5 Can’t-Miss Content Marketing Articles Jennifer Taylor January 7th, 2016 Every week we select and summarize five content marketing articles for easy skimming. This week we’re thinking about starting Q1 and beginning 2016 on a strong note. We’ve compiled a list of articles that are making us think differently about our content marketing strategy as we move into the New Year.1. What the Best Brands Will Do in 2016 [LinkedIn]We will continue to shift from a “Mad Men creativity-driven marketing era“ to an age of "predictive analytics and holistic software platforms.”Big data and analytics are now at the heart of modern marketing and can help marketers better understand and predict consumer wants and needs.Consumers are overwhelmed, and they want to receive personalized and smart recommendations that suit their needs in the moment.Social selling (using social media as a sales tool) will increase and Snapchat will eclipse Twitter in importance. In 2016 companies will understand that vanity metrics like “views” don’t matter, and will pay more attention to comments, engagement minutes, and shares."Pocket" or "micro-communities" (like Facebook Chats or Slack) will become important because they allow for more personal, real-time communication.2. Why Consumer Intent Is More Powerful Than Demographics [Think With Google]Demographics fail to help us understand what a consumer is looking for in an exact moment and where they’re going to find it.Immediacy trumps loyalty when people want information in the moment. Marketers need to figure out how they can be there in these “micro-moments.” Brands need to start thinking about how they can be useful for all of their potential customers, not just those that fit the age and gender profile.Unexpected Stats: Only 31% of mobile searches for video games are men ages 18-34, 68% of skin and body care influencers in the past six months were men, and 40% of baby product purchasers live in households without children.Mobile has significantly changed the way consumers access information and marketers need to understand the intent behind their potential customers’ Google and YouTube searches.3. Cookin’ Up A New Content Strategy: A Quick Intro to Micro-Moments [ScribbleLive]The rise of Adblock, the increasing dangers of ad fraud, the popularity of mobile, and evolving customer behaviours are changing the way the audience perceives and consumes advertising. Brands in the digital sphere should not be focused on being the loudest voice, but the most helpful.According to Think With Google, micro-moments are “the intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.”Brands need to be present in the instances where people are searching for answers, entertainment, or resources. be there and be swift so that you can help your target audience complete their task efficiently. Shoppers use their mobile phones “in-the-moment” to take pictures of potential gifts and get opinions from friends and family, to find a local retailer who carries the item, to check availability of an item at other local retailers, to look for a coupon for the store they are in.4. Why the Rebirth of Email is Coming in 2016 [Convince & Convert]Thanks to advancements in personalization, dynamic content, and predictive analytics, email newsletters have become “the new homepage.”Reading email on mobile devices is boosting smartphone conversion rates and beacons, geofences, mobile bar codes, and app behavior triggers will further intertwine email and mobile in 2016.Email is benefiting from broader integration and ESPs are being melded into customer relationship management, digital marketing, and enterprise resource planning suites.Emails are no longer simply gateways to landing pages. Now email can facilitate more customer interaction through menus, carousels, embedded video, or live streams.Soon brands will offer checkout experiences that are fully contained in the email experience. 5. Digital in 2016: The Year of Consumer-Led Communications Marketing [Edelman Digital]2016 will be the year of the Consumer Marketing Director, and consumers will play an increasingly important role in a brand’s direction. Crowd-sourced and user-generated video will shape brand stories and brands will partner with video influencers who already have a direct, emotional, and authentic connection with their fans.Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important. Modern influencers don’t just feature products - they’re creators and makers and will soon become an extension of the brand’s creative team. Consumers want instant gratification, and retailers need to create seamless omnichannel experiences and ‘buy now’ functionality guide consumers to the point of sale.Social listening will help brands become more responsive, understand what causes their consumers are most interested in, and help them find ways to resonate with key audiences in a meaningful way.Marketers need to track people, not cookies. Mapping consumer journeys across devices will be essential to understanding consumer behaviour.