Straddling the New Year we’ve seen a slew of articles on what the future of content marketing holds for us - 2014: The year content marketing finally grows up?, The Future of Content: Upcoming Trends in 2014How brands can move beyond content marketingOnline Content Marketing in 2014: 5 Big Shifts in StoreBrands Should Stop Trying to Be PublishersBeyond The Infographic: Content Marketing Trends For 2014 …

For consumer brands, right now in the real world, content marketing is about self-publishing branded content online – primarily in digital magazines and websites/microsites, and on video sites, blogs and social networks.  But what about the future?

So here’s a distillation of content on the future of content marketing – yep it’s a bit meta…

  1. Content marketing will adopt the hard commercialism and focus of the publishing industry; measurement against hard commercial objectives and outcomes, and not exposure numbers or shares
  2. Content marketing will become more audience-centric by addressing audience demand rather than brands engaging in random acts of content creation
  3. Content marketing will become more useful to audiences, adding value with unique helpful content
  4. Content marketing will be used to generate consumer/customer insight – using content analytics to identify preferences, needs and interests
  5. Content marketing will become more personalised – customised to individual needs, tastes and preferences
  6. Content marketing will help save retargeting from itself – retargeting with branded content not creepy ads
  7. Content marketing will be used for ‘pretargeting’ – helping people discover new products and brands
  8. Content marketing will become more expensive – as content clutter increases  the cost and time needed to earn and keep attention
  9. Content marketing will expand from personal, mobile and PC screens into the store – kiosks, interactive screens and POS stations
  10. Content marketing will see the rise of curating published content, rather than publishing itself (offload the work/blame – whilst keeping the credit)
  11. Content marketing will be increasingly outsourced to professional creatives; creatives produce, brands sponsor and publish
  12. Content marketing will evolve into ‘Contribution Marketing’ – where brands cut through clutter consumer indifference by making a meaningful contribution to individuals and society
  13. Content marketing will rediscover the power of email and the email newsletter
  14. Content marketing will adopt a ‘less in more’ approach by both summarising and synthesising information into short-form digestible formats, and producing less content but with bigger impact
  15. Content marketing will involve partnerships between brands and publishers to co-create sponsored content that moves beyond the ad buy and ‘native ads’ that consumers ignore
  16. Content marketing will become more immersive, interactive and responsive – every (rich media) asset should be tested every screen size
  17. Content marketing will become more codified – obeying the rules of good content  (Does it answer the “Why Should I Care” test?, Does it surprise you? Does it have universal appeal?Does it generate interest? Is it new — something you haven’t seen before? Is it different from what your competition is offering? Is your content being measured systemically?)
  18. Content marketing will involve more ‘localisation’ – translating and adapting content into local market languages
  19. Content marketing partnerships will evolve as brands share the content production and promotion load with each other an media brands
  20. Content marketing will become more formalised, with new roles such as Director of Content, Chief Content Officer , Content Ops, Centres of Content Excellence and content teams of brand journalists/corrspondants emerging

If you want more – check out the CMI’s 50 Content Marketing predictions.