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10 Popular Content Marketing Buzzwords for 2016

Whether it's through meetings, brainstorming sessions or reading articles, this year you will encounter these specific words even more often. Some are fairly new, but others have been passed around the content marketing industry for some time — and are still on everyone's lips. So it’s now time to scrutinize their importance under a microscope.

Whether it's through meetings, brainstorming sessions or reading articles, this year you will encounter these specific words even more often. Some are fairly new, but others have been passed around the content marketing industry for some time — and are still on everyone's lips. So it’s now time to scrutinize their importance under a microscope. 

1. Content Shock

Once a company has recognized and understood the importance of content marketing, the focus will then shift to content shock. This term is explained in a blog by author and social media consultant Mark Schaefer and has been hotly debated ever since.

The article describes a scenario where the competition for consumers' attention becomes increasingly difficult and costly for businesses – and is therefore no longer worthwhile for some. Because of the daily content deluge, users are simply presented with too much content per day and too few hours in which to digest it.

According to Schaefer, those wanting to avoid content shock have some options, including:

  • Focusing on a niche area
  • Spending more money on content
  • Spending more money on content distribution
  • Focusing on new types of content and channels that are not (yet) used by rivals

So what is content shock all about? It is clear that, in the future, non-relevant content will have very poor prospects.

2. Holistic

Holistic means "concerning the whole." In content marketing, the term appears mainly in connection with content that covers a subject comprehensively.

As early as 2014, Searchmetrics had listed holistic content as crucial for content ranking in their study of ranking factors. Content should not only be relevant to keywords but also to the topic and its related terms. The more thematic aspects of a topic covered by the content, the more holistic – and thus relevant – the content is for users conducting different searches.

Holistic content is therefore well-researched, deals with a subject as comprehensively as possible from various aspects and includes topic-relevant terms, variants and synonyms. So individual keywords can be used to form so-called content clusters.

3. Data-Driven Content

How can we use data to create content relevant to our target group? This is a question that confronts an increasing number of companies. They analyze data, from social media for instance, to gain important insights into how to engage and communicate with their target audience.

However, evaluating and usefully linking data from all relevant touchpoints presents companies with major challenges. But there are a number of tools available for this purpose.

4. Native Advertising

Since 2014, this particular Buzzword has been buzzing around the advertising and media world. It received particularly prominent attention once it became known that the prestigious New York Times relies on native advertising.

Native advertising is a paid method of distributing content. Here, the content of one business is embedded in the editorial environment of another site, such as a news website. In its new context, this content is adapted to suit the design and layout of each page so that, at first glance, it hardly differs from the remaining content.

The concept of native advertising is always hotly debated, with the ambiguous division between advertising and editorial content often heavily criticized. On the other hand, provided it is thematically appropriate and well-crafted, its proponents see this advertising method as offering a new revenue stream for media as well as relevant user content.

5. Content Discovery Platforms

In the broadest sense, the use of content discovery platforms can be seen as a form of native advertising. Still relatively new on the market, studies show many companies already rate this paid channel for content distribution as very effective.

It involves content-recommendation platforms that send the user, so to speak, on a content discovery tour. Content discovery platforms like Outbrain have a large publisher network that includes, for example, news sites, blogs and business portals.

Among items from their own publisher network, they also recommend thematically matching contributions from other sources to their users. Readers are then briefed about additional content on a topic through media such as blog posts, videos or infographics. For companies, this offers the opportunity to distribute their content through channels other than their own in order to increase their reach and attract new users.

6. Promoted Post

Many corporate posts create little impression, resulting in less organic traffic via social media.

That can change for those prepared to reach a little deeper into their pockets in order to reach their target audience via social media. Whether as a sponsored update on LinkedIn, a promoted tweet on Twitter, or a promoted post on Facebook, in the future, anyone who wants to reach a lot of users with relevant content must get it placed beside high-quality content and social advertising.

7. Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is resurging and is now becoming increasingly important for content marketing. This is because, when it comes to spreading their own content, many companies rely on the cooperation of experts who have the attention of the respective target group.

Therefore, tools that help identify appropriate opinion leaders and build relationships with them are also on the rise, such as BuzzSumo and NinjaOutreach.

Whether they are bloggers, YouTubers, or Twitter celebrities, influencer marketing relies on the fact that cooperation brings both parties an advantage – a win-win situation.

Companies can also, for example, offer influencers exclusive background information, free product samples or event invitations.

Some tips for successful influencer relations can be found here.

8. Storytelling

Storytelling is not new. However, how to tell stories in the best possible way has occupied the media, including content marketers, again this year.

As before, the goal of storytelling is to tell stories in a way that evoked an emotional response and is memorable. People still love stories that make them feel good.

9. Personalized Content

Delivering customized content that is tailored to a user's interests and reaches him or her at the right time, and in the right place, is a big issue for the future.

The more website content can be geared towards the individual user, the higher conversion rates will be.

Whether it's individualized products for every reader or store content perfectly suited to the user's particular needs, how to create such personalized content in different ways is critical.

10. Content Performance

Those wishing to understand what content achieves its purpose can only evaluate this via regular performance measurement.

However, measuring the success of content has remained a major challenge for companies this year. What metrics a company should use will always depend on the what the content consists of, where it’s distributed and its intended outcome.

According to the CMI study, the quality of leads, the number of sales and the conversion rates are currently the most important metrics for measuring content outcomes. But many companies are still tempted to measure success by their search engine rankings and traffic volumes.

Tips for measuring content success can be found here.


Could you measure how “holistic” your own content performance is? This year, there's still no end in sight for content marketing jargon, but the meaning of these individual terms are easy to learn. And just remember that the term “content marketing” was once a buzzword!


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