Digital Marketing, Clutch Report

7 Predictions for Content Marketing in 2017

December 14, 2016

by Sarah Anyan

Product Manager

Main content marketing goals 2016The New Year gives you the opportunity to start fresh. On an individual, peer, or business level, you set resolutions, establish audacious goals, and then do everything in your power to achieve them.

Unfortunately, only 8% of people successfully reach these yearly goals. Why’s that? Well, research shows that people are more likely to fail if they set large, all-encompassing aspirations.

A more dependable approach is to establish small, attainable goals throughout the year and clearly outline the steps you need to take to get there.

This tenant holds true on the business level, especially when it comes to marketing.

What marketing goals have you set for 2017? How do you plan to succeed?

Five content marketing pros from HubSpot, Vertical Measures, Relevance, The Agile Marketer, and iProspect weighed in on important trends to look out for in 2017.

The interviews are part of our Content Marketing Survey 2016, which includes data from 300 content marketers at enterprise companies in the US. Use their observations to fine-tune your plans, and keep an eye out for more data in the New Year.



1. More businesses will get content marketing right in 2017.

“We’re going to see much more adoption of content marketing. We’re past the point of people trying to learn what content marketing is. Many businesses have been trying it for a while but not necessarily doing it correctly. 2017 will be all about figuring out how to do content marketing correctly – identifying goals, and creating content that people actually want, as well as tracking success.”

Quinn Whissen, Marketing Director, Vertical Measures, a content marketing agency that also specializes in SEO and PPC

2. Content marketing will become more strategic.

“There’s more of a trend, especially among enterprises, of getting serious and strategic about their content.”
Rob Garner, Director of Content Marketing Solutions, iProspect North America, a full-service content marketing agency

Effectiveness of paid advertisements 2016

3. Greater emphasis on hiring exceptional content creators.

“One of the most important trends in content marketing is going to be a heightened emphasis on hiring and retaining highly skilled content creators. As content marketing gains adoption and more and more niches experience content saturation, only the most epic content will stand out, and only the most epic content creators can produce that type of work. So, in the near future, the brands that succeed at content marketing will be the ones who put amazing people in charge of their content and then leave them alone.”
Andrea Fryrear, Owner,, Founder, Fox Content, a full-service content marketing consultancy that uses agile marketing principles

4. Topic-focused content will dominate search engines.

“Content marketers have, for a long time, focused on creating content around one specific keyword. Moving forward, it will be crucial for marketers to instead prioritize content around topics. The way users search, and how search engines are surfacing results for those searches, will continue to change in 2017. People no longer go to Google to find a product; they'll go to Amazon. When focused on [business-to-business] (B2B), Google is still the best resource. Recognizing that context will make us better marketeres in 2017 and beyond.”
Jeffrey Vocell, Principal Product Marketing Manager, HubSpot

5. Businesses will have to pay to get their content seen.

“By the year 2020, there will be five times more content on the Internet. There are only 10 positions on the first page of Google, and social media has shut off organic visibility for most brands and industries. In order to get eyeballs on content in the foreseeable future, businesses will have to pay for it, unless they have a robust earned media plan. They’ll have to use native advertising on people’s email lists and social media and sponsor articles on news sites, like The New York Times or Forbes.

The one exception is the HubSpots and Mozes of the world. They won’t have to worry because they have such high domain authority. … Marketers need to prepare their budgets and look to the TV executive model of spending five dollars of distribution for every one dollar of creativity.”

Chad Pollit, Vice President of Audience, Relevance, a content marketing agency

Importance of content quality 20166. Content quality will reign supreme over quantity.


“Quantity is vital when starting content marketing. People need to build a foundation and increase traffic, but, as they become more mature, quality will beat out quantity. It's important to make deep-dive pieces that attract links, leads, and traffic.”
Quinn Whissen, Vertical Measures

7. Marketing automation will go hand-in-hand with content marketing.

“There is some interesting headway being made with marketing automation in content. Automation will become smarter, and many companies will start leveraging their data with different tools to make their content appeal to more diverse audiences.”
Rob Garner, iProspect

As you prepare for 2017, consider the advice these content marketers shared to help you strategize. Be sure to keep up-to-date with industry trends to ensure your content marketing is working best for your business, and check back during January to see the full results of 

Contact Sarah Patrick at [email protected] with questions or feedback.

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About the Survey

Data comes from Clutch’s Content Marketing Survey 2016. The study included 300 respondents who are involved in content marketing at work and use some type of content marketing software. All respondents held an associate level position or higher, with 58% being directors or higher. They work at enterprise companies in the US with more than 100 employees, with 72% representing companies with more than 500 employees. 34% work for business-to-business (B2B) and 66% work for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies.


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