Content Marketing Predictions for 2016


Note. Predictions have been extracted & freely classified from CMI eBook 40+ Predictions on Content Marketing in 2016

The Big Picture

While we will see shining examples of content marketing magic in action, the sheer majority of brands will continue to crash and burn with their content creation and distribution efforts. Simply put, most brands resist telling a truly differentiated story; and even those that do aren’t consistent or patient enough to build loyal audiences over time. @JoePulizzi

Everyone is inundated with content, so 2016 will be the year of standing out. There will be more creative campaigns. Companies will get smarter about creation. They will work with influencers and media outlets to distribute their content. And they will finally be able to show a real return on investment as it relates to content marketing. @ginidietrich

2016 is going to be the year of the brand newsroom. While we’ve seen a few big brands adopt this model already, small and medium businesses will begin to see the benefit of creating their own newsrooms. It’s also likely these brand newsrooms will be staffed by traditional journalists. As marketers realize publishing can be a punishing discipline, they’ll see the wisdom of hiring people who know how to deliver great stories in a timely fashion. @globalcopywrite

After growing interest for five years, 2016 will be the year newsjacking goes mainstream. For those who don’t yet use the strategy, newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business. @dmscott

Evolution of Media Companies

While some media companies (like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times) will find their footing with sponsored content/native advertising, a few other enterprise media brands will be decimated by their lack of control over native advertising, which will kill their credibility – a deficit from which they will never fully recover. @JoePulizzi

Social Media evolution

I predict the emergence of “TweetRank.” As sign-up growth slows, Twitter will boost its stock price by making ads more prominent. That means making some tweets less prominent. To decide which tweets get which treatment, there will be an algorithm. Expect to start paying for visibility on Twitter. For many brands, it will be worth it. @crestodina

Content types

All signs point to video. Whether it’s Facebook Live, video on Twitter, Periscope, Blab, Instagram, Vine, or the old standby YouTube, 2016 will be the year when video becomes a primary content marketing consideration for all brands — even B2B. This is partially because the customer appetite for video (even low-res, real-time video) is insatiable, and partially because video is the most efficient way to atomize content marketing: If you have video, you have audio. If you have video, you have text (via transcription). If you have video, you have photos. But it doesn’t work the other way around. In 2016, video will take its rightful place as the petri dish of great content marketing. @jaybaer

Live-casting will rival podcasting. @Mike_Stelzne

Account-Based Marketing

My belief is that ABM and content aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, like many other marketing disciplines, ABM requires content. It just requires a different mindset and different metrics attached to that content. Mass appeal gives way to hyper-personalized; broadcasting gives way to narrow distribution. In other words, in 2016, you’ll see more account-level content — provided, of course, you are on the target account distribution list. @jchernov

Companies and Organizations

2016 will mark the beginning of the collapse of barriers between marketing functions such as content marketing, social media teams, product marketing, marketing operations, and digital marketing teams. @michaelgerard

Businesses will hire more (and more senior-level) executives to oversee content, and will give those people purview over owned and earned media. Content is not a channel, and it can’t be siloed in the way social media, communications, media, search, or email can exist in relative isolation. @lieblink

Content Software

The content software stack will continue to evolve. Brands will be able to invest in more end-to-end content solutions, rather than multiple point solutions, which will streamline workflow and simplify investment decisions. @lieblink


I predict a massive correction in advertising budgets that will drive an increase in content marketing. This will require us to get pretty darn good at showing content marketing ROI. We’ll also see more personalization, visual content, and brand-produced entertaining content. Could 2016 be the year of brands finding a personality and sense of humor? @BrennerMichael

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics technologies to research, suggest, and optimize topics will flourish @leeodden

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