It’s 2016! What’s going on in content marketing?

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Happy New Year from Axonn Media! Doesn’t time fly? It seems like only yesterday we were gearing up to take on 2015.

Well, in online marketing time really does fly. Many of the tactics used in 2012, 2013 and even 2014 are now ineffective or even damaging. To be a successful content marketer, you have to be constantly learning and adapting.

Why is that?

Partly, it’s down to Google updating its algorithms – or moving the goalposts, depending on your point of view. As well as successive confirmed Panda and Penguin updates, last year saw “Mobilegeddon” and the acknowledgement that Google was using a machine learning artificial intelligence system – known as RankBrain – as part of its core search algorithm.

Here’s a history of all the big updates, dating back as far as 2002. 

SEOs may weep and curse, but in recent years at least Google has been pretty consistent in what it asks of webmasters – relevant, high quality, authoritative content on well-ordered websites. Its actions have been aimed  at refining results on the basis of what people want to see (eg penalising spam with the 2014 Payday series of updates, or improving location results with the Pigeon updates) and on how people consume web content today (eg Mobilegeddon, favouring mobile-friendly sites and including apps in SERPs for the first time.

Is Google’s search business finally being driven by user behaviour rather than making the market by itself? Has Google lost its place at the centre of the average web user’s online experience? 

The answer to both questions is almost certainly yes. We’ve moved from a state where Google mediated the vast majority of interactions with the internet to something far more diverse and diffused.

We’re talking about more than just “social media” here – as the oft-repeated “Facebook is for old people” line proves. The online world of ten years ago was much like the terrestrial-only era in TV – even though there was a lot of content, there were only a few ways of experiencing it.

Today, desktop browsing is a minority pursuit. In 2015 mobile usage overtook desktop not only for search but also for ecommerce. Websites don’t look like they used to; apps may finally put an end to the notion of the “website” and kill the browser. The internet is not confined to what we think of as computers in the age of the “internet of things”...

Well, that is what Axonn is going to look at over the next two months. On January 19th, we’re going to publish our first ebook of 2016, looking at trends in content marketing for 2016. This is going to focus, not on industry stats like all the other end-of-year research out there, but on what is changing, why it’s changing and what you can do about it practically.

Around that, we’re going to publish a series of blogs looking at changes and adapting to them in a range of different disciplines, including content writing, data insights, strategy, graphics and more. 

As a company, one of our values is that we love to learn and share. That’s what we’re trying to do with this content campaign – we want to tell you what we think and what we know and start dialogues about where our sector is going. 

Download "Marketing that gets results: How to be effective in 2016" now