No doubt about it: 2011 was a big year for content marketing. A recent survey conducted by my company, HiveFire, found that 82% of B2B marketers today use content marketing. And twice the number of marketers implement content marketing vs. the number of those who use print, television, and radio advertising.

Those numbers speak for themselves. Marketers have taken note, and are recognizing content marketing as a valuable component of their overall strategy.

With so much attention focused on the progress that content marketers have made over the past year, it's impossible not to ask what 2012 might bring. Because the content marketing space is moving so fast, here is a quick look at what's in and what's out in 2012.


What's Out: Passing Off Marketing Materials as Content

Companies that were new to content marketing last year have learned that to attract customer interest, they have to be prepared to offer relevant and engaging content, not just marketing materials. Gone will be the days of marketers singularly promoting their brands without also keeping an eye on industry news and trends.

What's In: Incorporating Your Brand's Message Into a Larger Story

More and more, marketers will incorporate their brands' messages into a larger, overall story. Content produced by companies will begin to take on a more journalistic feel, and those marketers that are really getting it right won't shy away from curating content from their competitors as well.

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image of Pawan Deshpande

Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of Curata, a leading provider of content marketing software. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, marketer, and technologist.

LinkedIn: Pawan Deshpande