Back to the Future II took place in 1985 and imagined the world of 2015. It predicted a lot of things correctly: inventions like videoconferencing, weather apps, tablets, and Google Glass are commonplace. And it got some things wrong too—mainly double ties, the Cubs winning the World Series, and, of course, hoverboards. Well, many of the innovations in B2F2 represent incremental changes to existing products—which is kind of how brands have been doing content up to now. A blog post here, a blog post there. Maybe a Tumblr or two. Too often, we’re seeing iterations on the past, not glimpses of the future. Come on, brands—we were promised hoverboards!
If 2014 is the year brands started to grasp the ways great content can shift how they’re seen by their customers, then 2015 will be the year we see brands take control of their destiny with paradigm-shifting content ideas. Google famously calls its big ideas “moonshots”; I’ll settle for calling them flux capacitors.
Some companies are already rocketing into the future on content-powered DeLoreans. For example, IBM is using content to humanize its technology and change the way it interacts with its customers, and The New York Times is helping brands create engaging advertising with rich multimedia projects that combine pop-culture and intimate storytelling.
In our latest magazine, Contently Quarterly: The 2015 Issue, we explore the future of content marketing, review brand that killed it with their marketing in 2014, and make more allusions to beloved sci-fi franchises. You can download it below for free.