5 Can’t-Miss Content Marketing Articles Jennifer Taylor December 24th, 2015 Looking Ahead to 2016: Part 2Every week we select and summarize five content marketing articles for easy skimming. With the New Year right around the corner, we’ve decided to round up a few posts that will help you plan your 2016 content marketing strategy! (If you missed Part One of the holiday content marketing roundup, check it out here.)10 Steps Every Content Marketer Must Take in 2016 [Heidi Cohen]→ Roughly 80% of businesses will practice content marketing in 2016. Be prepared.Marketers with a documented content plan perform better. Start 2016 with a solid plan.Make sure your audience profiles outline what day-to-day moments your target audience is searching for your content in. Context is key.Start the year with a list of proposed A/B tests to determine what content works and what doesn’t.Have an email welcome series so that you can take advantage of prospects’ interest when they’re new and excited about your product.Make decisions about your content based on data, not gut reactions.Making Sense of Modern Marketing: Advice from Everette Taylor [ScribbleLive]→ Modern marketing is not static and marketers need to evolve to keep up in this fast-paced field. What will the modern marketer look like in 2016?Modern marketers need to understand the importance of analytics and how to use data to grow their companies. Make decisions based on data, not subjective analysis.Consistent discipline with data will help you track progressive growth and ensure you are satisfying your ideal users. Satisfied users will drive the most powerful form of marketing - word of mouth.Be sure to calculate the pros and cons of growing your personal brand before you start. Not every company wants an outspoken individual representing them. “Some of the best marketers I know are relative unknowns.”Marketing will continue to get more and more technical - one day it will be standard for marketers to have engineering backgrounds as well.Marketing is evolving and as a millennial you have to be on top of your game and constantly challenging yourself to learn new things (like data analysis).Why Gamers Should Be Part of Your Audience Strategy [Think With Google]→ Don’t overlook this powerful demographic in your 2016 content plan.Gaming content on YouTube is becoming a major destination for gamers and non-gamers alike during those “I-want-to-watch” moments.A survey by Google revealed that 30% of the YouTube Gamer demographics are female, and 47% of the YouTube gamers are now parents.Gamers are "uber-consumers" who are more likely to buy certain products than the general online population (such as electronics, tech, media, entertainment, and food).Gamers are highly influential and are more likely to rate and review their purchases online in front of their audience. Gamers want content from brands that entertains them (83%), taps into their passions (75%), and gives them useful information about how to use their products/services (70%).4 Hot Mobile Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016 [KissMetrics]→ In 2015 mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic. Be prepared for the shift to mobile in 2016.As social platforms become shopping centers brands will continue to blur the lines between apps, e-commerce, and social.Search engine results will display more than just web pages. Don’t be surprised to see apps also sharing a place at the SERPs table.We will see fully optimized, fine-tuned mobile search that uses third party apps to both recommend a particular product, and find it in the customer’s preferred color, size, location, and price range.Marketers will rely less on their intuition and more on data to create meaningful interactions with customers on mobile.Apps will evolve to become more feature-full in an attempt to position themselves as a lifestyle choices rather than a novelty.10 Content Marketer Game Changers to Look For in 2016 [Mashable]→ In 2015 we reached the peak of content marketing, in 2016, only those with a strategy will survive.Marketing tech will have to integrate into existing systems to remain relevant.Static content will be replaced with interactive and immersive experiences. Marketers will learn to focus on key KPIs and to ignore vanity and catch all metrics. Ad blocking will create an opportunity for marketers to innovate and align with consumer preferences and behaviours. The focus will shift from engagement to goal-based metrics. Conversion-based content marketing will help marketers get closer to “the holy grail” of real marketing ROI.