5 Main Takeaways from “100+ Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions 2013.”

crystal ball future
Even social & content has it’s own soothsayers!
. . . because 100 is just too many!

#1 Visual Content de-thrones the written word.

Great news for photographers; a little scary for writers. Nonetheless, plenty of marketing experts believe written content MUST expand, particularly for brands that need to tell their stories better by illustrating their unique selling propositions and marketing messages through helpful, engaging content. One photo does not a “how-to” make! This said, one expert did mention that putting words and pictures together to tell a story or provide helpful information creates a “warm atmosphere . . . a home run.” Makes sense to this content writer . . .  

#2 Rise of the NICHE social media site.

This implies the fall of Facebook, an inevitability many of the 100 content marketing experts agreed upon. Wow! A social media site that focuses on hiking in California or my favorite guilty pleasure, Celebrity Ghost Stories, would be awesome. But for now there’s:

  • CareZ: for the social philanthropist
  • Dogster/Catster: for the networking pet owner
  • My Last Wish: a new iOS APP that connects people around the world based on what they want to do before they die
  • UnTappd: for the social beer connoisseur
  • Athlinks: for those who marathon, cycle, swim and otherwise push themselves to achieve physical goals while they’re NOT watching Celebrity Ghost Stories.

Facebook kinda did turn into a kid-bragging niche, a sin for which I am guilty as well.

#3 Demise of the Infographic

They cry is unanimous: “death to infographics!” What did the little infographic ever do to them? Underwhelm, I think. This mish-mash of cut and paste and a few words just didn’t prove itself an exciting enough story-telling vehicle.  

#4 Brand Journalism Goes Hardcore?

Could the content marketer’s dream quote, “every brand a publisher”morph into “every brand a freaking New York Times?” Perhaps. Consider this quote from John Earndardt, director of corporate communications at Cisco:

 “I think more companies will move towards Cicso’s model at www.newsroom.cisco.com/take-share-engage  where we produce great technology content from brand name journalists about the topics we care about.  We then ask other outlets (bloggers, media and more) to syndicate this content on their sites. We aren’t driven by eyeballs, others are and we are happy to provide quality content (we only ask for citation). Nissan is also doing great things at www.nissannews.com  and Intel at www.intelfreepress.com.”

Maybe great for the big guys, but small business is still mostly trying to tell its own brand stories.

#5 Content Marketing Cannot Be Spam Baloney Used to Manipulate Google.

Yes we all learned this with the Google Panda/Penguin updates, but analytics have revealed that web surfers respond only to content with solid value. As Evan Scott of Terrain Strategic Integrated Marketing explains, “if [Peter] Drucker is right that innovation and marketing are business’ two main functions, then . . . marketing without innovation is snake oil; innovation without marketing is hobby.” A chilling quote for both the innovators and the marketers if you ask me. The funniest quote came from Doug Kessler, creative director and co-founder of Velocity, but you have to be something of a content marketing insider to get the last line that made me LOL. “Slideshare romps. Lame infographics die back – find new bandwagon * Facebook starts slide; niche social networks rise-rethink social strategy * Marketing automation market consolidates- prepare for content marketing platforms * Google sucked into world’s biggest anti-trust case – SEO playbook changes * Internal content teams grow; skills gap widens – invest in talent * CMI bought by major player; Pulizzi buys NY Jets; orange retired as a color.” Will you be watching as Google gets sucked into world’s biggest anti-trust case? Surely, that process is overdue. Maybe it’s in the works right now.  

What do you think? What are your content marketing plans in 2013?

This article did get me excited about content’s future (again), however.  Particularly when Six Estate Content Director Katie McCaskey reminded me that, thanks to Apple’s iBooks program, eBooks will surge again and the business blog is NOT dead, “because a solid blog with original, niche news is a centralized place for all marketers to build their brand through content.” Barbra Gago, head of Global Demand Generation at TIBCO even proclaimed that, “sponsored content will thrive as the #1 advertising engine.” Nice! Ready to start a content marketing program in your business? Informed Web Content can help! Where do-it-yourselfers appreciate our Social Media Springboard package where we model the first blog posts, and then publicize them through social media channels and more, those who don’t even want to deal with creating their own content can depend on us to deliver the blog posts that pinpoint their clients’ pain points in cogent and engaging prose. Feel free to call us at 858-248-0667 or contact us today!

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