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This Week in Content Marketing: 2017 Content Marketing Predictions


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this very special episode of #ThisOldMarketing, Robert and I make our content marketing predictions for 2017. We won’t give out any spoilers here in the abstract; but we can tell you that we each share three very special predictions — all of which are sure to actually come true. We wrap up our show with an example of the week from Loot Crate.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on August 28, 2016; Length: 53:48)

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1.    Content marketing predictions sure to come true

For this week’s show, Robert and I run through a number of content marketing predictions we expect to come true in the upcoming year:

Robert’s predictions:

  • Content automation will become a big thing in 2017 (09:00): As the necessary technology is now firmly in place, marketers will look to use artificial intelligence products to automate the creation, publishing, and management of content like never before. However, this means the industry will require some significant education in the proper role these tools should play, so that they improve the value and impact of content — not serve as a stand-in for sound strategic practices.
  • Agency holding companies will get in on the media company M&A action (22:46): There is a battle brewing between agencies and the content studios, which will heat up when a bigger agency holding company discovers that it can buy a major media player — like a television network, a publishing company, or a network of sites — and transform itself into a one-stop shop that can handle everything from media buys and placements, to account management, creative services, distribution, and beyond.
  • B2B brands will step up their influencer marketing game in a big way (32:03): B2B businesses will increasingly look to influencer marketing techniques as a means of driving their content forward. Finally catching up to their B2C counterparts, these companies will begin to understand how attaching a recognizable name to their content can help extend their reach and credibility, and will soon recognize that their own team members may not always have the requisite skills or high-profile status to move the needle for them in this way.

Joe’s predictions:

  • The top 25 U.S. companies will be buying up big media (16:53): According to an article released by the Associated Press, of the $1.8 trillion in cash that’s sitting in U.S. corporate accounts, half of it belongs to just 25 of the 2,000 companies tracked by S&P Global Ratings. With this in mind, I’m altering my annual prediction about brands buying media companies: While I still believe these acquisitions will be a growing trend, for the most part, it will be these top 25 companies that will be making all the deals.
  • A significantly greater number of brands will start to underwrite series programming on Netflix and Amazon Prime (28:43): Bigger brands, like Starbucks and Marriott, are the most likely candidates to spark the trend, as they are already creating high-quality content through their own content studios. But once we start to hit the tipping point, even smaller companies will recognize the tremendous opportunities involved in distributing their brand content on these popular channels.
  • Content recommendation engines (37:20) will grind to a halt: Media brands are beginning to place more scrutiny on how everything they publish contributes to the overall quality of the user experience they provide. As these businesses start to scrub their sites free of the lower-level content surrounding their most valuable assets, recommendation engines will take a hit. If companies wish to keep these tools in play, they will need to pivot in terms of the content they use in these efforts.

2. Sponsor (43:00)

  • ON24: Webinars have become the single most important marketing tool to generate leads and drive new business, but are you happy with the performance of your webinars? A few best practices can make the difference between a huge success and a waste of time and resources. ON24’s 2016 Webinar Benchmarks Report highlights data from over 12,000 webinars that will help you understand the latest trends in webinar marketing. Watch it on-demand today.


3. This Old Marketing example of the week (44:40)

  • Through a profile I read in this month’s Inc. Magazine, I discovered Loot Crate — a subscription box service that caters to the interests of the geeks-and-gamers crowd. Not only is LA-based Loot Crate the fastest growing private company in the U.S. right now — having grown by more than 66,000% in the last three years — it has also built an army of rabid fans through its impressive stable of broadly themed content offerings. Having recognized early on that longevity in the subscription service category would likely hinge on delivering an experience that extends fans’ engagement beyond the day they receive their subscription boxes, founder Chris Davis built an in-house team of designers, developers, and writers capable of creating relevant custom content projects. To date, Loot Crate’s content portfolio includes apps, interactive games, active social media communities, and even scripted, multi-camera videos. The content team also produces a 24-page magazine that gets delivered in every crate, and a microsite, The Daily Crate, which features game-focused news, dish-worthy discussions, and even a regular GIF series that mashes-up the plots from popular sci-fi and anime properties. According to Davis, even those who let their subscriptions lapse still stick around to watch videos and participate in the company’s online conversations, which makes Loot Crate a prime This Old Marketing example of how to extend the value of your brand far beyond the products and services you offer.

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For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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