We recently published a round-up of all the biggest content marketing trends of 2015, according to our panel of experts. 

Now we’ve asked those same experts to go all Mystic Meg on us and predict what 2016 will bring, although I’m sure their approach was much more scientific than hers.

Let’s take a look at some content predictions for 2016.

Brands will become content curators 

Alex Ayling, Head of BBC Worldwide Digital Studios 

I think that as the world of content continues its massive expansion online, with existing platforms getting bigger and new ones launching every week, we are going to see more and more services dedicated to curation.  

Anybody with a recent smartphone and a few apps now has the tools to create content that matches what we see on TV or the cinema screen in terms of production values.  

That doesn’t mean that everyone is capable of telling amazing stories though, so audiences are going to lean towards names that they trust to bring them the best (or most informative, funniest, scariest, saddest) from all of these different sources.  

Increasingly we will see that the voices that resonate most with audiences (whether they be brands or individual personalities) will programme a mix of their own professionally created content alongside intelligently curated UGC. 

Video will see massive growth

Anna Francis, Content Manager at Search Laboratory 

Visual content will definitely continue as a trend in 2016.

Brands will create more videos, utilise live streaming apps, and really embrace interactive features within content.  

Sophie Turton, Content Marketing Specialist at Bozboz 

Video marketing will skyrocket, with Cisco predicting that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017.  

Content marketers that combine all of these elements are set for an explosive year.  

And we haven't even delved into the possibilities offered by VR and Oculus Rift. I'm excited to see what they come up with. 

Maia McCann, Director of Content at LittleThings.com 

In 2016, we're going to see a lot more 30-second video clips which should gain traction on social media, particularly in Facebook's video player.  

We'll also see creative teams continuously experimenting with the dimensions of video thanks to the traction Buzzfeed has gained with 640x640 videos on its 'Tasty' channel. 

Content marketers will get smarter about mobile  

Sophie Turton, Content Marketing Specialist at Bozboz 

Marketers will get smarter about mobile, not just in ensuring all sites are mobile responsive but in creating content specifically for different platforms and devices. 

In 2016, one size definitely will not fit all.  

A mobile-first approach will ensure all content is more engaging and companies of all sizes will get smarter with technology to monitor results and drive conversions. 

Currently only 12% of purchases are made on mobile, despite time spent on mobile now higher than that spent on desktop.  

Anna Francis, Content Manager at Search Laboratory 

Mobile apps will be a big trend, as developing applications is now easier and cheaper than ever before, and Google indexing means apps are listed within mobile search results, giving brands a whole new opportunity for mobile visibility.  

Native ads will continue to grow

Nick Fettiplace, SEO Director at Jellyfish 

I think native advertising will also continue to grow across multiple channels as publishers and broadcasters look to find new ways to monetise content without alienating users, and brands look for a way to communicate with audiences in a more subtle and engaging way. 

Buzzfeed native ads

The rise of ‘relationship marketing’

Anna Francis, Content Manager at Search Laboratory 

Relationship marketing is another big trend we'll see develop in 2016.  

Companies will need to really humanise their brand and focus on building a loyal and trusting audience that content can be pushed out to.  

Engagement is so important when it comes to content marketing, and I think next year we will see more brands focus on the relationships they have with their customers and the ways in which they can turn them into life-long advocates.  

In-app indexation

Nick Fettiplace, SEO Director at Jellyfish 

A potential game-changer for 2016 will be in-app indexation.  

Google’s aim will be to serve content from apps within its own search results, allowing users to access material from an app that they may not have even installed. 

If we really are in ‘the age of the app’, then this is likely to drive downloads significantly and provide us with: a) more content and b) yet more diversity in how we access it. 

Google Knowledge Graph will play a part

Anna Francis, Content Manager at Search Laboratory 

Google's Knowledge Graph is likely to affect the way brand's are creating content, as answers now appear for the majority of long tail search queries on the results page.  

With more opportunity to be featured prominently in Google's search results, brands will be focusing on creating content around more complex and difficult topics in the hope the Google's Knowledge Graph will drive extra traffic to their site.

Jack Simpson

Published 11 December, 2015 by Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (3)

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Anish Patel, Founder at Revolution Productions

In terms of videos, I think a more specified area that will grow is social video. Between increasing engagement and pushing users down the sales funnel, this is a tactic that marketers cannot afford to miss. Here are even more reasons: http://www.revolution-productions.com/reasons-to-invest-social-video/

almost 2 years ago

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MILJANA MITIC, Marketing Executive at Goodvidio

I'd suggest that video curation will be another trend in 2016. Retailers will realize the benefit of featuring both brand-made and user-generated videos from social media on their pages. Discovering the best video content across different types of video creators and kinds of videos will be the new marketing riddle. It will be interesting to see how retailers solve it successfully and which new tech tools they'll use.

almost 2 years ago

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Steve Gehlen, VP Marketing at Brandlive, Inc.

In 2016 hopefully digital influencers and tech media will realize that live streaming video is a communication channel, not an "app", and that many top brands and retailers (GoPro, New Balance, HP, Walmart, Pottery Barn, Ace Hardware) are already doing live streaming video marketing, but not via an "app", instead using enterprise-ready platforms for live interactive streaming video such as ours.

almost 2 years ago

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