Image‘Tis the season to reflect on the marketing lessons of this past year and to think about how to make the most of the next one. As passionate followers of all things content, we devoured our fair share of insights and musings on the topic this year – from trends and statistics, to companies who did it best and those who missed the mark. As you think about your own marketing plans for 2013, here are some of our favorite resources on content marketing. We hope these insights are as useful to you as they have been for us. 

7 Strategies for Developing Compelling Content in 2013, Content Marketing Institute

As a the leading expert in the space, Joe Pulizzi summarizes in this post, his most popular content presentations and reminds us that content is only worthwhile if it makes a difference in the customer’s day-to-day life. How will your content impact the reader in 2013?

Social Media, Mobile, and Content Marketing: 4 Trends that Rocked 2012, ClickZ.

A lot changed in the past year. Pinterest and Google+ took over the web, pulling in millions of users in record time. Smartphone use topped PCs. And, most strikingly, individual content consumption reached an average of 11.5 hours per day in the United States. In this post, marketing expert Heidi Cohen offers the key trends of 2012, and the implications for marketers in 2013.

The best and worst social media campaigns of 2012, eConsultancy

How we create and distribute content is important, but strategies and tactics are only meaningful when put into action. Experts at eConsultancy highlighted brands that, for better or worse, made a huge impact this past year. NIKE, Old Spice and Dollar Shave Club are a just a few that used engaging content to connect with customers, build community and spread brand awareness. 

We are reminded too that content should be published only after careful planning and consideration. Just ask McDonalds, whose #McDStories Twitter campaign invited customers to call out service gaps and questionable ingredients, or the major brands who used Hurricane Sandy to promote sales. Overall, the blog posts confirm content’s leading role in telling killer brand narratives and connecting with customers. Read the full posts at Best of 2012 and Worst of 2012.

The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned, and Earned Media, Altimeter Group

There is no question that today’s marketer has a tremendous amount of channels to keep track of. In order to use these channels right, and not get overwhelmed, it’s crucial to understand how each can complement the other and deliver meaningful customer experiences. To that end, the Altimeter Group argues that traditional marketing channels, segmented by paid, owned and earned, are coming together. In order to survive, brands and agencies need to understand the opportunities within these fading lines, and how content can effectively fuel each level. As today’s consumer flips from screen to screen and app to app without pausing, savvy marketers will find ways to seamlessly integrate brand messaging within their line of focus. Read the full article here.

2013 Big Year for Big Data, Content Marketers, The Content Standard

Big data is certainly a trending topic within all industries—from banking to healthcare—but the trend also has huge potential in content marketing. With customer relationship management (CRM) systems able to collect deeper insights on customer activities and intent, marketers are empowered to create content deeply personalized to specific buyer needs, demographics, and purchase decisions. In a recent report, McKinsey & Company predicts that the percentage of marketers using data for targeting and customer insights, currently 40%, will increase. Read the full article here.

I hope these articles and insights help as you prepare your content programs for 2013. What are your top priorities this year? What tools and resources will help you move the needle? 

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David Woodrow, SVP of Strategic Services at Skyword.

@davidwoodrow