Forrester’s Darika Ahrens directly addressed the elephant in the room for many companies in her blog post: “Goodbye Advertising, Hello Content Marketing?“.

She makes several very important conclusions, which are represented in Forrester’s Online Paid Content Forecast, 2012 To 2017 (EU-7):

  • “You will have fewer chances to reach consumers with traditional advertising. 
    The very services driving growth in digital content consumption are limiting pure advertising opportunity for brands, by adopting payment models that don’t require brand advertising for revenue and even driving consumer appetite for more ad-free content.
  • Brands must develop content capabilities to avoid losing ground.
    It’s not all doom and gloom. The growth in Western Europeans buying content shows us that audiences want, and value, content. Marketers can ensure their brand gains presence by developing content capabilities. “

Some companies are waiting for “social proof” that content will make a difference in the marketing efforts, but this, to me, is behind the curve. Coca-Cola has been touting their move “from creative excellence to content excellence” as part of their Content 2020.  Companies like and well before them, Hubspot were hiring brand journalists. Journalists and content strategists such as my friends Jeff Cutler [related story] and Margot Bloomstein of Appropriate, Inc have long focused on the need to tell your story effectively.

Now, your SEO spend will be affected if you “opt out” of being a producer. Google is now weighing current content, author score and social proof in their results ranking. Simply put, you need to create content, share content and be of interest to lots of people to even be a player going forward.

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