certainly wasn't the only one to proclaim 2012 would be the year of content and content strategy
, but it's always nice to see your predictions confirmed.
So, what are the emerging trends for the rest of 2012 and the upcoming year?
1. More specialized jobs.
We are already seeing organizations hiring for more specialized marketing positions, such as content marketers. The reason is simple: Creating, curating and promoting content is becoming the centerpiece of today's marketing and communication strategies.
Moving forward, there will be a surge in even more specialized jobs within content marketing itself, such as video producers, infographic specialists, researchers, and bloggers, to name a few.
2. More content curation tools and modules.
Creating fresh, high-caliber content is key, but that doesn't mean all of it has to be original. Whatever your industry or field, there is a plethora of great content just waiting to be shared.
Curating content can be a big job, so it's no surprise there has been a significant emergence of curation tools such as Scoop.it, Scribit and Bundlr. Look for new content curation tools enter the market next year.
3. More collaboration.
In 2013, we are certain to see more cross-departmental collaboration when it comes to creating content. My company has always been a proponent of collaboration and engagement, which is why team members from all departments contribute content.
In the last quarter alone, 17 employees wrote one or more blog posts. Our vice president of engineering said it best when he pointed out that "everybody is a marketer." He's right; content is everybody's business.
Everybody in your organization has a different perspective, voice, and area of expertise. It's time to feature and take advantage of your team's diversity.
4. Create once, publish everywhere (COPE).
As I mentioned above, content is at the heart of your marketing and communications strategy. Therefore, you want to be able to use it to its full extent.
This is where COPE comes into play. In other words, the ability to produce a single piece of content in multiple formats (mobile, text, PDF, etc.) and post it to many different destinations (multiple pages, sites, and even Web servers) is more important than ever.
An important consideration when selecting a content management system (CMS) will be how easy the system allows you to share content across multiple sites.
5. Different versions of the same content.
Speaking of having multiple outputs for a single piece of content, next year we will see an increasing number of sites with multiple versions of the same content tailored to specific audiences.
The reason for this trend is that communication professionals strive to hit just the right tone to ensure content resonates with different segments of their target audiences. For example, Emory University's news center has two versions of each story—one for the public and one for the press.
6. Agile marketing.
In addition to content marketing, a buzzword phrase of 2012 has been "agile marketing." In a nutshell, agile marketing means you track and measure all of your efforts, analyze the results to determine what works, and adjust your strategy based on your findings. There's no doubt there will be an increased emphasis on agile methodologies in 2013, which means more metrics.
Organizations of all sizes will want to measure how well their content performs. One aspect of this is to A/B test your content so you can detect trends and your target audience's preferences, which empowers you to create even more targeted content. The ability to associate all your marketing efforts with one or more campaigns allows you to measure the success of your content and continue to produce even more targeted and effective content.
7. Stronger focus on content strategy.
While most organizations have acknowledged that content marketing needs to be at the forefront of their marketing strategies, the majority have not yet implemented a content strategy. The good news is that most are at least considering developing one.
My company has been an evangelist of content strategy for a long time, and is convinced more companies will either develop internal tools or look at external solutions to help them develop one. After all, as organizations continue to invest in both technical (CMS, analytics, social media) and human resources (Web teams, content managers, and contributors) to manage their content, it only makes sense to put resources toward the actual content.
It's never too early to start planning for what's ahead. What are your predictions for 2013?
Kat Liendgens is CEO of Hannon Hill. A version of this article originally appeared on the Hannon Hill blog.