In honor of the fact that you’ve probably only just gotten back into the swing of things at work after the turkey day holiday, take a load off, kick up your feet, and catch up on what’s been churning in the world of content marketing.  Oh, that’s right, it’s Friday Fix Day.  So, we have more predictions and forecasts for 2015 relative to content marketing and content budgets.  We also have some good tips and guidance on the essentialness of having a targeted content approach.  There’s also an interesting exploration of content marketing’s origins and a how-to on explaining content marketing to the content clueless.

dart board

Three Golden Rules to Keep Your Content Marketing on Target
If you’re treating your content strategy like a game of blindfolded darts, then chances are, you’re missing your target, which is surprisingly common (missing the target, not playing blindfolded darts).  According to Andy Crestodina, it’s easy to strip away the metaphorical blindfold when it comes to your content strategy –just have a documented plan.  To help you hit the bullseye every time, Andy provides three golden templates to follow.   

Content Marketing is a Strategic Solution to a Strategic Problem
Continuing with the same vein of thought as in Andy’s article about the golden rules, Michael Brenner expands on his own way with what he says we could consider the “7 Cs of Content Marketing”.  At the heart of his approach to make content a strategic solution to a strategic problem, one must first define (target) the problem and go from there (Michael helps with this aspect of the process by posing nine questions to answer about yourself.).

The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends that Will Dominate 2015
Jayson DeMers is one content marketing pundit who is usually on target.  Here, he forecasts what we’re most likely to see in 2015, and it looks like there will be smoother, more integrated approaches taken in advertising (which makes sense given the paradigm shift toward storytelling).  He also anticipates that content marketing budgets will hit new record highs, which we certainly hope is true and that those numbers continue to rise.

Despite Surging Popularity, Content Marketing Budgets are a Fraction of 2015 Budgets
So, even though content marketing budgets will actually increase (by as much as 34% from 2014), they are still only a fraction (as low as a quarter in some cases) of a company’s marketing budget.  Michael Sebastian explores this curiosity particularly given that so many acknowledge just how important content marketing is. 


Moving Content Marketing to Another Level in 2015
Who else agrees content marketing predictions for 2015 are some of the most entertaining aspects of rounding out the calendar year (well, that and someone always puts together a compilation of “the year’s funniest cat / baby / people falling” YouTube videos)?  Brent Pohlman chimes in with his forecast that the way to advance content marketing in 2015 is going to be to cross marketing channels (think digital displays and interactive brochures among other things). 

The Key to Successful Content Marketing? More Promotion, Less Content
Before you instantly reject the idea that less content could actually lead to more success, see where Cynthia Boris is coming from. She builds on the axiom, “If you build it, they will come,” which is only partially true particularly in our world where fabulous content is being built so frequently and so well that people don’t know where to look first.  Because of the saturation of frequently built content, content that is promoted is what’s getting the most attention, so if you’re not addressing promoting content, then you may want to add that to your list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Win the Email Marketing ‘Hunger Games’: Five Tips to Survive the Unsubscribe List
I don’t know about you, but last week, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my inbox may as well have been the stampede sequence from Jumanji the way sales, promotions, and four-hour only deals flooded in (or more currently, it was like that scene from the first Harry Potter film with the owl post).  Thus, it makes total sense that Seamas Egan equates the marketer’s experience of not being deleted to something like surviving Hunger Games.  So, as a marketer fighting to “be the one”, how do you win the holiday marketing Hunger Games?  See what Seamas has to say.

The Original Content Marketing: An Unlikely Source
One day, a lovable tyke (freelance writer) will tug on your shirt and ask you, “Where does content marketing come from?”  And, now, when that day comes, thanks to Anne Handley-Fierce, you will have answer that will put your writer at ease about writing content.  So, while John Deere’s 1895 farming magazine, The Furrow, is considered the first-ever content marketing, Anne shares her first exposure from the Anne of Green Gables series involving fictitious Anne’s somewhat unintentional experience writing content. 

How to Explain Content Marketing to Non-Content People
Christine Warner’s article could not come at a better time because I recently encountered two people who looked at me like I called them muggles when I started talking about content marketing.  One of these awesome people is my mom, a small business owner who –when I was talking about social media-- asked how much it costs to have a Twitter and an Instagram account.  (Parents are so cute.)  In all seriousness, the message here is to never assume others know anything about content marketing; instead, read Christine’s article and have a few strategies in your back pocket for explaining what you do and why it’s important in easy-to-understand terms.

Verizon Kills Its Content Marketing Baby
You may have already heard, but in case you haven’t, Mark Bergen is spreading the word that Verizon Wireless’s content marketing venture, SugarString, suffered a case of SIDS (Sudden Internet Death Syndrome) after having only been around for two months.  A simple Google search of “SugarString Verizon” will reveal why –following a supposedly erroneous edict from the site’s editor, backlash ensued leading to the inevitable demise of SugarString.  It’s definitely a scenario worth reading more into.

Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn