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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2011

Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2011
Have you been gazing into the 2011 crystal ball and wondering what's ahead? 100 of my fellow social media and content marketing experts have done so. The resulting predictions for 2011 have been captured in Content Marketing Institute's and Junta42's Online Magazine of Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2011.

I hope you'll read through them all.

Here are a few of the predictions I found particularly intriguing:

Page 7: Katie McCaskey refers to 'small is big'. Sally Falkow addresses the importance of relevant content.

Page 8: Chris Brown is bullish on blogs and QR codes.

Page 9: Nate Riggs highlights the importance of company culture and engaging all those within your organization.

Page 14: Arnie Kuenn focuses on content as a key business marketing strategy.

Page 17: Brian Solis describes 'information curation' and the critical role of the social media curator. So does Gabrielle Rosario on page 26.

Page 18: Dan Blank states that "content creation and distribution in 2011 will all be about relationships, and establishing credibility and trust within communities."

Page 26: Ann Handley cautions us that supreme content "...shares or solves, and doesn't shill..."

Page 27: Drew McLellan believes that small businesses will realize how powerful content marketing is.

Page 28: Kevin Dugan  predicts the end of silos and the blending of marketing and technology.

Page 30: Paul Gillin urges giving away useful information...

You'll also enjoy Joe Pulizzi's favorite predictions in The Best Content Marketing Predictions for 2011.

My predictions appear on Page 21.  I share them with you here.

Content marketing allows businesses to connect with potential customers, develop relationships with them and identify for them solutions that often prequalify them for doing business with you. No surprise if you’ve been paying attention to the chaos in the marketplace, the diminishing success of traditional based advertising programs and appreciate how customers are increasingly time constrained, marketing-skeptical and information overloaded. Savvy brand marketers have noticed and taken action.

They have listened intensely to their markets and customers, uncovered critical issues for which they have solutions, and successfully created content where fluff and false claims have been replaced with meaningful, engaging and even entertaining material in the words customers use. They are convincing upper management that content marketing provides a direct connection to customers and that success is a function of corporate buy-in.

Despite the pressure to create meaningful content, the more content marketing is adopted throughout an organization, becoming part of its culture, the more content creation can be distributed, too. Zappos comes to mind.

2011 will see more and better integration of content marketing within organizations. As organizations adopt the customer-focused attitude resulting from content marketing, they will expose the voice of the customer to the entire organization. In so doing, more people in the organization will be drawn into participating in the content creation process and the customer-feedback loop. In fact, they will realize how it adds value and richness to their roles in the organization! Brand marketers may curate this content, but they will no longer be solely responsible for its creation.

In terms of content distribution, every organization regardless of size that is serious about creating rich, relevant content with the purpose of connecting with potential customers should give serious thought to distributing that content via a blog. If you haven’t yet launched one for sharing your content, make 2011 the year to address that shortcoming!

Beyond your blog, with the increased awareness and appreciation for customers you will notice a greater sensitivity and willingness to ask and respond to customers’ preferences for how they want to receive content. They may surprise you!

What's your prediction for 2011? And which predictions in Content Marketing Institute's Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2011 do you find most intriguing?

P.S.: Since we're on the subject of 2011 predictions, you might enjoy Five B2B Trends for 2011 from FastCompany.com. Trends 4 and 5 are my favorites. Can you guess why?
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