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5 content marketing patterns you'll see this year

5 content marketing patterns you'll see this year Chad Reid

Content is a critical part of many companies' marketing efforts; are you keeping up with the latest trends? The evolution of content marketing has been fascinating to watch unfold in recent years, and 2016 is no different. The appetite for digital content is at an all-time high, which is why brands big and small are getting their ducks in a row to make sure they're in good shape this year. 

Here are five trends that are going to make a big difference in content marketing in 2016:

LinkedIn and Medium are going to see an enormous surge in both readership and writership

Both of these platforms are terrific for producing great content since both have built-in methods for getting new readers. LinkedIn articles display on the newsfeeds of all your followers plus the followers of anyone who likes the story, while Medium stories show up in people's inboxes. Both can get a lot of eyeballs, and quickly. For better or worse, marketers are going to exploit both of these channels much more in 2016 than they did last year, and for good reason. 

Republishing is on the rise 

Writing great content takes time. Not every marketing department in the country has that kind of time. So what's the problem with republishing (with permission) a great article on your own platform or blog? Crediting it back to the original publication helps everyone save face for SEO and copyright reasons, and the original writer gets added exposure. As long as it provides valuable information for your own customers, it's a win-win scenario that saves a ton of time. 

More people will write about their expertise

In recent years, it's mostly been marketing communications professionals taking the lion's share of the writing for most brands. That's all about to change. In the race for quality digital content, companies need more of it (and broader perspectives) than ever before. Thought leadership isn't limited to marketers, so we're going to see more developers, designers, accountants, executives, and even HR professionals taking active roles in many brands' content strategies. 

We'll see more cross marketing between like-minded companies

Sometimes co-marketing just makes sense. X brand of peanut butter probably has a pretty similar audience demographic as Y brand of jelly -- so why not team up? What separates companies today from five years ago is the strength of their content distribution channels, making marketing each other's products easier and more effective than ever before. 

Social media will continue to devolve into paid campaigns

While social media is still the best way to share content, its usefulness as a free tool has seen its last day. Facebook's biggest change over a year ago substantially limited any brand's organic reach, and others have followed suit. It's likely other social giants, namely LinkedIn and Twitter, will make sharing content a rich man's game in 2016. Producing terrific content will still be as valuable as ever, just more expensive. 

Whatever your strategy is for this year, make sure you're staying ahead of trends and taking the time to promote your content once it's written. 

Do you agree with this list? What's your company doing for content marketing?

Chad Reid is the Director of Communications at JotForm, a leading online form creation platform. He’s currently a graduate student in strategic communications and lives in Oakland, CA.

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