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November 15, 2014


(SlideShare) Trends, Innovations and the Future of Smart Content Marketing

by Tom De Baere

follow the frogConductive Ink, Big ass content, Robot writers, kinetic text motion graphics and marketing apps.

Those sound as the future, but they are not.

Which content marketing trends are on the verge of breakthrough?

Coca Cola, Cisco, Kraft Foods and many more have shown that content marketing is not just a hype type of marketing. For them it is considered modern marketing in todays world where digital and the internet surrounds our buyers.

Facebook has made numerous changes in 2014, ranging from Facebook Zero, and halting “click-bait headlines”  and “like-gating”. Also Google has changed their algorithm with Panda and Hummingbird, and Twitter is preparing itself to start filtering for relevance.

All these social network leaders are implementing measures to make sure the content explosion is not harming their users, by making sure users get relevant and qualitative updates in their newsfeed and search results.

Because of these changes in the digital and social bazaar, content marketing is rapidly becoming the default marketing tactic for the years to come.

But content marketing is changing rapidly, and marketers must go with the flow, and keep experimenting with new tactics, content formats, tools and technology.

This is why I have created a Slideshare presentation to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the land of content marketing!

10+2 Trends in Content Marketing

In this Slideshare I have collected some of the biggest trends that I noticed in 2014, along with some crazy and maybe inspiring innovations in the land of content marketing.

  1. Planning content along the customer life-cycle: content marketers today are more conscious about planning content along the needs of buyers.
  2. Automated content distribution: sophisticated marketing platforms are capable of detecting where our buyers are located along the buying cycle, after which “buffers” of content (awareness, consideration, buying) are provided to our buyers.
  3. Running content marketing as a business: agile marketing techniques and  scrum methodologies are being implemented in marketing teams. They measure conversions i.s.o. engagement and try to build dashboards that provide end-to-end insight into the performance of marketing activities. To do this, they outgrow Google Analytics and move into smarter tools like, marketing automation suites or full marketing clouds from Adobe, Oracle or IBM.
  4. Personalized and authentic: CRM and ERP system data are used to provide more contextual relevant marketing to prospective buyers or customers.
  5. New content tactics: “big content” like the Ultimate Guides from Marketo or Unbound are definitely a trend, in which they are used to identify and track buyer behavior on your website.
  6. Robot Writers like Wordsmith from Automated Insights & Narrative Science are being used today by Times, Wikipedia, Forbes, Yahoo, AP and many more. They automate the writing of earning reports, automatic analysis, summary or conclusion writing. Unfortunately there is also a dark side of robot writing, in which CIA, NSA, Isreal etc are using robot writers to create content floods and social media wars to manipulate public opinions or share prices.
  7. Differentiating and special storytelling in which McDonalds Our Food, Your Questions, Dove with Real Beauty Sketches and Rainforest Alliance Follow the Frog (you have to see that one, it’s my favorite!) provide excellent examples by being different, by giving themselves the permission to make the story bigger, but at the same time understanding what it means to be open and authentic (thanks to Velocity Partners for their insight in this).
  8. Outbound is back, not in its regular “disruption” way of doing marking. Email remains key for marketers, but today outbound is used to promote content, and not products. Native advertising is added to the list of outbound tactics of content marketers.
  9. Build communities around brands: while the amount of content is growing with a staggering rate, also due to “wanna-be” content marketers and agencies, at a certain moment it will become increasingly difficult to reach your audience. Smart content marketers realize they need to build and own their community, and this not on rented land (social media) but on owned community sites.
  10. Content itself is changing to become more visual and interactive: due to Google’s search algorithm updates SEO is of a lesser focus of content marketers. Content is changing towards more visual and even dynamic screen experiences using marketing apps. These marketing apps from SnapApp &SnapSurveys, iOn Interactive, Adobe Voice, Ceros, and Exposure are making the life of marketers easier by providing


And the crazy geeky innovations I promised:
11. Conductive Ink and Playable printed posters respond to touch, becoming interactive offline content, used by Becks Beer on the streets.
12. Youtility, as Jay Baer called it, with examples like Lowe’s Fix in Six on Vine and an stain removal app from Clorox, and a GPS bracelet for children from Nivea.

If you liked this presentation, please share this blog post on your favorite social media network, or simply use the the ClickToTweet button below. Thanks for sharing!

Warm regards,

Tom De Baere