Can Content Marketers Predict the Future?

In the health and wellness space, January may be the month of resolutions, but in marketing it’s the month of predictions. Back in 2017, the Content Marketing Institute asked industry experts to predict how content marketing would change by 2022. Five years later, we wanted to see how well these predictions held up.

Read on to see which content marketing predictions have panned out and how to capitalize on the winners.

Prediction 1: The Next Generation of Personalization Will Arrive

A personalized reader experience is prevalent in email marketing today. However, we haven’t quite achieved a personalized website experience for each reader yet, as one expert boldly predicted five years ago.

Personalization will continue to be key in the coming year to capture readers’ attention and make your content stand out. Keeping your audience(s)’ unique needs and characteristics in mind is paramount to creating a personalized experience that resonates with them.

Prediction 2: Written Content Will Recede as Livestreaming, Podcasts and Digital Tools Ascend

Marketing experts predicted that short, actionable and practical content that provides utility to readers would edge out lengthy, explanatory content. For example, our “Ultimate Guide to Creating a Content Calendar” and free template don’t just explain how to create a content calendar but give you the tools to do it. While we don’t believe long-form content or blogs have become less prevalent or important to a well-rounded content strategy, other media (podcasts and video) have definitely proven their worth.

Additionally, customizing the format of your content for various platforms and audiences — website, email, social media, podcast, video, etc. — is a trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Prediction 3: Advances in AI Will Shake Up Marketing Head Counts

One expert predicted that AI-based marketing platforms would replace people. But this hasn’t materialized, and according to data from IAB Europe and Xaxis, only 6% of digital marketing agencies say they plan to use AI to replace people.

Today, content marketers are essential to providing valuable insights and guiding an organization’s content strategy and direction, which may also be based on insights gleaned from artificial intelligence.

Prediction 4: Voice Search Will Become a Priority

Over the last five years, voice search has boomed as people purchased smart speakers and continued to rely on their smartphone assistants. In 2021, it’s estimated that 122.7 million Americans used voice search. Additionally, 71% of consumers prefer voice searches over typing.

Content marketers need to continue to take this into consideration as they create content. How are people phrasing their voice searches? What information are they looking for? Create content accordingly.

Prediction 5: Data Will Be Scrutinized, Not Just Collected

Another prediction from 2017 that rang true is that marketers would pay attention to more data to better understand audiences. Today, tools abound to help you learn more about your audience — from more-detailed-than-ever social media and website analytics to your own CRM. Learn how to harness this data to improve your content marketing program by creating and distributing content that delivers for your audience.