By Stephanie Stahl published December 11, 2018

85+ Expert Predictions for Content Marketing in 2019

Have you ever wished you could see a year into the future?

I can’t think of any superpower that would be more useful for content marketers than to have a sneak preview of all the important developments, trends, technologies, and key disruptors that will impact our strategic and creative decisions over the next 12 months. (Although the ability to fly might be nice as well – it would sure cut down on all my business travel time and stress!)

With the speed of big shifts happening across our industry lately – businesses merging, algorithms shifting, new tech capabilities emerging, audiences growing ever more fragmented and distracted, and the like – it’s hard enough for practitioners to keep up with what’s happening now, let alone keep our eyes firmly fixed on the horizon.

In 85+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2019, you’ll see thoughts from experts on the role new technologies like AI and voice response will play in our content strategies; how our usage of techniques like email, video, and social media might shift; which storytelling formats and platforms will drive our audience’s conversations; and lots more. We hope these insights will inspire you to take a fresh look at your content marketing activities and be more prepared to tackle the challenges likely to come.

As for my prediction, I believe 2019 will be the year we stop complaining about GDPR and start thanking the privacy gods for reinforcing the notion that our job as marketers is to earn people’s attention (and ultimately their loyalty). It will reinforce quality and creativity in content more than ever. That will mean several things: Great writers and editors will have new career opportunities (and higher paying ones if Andy Crestodina’s prediction is right), and brands will take a closer look at their publishing schedules (cranking out a million mediocre pieces will only serve to hide your brilliant content).

2019 is when we thank the privacy gods for reminding us our job is to EARN reader's attention. @EditorStahl Click To Tweet

Of course, an industry built on storytelling can only truly thrive when there’s diversity of thought (and some humor!). Here’s a peek at what some of the other prognosticators believe the industry has in store for the next year:

I think a growing number of businesses will stop thinking about content marketing as a separate discipline and instead realize that all good marketing involves content marketing. You can’t have good demand generation, or good PR, or good product marketing without a commitment to meeting your audience’s needs with valuable and interesting content – the essence of content marketing. Successful companies and marketing teams will increasingly blur the lines between these disciplines and learn to leverage best practices in content marketing and audience engagement in every customer- and buyer-facing interaction. Allison Wert, content marketing manager, Frontline Education

A number of businesses will stop thinking about #contentmarketing as a separate discipline. @AllisonWert Click To Tweet
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 4 Business Models for Content Marketing

Brand marketers will be completely replaced by an AI algorithm that will generate four blog posts, two infographics, a white paper, and a weekly podcast that starts with, ‘Hey guys, I’m soooo excited for this week’s episode.’  Ron Tite, CEO, Church+State

Brand marketers will be completely replaced by an AI algorithm, says @rontite. Click To Tweet

While social platforms ‘clean-up the online swamp,’ brand marketers will shift back to ‘owning’ their digital channels and platforms. This means interactive content experiences will take the main stage, as it allows marketers to own the brand experience and capture declared customer (precious!) data, while delivering personalized and customized customer experiences. Who wouldn’t want more of that? Corinne Schmid, head of product marketing, ScribbleLive

Brand marketers will shift back to ‘owning’ their digital channels and platforms, says @itzCorinne. Click To Tweet

To remain in the game, smaller companies will need to find ways to produce content at a cheaper price. They don’t have budgets to compete with high-quality video campaigns and huge social media initiatives, and they cannot go for the trendy topics. But if they focus on efficiency and evergreen content, they will stand a chance. Leslie Carruthers, president and founder, The Search Guru

To remain in the game, smaller companies will need to produce #content at a cheaper price. @TheSearchGuru ‏ Click To Tweet

In 2019, immersive storytelling and location-based experiences will draw customers to brands like never before. As people crave the experiential, the brands that understand how to deliver them narratively will see explosive engagement. John Bucher, mythologist/narrative strategist, Telling A Better Story

Immersive storytelling & location-based experiences will draw customers to brands, says @JohnKBucher. Click To Tweet

Of all the prediction submissions we received this year, this might be the one I’m the most eager to see come true:

Email newsletters will re-emerge as an important nurturing vehicle. ‘Hold up,’ you’re thinking. ‘Email? Is this 1999… or is this 2019? Isn’t this the age of AI and Facebook Live and video and <insert BSO* here>?”  Ann Handley, chief content officer, MarketingProfs (*bright shiny object)

#Email newsletters will re-emerge as an important nurturing vehicle, says @annhandley. Click To Tweet

Check out the e-book below (or download your own copy of 85+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2019 to find out why Ann thinks e-newsletters will experience a resurgence as well as what experts like Robert Rose, Joe Pulizzi, John Hall, Courtney Cox Wakefield, and others predict for our industry in the coming year.

Do you have a prediction on content marketing in 2019? Why don’t you share it with us in the comments section?

Curious about the accuracy of our past predictions? Check out the forecasts we shared for 2009, 20102011, 2012, 20132014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 to see what we got right and where we went way off track.       

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Stephanie Stahl

As General Manager of CMI, Stephanie leads the brand’s event, digital, print, and e-learning operations. Previously, Stephanie served as VP of Content Marketing for UBM’s Technology portfolio, providing strategic guidance on content development, content optimization, audience engagement, and go-to-market platforms for technology clients. Stephanie also spent many years as Editor in Chief of InformationWeek. Find Stephanie on Twitter @editorstahl and LinkedIn.

Other posts by Stephanie Stahl

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