Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

What if we make 2016 the year of being relevant and real?

Christoph Trappe

January 1, 2016


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As everyone is publishing or has published their content marketing and digital marketing predictions, I will not follow that trend as usual. 🙂

Instead of us all chasing the latest shiny object, network, technique, whatever, what if we instead focus on just one thing:

Let’s be real (and authentic) with each other.

Certainly, we can and should use the latest tools and channels for this, but the technology is secondary. Our behaviors and beliefs come first. We then use the technology and current trends to do whatever we set out to do.

At the very least don’t just continue in 2016 what wasn’t working in 2015. Be aware though that many authentic storytelling content marketing strategies take time. There’s a difference between something not working and it still maturing into success. 

To wrap up 2015 and kick off 2016, let’s see how my hopes for 2015 published in December 2014, turned out.

  1. More and more businesses will figure out that content marketing is not traditional marketing.
    • I’ve seen more and more great storytelling out there, but things are getting more and more crowded. I’d say there was positive movement here.
  2. Budgets will shift faster to more content marketing tasks. For content marketing to work, dollars have to be put towards the initiative.
    • They could move faster, but yes, this is happening.
  3. Brands will respond to social media questions within seconds and those responses are actually helpful.
    • Some do, but for the most part brands are slow, slow, slow. Your brand can really stand out if you are responsive quickly.
  4. Sites that publish lists of actual helpful things don’t make visitors click to a new page for each item.
  5. Brands will not abuse that consumers have opted into their email lists. All content is useful and relevant.(Yes, they can still sell, but not be that the only thing.)
    • Closer to no, I would say. I still get way too many enewsletters. (See my “study” here.)
  6. Minutes upon minutes of talking heads are not videos and they will go away! (Yes, some YouTube stars are making it work, but they are the exception.)
  7. Brand journalists will actually practice brand journalism and not marketing.
    • Yes, seeing progress here. Also, my second book, which I’m currently writing is about this topic.
  8. The understanding that it’s not about the right or wrong answer, but the most relevant answer.
    • Some. People often agree with me on this topic when I speak at conferences but this one is certainly harder to live longer term.
  9. No more pushing of Facebook or Instagram updates to Twitter.
    • Sigh.
  10. Brands will link to the most relevant content when it benefits the audience. Sometimes that’s internal and other times it’s to an external site.
    • Many are still against linking to external sites – unfortunately. It’s such a great relationship building technique, too.
  11. Corporate blogging will be almost as easy for content creators as personal blogging is for individual bloggers. Corporate bloggers often have to go through many (often unnecessary) review processes. To be truly nimble as an organization this will have to become simpler – closer to what individual bloggers do with fewer steps.
    • Seems to becoming easier, but still a ways out.
  12. Executives will start expecting that content marketing strategies take a little while to start working.
    • Not sure.
  13. PDFs are not used to share content online.
    • Please download this PDF, despite it not being readable on your phone. 
  14. Infographics are readable on mobile devices.
    • Not across the board, but some have mastered this!
  15. Social media experts are never self-proclaimed.
    • Unlikely that this one will ever change. Ha.
  16. No more superlatives in content marketing copy.
    • This was a fantastic, state of the art prediction, but nope.
  17. It’s not one channel over another. It’s about the right mix. Web, social, etc.
    • There’s still way too much clickbait being thrown around.
  18. Organizations that publish content on their sites will have social share buttons at the top and the bottom of the article. Make sharing easy!
    • Many, but I still see sites without share buttons altogether.
  19. Organizations will realize that it’s OK – and often even required – to have an opinion.
    • Some have adopted this, but it’s one step at a time.
  20. Permission marketing over interruption marketing.
    • We will be back after this commercial break.

Since I didn’t offer predictions, but hopes, this doesn’t look too bad. Ha. Seriously, I didn’t expect them all to happen, but my hopes remain.

This year let’s try to be real and most relevant with each other. It’s really worthwhile and builds long-term relationships.

Here’s to a great 2016!

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life! Some articles may include affiliate links.

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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