x years ago, I started working in content marketing.

At 23, I helped start an online newspaper out of a Park Slope, Brooklyn coffee shop, and by some stroke of luck, we connected with an upstart digital agency that offered us office space and a small retainer. In exchange, we promised that our small squad of editors and freelancers would serve as the company’s on-call editorial team. Apparently, this agency wanted to do something called content marketing.It was new to me, but as I soon learned, it was new to everyone. The concept—creating entertaining and informative stories for brands so that they could connect with people online—made enough sense. And if they wanted to pay us real money to make this stuff, who was I to argue? After all, I’d graduated into The Great Recession.

I never became a journalism purist because all of the pure journalism jobs were gone.

Back then, content marketing was barely on anyone’s radar. I was lucky to get into it early while I could learn on the job as the industry evolved.

There were young journalists, like me, who got in the game for a steady paycheck and came to love marketing. There are marketers who transformed their careers. With each passing year, we’ve matured and discovered what works through trial and error.It used to feel like you could hire anyone to run your content marketing program because no one knew what the hell to do.

That’s definitely not the case now.

Over the past few years, a new class of creatives has come to learn the ins-and-outs of content marketing. As I survey the industry today, the big differentiator that all successful brands have is people who actually know what they’re doing.Which leads us to our first big trend of 2017…1. The content marketing talent war

Read all at the Source: The Talent War, and Other Big Content Marketing Trends for 2017

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