I found an infographic this week that I thought was fascinating. It takes a look at the past, present, and future of content marketing. Now, when it comes to content marketing we all know what has worked in the past are not going to be the same things that work in the future, but where is the future of content marketing going?

This infographic does an excellent job of showing the progression from the past to now.

Past:
– 70% of marketers chose articles
– 58% chose press releases
– 91% were concerned with website content
– 76% percent of websites were static

Obviously, this done not come as a big surprise to any of us, because if you have been in the marketing and advertising industry for more than five years, you were part of the content marketing “past.” I was still in school during this time, but I do remember while interning that these were the primary methods companies used for promotion.

Present:
– blogs are responsible for 97% of inbound links
– 64% of marketers use blogs to promote business
– 37% find blogs to be the most valuable type of content marketing
– 90% of bloggers use Facebook
– 33% of businesses use infographics for promotion
– 53% of companies find new leads on Twitter
– 87% of marketers use video, with over 193 million watched in 2012
– 44% use photos
– 20% of all Google searches are for local businesses

Yes, yes and yes! I have been around for a few years now, but as someone working in content marketing, I would have to say that this is 100% accurate. My focus, especially as a social media marketer, has been on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest. If you read my weekly blog, then I don’t need to tell you that blogs are also a big part of my work, and yes – I do use Facebook. What surprises me is how quickly it has become imperative that businesses adapt to changes. The days of promoting through one of two specific channels are gone, and companies need to make sure they are using all available tools to their advantage.

Future:
– 59% + will use branded mobile apps
– 61% of consumers will play games on mobile regularly
– 250+ million Google+ accounts are expected
– content management systems will be on the rise, with 32% of marketers using them for content personalization
– content will be more focused on mobile devices

This is where I tend not to agree with their findings, and I will explain why. I do believe that companies will use branded apps because they are starting to already (I have a few). I won’t speak on mobile gaming since I am not a mobile (or any other kind) of gamer. My issue with the “future” is their emphasis on marketing automation. Marketing automation is already on the rise, but I don’t believe it is the way to go. With all of the social media marketing going on, automation just takes away from the personal touch. The infographic does say that content personalization is the key – but as a marketer, I know when an e-mail that says my name is an automated message. My point is that even though I work in social media, I still get excited when someone tweets at me because it just seems more personal. It is true that programs like Act-On and Infusionsoft can make a small organization seem huge, but is that better? Maybe I am a little bit old-school in my belief that there is no replacement for human contact.

Here are five things to help you with your content marketing strategy:

  1. Blog, blog, blog!
  2. Use infographics!
  3. Facebook and Twitter are no longer a ‘nice to have’ they are a necessity.
  4. Google+ is on the rise, take the time to learn best practices now.
  5. Incorporate video – if you aren’t already.

So now I open the floor to you. Do you agree with the findings of this infographic? As always I would love to hear your opinion, and answer any questions you may have. Of course, I am here to help in any way that I can, so if you’re looking for some guidance, you can leave a comment below, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

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