Good news, folks. Last year, I wrote this about my predictions for 2012: “My crystal ball is cloudy, my tea leaves are clumped together and my tarot cards are ripped.” I just wasn’t sure what would happen.
This year, I’m absolutely certain about what 2013 will bring.
And if you’re interested in my overall prediction score, I’ve created this handy table for you:
|Predictions for 2011||Correct?||Predictions for 2012||Correct?|
|Mobile||Yup||Content Curation and Content Channels||Yup|
|Semantic Web||Not even close||Responsive Design||Yup|
|Trackable Content||Yup||Better integration of marketing and communications||Maybe|
|Social Media Content Strategy||Yup|
|Technical Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing||Yup|
So, based on my previous successes in predicting what will be hot in content for the following year, here are five predictions for 2013.
That is, if we make it past the Mayan predicted apocalypse:
1. Mobile, mobile, mobile
It’s not the future, it’s now. According to Comscore, for the three-month average period ending September 2012, 119.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones. That amounts to 51 percent of total mobile market penetration.
That’s it baby. Once you’re at 51 percent, I believe you’re now in the majority. Mobile opens up possibilities for marketers that were previously fantasy. Think of all the underserved of the population that didn’t have phone numbers? Now they do! In addition, they access content constantly on their phones.
More than that, as tablets and mini-tablets become as ubiquitous as my Honda mini-van, consumers will just move back and forth between devices. Check out Karen McGrane’s new book, "Content Strategy for Mobile," for a great read on the subject. I predict that in 2013, we’ll still be talking about mobile -- but it will just be code word for everything.
Directly from the book (download the first chapter for free)
Brandscaping hinges on creating relevant, frequently delivered, compelling content that engages, inspires, and informs your audience -- just like the media companies of old. Except, in a brandscaper’s world, you don’t have to rely on the media alone for access to your audience. You don’t have to rely on traditional journalists to write stories and magazines to publish them. You don’t need television and radio stations to produce shows, or professional photographers to shoot images. In a brandscaper’s world, you forge content relationships, pool your financial and media resources, and share your audience with those who have something to offer. In return, you get access to their audiences, too.”
It’s an awesome idea and we’re going to see more of it. So explore this idea to see how you might be able to use brandscaping in your practice.
3. Content Cornerstones
I’m struggling with how to articulate what I mean by this, but basically, I believe that organizations will begin to build primary content bases and use secondary content to decorate or illustrate ideas. Different from a central hub, or a website or blog that houses all of your content, content cornerstones are topical content areas that allow you to display your full understanding of a topic or industry corner. Think of the microsite, but not on a microsite.
A good example of this is Mebox. This software allows organizations to add secondary content to video. Plus, it makes sharing that content really easy. It’s really a boon for marketers.
Another option for marketers that gives them the ability to combine content and tell stories in a new way is Prezi.
I think in 2013, you’re going to see many new tools and technologies emerge to solve some of the problems we face on a consistent basis as content marketers. Scout for the ones that solve your clients’ current challenges.
4. Lead Funnel Conversations
What’s the number one rule in any detective work? Follow the money. So too, content marketers are going to need to truly understand how their clients make money.
What drives revenue? In most places, it’s leads or prospects. These are the people or other companies you can sell your products or services. Therefore, as an industry, both in content strategy and content marketing, you’re going to see people start to talk about lead funnels, lead generation, lead scoring and conversions. Did you know what ROI was four years ago? Expect the same for the lead funnel.
5. Photographic Content
It’s already happened with Pinterest and Instagram. So too, we’ll continue to see a steady rise in the fascination people have with pictures. That doesn’t mean text will die on the Web. Rather, it just gives you more choices for how you choose to display your content.
What do you think 2013 will bring?
Editor's Note: Interested in revisiting Ahava's 2012 predictions? Read Content Strategy: 3 Predictions for 2012