Curation, curation, curation. (PREDICTION = 100% correct.)

Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions 2012 from Content Marketing Institute

Of all the 2012 predictions, here are some of the major themes that seemed to rise to the top:

  1. Google+ will become a force in 2012. It seems many of our prognosticators think that the best is yet to come for Google’s social networking site.
  2. Video and mobile will finally both take center stage. This prediction has been made for years, but maybe this IS the year.
  3. Jobs in content marketing will be robust.
  4. Original, long-form content, due in large part to the iPad and eBooks, will make a comeback.
  5. Brands and agencies alike will start to realize that content marketing is like advertising, only better… and will take serious steps toward integrating content processes into the organization.
  6. Google will start to purchase more and more media companies, and then come under immense scrutiny from the FTC (this one is mine).

So many more amazing predictions. Which one is your favorite?

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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  • Joseph Kalinowski

    Great post Joe. The one 2012 prediction that I find interesting and hopeful is the content marketing jobs market becoming robust. We all know many editors out there right now that are really worried what the future may bring when it comes to traditional B2B editorial jobs… the “content marketing revolution” is breathing new life into the vocation and making it evolve. 

    What’s even more interesting is to see how universities/colleges start evaluating the importance of this movement and start working it into their marketing & journalism curriculum.

    • Nenad Senić

      Oh, Joseph, you’re reading my mind. These are the exact same issues I’ve been thinking a lot about lately in Slovenia. But when I ask these questions, I am not understood. “Well, we have PR people.” It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops in the US and the UK, The Netherlands and see how far behind in Central/Eastern Europe may lag. Still a lot of work in front of us.

  • Susan Gunelius

    Excellent predictions again this year. I was happy to contribute mine! Looking forward to an exciting world of content marketing in 2012!

  • Chris Yates

    My favorite prediction is video will take cente stage.

    I would combine that with content marketing and say video content marketing will be the most popular form.

  • Guest

    I think number 6 is inevitable, maybe not this year but inevitable, and Google will win over the FTC only because they hire people with higher IQ’s LOL  Now I do think the US government is going to try to censor more of the internet, and that would effect video content if it happens. 

  • Florida Insurance

    Number 3 sounds accurate. Many Marketers start with Twitter or Facebook yet with so much sharing buttons, the story is unloaded all over the web. Many great points here for 2012.

  • Euro London Appointments

    Some great predictions, however as a Consultant in the recruitment sector and a working professional, I’m predicting LinkedIn will become a big force within the Social Media world this year and will do far better than Google + unfortunately.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Actually, I think LinkedIn is already a super power…Google+ is hoping to get there someday.

      • Euro London Appointments

        A good point Joe! But from my point of view I’m not sure I’d call it a superpower just yet. Don’t get me wrong I do think it’s an awesome power as it is and is changing the ways we gain access to jobs. But when you consider that LinkedIn is looking to grow from 135 million users now to a near 300 million by the end of this year, I think it’s got a lot more potential to unleash this year.
        I do hope Google + works, it’s a great design and fantastic concept, but growth is average and brand pages are struggling to compete compared to those on Facebook.

  • Facebook Apps

    That is really interesting article. I believe that social marketing is building strong and strong for the past 3-4 years. Moreover, people are concentrating on content building rather than just link building which is good thing to see.