The Content Strategist

24 Content Marketing Predictions for 2018

Contently grew up a lot in 2017. Instead of just going through the motions, we thought about how content marketing was maturing, refined our mission, and conducted research to find out as much as possible about our clients and the industry at large.

If we learned anything from last year, it’s that marketers are striving for accountability more than ever. They’re no longer just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Budgets have a purpose. Strategies get developed with long-term vision. And results need to be tangible.

As content marketing continues to transform in 2018, here are 24 predictions that will keep you one step ahead.

1. “Content marketing” will cease to be thought of as just a top-of-funnel activity for building an audience. Instead, marketers will realize content is the golden thread that connects every experience in the customer journey. Great stories aren’t just crucial for articles and videos; they’ll be necessary for case studies and sales decks as well. (Tweet this!)

-Joe Lazauskas, director of content strategy

2. Less quantity, more quality. Smart brands will reduce the amount of content they produce, using that budget to improve the production value of everything they create. (Tweet this!)

-Shane Snow, co-founder

3. For a while now, brands have tried creating their own podcasts without much success. This year, I think brands will sponsor individual episodes of existing podcasts that are already popular. (Tweet this!)

-Alli Manning, director of talent and editorial services

4. Content marketing initiatives will become table stakes for marketers to compete in their fields and keep their jobs. (Tweet this!)

-Greg Merson, sales operations manager

5. Brands will make much better use of persona research and buyer’s journey stages when planning and executing their content strategies. (Tweet this!)

-Kelly Wenzel, CMO

6. B2C companies will take more of a public stand on key topics, especially social issues, which will be reflected in their content. (Tweet this!)

-Cyrus Park, implementation manager

7. Paid distribution will lean heavily toward video as content marketers add YouTube and Facebook video to their list of most important channels. (Tweet this!)

-Felicity Blance, manager of distribution services

8. To prove their value, marketing teams will put a lot of effort into creating content that can be used across all departments. (Tweet this!)

-Luke Maloney, senior sales executive

9. The past few years have focused on the mechanics of content marketing—how the sausage is made. In 2018, brand leaders will return to a fundamental question: How good is the sausage? (Tweet this!)

-Erin Nelson, senior managing editor

10. Content marketing and revenue are going to become great friends. As marketing systems get more integrated, marketers are going to be able to prove their content marketing initiatives drive meaningful revenue. With that quantified data, the pressure will be on to consistently increase the number. (Tweet this!)

-John Fernandez, VP of revenue marketing

11. To stay relevant but avoid adding to the noise of shortform video, brands will experiment with animation, motion graphics, and other advanced forms of multimedia. (Tweet this!)

-Brian Maehl, manager of talent and editorial services

12. CMOs will become increasingly obsessed with transparency across lines of business, different campaigns, and executive teams. (Tweet this!)

-Adrienne Todd, communications specialist

13. Content marketing platforms will begin to consolidate as larger software companies look to make acquisitions. Expect these big companies to include content marketing offerings as a standard part of their marketing cloud solutions. (Tweet this!)

-Dillon Baker, product marketing specialist

14. Marketers will opt for more a strategic approach to content creation, delivery, and optimization that is powered by artificial intelligence. As a result, they will automate personalized customer experiences across the entire content journey like never before. (Tweet this!)

-Priyamvadha Ramakrishnan, content distribution associate

15. Organizations will get more sophisticated and truly look to measure ROI in meaningful ways. (Tweet this!)

-Rob Haber, director of customer success

16. Brands will look at how their systems connect to make it easy for anyone in the entire organization to access any content that’s created. (Tweet this!)

-Alicia Phuah, account manager

17. We’ll see more content marketing connected to the internet of things. The internet of things is all about providing convenience, and anything brands can do to make their customers’ lives easier is a win. (Tweet this!)

-Ann Fabens-Lassen, chief of staff

18. Enterprise brands will start embracing the “center of excellence” approach we have been preaching for years. For marketers to succeed in the age of digital transformation, their approach to content marketing and marketing content must mature and evolve. (Tweet this!)

-Henry Bruce, VP of product marketing

19. Brands will talk a lot about delivering a frictionless content experience to their consumers by analyzing online and offline behavior. But the key phrase here is “talk a lot about” because the majority of brands are years away from successfully tackling this challenge. (Tweet this!)

-Syd Alperowicz, senior product manager

20. There will be an excess of founders posting thought leadership videos on LinkedIn. A lot of it will sound vaguely Vaynerchuk-ian, and a lot more will sound like two-minute TED talks. (Tweet this!)

-Colton Cox, outreach associate

21. As Fortune 1000 CMOs learn of the successes achieved by the likes of RBC, Morgan Stanley, Manulife, and IBM, they will accelerate the shift of marketing dollars from traditional marketing channels into content marketing. In particular, these executives will leverage content marketing platforms to drive this shift. (Tweet this!)

-Gavin Power, VP of finance

22. So many of us believe multimedia will rule, yet brands shy away from investing because of the sticker price. However, there are big payoffs to prioritizing social-first videos and graphics that deliver your messaging in a relatable and shareable way. (Tweet this!)

-Ines Tamaddon, content strategist

23. The smartest marketers will have an increased desire to completely understand the ROI behind their content programs. (Tweet this!)

-Marc Schraer, SVP of sales

24. Hot takes will cool down. Even though creators will keep manipulating algorithms and peddling clickbait, I think we’ve finally reached the threshold of fatigue. Companies that treat their audience with intelligence will gain a huge advantage when customers are ready to make a purchase. (Tweet this!)

-Jordan Teicher, editor-in-chief