In a poll conducted to accompany the ClickZ Intelligence Digital Trends 2016 report, nearly a quarter of respondents identified content marketing as the key trend for their company this year.
But despite the widespread adoption of content marketing, companies still face numerous challenges in putting it to use effectively. For example, the majority of companies don’t have a dedicated content marketing team. Instead, many task their marketing departments with content marketing responsibilities.
Given the difficulties companies face in producing content, it’s probably not a surprise that according to a study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of cognitive content platform provider Persado, a growing number of senior marketers in the US and Europe have high hopes for automated content production.
Three-quarters of those Forrester polled believe that automated content creation will make it easier “to maintain and update content,” a logical expectation. Over half (56%) expect that automating content creation will give them the ability to produce content that is modular and can be assembled dynamically, while nearly half (47%) see automated content as a means to adjust and respond in real time.
But marketers’ expectations don’t stop there. Indeed, large percentages of those surveyed believe that automated content creation won’t just increase volume and speed, but help them improve the efficacy of their content marketing altogether.
For instance, 43% believe automated content creation will help “customize content to achieve better customer engagement” and 38% think it can help them “leverage customer emotional triggers in order to deliver more impactful content.” 30% and 29% even anticipate that automating content creation will increase new customer acquisition rates and boost customer loyalty, respectively.
The problem for marketers is that automated content creation technologies may not be able to deliver on those more ambitious expectations.
Even the co-founder of Persado, the company that commissioned the Forrester study, told TechCrunch, “to get to a place where a machine can turn out an article with (ideally) some creativity and critical analysis will take another 20 years.”
What’s more, the biggest problems organizations face in making content marketing work are not about technology, or even content production, as evidenced by the fact that half of content companies produce is never put to use.
Instead, the biggest challenge holding content marketing back is lack of clear strategy and the third biggest is conflicting goals between departments.
So while automated content production will almost certainly increase as content marketing becomes an even more important part of the digital marketing mix, to take real advantage of these technologies, companies will need to ensure that their content marketing efforts are grown up.
From the most popular tactics during 2016, to the new strategies we need to apply in 2017.
So what makes content go viral? And what makes people participate in these phenomena?
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It's time to plan the year ahead, so how about starting with a look at the content marketing trends that will make 2017 easier and more effective?