As we wrap up 2015, it is time for SEJ’s monthly recap of the best content marketing news in our industry. At least, in my humble opinion. December is usually a pretty slow month with lots of down time for the various winter holidays. But there are still several great posts you should check out if you want to stay on top of all things content marketing.
The articles I chose for this month’s wrap up include new trends for the new year, how to prove the ROI of content marketing, and a look at how content marketing has grown up in the last year – and how it will continue to grow.
50 Stats About 9 Emerging Content Marketing Trends for 2016 by Gaurav Kumar
This time of the year is always filled with predictions for the new year. Everyone wants to be on the cutting edge, so it makes sense. But, unlike most prediction articles, this article on SEMRush contains a good deal of statistics to back up the predictions
A few things you can expect in the coming year? More mobile (as expected), a rise in user-generated content, and an increase in influencer marketing.
Read this if: You want to peer into the 2016 content marketing crystal ball.
Are you Creating Meaningful Content by Brian Clark
By far, the biggest challenge I see content marketers facing is how to create that mythical ‘better’ content. We’ve been hearing it for years – “Quality is better than quantity.” “Create better content, not more content!” “The key to content marketing is creating content your audience actually wants to read.”
It seems so simple.
Except it isn’t. How do you define ‘better’ or ‘more valuable’?
I love it when articles come along and actually explain how you can make your content better. Brian Clark does a fantastic job in this article of giving writers and content producers tips for creating meaningful, useful content. And it starts with creating meaningful content with a purpose.
Read this if: You are tired of being told to create ‘better’ content without being told how to do it.
Content Curation Resolutions: 8 Tools to Try in 2016 by Jodi Harris
Curating content is one of the simplest ways to create valuable content your audience will actually care about with minimal effort. The fact that content curation is a pretty simple strategy makes some writers feel like they are cheating — which I totally get.
However, curating content isn’t about being lazy, it’s about exposing your audience to the very best content – even if you didn’t write it yourself.
This article on Content Marketing Institute offers eight different tools you can use to discover that valuable content you want to share with your audience. She’s got a lot of great suggestions on tools to try. ( I would also add Feedly, which is what I use to find all the fine articles I share in this monthly roundup!)
Read this if: You’ve heard about content curation, but it makes you feel icky, or you want to be more effective at it.
Our 13 Best Content Marketing Tips…Ever! By Dan Shewan
This article from the WordStream blog is full of great advice if you are looking to start the new year off strong. Some of it might seem pretty basic, (“Repurpose Your Content”), but there are some really useful gems including tips like “Reuse Your Best Headlines in PPC ads” and “Start Content Remarketing”.
Read this if: You want actionable tips on how to get better at content marketing and are tired of the “Write quality, not quantity” discussion.
How To Prove Content Marketing ROI For Your Business by Rohan Ayyar
You don’t need me to tell you that content marketing is kind of a big deal. Most of us are well aware that it’s a thing. Where many of us struggle is proving the value of content marketing. Managers and clients want numbers. They want to know where their hard-earned money is going and how you are helping it grow. Sometimes, it is really difficult to explain the value of content marketing to clients who are used to more traditional ROI setups.
If those are areas you struggle with, this article on jeffbullas.com is one you will want to read. Rohan breaks down how to make sure you are optimizing your content, how to make sure revenue gets attributed to content correctly, and what data you should be looking at.
Read this if: Your boss or clients have ever asked you “But, what’s the ROI?” and you didn’t have a good answer.
Bonus Pick: Ann Handley Content Marketing Grows Up: My 2016 Prediction
I love Ann Handley’s writing style, but she doesn’t publish very often. (Quality not quantity, remember?) This pithy piece outlines her belief that content marketing is finally growing up and beginning to mature. Definitely worth the read!
The Wrap Up
I hope you sent 2015 with a bang and are ready to get 2016 started strong! These articles are the perfect start to planning your content marketing strategy for the new year.
I am starting 2016 on maternity leave, so I am leaving the January wrap up in the very capable hands of SEJ’s Assistant Editor, Aki Libo-on. I wish you all a fantastic start to 2016!
Featured Illustration: Created by Paulo Bobita
In Post Image: Shutterstock | chattanongzen