5 Can’t-Miss Content Marketing Articles Jennifer Taylor December 22nd, 2015 Looking Ahead to 2016Every week we select and summarize five content marketing articles for easy skimming. The New Year is right around the corner, so this week we rounded up a few posts that will help you with your 2016 content marketing strategy! 16 Insiders Weigh In On Digital Marketing in 2016 [Marketing Dive]→ Find out what the experts are thinking as they plan for 2016.Marketers will have to adapt to the increasingly smartphone-dominant consumer base with content that is optimized for mobile.Brands will ignore “Big Data” and seek out relevant “Little Data” that actually matters to their business objective and translates into solutions and actionable results. Data will help advertisers solve complex challenges to measuring success, such as connecting online activities with offline action.2016 will force marketers to redefine “video” content - live video and streaming experiences will become more powerful (and essential to community-building). The resurgence of Podcasting will create new storytelling opportunities for brands.What Content Marketing Will Look Like in 2016: 40+ Predictions [Content Marketing Institute]→ Content Marketing is an important sector in the marketing sphere, but it isn’t a static concept. What will it look like in the New Year?In 2016, video will take its rightful place as the petri dish of great content marketing. - Jay BaerAs new media like podcasting and interactive experiences become more important, brands will have to push the boundaries of creativity to stay relevant. - Jay AcunzoCompanies will become less siloed and 2016 will mark the collapse of barriers between marketing functions. - Michael GerardUsers now expect personalized and hyper-relevant content delivered to them wherever they are engaging. - Amanda TodorovichConsumers will reach digital overload, and will look to digest content offline. As audiences start “disconnecting” marketers will have to become more efficient and effective to capitalize on their audience’s limited online time. - Cathy McPhillipsWhat We Searched for in 2015, and What That Means for Marketers [Think With Google]→ What search trends defined 2015, and what does this mean for content creation in 2016?Micro-moments, instances when people act on a need for information or entertainment, are rich opportunities for brands to engage with audiences.In 2015 mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. In 2016 marketers must be ready with content optimized for mobile.In 2016 marketers must anticipate the ‘micro-moments’ for consumers in their category and ensure their brand is ready to help when they arise. Consumers are looking to know, go, do, watch, or buy swiftly - mobile experiences must be “fast and frictionless.” Some of Google’s top searches included Star Wars, Paris attacks, Adele, water on Mars, the Volkswagen scandal, the migrant crisis, Cecil the Lion, Women’s World Cup, and black lives matter. The Secret to Measuring Value, Not Volume [ScribbleLive]→ 67% of marketers named measurement as the top area they need to invest in this year.Creating operational efficiency can save you time, maintain cost control, and increase your ROI.Break down the barriers between departments, work together, and save money by having user-generated content (UGC) double as market research and testing.Customer service can be costly for organizations, but the right content can save a brand time and money.Don’t be the victim of a vanity metric. Make sure you’re not just tracking page clicks, but actually analyzing what content is pulling your buyers through the funnel. Remember that it’s ok (and encouraged) to change your measurement strategy as you better understand your own goals and target audience.How to Turn First-Time Holiday Buyers into Loyal Customers [HubSpot]→ Find out how brands can leverage their holiday success and ride it into the New Year.Be responsive and transparent; catch emails, social media posts, phone calls, and comments to build a relationship and encourage return customers.Be ready with information before they even ask - show new ways a product can be used, share tutorials, or suggest upgrades and accessories. Take a few extra steps (like providing decorative gift wrap) to show first-time buyers that you appreciate them.Get ready for post-holiday returns. Make sure your policy is clear and always try to provide a solution that leaves your customer feeling positive about your company.Gently follow up with customers after the holidays to remain top of mind.