1. Content marketing predictions sure to come true
For this week’s show, Robert and I run through a number of content marketing predictions we expect to come true in the upcoming year:
Content automation will become a big thing in 2017 (09:00): As the necessary technology is now firmly in place, marketers will look to use artificial intelligence products to automate the creation, publishing, and management of content like never before. However, this means the industry will require some significant education in the proper role these tools should play, so that they improve the value and impact of content — not serve as a stand-in for sound strategic practices.
Agency holding companies will get in on the media company M&A action (22:46):There is a battle brewing between agencies and the content studios, which will heat up when a bigger agency holding company discovers that it can buy a major media player — like a television network, a publishing company, or a network of sites — and transform itself into a one-stop shop that can handle everything from media buys and placements, to account management, creative services, distribution, and beyond.
B2B brands will step up their influencer marketing game in a big way (32:03): B2B businesses will increasingly look to influencer marketing techniques as a means of driving their content forward. Finally catching up to their B2C counterparts, these companies will begin to understand how attaching a recognizable name to their content can help extend their reach and credibility, and will soon recognize that their own team members may not always have the requisite skills or high-profile status to move the needle for them in this way.
The top 25 U.S. companies will be buying up big media (16:53): According to an article released by the Associated Press, of the $1.8 trillion in cash that’s sitting in U.S. corporate accounts, half of it belongs to just 25 of the 2,000 companies tracked by S&P Global Ratings. With this in mind, I’m altering my annual prediction about brands buying media companies: While I still believe these acquisitions will be a growing trend, for the most part, it will be these top 25 companies that will be making all the deals.
A significantly greater number of brands will start to underwrite series programming on Netflix and Amazon Prime (28:43): Bigger brands, like Starbucks and Marriott, are the most likely candidates to spark the trend, as they are already creating high-quality content through their own content studios. But once we start to hit the tipping point, even smaller companies will recognize the tremendous opportunities involved in distributing their brand content on these popular channels.
Content recommendation engines (37:20) will grind to a halt: Media brands are beginning to place more scrutiny on how everything they publish contributes to the overall quality of the user experience they provide. As these businesses start to scrub their sites free of the lower-level content surrounding their most valuable assets, recommendation engines will take a hit. If companies wish to keep these tools in play, they will need to pivot in terms of the content they use in these efforts.