We see it every December: scores of marketing blog posts that highlight what expert marketers think will happen in the new year. Each year I find these reports entertaining, informative, sometimes silly, and often insightful. Nowhere is this truer than with Content Marketing Institute’s annual list of content marketing predictions, brought to us by the king of content, Joe Pulizzi.
But, this year is different, for two reasons:
- Joe is retiring from Content Marketing Institute, and this is his last yearly list of predictions. I’m sad to see him step down, but I certainly respect the path he’s talking. Have a look at his recent blog post outlining the content predictions of 2018 from his peers; good stuff Joe.
- While many themes come to light when reading through the 2018 list of 60+ predictions, one jumped out for me – “the year of the customer.”
While marketing is always, or always should be, about the customer, it is interesting to see so many marketing leaders predict that the customer will be a strong focus for 2018. I don’t believe this means marketers have forgotten customer focus; I believe it means there’s a renewed focus on the importance of remembering to whom our marketing is intended. With that, some of my favorite quotes from the report follows:
Customer focused content marketing predictions for 2018
“2018 will be the year of audiences. Brands will look to the increasing value of the audiences they have – and those that they want to have – as the driver for their strategy to create and distribute content.”
– Robert Rose, @Robert_Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor, Content Marketing Institute
“Marketers will work harder to understand more clearly who their customer is NOT, so they can focus more on what their true customers want and need. This will lead not just to more microsegmentation, but also to a better blend between evergreen and ephemeral content.”
– Tamsen Webster, @tamadear, Keynote Speaker, Idea Whisperer, Presentation Strategist, The Red Thread
“In 2018, more content marketers will stop chasing what’s new and start focusing on what their audiences actually want. Expect even more emphasis on refreshing, repurposing, and repackaging existing content. That’s not a bad thing – sometimes the song really does remain the same, even when the instruments change. And the extra value derived from refreshing the golden oldies – audience trust, increased engagement, or actual revenue – will underwrite more experimental pieces that serve as early indicators of changing sentiments and interests.”
– Kim Moutsos, @KMoutsos, VP, Editorial, Content Marketing Institute
“In 2018, we will fearlessly cut the noise in our marketing and hyperfocus inward on lower-volume, higher-quality content guided by the steady feedback and expressed needs of our audiences – rather than methodically saturating our channels and looking outward to find best practices, formulas, and advice.”
– Trish Witkowski, @foldingfanatic, Chief Folding Fanatic, Foldfactory
“I think you’ll see more brands purchasing existing content outlets with relevant audiences, as opposed to building their own (which is pretty tough).”
– Tom Webster, @webby2001, VP, Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research
Whatever you have planned for content marketing in 2018, don’t forget your customer. If you know me, you know that when I sit down to talk about content, I usually start with two questions:
- Who are you trying to reach with content? (customer)
- What are you trying to achieve? (goals)
I always recommend starting with that as a base for all content marketing, and I predict that if you start 2018 with those things in mind, you’ll have a great year!