By Joe Pulizzi published December 1, 2012

100+ Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions for 2013

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 200920102011, 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 and 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.

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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  • Chris Adams

    These predictions will definitely help the entire content marketing community. Thanks for putting this together

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for the shout out Chris!

  • Paul Conley

    Hi Joe, Thanks for putting this together. And thanks for including my prediction again this year. It’s always an honor and a joy to participate in this project.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Again, another great prediction my friend!

  • Ti Roberts

    Social media is an important ingredient in effective content marketing and is one of the main things that will help the growth of your business. Thanks for sharing this on Bizsugar.


    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Ti!

  • Michael Cunningham

    I had to cry “amen” as more than one person predicted the demise of (crappy) infographics. Maybe that’s more wishful thinking on their part than actual prediction. But I do agree that visual presentations and photos are on the verge of taking center stage. This will be an interesting aspect for the industry in which I work: rental housing (apartments).
    Now about the prediction of Joe buying the Jets and retiring the color orange? Really? The Jets?

  • Nathan Dippie

    Some really good food for thought here! Just wanted to say that indeed visuals and video will most likely take a more central stage, words will soon no longer be enough, which saddens me slightly as a writer but adds a new and exciting edge to websites, we are starting a video blog next year which will include interviews, interactive guides to producing business plans, hopefully these will all be positive. Thanks for sharing your predictions.

  • Ishak Latipi Mastan

    As an Asian, I feel great business models should include built-in translation tool in their websites to capture bigger audience. I’ve seen this happening in 2012. More and more people in China, Indonesia and India are using smartphones now. Remember also, the eastern European nations and Brazil who will host two major world events in the future. Thank you for this great article!

  • Damian Thompson

    The predictions series has been a favorite feature of CMI for me the past few years, honored to be included this year, thanks Joe. I will see you in Sydney in a few months and owe you a beer mate!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      I’ll take you up on the beer!

  • Karen Webber

    A great collection of thoughts here, and I feel honoured to be included! Thanks Joe!

  • Doug Kessler

    Terrific batch of predictions. You can see how far content marketing has come in a very short time.

  • michaelbrenner

    Joe, SUCH an amazing honor to have my comment called out here on the summary. I really appreciate it. And I think you hit on the right high-level themes: a focus on visual content, new roles and content as a “strategic” marketing asset. I agree with you: defining your content marketing mission statement is job #1.

    • Joe Pulizzi


  • nateriggs

    Thanks so much for the inclusion Joe! I’m honored to be in the company of some awesome marketers! : ) Always enjoy the yearly wrap of predictions from CMI. Will be interesting to see what unfolds next year for the craft!

  • Miriam Löffler

    A lot of interesting feedback I can use for my current “project”. Thx for the presentation! Miriam

  • grownebraska

    Interesting information. As an organization that works with small business and entrepreneurs we are always looking for information that will help them grow their businesses. Do you really think that companies will move their attention away from their “web sites”? I agree that digital content will continue to evolve. However, with so many company snippets floating around the social media apps they still need a landing point to idendify themselves with detail. Thank you for providing this Predictions report. I will pass it along to our membership.

    • Ahava Leibtag

      I don’t necessarily think businesses will turn their attention away from websites. However, I do think we’re going to see the way we consume content mutate, as it already has. Do you really go to a website to read the latest news? Most often you find it in your Facebook or Twitter feed.
      In terms of where to land, that’s the most fascinating part. Where do you want the audience to truly engage? With almost 75% of SEO coming from off-page factors like social media sharing, maybe getting them to your website isn’t the point anymore.

      • grownebraska

        Hi Ahava – thanks for your response! I fully agree with you. Engaging with the audience will contine to grow in social media plattforms. Bravo! I like it! Maintaining a web site will give those who crave details their desired information – for now. It’s fasinating to see these changes. Don’t you wish we could see into the future – say 5 years? Where will technology take us?

  • Jeff Korhan

    Thanks for including me again Joe. I’ve been so busy creating content I missed this when it was published!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Jeff…great stuff as always.